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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Takara's new Microman figures put all others to shame!

    Granted these guys aren't widely available in these parts (I'm even certain that many of you have never even heard of them before now), but these things truly do put all other 3 3/4" figure lines (and even a lot of the larger scale lines) to serious shame!
    Known as Microman in Japan, this line has been around since at least the early seventies and had previously been imported to the U.S. as the much revered Micronauts.

    Here's a list of what I feel really makes these something special:

    - with ball-jointed neck, unique (and highly effective) double ball-jointed shoulders (these figures, even at such a small scale, can shrug, cross their arms to touch opposite shoulders, and even hold swords double-handed out in front of them! pics to follow), cut-joint biceps, double-jointed elbows, cut-jointed wrists, pivoting hands, ball-jointed upper torsos and waists, ball-jointed hips, cut-joint thighs, double-jointed knees, cut-joint lower legs, and ankle joints of the style seen on Toybiz's Marvel Legends figures - all on a 3 3/4" figure!!!

    - all the figures in the line come with no fewer than EIGHT complete pairs of interchangeable hands - each in a different pose!!!

    - they're all made of rigid, solid, and yet still very durable plastic

    - though only one has been imported to the states thus far, the line actually includes several licensed and quite popular anime characters

    - a literal handful of accessories are included with each figure - all fully appropriate, all fully compatible with the figure

    - each figure comes in more or less completely collector friendly and easy to store (being a clear plastic tube, no more than 4 1/2" tall and 2 1/4" wide) packaging

    - most of the pieces on each figure can be easily popped off and interchanged with the other figures

    - most of the figures in the line include plenty of vac-metallized pieces

    - the paint ops are at least on par with anything put out by Hasbro or Mattel

    ...and all of this in an IMPORTED figure (read - import taxes included!) that retails for $4.95!!!

    You'd think that a figure that small with THAT MUCH articulation would have some major issues with gaps and loose joints, but that's honestly not the case at all. In fact, the figure I own (Jason from G-Force/Battle of the Planets/Gatchaman in Japan) I had posed swinging his sword while standing on one foot atop my dresser for nearly a week before I took him down to mess around with. There literally is not a pose that a human being is capable of that this figure can not copy and hold indefinitely. I have even used the figure as a very useful artists model to aid in drawing human figures.
    Compare that with any figure ever offered by Hasbro, and it's easy to see why I say these put all others to shame. Imagine what it would be like if we were to get Star Wars figures (or G.I.Joe anyone?) from Hasbro with the same 30 plus points of articulation, half a dozen accessories each, in collector friendly packaging, all for less than five bucks before tax! Now, more than ever, do I wonder how these other companies manage to justify the lack of articulation, accessories, and especially the prices on their own products.
    Currently being imported to the U.S. (sorry to my european friends, but I have no info regarding their availablility elsewhere) through Diamond Comic Distributors, and should be readily available (or at least available for order through Diamond Previews magazine) at your local comic store. Hopefully, with the success of this first wave of imported figures (Force Commander, Gunner, Ninja, Spy, and Gatchaman Jason) more will become available. Even more hopeful - with the excellent Palisades company currently holding the license for Micronauts figures and supposedly gearing up for a brand new version of said line, perhaps they will choose to import, or at least emulate this latest Microman line! I honestly CANNOT recommend these figures more. At five bucks a-piece, how can you afford to not buy 'em?
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  2. #2
    I'm planning on doing some comparison shots of these guys next to some recent Star Wars figures as soon as possible in order to give a better idea of what their articulation makes them capable of; I have managed to match them up pose-for-pose with every one of my Star Wars figures so far (and they're still capable of standing perfectly neutral, not to mention that they all fit easily into every one of my Star Wars vehicles!!!).
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  3. #3
    Man, am I jealous.
    JediTricks did a mention on these a while back also ... I'd read about them ages ago and have never seen them in person. I have pretty much all of the Microman 2000 line from a few years ago (and a few Takara vintage re-issues) ... but these are something completely different. If you've ever seen any of the Neo Henshin Cyborg figures ... they're like little versions of those. Really cool!
    Quote Originally Posted by RooJay
    Known as Microman in Japan, this line has been around since at least the early seventies and had previously been imported to the U.S. as the much revered Micronauts.
    Micronauts was licensed to Mego, not really an import. The Japanese Microman stuff is actually even more well made than the old Mego stuff. Brilliant toys ... my very favorite.
    Quote Originally Posted by RooJay
    Even more hopeful - with the excellent Palisades company currently holding the license for Micronauts figures and supposedly gearing up for a brand new version of said line, perhaps they will choose to import, or at least emulate this latest Microman line!
    They've already had 2 waves of these out. The first wave was a bomb that suffered from incredible quality problems ... which Palisades has blamed on the factory in China. The second wave is out now, and Palisades claims that they've corrected many of the quality issues. I started a thread about it a while ago ... I've only bought one figure from wave 2 so I was holding off before I basically said that they looked to be pretty bad also.

