Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

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Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Thu May 13, 2010 1:21 am

My introduction for this course can be found on IATs front page:
Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

I would recommend starting there to get up to speed then I will start to break down the line and the era it existed in here in this thread. Comments and questions are encouraged and I will try to answer as best I can.
Last edited by Tekwych on Thu May 13, 2010 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Thu May 13, 2010 1:23 am

--1976--

In that first year 4 'standard' figures, 2 'Trons', 8 small Vehicles, 2 large Ships and a City Playset were released. All the items in 1976 were manufactured by Takara specifically for Mego using the original tooling with altered legal lines. All of these items hit shelves early in the year and would be continually offered for the entire life of the Micronauts line. If you missed out on the Mobile Exploration Lab in 1976, it was still available in 1979. All weapons actually shot rubber tip 'mushroom' missiles, though these got piece-bonded in later years (you can thank the colons for that). Dark black card backs with white and yellow lettering, 'warping photos, bright colors, and chrome made this line truly stand out against the blues of WGSH, Pink of Barbie, and yellow of Tonka. This was one year after the Apollo-Soyuz Space Link-up and the height of the Skylab projects, so kids were looking for some connection to space. Chrome toys were seen as futuristic. Micronauts did all that and more. The packaging gave no history or alliance to any character, just a single sentence to describe "Fully Posable Space Warrior" or "Metal Die-cast Space Warrior with Flap-out Wingpack". You could make up your own story, create your own characters or reasons for different color variations. Kids were left to create their own story lines while they created their own designs. Without realizing it you were learning things like structural integrity, spacial relations, and other design concepts. Mego even marketed the line as "growing your child's imagination"

The Figures:
Time Traveler
The most common figure of the entire line, Time Travelers were sold individually and with most vehicles and ships. Time Travelers were made in a translucent plastic in 4 colors. They all had the same chrome head sculpt, white hands, and feet. There was a chrome chest plate that suggested a cybernetic connection between these figures and their vehicles. The chest plate had 4 different designs, in 4 different colors, but were randomly placed on the characters creating 64 packaging variations for this character in just the first year. The 5mm port on their front and back allowed them to interconnect with the rest of the line. Each figure included an L-port that could be placed in their back port.

Space Glider
A die-cast metal figure, The Space Glider came in three different colors and included a Helmet and 'Dash-Wing'. The Dash-Wing is a backpack with a spring loaded set of wings. The wings sit in a closed (pointing down) position and then open with the touch of a button. The Dash-Wing connected to the figure using the 5mm port on his back and could also be used as a part of any vehicle. While the Dash-Wing color matched that of the figure the Helmet was always blue.

Galactic Warrior
A die-cast metal figure, The Galactic Warrior Came in three colors and included a chrome chest plate, his 'Hand Bazooka', a chest connector and two 'Mushroom Missiles'. All the accessories would be color coordinated with the figure except the chest plate. The plate is always gold but uses the same 4 randomly chosen designs found on the Time Traveler. By removing the chest piece and inserting the chest connector the character could hold the Hand Bazooka straight out in front of them and fire the missile with a push of the button. Because the hand Bazooka included two 5mm posts, it could be added to any vehicle designs.

Acroyear
This character is the 'alien' of the series and came in 3 colors. Most kids used him as the 'bad guy'. Acroyear had a die-cast body with plastic arms and legs. His head had no true face, but instead a visor or helmeted look that could be used forwards or back giving the character 2 'faces'. His feet were sets of wheels and he came with a short sword, a Drone-Wing, and a Fan-Wing back pack. Acroyear's head, arms, feet, and accessories all had the 5mm ports or posts allowing the figure to reconfigure itself into a flying tank mode and allowed him to interconnect with pieces from any other set.

The Trons:
Biotron
A motorized, chromed head robot standing 13" tall in his normal mode. There was a chest cavity where a Time Traveler could command the Tron. Biotron could be reconfigured to walk or move using the caterpillar treads mounted on his back. His lower legs could be converted to 'sky sleds' for any figure and there were 5mm ports everywhere.

Microtron
Another motorized robot, Microtron stood about 5" on his caterpillar treads. With large wheels, detachable arms, a lance, 2 heads and more this bot was one of the most re-configurable single releases in this first year. One of Microtron's heads could open up to reveal a command chair that could hold a figure. The 5mm ports where the caterpillar treads attach along with the 'arm' ports and another on the front of the Tron were able to transmit rotary power. Placing the 'drill' attachment on the poorly placed front motorized port gave Microtron attributes that most mothers had to question.

