Hello all I recently saw a question in a forum asking about the hollow compartments in the G1 transformers. After digging through my past entries I found everything scattered through multiple articles and I decided to do new ones starting with this one. This article will examine Takara’s Diaclone line that Hasbro used for Transformers, (including unused items or color schemes that directly relate and leaving out any that do not fit the scope of the topic at hand) The line consisted mostly of vehicles with a few exceptions as you will see. For this section I will focus on part of the line that were meant to be Mech-walkers. (or in plain English: robotic suits that can be controlled or driven by an included smaller figure.)
The Diaclone driver: Each of these toys came with a smaller figure. The good guys were Humans and the bad guys were Waruder aliens. Unlike later lines (like Headmasters), these little robot partners only function as drivers to the much bigger figure. There were a few different sculpts, came in a multitude of colors, had magnetic feet and fit right in the compartments available in the bigger toy. Of course Hasbro did not use the drivers and opted for sentient beings instead Mech-walkers.
Car Robots: Consisting of 22 different models and are pretty much exact replicas of the cars / trucks they are modeled after. (the only one not pictured in the below catalog is the very last entry in this group that does not have a number and could easily be considered variants of No. 17 since they use the same base mold and share part of the same name “Convoy”.)
- No. 1 Countach LP500S: Originally Red only, this one would go on to be recolored Yellow to be Sunstreaker. He is also regarded as the first real transformer, his mold is either lost or cannot be easily repaired.
- No. 2 Onebox Cherry Vanette: Another case of changing the color, he was Black before Hasbro changed him into the Red Ironhide. (He along with mold mate Ratchet are the easiest to spot the Mech gimmick since he has a seat instead of a head.)
- No. 3 Countach Patrol Car Type: This one uses the No.1 Countach LP500S mold but in White, with police markings and roof lights. (Sadly, He was one that Hasbro bypassed, I guess one police car was enough.)
- No. 4 Onebox Ambulance Type: Another reuse of a mold, this time being the No. 2 Onebox Cherry Vanette but in White with ambulance markings and lights. He went straight to Hasbro with very little changes to stickers as Ratchet. (You think they would have given him a head.)
- No. 5 4WD Hi-luxe: There was three versions available: Blue, Yellow, and with Black becoming Trailbreaker.
- No. 6 Honda City R: The Silver version became Crosscut but there was also a Red version.
- No. 7 Fairlady Z: Interestingly the Blue deco was changed to Silver for Bluestreak but there was a Silver deco with a Black hood. (Which is weird that they did not use this version for the toy but used it in stock photos for catalogs, the box art and his instruction sheet)
- No. 8 4WD Wrecker Type: Availble in Red or Blue but was changed to green for Hoist. (I actually like the Red version better than Green)
- No. 9 Honda City Turbo: Available in Black, Red and a Blue version that became Skids. This was a redeco and remold of the No. 6 Honda City R mold with different head and hood.
- No.10 Fire Engine: A Japanese Mitsubishi Fuso F-Series FT fire ladder Fire truck that is almost identical to the Hasbro release of Inferno except for removal of the molded Mitsubishi logo and some lack of chrome on one part. (I could not find photo evidence of the box art)
- No.11 Fairlady Z Racing Type: This number 38 race car was almost unchanged as Smokescreen.
- No.12 J59 Jeep: The American Army Jeep was unchanged for Hound.
- No.13 Police Car Fairlady Z: Another straight to Hasbro release for Prowl but is a retool / redeco of the No. 7 Fairlady Z mold.
- No.14 Porsche 935 Turbo: Another straight to Hasbro as Jazz.
- No.15 New Countach LP500S: Three versions were available with the Red option becoming Sideswipe and Black and Yellow were the other unused choices. (I am confused why Hasbro used the Red version here, while giving Sunstreaker a new Yellow coloring where they could have did it the other way around…)
- No.16 F-1 Ligier JS11: The basis for Mirage using the blue version and leaving the Red one behind in his dust! (The Red one looks cool though!)
- No.17 Battle Convoy: You know and love him as Optimus Prime, the only differences are the removal of Diaclone stickers on the trailer.
- No.18 Lancia Stratos Turbo: Available in two versions, one in White with Green and Red markings having 539 on the doors that became Wheeljack or the unused redecoed and retooled version that had Red markings with 598 on the doors.
- No.19 New Countach Police Car: A reuse of the No.15 New Countach LP500S to make a third police car for the line was changed from police markings to fire chief markings to make Red Alert. This would give more diversity to the line (also Inferno would not be so lonely, who needs all those police cars anyways lol…)
- No.20 Truck Crane: A reuse of the No.10 Fire Engine but retooled to have a hook tower instead of an extendable ladder. It also had the same logo alterations done to it when it became Grapple.
- No.21 Corvette Stingray: Available in Red but changed to Blue for Tracks, a Black version was available in other parts of the world as seen in my article on that subject here.
- Powered Convoy: Released in a standard release that was used for Ultra Magnus in a almost reversed color scheme and a chromed special edition that came with two additional robots (Sideswipe and Mirage) This of course was a reuse of Optimus Prime with a new trailer that became armor drastically changing the look of the toy.
Dinosaur Robo: These molds were used by Hasbro to become the Dinobots with minor color changes.
- No. 1 Tyrannosaurus (Grimlock)
- No. 2 Triceratops (Slag)
- No. 3 Brontosaurus (Sludge)
- No. 4 Stegosaurus (Snarl)
- No. 5 Pteranodon (Swoop)
F-15 Robo: This mold was the source for all the Hasbro specific Seekers that include Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Sunstorm, Dirge, Ramjet and Thrust. Only two decoes were original as seen below.
- Super-high-speed fighter type (Starscream)
- Acrobat type (Thundercracker)
Insecter Robo: All three versions were used for the insecticons, but the multi-colors were changed to Black, Yellow and Purple. They came in a three pack and along with the above planes were the only five in this section of the line to become Decepticons.
- Kabutron (Bombshell)
- Battas (Kickback)
- Kuwagatrer (Shrapnel)
Train Robo: Unused by Hasbro in the western market, there were two sets. Both were available separately with one of these also available as the Japanese exclusive Transformers Trainbots in a gift set. Both sets were identical but decoed differently, this gave twelve pieces in total. They were also a combiner giving children a lot of range,.
- No. 1 Tōkaidō 0 Series Shinkansen
- No. 2 EF65-1000 Blue Train
- No. 3 Tōhoku Jōetsu 200 Series Shinkansen
- No. 4 Tōkaidō Main Line 153 Express Train
- No. 5 L-Limited Express 485
- No. 6 DE10 Diesel Locomotive
- No. 7 Tōkaidō 0 Series Shinkansen Metallic
- No. 8 Limited Express
- No. 9 Doctor Yellow 922
- No. 10 Yokosuka Line 113
- No. 11 Sleeper Express 583
- No. 12 DE10 Diesel Locomotive Transparent
So here is where we stop for now, I covered all the toys that have drivers, next time join me for part 2 for the non-driver toys in the Diaclone line.