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Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys

Transformers News: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys

Saturday, January 11th, 2014 8:36AM CST

Category: Toy News
Posted by: Mindmaster   Views: 20,241

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Here's a treat for the nostalgic! YouTube user Kbigstone was kind enough to upload a 24-minute video of the Tokyo Toy Show from 1983, one year before the birth of Transformers. It is here that Takara unveiled the precursors of the now-famous robots in disguise, the Diaclone and Microman lines.

For those unaware of their existence, characters such as the Seekers, the Insecticons, and both the original Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus originated from the Diaclone line, and what would one day become Megatron, Soundwave and his cassettes came from the Microman line.

The video has been mirrored below for viewing convenience.

Credit(s): YouTube user "Kbigstone"
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Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541109)
Posted by Sabrblade on January 11th, 2014 @ 8:45am CST
Ironic how the first Diaclone toy we see in this video is the one that would become Raiden, one of the last Diaclone toys to be used as a Transformer.

Those city displays sure look cool, but would look even better if some o the Diaclone Car Robos hadn't fallen over. :P

And the first Micro Change toy we see is the one that would become Megatron. Cool.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541138)
Posted by Ultra Markus on January 11th, 2014 @ 11:46am CST
toys from the 80s were awesome!
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541139)
Posted by welcometothedarksyde on January 11th, 2014 @ 11:50am CST
Listening to Pink Floyd while watching this is trippy. I definitely spotted Pre-Raiden. I can swear I also saw the toy that inspired Action Master Treadshot. Thirdly I also saw Machine Robo, the Pre-Gobots
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541147)
Posted by hinomars19 on January 11th, 2014 @ 12:39pm CST
ah sweet! Can't wait to watch this when I have the minutes :DANCE:
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541148)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on January 11th, 2014 @ 12:43pm CST
now if someone waved a fake gun around like that these days theyd be shot 27 times tazed & pepper sprayed, even if it was brightly colored. The 80s were great werent they, to bad i was to young to truly appreciate it.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541159)
Posted by Ultra Markus on January 11th, 2014 @ 1:39pm CST
Megatron Wolf wrote:now if someone waved a fake gun around like that these days theyd be shot 27 times tazed & pepper sprayed, even if it was brightly colored. The 80s were great werent they, to bad i was to young to truly appreciate it.

i know right! i remember back in grade school kids brought their tf toys to school to show off at recess and remember seeing them bringing a shockwave and megatron on the playground!
if that happened now schools would go into lockdown kids would be expelled and parents would face possible charges! the eighties were a great time to be a kid!
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541184)
Posted by microbry on January 11th, 2014 @ 4:27pm CST
Just a minor correction: what Takara was showing were the Diaclone Car Robots sub-line and New Microman MicroChange sub-line. This wasn't an unveiling of either Diaclone or Microman; Microman started in 1974 and was rebooted in 1980 as "New Microman" (though the "New" was quickly dropped), along with the debut of the original Diaclone line. Both New Microman and Diaclone had been on the market for over 3 years by the time of this Tokyo Toy Show, and the Car Robots portion of Diaclone had started the year before (followed by MicroChange's launch in 1983).

While the toys we know as G1 Transformers for the initial launch all came from these two Takara toylines, transforming robots were the centerpiece of both lines the past couple of years (just they didn't transform into "disguised" forms, instead the focus was on combiners and more SF-ish looking vehicles and bases, an extension of the 1970s Microman toyline's aesthetic), and even have earlier origins in the 1970s Microman toys, although these were mostly more "partsformers" based around interchangeable components, with self-contained transforming robot toys only entering into the line just before the reboot in 1980.

More on Microman's history and relationship with Transformers at: http://www.microforever.com

Also at Takara's booth shown are Dougram toys and kits, the latter of which was licensed as part of the first wave of Robotech model kits by Revell (before Harmony Gold licensed the Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada anime in a cross-marketing deal).