The Vehicles:
Galactic Cruiser
A three wheeled bike with twin firing cannons, The Galactic Cruiser was great mobile artillery for the Micronauts. The wheels, axles, control console and weapons all used the 5mm port and post system.

Hydra
A 4-wheeled van-like vehicle with an elevated twin bore weapon and control pod. The risers that elevate the weapons could be used between the chassis and wheels to really trick out the ride.

Photon Sled
A Jet shaped vehicle with a wind up mortar that used the 5mm post and port system to connect to this, or most any other Micronaut vehicle.

Crater Cruncher
A bucket loader using the same wind up mortar and lots of 5mm ports and posts

Ultronic Scooter
A basic 3 wheeled bike using that same wind up motor

Warp Racer
An open wheel race car using, yep, that same wind up motor for a fourth time

Hydro Copter
An amphibious helicopter and more. The Hydro Copter had two clear hemispheres that could house a figure and control seat. The ball could be sealed using a rubber tread. A motor system could then spin the ball around the control seat moving the copter forward on the floor, the rotor blades would spin as well. Now add the side paddles and place this vehicle in water and the copter will float, paddling its way across the pool. With weapons, wheels, floats and more, all using 5mm port and post this vehicle could add some true power to many unique designs.

The Ships:
Astrostation
4 seats, 3 weapons, a hibernation chamber, ejection pod, and escape ramp all in a 8" square ship the Astrostation was one of the most popular items in the 'Ships' category. This was a Command center, Laboratory, Scout vehicle or front line bunker.

Mobile Exploration Lab
Start with an A-Wing base that has a separating nose cone & pineapple, add a 14" tall tower 'lab' and top it with an observation dome / escape pod. Now add a secede ship and wheels so that the tower can be re-configured as a long exploration vehicle with manipulator arms. Add some weapons, removable wings, and connect everything with 5mm ports and posts and the M.E.L. quickly becomes the center of most backyard adventures.

The Cities:
Stratastation
The Stratastation was an oval track with a motorized vehicle. One section of track was the base of a command tower. When you stopped the vehicle under the tower one of two things could happen, You could have a figure lifted up to the towers command section on an elevator or have the command tower rotate 360 degrees. Lots of those 5mm ports and posts made this a great center piece, until the Microrail City came along.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby NoisyDvL5 » Thu May 13, 2010 2:52 am

Thanks, Tek! I shall elevate this... :cool:
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Lay Ze-Man » Thu May 13, 2010 12:33 pm

Whoa! This is cool!

I'll read all this in detail later!!! [smile]
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Re: blows

Postby dayraven » Thu May 13, 2010 7:54 pm

edhardy21 wrote:Classic joke: blows
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um... que paso?
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Ebonhorn » Thu May 13, 2010 8:02 pm

it's a bot, DR.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby NoisyDvL5 » Sun May 16, 2010 2:21 pm

When I removed the spam account all the posts went away. Weird.



Thanks again, Tek, sorry we got you off track. You were vandalized. :lol:
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Sun May 16, 2010 8:55 pm

--1977--

Toy Fair 1977 gave a big second wave for Micronauts as well as new orders for first series figures. Almost everything stayed in production but that production was moved to Mego's own factory in Korea. With the new year Mego decide to create actual factions within the line as the Acroyers became the bad guys. Since we now had a good and a bad group we needed to have leaders for those groups and the characters of Force Commander (good) and Baron Karza (bad) were added. We also got one other new figure for eace faction, a Tron for the Acroyears, a ship and several vehicles. Close Encounters of the Third Kind continued our interest in Space for the first half of the year while Star Wars came out that summer. Star Wars hit a needed cord with everyone. This was a story of clear good vs. evil, it showed corruption of government and the 'average / little guy' winning over 'The Man'. America was still having issue Vietnam and the fall out of Watergate so this hit home on so many levels that Science Fiction and Space Opera were suddenly main stream. Now the story goes that a representative of Fox and Lucas had come to the offices of Mego in NYC with an offer for the Star Wars License. the secretary explained that the executives were all in Japan to sign off on their new 'space themed toys'. Hearing this the representative left and walked into the Kenner offices just one block away. Kenner did buy the license but, as was the usual practice at the time, did nothing until public reaction to the film was known. When the ticket sales in the first month almost equaled all other films ticket sales for the quarter Kenner realized they had a gold mine but no way to access it. They scrambled to create mock-ups, get license approval, tooling, and then go into production but it was already August. The best they could do is finalize product and offer an empty box for the 1977 Christmas season that promised figures in the first months of 1978. The Golden era of the toy industry was about to Dawn.