    Takara makes great stuff. I'm glad to hear that the quality on these new figures is really good ... most of their stuff that I have is the same way.

    It's funny, when I was a kid my Micronauts and Star Wars figures spent a lot of time together.
    plasticfetish.net

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by plasticfetish
    Man, am I jealous.Micronauts was licensed to Mego, not really an import. The Japanese Microman stuff is actually even more well made than the old Mego stuff. Brilliant toys ... my very favorite.
    I suppose I could've been more specific by what I meant here: the Micronauts line was directly inspired by, and directly resulted from Takara's original Microman line. As I've always heard it, several pieces from the Microman line were included as part of the Mego Micronauts line, although I admittedly have never seriously researched the line.

    They've already had 2 waves of these out. The first wave was a bomb that suffered from incredible quality problems ... which Palisades has blamed on the factory in China. The second wave is out now, and Palisades claims that they've corrected many of the quality issues. I started a thread about it a while ago ... I've only bought one figure from wave 2 so I was holding off before I basically said that they looked to be pretty bad also.
    Actually, those two waves were only rereleases of some of the original Micronauts figures, and were never intended as Palisades new Micronauts line, which as I understand are still in the works. I have even heard that at least a single pilot exists (possible an entire mini-series) for the new animated series which is intended to support this line has been completed. The series, as I recall was originally to have debuted this past winter, but was pulled and put on hold until Palisades was ready with their all-new Micronauts line. I have heard little news since, although I do recall hearing that the line was still in development a while back. In fact, while I could be imagining it - I swear I recall seeing the prototype for the new Acroyear earlier this year...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RooJay
    As I've always heard it, several pieces from the Microman line were included as part of the Mego Micronauts line...
    Yeah, that's basically it. For the most part all of the figures, except the aliens, were remade by Mego from Takara's original figures. The only significant difference being that the Micromen figures say "Takara" and/or "Japan" on them and the Mego ones say "Mego Corp." and "Hong Kong." Mego switched around some of the accessories on some of the figures also.

    Quote Originally Posted by RooJay
    Actually, those two waves were only rereleases of some of the original Micronauts figures, and were never intended as Palisades new Micronauts line, which as I understand are still in the works ... In fact, while I could be imagining it - I swear I recall seeing the prototype for the new Acroyear earlier this year...
    Yeah, that's pretty much how I understand it ... after a while they intended to start introducing "all new" figures into the line. Up until now, they have been doing never before seen color variations of the basics and some super rare figures. All of their past problems aside, I'm still rooting for them to work out the bugs and put out new figures ... I'd love to see vehicles and play sets as well, but only if they can get the quality issues fixed for good.

