Top 5 Times G1 Transformer Toys Were Better in the Diaclone / Microchange line
Sunday, August 12th, 2018 2:07pm CDTCategories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: william-james88 Views: 40,954
Top 5 times G1 Transformer Toys Were Better in the Diaclone / Microchange line
As many of you know, the original Transformers toys were imported toys from Japan that came from different transforming robot lines, mainly Diaclone and Microchange. Both were derivatives of GI Joe and if you want the full story you, The Toys That Made Us has an excellent episode to get you up to speed on the exciting history of these toys. In short, none of the initial Transformers toys were conceived as giant sentient robots fighting eachother in an eons long war. Due to that, and also due to different safety standards in the US, there are several aspects of the toys that were dropped when they came to America. In some cases, the original version of the toy had more to offer and made more sense, and that is what we are looking at today.
5. Swoop when issued as Dinosaur Robo no.5 (Diaclone)
Unlike many Transformers releases of Diaclone figures, Swoop actually had firing missiles, and no obvious seat for a small figure to pilot, making this look less like a toy intended for another line. However, there is still one big reason why his Diaclone release has an advantage over the Hasbro release, and it's a reason no others on this list share. While the release of the mold under the Transformers brand had a red chest, the original release had a blue chest, which is far more accurate to the deco the character was sporting in the cartoon. You can see the difference below with the "worlds smallest transformers" release of the two different decos.
4. Transformers G1 1985 Blaster when issued as MC-21 Radi-Cassette Robo (Microchange)
I would like to thank Black Bumblebee for pointing me to something truly awesome: Blaster's original toy had a working AM radio. It's a very sophisticated product. You would plug a microcassette which was the radio into the chest and then use the buttons found around the toy to turn it on or off, and to change the stations and volume. A pair of batteries in the right leg (you can see an image of the battery compartment below) would amplify the signal. The on/off switch became molded detail for the Hasbro release and the back of the toy was remolded to not have the hatches and openings. And if you ever wondered why the gun has this big hole in the middle, it was to store the earphone. There was both a blue and red version of this toy, which is where the colour cues for both Blaster and Twincast come from.
3. Transformers G1 1986 Ultra Magnus when issued as Powered Up Convoy (Diaclone)
The main reason why his Diaclone release is better is simply due to him having an extra transforming robot that comes with him. It makes sense, if the Magnus toy was derived from an upgraded version of Convoy, then why wouldn't it too get a smaller vehicle like roller? Well it did, and unlike roller, this little buddy transformed. There is no reason not to include or release that in a Transformers line.
2. Transformers G1 1985 Perceptor when issued as MC-20 Micro Scope (Microchange)
The main reason why he is so high on this list is that the way he was repurposed in Hasbro's toy does not take advantage of his playability. This toy has three really good modes but you wouldnt know from the way he was released by Hasbro. The instructions show you can convert him from a Robot to a Microscope to a mobile laboratory, which looks like a cannon platform with the cannon pointing upward.
It has later been called a tank mode, however, this is not the tank mode this toy was designed to have. The proper way to transform him as a tank as intended in the Microchange line is to have the cannon all the way down so that the hands and feet are parallel. That actually makes a third wheel in the back touch the ground and you now have a tank that can roll really well. Hasbro probably removed this awesome third mode from it's instructions (and replaced it with the mobile laboreatory) because the tank wasn't meant to be manned in the Transformers line, unlike the Microchange version which can fit Micromen (the slide holder becoming a place for the figure's back to rest against), driving the tank. While the toy we got ends up being very similar, and can still turn into an awesome rolling tank for your Micromen (each sold seperately), the entire purpose of the toy has changed and I feel it worked far better as a Microman toy. But at least, this is still an awesome toy which can work repurposed as a sentient robot, unlike the next toy on this list.
1. Transformers G1 1984 Ironhide and Ratchet when issued as Cherry Vanette (Diaclone)
These toys make me sad, everytime. They arent great in the Transformers line and have been dissapointing people since 1984 since they don't look like their cartoon counterpart due to their lack of heads. Instead, you get a weird black face sticker behind the windshield stuck to a seat. This release is unfortunate because the toys they were initially are awesome! In Diaclone, this wasnt a headless sentient robot with a sled. Instead, it was a mech and a battle station, both manned by smaller figures which combined together to conceal themselves as a van. The functionality is still present in the Transformers release of this toy, but the meaning behind it and what it represents changes entirely. Instead of a headless robot, you get a manned mech with little figures which sit can sit behind the windshield which now lets them control heavier weaponry on the battle platform and actually fire some missiles (which the original Hasbro release did not do as well).
Honuable mention: Transformers G1 1984 Soundwave when issued as MC-10 Cassette Man (Microchange)
Before being sold in the west as Soundwave, this toy was sold as Casette Man and actually came with life size headphone and microphone set (non functional, of course). He also came with a cassette case for the little cassette he came with, which Hasbro did not include in Soundwave's release (it was however included in this character's release in Japan). Also, while he comes with rockets and a rocket launcher, the missiles do not fire in the Hasbro version while they did when the toy was part of the Microchange line (and this speaks to most G1 toys of which I have chosen Soundwave as ambassador).
