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1974 Microman Zone

1974 Microman Zone Series

Microman Base Series - Microman Zone M115 Conning Tower Base (c.1974)


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 heritage.

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.