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Micro Heritage

From Henshin Cyborg to the Transformers :

The Legacy of Microman 1972-present


Microman Legacy

Original Series

Henshin Cyborg
The forerunner of Microman toys.  Henshin Cyborg was based on Combat Joe toys.


A licensed production of Microman toys released by Mego and its successors.


Takara decided to make bigger 8" version of Microman toys.  The line only had nominal success.


Takara introduced Diaclone in 1981 along with the "New Microman" series as part of the new marketing plan to revamp their sci-fi series.


Takara building block robot toys based on Microman 5mm system released in 1984 as an extension line to Diaclone & New Microman.


Transformers was probably the most well known of all Microman spin-off toys.  Many Diaclone and Microman toys formed the basis for the early Hasbro Transformers line.



Japan Transformers
Takara took Hasbro concept and imported Transformers for Japanese market in 1985. The line eventually replaced both Diaclone and New Microman. Japan Transformers followed its own history and had its own series separated from the US series.


Takara Choro Q
Choro Q was not truly a Microman spin-off toys but came about via Takara Gimca (Microman Titan) cars line.  Also Microman Micro Change Mini-CAR are based on these Choro Q toy cars. (Choro Q were sold as Penny Racer in the US)


Takara Choro Q Robo
This was an off-shoot of Choro Q line.  Choro Q Robo featured deformed robots that transform into Choro Q vehicles.  Takara recently revived the line with new robot characters including the Choro Q Robo Transformers.


Medicom RAH
In 1996, a small company called Medicom began to license Combat Joe body from Takara and produced 12" costume figures much like the old Henshin Cyborg costume line but with modern style and realistic looks.  RAH series became very popular and numbered into several hundreds figures.  The line is still going strong today.


Medicom RAH 220
RAH 220 was smaller 8" Shonen Cyborg size (220 mm) version of the RAH series.  RAH 220 concentrated mainly on characters from Masked Rider TV shows.


Medicom RAH 100
RAH 100 was 10 cm tall "micro" version of Medicom RAH.  So far the only series produced was Disney's Tron RAH100.


Bandai Beta Midget
Beta Midget was series of capsule (gashapon) toys designed by long time head of Microman MAFF fan group and produced by Bandai in 2002.  The figures were clearly influenced by Microman series right down to the 1:1 scale concept and chrome head.

Microman toys line actually originated from another Japanese toy line by Takara called the Henshin Cyborg.  Henshin Cyborg was clear 12" action "cyborg" doll based on GI Joe body.  (Takara was producing a licensed GI Joe toys called Combat Joe for Japanese market at that time) The early Microman was supposed to be a miniaturized version of these Cyborgs.  During the height of Microman line in 1976, a US toy company Mego, licensed Microman and distributed them worldwide as the Micronauts.  In 1979, Takara tried to spin off another toy line called the Timanic but it did not gain much popularity.  By 1980, Mego had almost gone out of business, Takara decided to market the Microman toys themselves in the US and took part of the New Microman line and combined it with Diaclone (a spin-off line from Microman) and released them in the US as the Diakron and later as Kronoform.

Revival Series

Neo Cyborg & Double Nine
Takara revived the Henshin Cyborg series with Neo Henshin Cyborg in 1997 and later with Cyborg Double Nine in 1998.  The new series met with only limited success.


Shonen VS KW Jr. Series

In 2000 Takara began another Henshin Cyborg reissued with reissued of Shonen Cyborg (Cyborg-2) along with 8" version of King Walder called KW Jr.


Henshin Collection Series

In 2003, Takara finally reissued Cyborg-1 as part of the new "Henshin Collection" line.  Each figure was sold with reissued Henshin Cyborg costume.


Another attempt by Takara to cash in on collectibles craze in Japan. This time with the popular brick-style figures.  The series included characters based on Cyborg, Microman and Transformers.


Palisades Retro Micronauts
With the big interested in reissue of old toys, Micronauts also made the return in 2002.  Palisades produced "retro" version of Mego Micronauts toys.


Transformers Reissued Series
Seeing the popularity of reissued toys, Takara began to reissue vintage Transformers toys in 2000 to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Transformers.  In 2002 the series became TF "Collector's Edition" series and concentrated on new color variants and characters.


Transformers Collection Series

In 2002, Takara launched the "Collection Series" as a new official Transformers reissued line.


TF Commemorative Series

 Hasbro released US versions of Takara Reissued Transformers under "Transformers Commemorative Series" banner. The toys were sold as Toys R Us Exclusives.


Binaltech & Masterpiece Series

In 2003, Takara launched new line of Transformers called Binaltech. The new series aimed more at older collectors featured licensed realistic die-cast cars.


Transformers Alternators Series

Hasbro released a plastic version of Binaltech series as Transformers Alternators.


Takara SCF Series
With the popularity of PVC figures and capsules toys as collectibles, Takara produced PVC figures of Transformers and later figures from Takara other SF series such as Microman, Cyborg and Diaclone.  The line would later be expanded to include larger size version of SCF call MEGA-SCF. 


Takara/bbi Cool Girls/Cy Girls
Takara and bbi 12" female action-figure dolls in original and TV shows inspired sci-fi costumes.  The line was probably the closest thing to a female Henshin Cyborg.

Takara/bbi X-Borg/Cy Com
X (Cross) Borg was Takara Cool Girls spin-off series of 12" androids that were based on the modified Neo Henshin Cyborg figures. bbi sold the line in the US as Cy Com, also as a spin-off series of their Cy Girls line.


Due to poor marketing and little knowledge of the US market, Takara did not fare too well and pulled out of US market by 1983. Takara decided to go back to being just a licensee and licensed part of New Microman - Micro Change and also a large portion of Diaclone to Hasbro who then marketed the combine toy lines as the Transformers. Takara re-imported Transformers toy concept back to Japan. Ironically, the popularity of the Transformers in Japan ended the Microman line, thought many of its toys live on as the Transformers. (Megatron was Micro Change MC12 P-38 UNCLE).

Fifteen years after the Generation One Transformers and the demised of Microman line, Hasbro reintroduced new Transformers as the Beast Wars. Transformers : Beast Wars proved to be popular with kids and even fans of the original series.  In 1996, a small company call Medicom licensed Takara Combat Joe body and began producing update version of Henshin Cyborg costume heroes.  By late 1990s, Microman line has come full circle, with the nostalgic craze in toys industry and popularity of toys as collectibles, Takara in 1997 released a new Henshin Cyborg series called Neo Cyborg which was soon follow by new Microman toys, both the completely new design line call Magne Power and  reproductions of the vintage line in 1998.By late 1990's, nostalgia wave had hit the collectibles scenes and many companies including Takara rush to cash in on this new craze by producing new collectibles toys based on the old properties or even reissued of the old toys.

This section shall examined some of these toys that are related to Microman from both past and present.  This will not be in depth look, since there are several excellent web sites that cover these toys in much more details than could be done here.  Links will be provided if one want to explore further this fascinating legacy of Microman both the old lines and the new current revival lines.