    Likewise, I'd love to see Takara expand on this new Microman line ... it'd be great to see what else they can come up with.
    plasticfetish.net

  6. #6
    Here's my thread on these figures:

    http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums...ad.php?t=20458

    BTW, didn't mention it there, but I finally got the BOTP/Gatchaman/G-Force figure (which a lot of collectors are calling "Ken" and "Mark" so I'm not even bothering to choose a name ) and Ninja & Gunner, which are all totally awesome. Ninja has these 2 itsy bitsy throwing star accessories that peg onto part of the armor. I still haven't found Commander yet, and my local comic shop raised the price on these to $10 each but still sold out of 'em all.

    Microman is where part of Transformers spawned from.

    Micronauts from Mego became very different from the Microman line of Japan and even switched to a different scale - they share little in common but lineage at this point.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    Heck, I've checked my local comic book shop a few times ... they've never gotten the new Microman figures in. Oh well.

    And you know that "Ken" is the Gatchaman name and "Mark" is the BOTP name right? I'd pick "Ken" ... considering that it's a Japanese toy. But, I'd simply like to see one at all really.
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    Microman is where part of Transformers spawned from.

    Micronauts from Mego became very different from the Microman line of Japan and even switched to a different scale - they share little in common but lineage at this point.
    Yeah, Transformers ... the original bunch of them anyway ... came from the Diaclone line. Diaclone being Takara's attempt at blending their own "mini cyborg" idea with Popy's (now Bandai) diecast robot ("chogokin") thing. Thankfully Hasbro came along and gave the line a boost when it started to fail, helped it to evolve.

    Diaclone was an evolved version of the Microman line ... simply smaller cyborg type robots to fit the new transforming vehicles. (Smaller figures, means selling more vehicles, playsets and accessories. Same reason Henshin Cyborg ... a G.I Joe knockoff ... evolved into Microman.)

    Pretty much all of the Micronaut line came from Takara's designs. The cyborg figures ...Time Traveler (M-101), Space Glider (M-211), Galactic Warrior (M-221), Pharoid (M-161), Galactic Defender (M-171) ... as well as Acroyear (A311), Acroyer 2 (A301), Biotron (Bioman), Microtron (Microrobot) and Baron Karza (Geeg). Most of the Micronaut vehicles came from the Microman line. Just about the only truly original Mego things, as far as I can remember, were those module type playsets (which I loved, and I remember using one to make my own Bespin as a kid) and the alien figures. Also there were some weird and rare vehicles and variations that came out near the end of Mego's life. Marty Abrams was an incredibly smart guy ... it's just amazing to think how much time I spent as a kid playing with his toys. Of course we can't forget about his one big mistake ... missing out on the chance to produce toys for a certain science fiction movie that came out in the late '70s.

    There's a great Japanese book about Takara's toys ... Henshin Cyborg to Microman to Diaclone and then some of the off shoots. The book is called "The Official Guide of Takara SF Land" ISBN4-06-330086-2

    I've seen it on eBay a few times ... you might also find it in the toy and collectibles section of your local Japanese bookstore. It comes with a great CD-ROM of vintage Japanese television commercials for the toys also. Super stuff ... here's a pic of the cover.
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    plasticfetish.net

  8. #8
    Since these are being imported through Diamond, your comic shop would definitely be able to order them for you. Diamond may have sold through their initial stock, but they do back order, and I certainly wouldn't put it past them to restock if they sold well enough. You may even be able to order direct through Diamond's website.

  9. #9

    Microman for '04 - 30th anniversary!

    Bringing this one back up front...

    There's been a lot of toy anniversaries lately, and now it's the big 30 for Microman. Here's a link to the Takara Hobby site ( www.takarahobby.com ) and their latest page on what's coming out next in the Microman line.

    http://www.takarahobby.com/kaihatsu/...an/index.html#

    Makes me drool.
    plasticfetish.net

  10. #10
    Thanks PF!!
    Now that's what one would call "action figures".... you could use them as a base to make painfully awesome custom stuff......
    Something about him reminds me of my older brother, Rex.

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