This article was last modified on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 11:38am CDT
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Posted by Epsilon Delta on August 12th, 2018 @ 2:39pm CDT
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 12th, 2018 @ 3:06pm CDT
I've always been curious about powered convoy and as much as I like ultra magnus, the idea as he was in diaclone was awesome. I never realised that the 'car carrier' could take different modes as well, and it's a shame they weren't carried over. In some sense it's disappointing that takara won't get to go over these diaclone ideas in their diabattles line because of their connection to transformers now. I could see a updated take on cherry vanette quite easily (I mean we got an updated take on it in Energon/Super Link in the form of Tow Line)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on August 12th, 2018 @ 4:22pm CDT
Okay, so the cast wouldn't be totally complete until we finally got Straxus and Scrounge, but it's ironic that even Perceptor's 3rd official mode didn't show up until 'Fallen Angel' in the UK comic shortly after.
Maybe the next list should be, Top 5 pre-Transformer concepts that Hasbro ignored, but showed up in fiction later on anyway?
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on August 12th, 2018 @ 4:34pm CDT
With Swoop, while the blue one is nice, I do prefer the red version as that's what the Marvel comics used and I really liked Swoop in the Marvel UK stories he had where he was much more of a character than the cartoon one. Of course it didn't matter because here in the UK he was yet another character featured in our comic stories whose toy never came out in our stores! grr.
Posted by Jelze Bunnycat on August 12th, 2018 @ 4:45pm CDT
Posted by Rodimus Prime on August 12th, 2018 @ 4:54pm CDT
Posted by TK415 on August 12th, 2018 @ 5:46pm CDT
Posted by fenrir72 on August 12th, 2018 @ 6:54pm CDT
Posted by Black Bumblebee on August 12th, 2018 @ 7:43pm CDT
Posted by Zeedust on August 12th, 2018 @ 8:52pm CDT
Posted by ausbot on August 12th, 2018 @ 10:15pm CDT
Posted by fenrir72 on August 12th, 2018 @ 11:01pm CDT
ausbot wrote:I wish the reissue magnus had his robo partner, and the Ironhide/Ratchet reissues had their drivers.
Funny that a few months before TF was officially released, Diakron in the USA failed miserably.
Those Diaclone drivers were amazing too. Despite their sizes, they were quite detailed. Heck, much detailed than Spike in the MP Convoy and MP UM. And were in die-cast. Too bad they won't pass the safety regs today (even back in 1984).
Posted by TFBuyer on August 13th, 2018 @ 8:22am CDT
Posted by william-james88 on August 13th, 2018 @ 8:29am CDT
TFBuyer wrote:Great list! Just watched the episode of The Toys That Made Us, and this was a great follow-up!
ZeroWolf wrote:This will go down as one of my favourite lists that's been done. Thanks will
TK415 wrote:Great list WJ. Informative and interesting. Thanks man.
Thank you so much for the nice words. It makes writing the list all the more worthwhile to know you liked it.
Bumblevivisector wrote:Maybe the next list should be, Top 5 pre-Transformer concepts that Hasbro ignored, but showed up in fiction later on anyway?
Sounds like a cool list, but I wouldn't know enough examples myself to make a top 5. If could always be done by someone more knowledgeable than me in these matters.
Posted by shajaki on August 13th, 2018 @ 8:34am CDT
Posted by william-james88 on August 13th, 2018 @ 8:43am CDT
shajaki wrote:Will Will Will.... you missed the best ones!
You are referring to the decos right? As in that is why they are better than sunstreaker and prowl?
Posted by ZeroWolf on August 13th, 2018 @ 9:28am CDT
Posted by william-james88 on August 13th, 2018 @ 9:44am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:But the white sunstreaker now exists in tf lore as masterpiece cordon
Yup, as does Blue Bluestreak.
Posted by Rysquad on August 13th, 2018 @ 12:40pm CDT
Could have used Titan Masters/Prime Masters like Diaclone pilots!
Seeing more about Powered Convoy, the more I want one. :/
New idea - Titans Return Delta Magnus box set
Delta Magnus as a retool of Titans Master Powermaster Optimus Prime/Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus (Prime's cab, Magnus' trailer).
Exosuit Marissa Faireborn as the Titan Master.
Delta "Buggy" as a retool/redeco of Power of the Primes Beachcomber.
Posted by william-james88 on August 13th, 2018 @ 12:45pm CDT
Black Bumblebee wrote:Gotta go with the Microchange version of Blaster, here. In the original version, it was a freaking working AM radio. You know that hole in Blaster's gun? That was for plugging in the single ear headphone.
WHAT?! Cant believe I missed that. I might make an edit. This in incredible.