Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby NoisyDvL5 » Tue May 18, 2010 6:41 pm

Some Egyptian influence is cool in any line! [smile]

Could Pharoid also time travel or was his sarcophagus the traditional one-way variety?
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Tue May 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Well the only character info suplied by Mego was:

Time Traveler - "Fully Poseable Space Warrior"

Phariod - "Fully Poseable Space Warrior with Time Chamber"

You had to come up with: The Rest of The Story (Sorry Paul). For me the TTs used the computer circuitry in the chest plates to manipulate, and therefore move through, time. Phariods were fewer and while the character had more power within himself he had given up Time Travel and had to rely on the chamber instead.

In the original line the 'Chamber was the hard plastic capsule that the toy was sold in. No packaging, no card backs, just the figure in a capsule. The Japanese characters came in many different capsules. Egyptian Sarcophagus, Easter Island Moai, Japanese Yokai, and even the US Statue of Liberty. In the Microman storyline these characters were incased in these world monuments when they fell to Earth in hibernation as the monuments were built.

Command 1 - Moai
Command 2 - Sarcophagus
Command 3 - Yokai
Lady Command - Statue of Liberty
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby dayraven » Tue May 18, 2010 8:49 pm

Tekwych wrote:Well the only character info suplied by Mego was:

Time Traveler - "Fully Poseable Space Warrior"

Phariod - "Fully Poseable Space Warrior with Time Chamber"

You had to come up with: The Rest of The Story (Sorry Paul). For me the TTs used the computer circuitry in the chest plates to manipulate, and therefore move through, time. Phariods were fewer and while the character had more power within himself he had given up Time Travel and had to rely on the chamber instead.

In the original line the 'Chamber was the hard plastic capsule that the toy was sold in. No packaging, no card backs, just the figure in a capsule. The Japanese characters came in many different capsules. Egyptian Sarcophagus, Easter Island Moai, Japanese Yokai, and even the US Statue of Liberty. In the Microman storyline these characters were incased in these world monuments when they fell to Earth in hibernation as the monuments were built.

Command 1 - Moai
Command 2 - Sarcophagus
Command 3 - Yokai
Lady Command - Statue of Liberty


three quarters of this audience don't likely even know who paul harvey was... but soem of us appreciate the nod. [grin]

man, i still have the gray sarcophagus... but i didn't even know there were moai... how friggin cool!! i love moai!
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Tue May 18, 2010 9:51 pm

I almost added a link to Paul as explanation but felt some research by the class might be in order. The Japanese Microman storyline leaves them at the center of many of the more 'mystical' places on the earth and pits the eco friendly Microman against the Acroyear and their Acro-Virus which taints the earth and makes things unlivable for Microman or Human (and this was back in the 1970s)

The command types would head up their own division of Microman Secret Rescue Base - CRIM

COMMAND AREA - under Chief Officer M111 Bobson. This subsection consisted of Space, navy, army and air command units. Made up mostly of Microman Commands.

RESCUE AREA - under Chief Officer M112 Barns. This subsection conduct rescue activities of Microman to protect earth from the Acroyear. It consists of Rescue and Police Keeper Microman. The Rescue Area which is a subsection of CRIM sector is also responsible for stopping the Acroyear plan of building "Acrotopia". Rescue section of CRIM consisted of Police Keeper and the newly arrived Microman Rescue. They were assigned to each geographical setting to stop the destruction or earth resources by Acroyears and Arden.

INTEL. AREA - under Chief Officer M113 Bobby. MCIA became part of CRIM. This area was a responsible of Microman Spy Magician. They collected data and information from all over and analyzes them.

MEDICAL AREA - under Chief Officer M114 Blacky. This area provided medical assistance to the Microman especially to the Command and Rescue section. This section consisted mostly of Microman M18X Lady Command.

Thank you to MicroForever for that breakdown
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby motorthing » Wed May 19, 2010 9:34 am

Wow, my first love - my wife might say my only love....but that's another story.

I was there as a 7 year old at the beginning when ALL i could afford was Microtron and a couple of Time Travellers, they were so much cooler than anything else prior (including my beloved Mego Pocket Heroes) and pretty much anything since. Baron Karza, Space Glider, Phobos and a whole host of others are still front and center on my main toy shelf and apart from blowing the dust off them every couple of months and using Terraphant to run over Joes every once in a while I really should start looking after them a little better - they are getting pricey enough to ensure now.