Also featured in that video are booths for Gakken (showing their stationary transforming robots, mostly the ballpoint pen ones), Takatoku (showing their Macross line of toys in particular, notably the 1/55 Valkyries later re-appropriated by Hasbro through Bandai as Jetfire, Bandai's Machine Robo (aka here as Go-Bots), and other great robot anime toy franchises of that era. What an incredible Toy Show in the midst of the mid 80s pre-Transformers Japanese robot toy boom!
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541206)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 11th, 2014 @ 6:01pm CST
looking at the time frame, I can understand why Transformers didn't do well early on. Most of those Car Robts and Micro Change figures were on the shelves only a year or two before Transformers hit and probably shared shelf space in some cases.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541230)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 11th, 2014 @ 8:17pm CST
Dang, 1983 ended up being a more relevant year for Japanese toys internationally than anyone could've anticipated at the time. On top of the pre-TFs, pre-Gobots, Kronoforms, Macross, and even the 3rd Voltron that was not to be (I swear it was the first thing after the Ban Dai sign at 8:30, but someone please correct me if I'm mistaken), at 11:05, we see that it also sported the first incarnation of Super Sentai that American TV would get an...interestingly-dubbed taste of, years before Power Rangers.

"Do you still have your gadget-watches?"

"I DON'T KNOW! LET'S CHECK!"

"I think it's time ta' launch, those things zat go 'WHOOSH'!"
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541241)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 11th, 2014 @ 9:36pm CST
Bumblevivisector wrote:Dang, 1983 ended up being a more relevant year for Japanese toys internationally than anyone could've anticipated at the time. On top of the pre-TFs, pre-Gobots, Kronoforms, Macross, and even the 3rd Voltron that was not to be (I swear it was the first thing after the Ban Dai sign at 8:30, but someone please correct me if I'm mistaken), at 11:05, we see that it also sported the first incarnation of Super Sentai that American TV would get an...interestingly-dubbed taste of, years before Power Rangers.

"Do you still have your gadget-watches?"

"I DON'T KNOW! LET'S CHECK!"

"I think it's time ta' launch, those things zat go 'WHOOSH'!"


Say what? A Sentai series was dubbed years before Power Rangers?
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541242)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 11th, 2014 @ 9:44pm CST
chuckdawg1999 wrote:
Bumblevivisector wrote:Dang, 1983 ended up being a more relevant year for Japanese toys internationally than anyone could've anticipated at the time. On top of the pre-TFs, pre-Gobots, Kronoforms, Macross, and even the 3rd Voltron that was not to be (I swear it was the first thing after the Ban Dai sign at 8:30, but someone please correct me if I'm mistaken), at 11:05, we see that it also sported the first incarnation of Super Sentai that American TV would get an...interestingly-dubbed taste of, years before Power Rangers.

"Do you still have your gadget-watches?"

"I DON'T KNOW! LET'S CHECK!"

"I think it's time ta' launch, those things zat go 'WHOOSH'!"


Say what? A Sentai series was dubbed years before Power Rangers?

Well, not the whole series, just 6 eps according to wikipedia (I've only seen 5). It might seem like youtube-poop now, but this actually did air on USA and Nick, and the first two eps are hilarious.

Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541244)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 11th, 2014 @ 9:51pm CST
Bumblevivisector wrote:
chuckdawg1999 wrote:
Bumblevivisector wrote:Dang, 1983 ended up being a more relevant year for Japanese toys internationally than anyone could've anticipated at the time. On top of the pre-TFs, pre-Gobots, Kronoforms, Macross, and even the 3rd Voltron that was not to be (I swear it was the first thing after the Ban Dai sign at 8:30, but someone please correct me if I'm mistaken), at 11:05, we see that it also sported the first incarnation of Super Sentai that American TV would get an...interestingly-dubbed taste of, years before Power Rangers.

"Do you still have your gadget-watches?"

"I DON'T KNOW! LET'S CHECK!"

"I think it's time ta' launch, those things zat go 'WHOOSH'!"


Say what? A Sentai series was dubbed years before Power Rangers?

Well, not the whole series, just 6 eps according to wikipedia (I've only seen 5). It might seem like youtube-poop now, but this actually did air on USA and Nick, and the first two eps are hilarious.



