Microman Conning Tower first came
out in late 1974. The toy was later repackage for 1975 (second)
Microman Zone. Some collectors preferred to think the first
year Microman as an entirely separate series. This was not
entirely unreasonable since the first series had its own manga and its
own lore and story which were drastically change when Takara introduced
the second Microman Zone in 1975 to shed Microman of its Henshin Cyborg
The first year package features a
beautiful artwork of the Conning Tower, the later package adopted the
"kids play with toys" design.
Microman Conning Tower featured a
chrome missiles launcher. The launcher was replaced with
different version when Mego released the toy as Micronauts : MEL.
Takara included extra accessories.
Here is a close-up look of observation deck. Many parts of the
Conning Tower were design for the old "barefoot" Microman
which explained the tight fitting.
Takara re-tooled the Conning Tower
in 1979 and released it as New Conning Tower. (See also 1979
Rescue Microman New Conning Tower Base)
*** Special Thanks to Bryan W. (MicroBry)
for very generous trade of this Microman Conning Tower ***
Conning Tower Base M115 was
the very first base and big play-set released by Takara for Microman
line. The toy actually came out during the first year of Microman
series - Microman Zone. The Base was quite big and had to be put
together using small crews. (Takara wanted to emphasized the
"construction" skill and interchangeability side of the toy as a sale pitch for parents).
The Conning Tower design was very distinctive
and the toy became one of the most recognizable pieces in Microman line. Conning Tower Base was very big and stood as tall as
the Robotman. Conning Tower consisted of two main section - the plane
and the conning station. The two parts can be separated and formed two
new vehicles (with the included extra accessories). Conning
Tower was the first of the "interchangeable" toys for Microman
line. When Mego licensed Microman toys in 1976 to be introduce
as Micronauts worldwide and in the States, the Conning Tower was one of the
first toys released. Mego version of the Conning Tower was call MEL or
Mobile Exploration Lab. The toy was nearly identical to Microman
version with exception of the stickers and the missile launcher. (Mego
replaced the chrome launcher with launcher from another Micronauts toy to
save cost). While the Mego version of this toy was fairly common here
in the States, the Microman Conning Tower was very rare and much sought after
piece in Japan. There is a rumor that if the re-issue of Robotman for
Replica Series does well Takara might re-issue the Conning Tower.
Conning Tower Base (side view) Note the
difference between Microman version of the stickers and missiles launcher.
In catalog and Microman manga, Conning Tower Base
was build to broadcast the Spectrum MX
ray to revive other Microman from
hibernation. Takara used the concept of MX ray to introduce new
Microman figures to the line.
The plane section of the Conning
Tower. The plane section was often feature in early episode of
Microman manga since it was piloted by M102 Jack (main character). The
tower section was shown attach to the base that the first four Microman
(M10X) build in Akira's old TV set.