Thanks for the detail and the happy, happy memories.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Thu May 20, 2010 12:34 am

--1978--

Gas is .63 a Gallon, The Apple II is one of the most popular desktop computers (OK there were only thee models from two companies) and President Jimmy Carter was dealing with the Dollar being the weakest it had ever been against other world currencies. In the toy isle a revolution was taking place. Almost overnight Kenner, with the help of George Lucas, rewrote how the toy industry does business. The licensing contracts created around the Star Wars property were unheard of. No one had considered trying to use toys, apparel, household goods and more in a coordinated effort to build a brand. The juggernaut that was, and is, Star Wars took off in the spring as the first wave of toys hit shelves. Kenner had chosen the 3.75" scale that was being used by Fisher Price's Adventure People and Mego's Micronauts among others. This scale would quickly supplant both the 12" scale of GI Joe and the 8" scale of World's Greatest Super Heroes and become the standard of action figures for many years. Mego had already used most of the Microman designs they had bought and so went to Cal R&D to 'freshen up' many of the original Trons. While the figure and vehicle were new Japanese designs this year all the Trons were new decos of old product.

What really sets this wave apart were the Micropolis building sets. Takara had started working on a series of geometric panels that could be assembled to make three dimensional shapes. Cal R&D re-worked these panels, added columns, and created a connector that could work as both a hinge and solid joint. They added girders to create a construction system that incorporated the same 5mm port and post system that Micronauts had used from the beginning to offer kids the ability to design their own cities. At this point kids were playing with Erector sets, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs, Lego introduced the Mini figure this year and started their Castle and Town themes with a total of 7 boxed sets. The Micropolis sets, with their ability to integrate many of the items from the rest of the Micronauts line offered a scale of construction that was just unheard of at the time.

The Figures:
Galactic Defender
Actually a mishmash of designs from Takara the Galactic Defender figure included a helmet that covered his head and chest, leg jets, winglets on his arms, a sword, a gun, and a winged backpack. The helmet was designed by Cal R&D based on the head gear of another Microman character, the Hoodman,

The Trons:
Phobos
An evil counterpart to Biotron this is a re-colored version of the original Tron with a new head and a Black / Red color scheme.

Nemesis
Like Phobos, Nemesis is a rerelease of the original Microtron with a new head and redesigned wheels to be more evil, at least as evil as pink can be.

Alphatron, Betatron & Gammatron
Using the motorized car from the Stratastation set Cal R&D created three 'walking' vehicles. These never sold well and are often looked down upon by collectors as something only a completeist would have in their collection.

The Vehicles:
Star Searcher
Including components like a crane, bulldozer, and a set of caterpillar treads the star searcher became a front line explorer vehicle with the ability to reconfigure itself into as many as 4 vehicles. Like everything else in the line the 5mm port and post system assisted with this vehicles interchangeability.


The Cities:
Galactic Command Center
An amazing construction set that lets you use squares, triangles, and hexagons to build futuristic buildings, The GCC was an entry level box with a few parts and chairs, domes, computer consoles and a winch system.

Interplanetary HQ
The IHQ offered a different mix of parts and added a crank type elevator to move your figures between levels.

Microrail City
The Microrail City was essentially the IHQ with a monorail track and motorized vehicle. Again the vehicle had several parts and used the 5mm port and post system

Satellite Survey Station
An exclusive mix of parts that included, among other things, the Micronaut wind up motor from the first year vehicles. This set was created as a catalogue exclusive for Montgomery Wards 1978 Wish Book.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby dayraven » Thu May 20, 2010 1:55 pm

that damned lucas and his paradigm shift.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby motorthing » Fri May 21, 2010 10:46 am

dayraven wrote:that damned lucas and his paradigm shift.


I'm cool with that. Much as I loved Micros Star Wars deserved to rule the Toyverse IMHO and if it hadn't have been that Mego would have doomed themselves on the back of something else - leaving no-one home when Lucas and Fox came a'calling has to go down as one of businesses all-time greatest clusterforks.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Sat May 22, 2010 10:08 pm

--1979--

Apocalypse Now, Life of Brian, The Warriors and Mad Max greeted us in movie theaters while the second oil embargo of the west and war in Afghanistan greeted us most everywhere else. The Iranian revolution brought a anti-west view into power in the middle east and the OPEC nations chose to withhold new oil shipments to the US, UK, USSR, China and most other 'western' countries. Mego and most other toy companies had already placed most of their production orders for the year but Christmas toy shelves were light on product and high on cost this year. The price per ton for raw plastic pellets rose 300% from the February orders (Spring new line launches) and the September orders (Christmas production run)

This year Mego introduced 3.75" figure lines for Disney's The Black Hole, TV's Buck Rogers, Star Trek the Motion Picture, and WGSH Pocket Super Heroes were introduced while the 8" WGSH line would see the end of its production. Most of these lines did not fair well with retailers or the public and Micronauts would continue to make up slightly more than one third of all Mego sales for the year. This was a good thing though as most of this years new product had nothing to do with the lines Takara heritage. Except for two items this wave was all new Mego designs created by Cal R&D. All of these new designs respect the port & post foundations of the line but move away from the futuristic science themes of Microman and instead offer the space fantasy of Alien life and Galactic conquest.

