Welcome back, initially I was going to write only one part for both lines Takara created, then decided it had to be two parts, one part for Diaclone and one part for Microchange…. then the Diaclone entry got so big I needed to split it in two… This will not be as big of an article as the first part but it has to be done.. This article will explore the rest of the line that Hasbro used for transformers, the ones without little drivers. But first off I have to finish the part that had drivers.
Dashers: Released by Hasbro as the Powerdashers and they were only available by mail-order with money and Robot Points (Hasbro put points on the packages for kids to cut out and collect and redeem for more toys, many collectors cringe at the thought of this practice, wishing for a complete box without holes) They were pretty simple enough toys with easy transformations that has led to speculation that these may have been early designs that were left unused but later included as the line got popular. the pilot just sits on top in a small recess instead of a real cockpit. (I did not realize that these three had drivers until recently or I would have included them in the first part but it is good for content filler in this one, since this is shorter)
- Sky Dasher: Some kind of a plane, the arms become the nose cone and the legs become the engines. (without the “Sky” word in the name I would not have a clue what it is suppose to be.. spaceship or a car of some kind but not a plane)
- Drill Dasher: A yellow drill tank, the arms and legs make up the top of the vehicle (this one reminds me of the Titan Master head unit vehicles.)
- F-1 Dasher: A car of some kind with giant rocket units placed way up high, (not sure why they did not incorporate more of the legs into the already huge body.)
Baku-Ten Attack Robo: labeled as Jumpstarters by Hasbro meant as a subline in G1 transformers with new decoes. (These became Twin Twist and Topspin respectively) The gimmick is to pull back the vehicle and it would drive away and flip up into a robot mode. (this was very big at the time for all manner of toys and cashing in on it was smart) It had a very basic transformation with a pullback motor activates a little switch that allows the upper portion containing one piece legs to move on a spring loaded hinge away from the torso, head and arms. There were two models that came in two color schemes each.
- Jet Type: Featuring Grey arms and legs with a dark Blue chest. He was meant as a non flying jet of some kind with small wings and fins. He became Topspin. (there is a version out there with red arms and legs but photo evidence is hard to track down.)
- .Drill Tank Type: Featuring a Red chest and dark Blue arms and legs. It had solid tank treads and drill like points sticking out of the from the front as some kind of drilling type of tank. He became Twin Twist (there is a version with a Grey chest but again photo evidence is hard to pin down)
Construction Vehicle Robo: Available in two versions with the only real changes being the colors differed in two vehicles and the combiner pieces were Blue in one version and red in the other. These of course were given all new Green and Purple decos to become the Constructicons for Hasbro. I will say this, it has been one of best things to happen to Transformers, feeding off the love boy’s have for construction vehicles mixed with robots and you get one big robot out of it too? what is not to love about it? Combiners are all the rage til this day. Almost every line has had some sort of combiner team leading up to the success of Combiner Wars Devastator and it is all thanks to these guys. Knock off versions have been around since the start but they are poorly created using thinner plastic and poor production values. (My Nephew got a KO set for Christmas 1985 and it was broken in the first half hour of play) Third Party companies have stepped up with really nice versions that the fans have been asking for before Hasbro woke up and finally gave us what we wanted with their Combiner Wars entry. (Want to know more about the differences between Knock Offs and Third Party? Read Here!)
Version 1: Sold separately.
- No. 1 Bulldozer: Orange was only available. (became Bonecrusher)
- No. 2 Power Shovel: Orange was only available. (became Scavenger)
- No. 3 Shovel-dozer: again Orange was only available. (became Scrapper)
- No. 4 Truck Crane: there was a Red in version and a Blue one. (became Hook)
- No. 5 Dump Truck: only available in Red. (became Long Haul)
- No. 6 Concrete Mixer: there was a Red version and a Blue one. (became Mixmaster)
Version 2: Sold in a gift set that has blue versions of Hook and Mixmaster.
Double Changers: were released as the Omnibots available with money and Robot Points by mail-order only. The “double” wording comes from the fact they have a normal vehicle mode and a combat mode that have flip out weapons (similar to the MASK line by Kenner that came out in 1985 but those were larger to accommodate action figures the size of G.I.Joe where these are smaller and similar size to the other piloted diaclone vehicles)
- No 1. Savanna RX-7: a Grey Mazda RX-7 Series 2 sporting a flip up trunk weapon and flip out door weapons but from the back of the door as opposed to the bottom like No. 3 (He became Camshaft)
- No. 2 Ferrari BB: a Red Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer with flip out wings and front bumper cannons (He became Overdrive)
- No. 3 Celica XX: A White Toyota Celica Supra with flip down door weapons and flip up roof weapons (He became Downshift)
Triplechangers Only the No. 1 version was used for Blitzwing by Transformers by Hasbro, it is speculated that Astrotrain was still in production at the time. The popularity of the gimmick inspired Hasbro to bring out a third Decepticon (Octane) and three Autobots (Sandstorm, Broadside and Springer) Hugely popular as gimmicks go, Hasbro brings out this one every so often and all of them have seen new versions at one time or another although Octane had to go by Tankor for a few times and now Octone (trademark issues apparently) but poor old Broadside has not seen any love until recently he got a new version in the Titans return line.
- No. 1 Jet Fighter Type: A Green tank that turns into a light Grey jet (yep Blitzwing)
- No. 2 Helicopter Type: A Blue Helicopter that turns into a Blue jet of some kind.
Well, there you have it, all the Diaclone line, if you missed it you can read the first part of this article Here. in case you are wondering where the Diaclone name came from it is a combonation of “diamond” and “cyclone” leading to the slogan “strong as a diamond, fast as a cyclone“. Please stay tuned for an upcoming article on the other Takara line called Microchange.