The Figures:
Pharoid
A new character for the 'good' faction Phariod came in three different colors each with the same chromed head. Phariod included his color matched 'Time Chamber' and a set of wings that connected to his thighs. There was a production change with Pharoid within the first year. His head was swapped for Time Traveler Head and his Time Chamber dropped the Japanese text for 'Egyptian' hero hieroglyphs when Mego took over production duties.

Acroyear ll
Now that there were factions poor Acroyear was all alone so Acroyear II was brought in for backup. Coming in three die-cast colors. This figure could be disassembled at almost every joint to create many different versions of the character. An interesting note is that Acroyer, released first in the US was the second Japanes version of the figure and named Acroyear II over there. Mego's Acroyear II was the original Japanese figure and called Acroyear in Japan.

Baron Karza & Andromeda
Force Commander & Oberon
Takara had another towline called Mighty Geeg. Mego bought the rights to the magnetic character and his mount. They had Cal R&D create two new head sculpts (The first time Mego created anything of their own in the entire line) and then offered the toy either in White with one head or in black with the other head. These would become Force Commander (White) and Baron Karza (Black), the respective leaders of the Micronauts and the Acroyears. The torsos had a large magnet that could hold a steel ball at any one of 5 points (neck, arms, legs) There was a firing chest missile and wrists with springs that could send fists flying several feet. Standing 8" tall these figures towered over the rest of the line but were still smaller than the largest Trons. They came with a part called the universal joint that converted a 5mm port to a steel ball making this figure compatible with the rest of the post and port system. Each figure had a Steed to partner with. Andromeda (White) and Oberon (Black) had 5mm ports that could hold their legs or wheels that came with the figures. Their tails used the 5mm system as well. Their head and neck could be removed to reveal steel balls that allowed the torso's of the Baron or Commander creating a Centaur type character. The men and their mounts were sold separately.


The Trons:
Giant Acroyear
One of the few figures that kept its name from the original Japanese release, Giant Acroyear was actually three vehicles that could be reconfigured into a giant robot. Finally the 'evil' Acroyears had something to stand up to Biotron. The Acro-Jet, Acro-Cannon and Armroid drones offered dozens of parts creating many combinations within a single box. Again all of this can be combined with other sets to expand the play value even further.

The Vehicles:
Rhodium Orbiter
A die-cast metal pineapple with 5mm ports to connect wheels, side pods, nose cones and more. The wind up motors from last year work quite well on these vehicles as well

Thorium Orbiter
Another die-cast pineapple vehicle. This ship had side pods with lenses and mirrors that gave you a periscope to look over things and around corners. Add wheels from any other set and turn this ship into a road racer.

Neon Orbiter
The last of the die-cast vehicles this one was a trike with wings. All parts an these vehicles use the 5mm port and post system to be fully compatible with every other item in the line.

Aquatron
We look at this now and see a personal water craft, a jet ski. Yet it would be another year before the first jet ski would be shown to the public. An aquatic motor, the same used in the Hydro Copter, lets this vehicle move on its own. Take the aqua motor off and add wheels that came in the set for a land vehicle.

The Ships:
Battle Cruiser
This was one of the true prizes of the entire line. Advertised as over 75 parts creating 25 toys this was the USS Flag of 1977 and cost an outlandish $35.00 (Time Travelers were 3 for 1.99 and the Photon Sled with figure was 4.99). There were 5 main vehicles that could combine into the main Battle Cruiser. A motor section could be controlled using a wired controller or plug the controller directly into the curser using those same 5mm ports and posts for a vehicle that can be 'programed' to move around the floor. By program Mego meant you could lock the wheels into one of three settings then set the vehicle into forward or reverse. The wing-tip sections could become pistols with 'mushroom tip' missiles. This vehicle could cary 6 figures in its primary mode and offered numerous places to add part from other sets to create even bigger ships.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby dayraven » Sun May 16, 2010 11:50 pm

you mean a WHOLE 35 dollars!?!?!?!
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Sun May 16, 2010 11:59 pm

I know my folks balked at that one. No Battle Cruiser until adulthood.
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