The Micronaut aliens all had exposed brains and 5mm ports at their wrist that allowed different weapons to be attached. They would get a groin tank and a fast attack aircraft to bolster their ranks. While Mego never said weather these creatures worked together, with the Acroyears, or on their own they were seen as the enemy of the 'good' Micronauts. Cal R&D also designed the Rocket Tubes: Transportation System of the Future. This was a pair of pods that would be pushed through tubes using vacuum pressure. The idea of getting a kid to play with a vacuum cleaner went over slightly better than the tubes themselves worked. Bad seals, poor QC and under powered motors left these sets wanting in play value.

The Figures:
Time Traveler
The Time Traveler is back in new solid colors. Red, Blue, Green and Yellow, the figures again came randomly with one of 4 different chest panels each with their own 4 colors. This meant another 64 different carded versions of this same figure. I think this is why I have never met a MOC Micronaut compleatest. It's had enough to find 4 versions of a modern figure let alone 128 versions of something that is 30 years old.

Repto
Half Man Half Reptile From the Distant Planet of Sauria this alien had wings, a long boor gun and buzz saw. This figures head was VERY non-human and its crotch assembly added a long tail that made standing the figure very easy even with it's heavy wings. The wings and both weapons attached using the 5mm port & post system

Antron
Six Limbed Invader from the Faraway Galaxy of Thoraxid. Avery insectoid head included the exposed, glow-in-the-dark brain. This figures torso was reworked to have four shoulder joints instead of two. These arms all ended in 5mm posts that allowed you to connect a blaster, a neutralizer, a hook and an eyelet.

Membros
Slithery Skinned Invader from the Remote world of Visceros whose exposed brain was considerably larger than his head. Membros had a blaster and a Hydra Laser that would connect o his backpack using a 'hydro-pipe'. Again all weapons and the backpack all connect using 5mm post and port.

The Vehicles:
Montgomery Wards Space Vehicle
The Montgomery Wards chain asked for a small exclusive vehicle for the holidays and Mego gave them a re-colored version of the Galactic Cruiser. Now in blue instead of green and with a new solid color Time Traveler this was most likely done in low quants and can be hard to find today.

Taurion
Using the wind up motor from 1976 with an all new, Cal R&D designed body the Taurion was a small winged vehicle that would get a lot of reuse in Mego's other lines.

Solarion
Like the Taurion, the Solarion was a new Cal R&D design using the original wind up motor. This long pod like vehicle had a skis on the front that gave it a look as if it it would move through a larger version of the Rocket Tubes.

The Ships:
Star Defender
The last of the Takara designed, Microman items to be used in the Micronauts line this ship has most of the same base components of the Star Searcher with many new pods and towers. While the basic design was from Takara most of the pods were redesigned by Cal R&D and many new components like skis instead of wheels. This vehicle looks like everything and the kitchen sink but was an amazing item to hold. Every configuration you come up with opens your eyes to a new combination or a new creation.

Terraphant
Terrifying Mammoth From The Remote World Of Visceros this elephant like tank held a water chamber and a pressurized water shooter to attack your Micronaut characters. With working treads that the vehicle could rise up on and a crew compartment that could cary several figures this Cal R&D designed ship brought some serious firepower to the line.

Hornetroid
Fearsome Myriapod From The Far Off Galaxy Of Thoraxid. Obviously designed for Antron his extra arms don't allow him to fit into the pineapple when the canopy is closed. This insectoid fast attack aircraft was a wholly new design from Cal R&D. The tail strut could be used as a handle freeing your thumb to activate the flapping wing action feature.

The Cities:
Rocket Tubes, Deluxe Rocket Tubes, and Sears Rocket Tubes
Yep three different versions of this set were sold, The basic system with an oval track and the upright 'elevator system'. A 'Deluxe' set that included another 4 feet of tubing and the Sears exclusive his added a 'auto-launching' Zing Wing to the top of the elevator on the Deluxe set. Remember that the undersized mortar could not get the pods to make it all the way around the basic set so the deluxe set was a major disappointment. Many collectors have gutted the motor unit and rebuilt it using higher powered modern units that can make this an interesting piece if you are into watching things go in circles.

