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Microchange

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MicromanMicroChange

Micromasters Micro Machines Micromen!

The Microchange line was one of the main two lines that the toys from the early Transformers line came from. Microchange is a subline of Takara's successful New Microman line of the early '80s, which consisted of 3.75" action figures that were super-posable and vehicles and robots for use by them. The Microman figures, unlike all subsequent 3.75" action figures (except their Western counterpart the Micronauts, made by Mego using licensed Microman molds) were on a 1:1 scale rather than representing full-sized humans/aliens/robots, so the transforming robots and vehicles they created had ordinary household objects (such as, um, handguns) as disguise modes. Many of the Microchange figures came in multiple color schemes, many of which were eventually used for the Transformer line.

Fiction

By the time the Microchange theme was introduced in 1983, the Microman story was told exclusively through text and manga pages in the toys' pack-in catalogues, with no tie-in fiction. This was no doubt part of the reason why Takara were willing to cancel the Microman line in favor of Transformers when Hasbro financed an animated series to promote their versions of the toys.

Toys

1983

  • MC-01 Micross
The first version was the blue cassette used for Frenzy. A red version, used for Rumble, came with Cassette Man. Towards the end of the line, a red and blue version was released.
  • MC-02 Jaguar
The first version was used for Ravage. A blue version was released at the end of the line, and was used for the e-Hobby figure Howlback. In 2007, Jaguar was redecoed into Glit.
  • MC-03 Condor
The first version was used for Laserbeak. The blue second version was used for the E-Hobby figure Garboil. Buzzsaw's and Sundor's decos were created for the Transformers line.
  • MC-04 Mini Car Robo
These all transformed into super deformed toy cars in the style of Takara's own Choro-Q line (imported to English-speaking markets as Penny Racers). 01 - 03 were released in red, yellow, and blue and had license plate stickers on the back of the head panel. The other four were released in only one color scheme each, the same as their subsequent Transformers releases.
  • MC-05 Camera Robo Microx
Pre-Reflector
  • MC-06 Watch Robo
This figure transformed from a robot to a watch. It came in black, blue, chrome, and gold versions. The figure was released in the Transformers line, but was actually repackaged overstock from the Kronoform line, which was an attempt by Takara to release the Microman line in the US.
  • MC-07 Gun Robo 1910 Browning
Browning came with either red or blue robot parts, in addition to a gold chromed contest piece. The blue version was released as the Japanese exclusive Browning.
  • MC-08 Cassette Machine Battlebike
The Battlebike transforms from a full-sized audio cassette into a motorbike vehicle for the included Microman figure. A redeco of this toy was released in the 1999 Microman line.
  • MC-09 Cassette Machine Jetheli
The Jetheli transforms from a full-sized audio cassette into a helicopter for the included Microman figure. A redeco of this toy was re-released in the 1999 Microman line.
  • MC-10 Cassette Man
Pre-TF Soundwave with "Cassette Man" molded on the cassette door. He came with fake earphones and microphone that were also included in Soundwave's Japanese release, and Pre-Rumble. Likewise, the Japanese Soundwave came with Rumble instead of Buzzsaw.
  • MC-11 Gun Robo S&W Magnum 44
This figure had a revolving chamber, and came with either a brown or gold hilt.
  • MC-12 Gun Robo Walther P-38.
Pre-Japanese Megatron. This toy did not include any gun attachments, but had a gun, sword and plastic pellets. It came with blue inner arms and legs, and was either black with a brown grip, or grey with a black grip in gun mode. The grey version was used for all vintage Japanese Megatrons (The Goodbye Megatron set came with the U.N.C.L.E. scope). The toy's grey deco was used for the e-Hobby Megaplex figure.
  • MC-13 Gun Robo Walther P-38 U.N.C.L.E.
This figure came with all of MC-12's parts, as well as the gun extensions. Only one color scheme, silver with black handle in gun mode with red inner arms and legs, was released. This color scheme was used for all Hasbro releases of the original Megatron and the Japanese reissues. This toy was also released in both MC-12 colors as e-Hobby exclusives (albeit the black version retained the red parts of the MC-13 and used "black chrome").

1984

  • MC-14 Metal Man
Pre-Eggbot. This figure transforms from a robot into a metallic ball. It came in a common silver chrome version with a black stand and a rare gold chrome version with a red stand.
  • MC-15 Metal Leo
Pre-Eggleo. This figure transforms from a lion into a metallic ball. It came in a common gold chrome version with a black stand and a rare silver chrome version with a red stand. This mold wasn't used in Transformers until Beast Wars II.
  • MC-16 Metal Hawk
Pre-Eggbird. This figure transforms from a hawk into a metallic ball. It came in a common gold chrome version with a black stand and a rare silver chrome version with a red stand. This mold wasn't used in Transformers until Beast Wars II.
  • MC-17 Lock Robo Dial Man
This figure transforms from a working dial lock to a robot.
  • MC-18 Lock Robo Magneman
This figure transforms from a working key lock to a robot.
  • MC-19 Binocular Robo Scope Man
This figure transforms from a pair of working binoculars into a robot.
  • MC-20 Micro Scope
Released in a primarily black deco, MC-20 was recolored into Perceptor. The third tank mode could be used as a vehicle for a Microman figure. The toy's Microchange deco was used for the e-hobby Magnificus.
  • MC-21 Radi-Cassette Robo
This figure came with an AM radio in the form of a fake Micro cassette, and an earphone. One could listen to the radio through the earphone, or put the radio in the main toy's cassette deck. After moving the switch above the left speaker "on" and pressing "play", a pair of batteries in the toy's right leg would amplify the signal from the cassette. A knob to the right of the tape door could change the station, and a volume knob and a plug for headphones were located on the toy's left leg. Due to the speaker plug, the transforming micro cassettes could not fit in the tape door. They could, however, fit in a compartment in the toy's back. The earphone plug could also fit in the small hole on the stock of the toys gun, and the speaker could fit in the large hole at the gun's center. The toy came in either blue or red. The red deco was used for Blaster.

Unreleased

  • MC-22 Beam Robo
This figure transforms from a working flashlight into a robot.
  • Planet-Robot
A transforming planet that only ever reached the design art stage. The design did not go to waste, however.

External Link

Microchange era New Microman catalogues

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