Wow. That's amazing. What series was that in Japan? It's funny in '82 the first two episodes of Macross were dubbed and released in the US on VHS as Macross, 2 years before Robotech.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541246)
Posted by Sabrblade on January 11th, 2014 @ 10:00pm CST
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Wow. That's amazing. What series was that in Japan?
Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, the Sentai series of 1983-1984.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541250)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 11th, 2014 @ 10:05pm CST
Here's part 2, I swear I won't do this again, but I just couldn't leave you on that cliffhanger:



Part of the reason I still haven't gotten very far into Masterforce is that I just can't stop riffing references from this, even in my head, whenever the Pretenders and ____-masters power up.

"The Seacons are kidnapping people to use in Stan Bush's next music video!"
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541260)
Posted by Sabrblade on January 11th, 2014 @ 11:00pm CST
Getting back on topic, this Tokyo Toy Show video kinda makes ya wonder how much different all of our lives would be if Hasbro had never attended this event and took an interest in the Diaclone and Micro Change toys.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541265)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 11th, 2014 @ 11:17pm CST
Sabrblade wrote:Getting back on topic, this Tokyo Toy Show video kinda makes ya wonder how different all of our lives would be if Hasbro had never attended this event and took an interest in the Diaclone and Micro Change toys.
Yeah, is it on record which Hasbro reps were there? The whole franchise we enjoy today may have taken a totally different shape but for one guy in the crowd glancing at a different table for one second. Perhaps the butterfly effect of being bumped into by one of those kids in the Dig Dug hats ensured that they only saw the Machine Robo conveyor belt when the lamest figures were topside, making all the Diaclones shine that much brighter by comparison.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541269)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 11th, 2014 @ 11:47pm CST
Bumblevivisector wrote:Here's part 2, I swear I won't do this again, but I just couldn't leave you on that cliffhanger:



Part of the reason I still haven't gotten very far into Masterforce is that I just can't stop riffing references from this, even in my head, whenever the Pretenders and ____-masters power up.

"The Seacons are kidnapping people to use in Stan Bush's next music video!"


This is absolutely perfect. If it wasn't for the audio being terribly mixed I could watch them all day. I've learned so much today. Thank you all. This is better than school!
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541272)
Posted by Emerje on January 12th, 2014 @ 12:09am CST
Yeah, things really could have turned out differently, especially when you consider that Hasbro supposedly was planning to use an entirely different robot line prior to this. If not for this who knows what we might have been calling Transformers instead.

Man, that Convoy prototype at 2:42 is interesting. Really skinny and doesn't even have stacks or wheels yet, I've never seen that particular one before.

Emerje
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541290)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 12th, 2014 @ 1:41am CST
Emerje wrote:Man, that Convoy prototype at 2:42 is interesting. Really skinny and doesn't even have stacks or wheels yet, I've never seen that particular one before.
Yeah, frustrating that the vid's so distorted there. At first glance I thought the screen was squished in sideways or something. Maybe it was the first crack at sculpting the concept art before a redesign was deemed necessary. If only they'd shown it from above, a hole for a shoulder-cannon might have been visible.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541292)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 12th, 2014 @ 1:45am CST
Wow. I just had the chance to watch the video and I was taken aback at just how many different kinds of video games there were. Also a ton of radio controlled cars. I'm always impressed with just how advanced Japanese toys back in the day were. I wonder what happened to some of those lines that we've never heard of.
Re: Tokyo Toy Show 1983 - The Unveiling of Diaclone and Microman toys (1541434)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on January 12th, 2014 @ 3:20pm CST
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Wow. I just had the chance to watch the video and I was taken aback at just how many different kinds of video games there were.
Oh yeah, this was right after Atari's E.T. almost killed the American video game industry, and stores in our hemisphere supposedly wouldn't even give them shelf space until NES forced its way in, in 1985. No wonder these Japanese games look so unfamiliar and ahead of their time.

Another thing that surprised me was the huge array of Datsun Zs that didn't turn into anyone.
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