Sears Mega City
Far and away the largest of the Micropolis building sets This had everything. Almost 600 individual parts including new shapes and accessories this set was a year long exclusive for the Sears stores.
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Re: Tekwych Teaches: Micronauts

Postby Tekwych » Sun May 23, 2010 11:12 pm

--1980--

A new decade and the beginning of the last major implosion of the toy industry. In the 70s companies like LJN, Mego, Kenner, Ideal, Tyco and Tomy all were just as big as Mattel or Hasbro at the time. What we consider 'brands' today like Parker Brothers, Matchbox, Fisher Price, Tonka and Little tikes were full on companies as well. The real roots of ToyFair come from the era when their were almost 100 'major' players in the toy isle and ToyFair was the only way for a stores buyers to talk and make plans with so many companies in a reasonable amount of time. The rise of 'electronic' games, a consolidation of 'regional' department stores, and the global recession all took a toll on the toy industry and many of these companies were absorbed by others or just closed their doors and went away. By the mid 80s their were less than 20 'major' players and by the 90s less than 10 companies accounted for almost 60 percent of a chain stores toy section.

Mego had many big hits with lines like WGSH, Planet of The Apes, and our little topic, Micronauts. Unfortunately the late 70s brought us The Dukes of Hazard, CHiPs, Happy Days, Starskey and Hutch, CB McHaul, Buck Rogers, The Black Hole and even a 3.75" line based on The Love Boat. None of these lines made it past their first wave and some did not even get all the product from that first wave into production. With costs rising fast and factories falling out of company control and back into local control money started getting tight. By 1980 Mego was not making enough money and long standing lines to support the pre-production costs of new lines. As most of the new product from 1979 was not picked back up in 1980 by retailers Mego found it difficult to pay for production on items that were ordered. My mid summer the company was shipping much of their production by train into south-eastern Europe because it was far cheeper than the trans-pacific trip to North America. Retailers in the US that were not getting their full summer shipments canceled their Christmas orders. Three senior executives, including Marty Abrams himself were indicted in federal court for defrauding shareholders and with some fifty million in debt (1980s dollars) Mego, what many consider the greatest toy company of its time, was no more.

Most of this Micronauts wave saw little or no release in the US. The majority of Micronauts collectors have found Italian items to fill out there collections. While the Magnemo look interesting on the shelf and the Aliens have great designs the vehicles and Trons leave much to be desired.

The Figures:
Centaurus
Conqueror Gladiator from the Far Away Planet Equestris this was a radically different design. A new crotch design allowed for an animal like lower body with 4 standard legs and a normal torso. The equine head included the now standard exposed glowing brain. Centaurus' arms ended in 5mm posts that allowed a shield and crossbow to be used with the character.

Lobros
Scaly Creature from the Deep Oceans of Zenon had a hunchback torso and his exposed brain was inside his mouth but his blaster and shield showed he was a force to be reckoned with.

Kronos
Carrier of Destruction with Claws from the Forbidden Planet of Udanax, Kronos was a locust like character with wings on his back. The three wing pieces attached with a 5mm post while a 5mm hole in the characters lower arms gave him the ability to hold a weapon.

Emperor & Megas
Emperor was a reuse of the Magnemo body in black, Day-Glow, and Gold Chrome. A new head sculpt, sword, and cape help signify his dominance over the evil members of the line. Megas was a complete reuse of the horse mold from Andromeda and Oberon now in the Blak and gold to match his master. Emperor & Megas were each sold separately.

King Atlas& Lantaurion
Green Baron & Pegasus
The second and third repaints of the Magnemo body Red (the King) and Green (the Baron) had a new head sculpt was used for both characters. The steeds also got a new, very alien, head sculpt as well. Like all the other Magnemo the figures and steeds were each sold separately.

Red Falcon
Another reuse of the Magnemo body but without the stomach missile found in all the others. Red Falcon came with many new accessories including wings, bird legs, and a firing nose cone assembly. These allowed for a configuration of the figure in a bird form. Red Falcon did not have a separate steed.

The Trons:
Blizzard
With large feet that looked like a hovercraft and a giant spinning fan weapon Blizzard was another Geeg character. Blizzard was the only figure in the entire Micronauts line that did not use the 5mm port and post system

The Vehicles:
Hyperion
Originally a part of Takara's Timanic toy line this rocket sled was heavily modified to fit in with the Micronauts. Again the wind up mortar and 5mm port and post systems were a central theme.

Ampzilla
Repto's personal transport. Ampzilla was a giant insect that could drop on all fours to become a vehicle for the Micronauts Aliens. This item was designed by Cal R&D for Mego.

Lobstros
A lobster shaped vehicle designed by Cal R&D this 6 wheeled tank came with pinching claws and laser guns. This was also seen as the Claw vehicle in Pocket Super Heroes.

Sharkos
The last of Cal R&Ds Animal vehicles this was a small 'shark like' tube that fit over the Aqua Motor original used in the Hydro Copter. These 3 Alien vehicles just didn't turn out like their original concept art.
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