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1974 Microman Zone Series

Microman Cosmo Car Series - MIC-02 Bulk Lifter (c.1974)


Cosmo Car

Microman Series



Microman Zone
First year included the Founder Microman, Micro Kit Machines and the Conning Tower.



Project Victory
Second year saw more Microman and several new sub series such as the Acroyears, Titans and Victory series.



Spy Magician

The line finally came into its own during the third year with new figures and the classic Microman Transfer Fortress.



A watershed year for Microman series, this year saw some of the best toys for the line. 



Police Keeper

Takara tried new design and direction for the series with the released of Hoodman and Arden. 



Rescue Team
Takara "rescue" attempt for the line with the Rescue Team Microman.  This year also saw updated of the old favorite like the New Tower Base.



Punch & Blizzard Man
The last year of the original series saw the shift in the line to more robot like look and larger figures.


New Microman Series



New Microman
Takara reset the line and relaunch the series under the New Microman banner.



Micro Robot
Micro Robot series became the main focus of the new line.  Takara also tried to cash in on the "pla-mo" popularity with Real Type and Micro Borg.



Micro Change
The "transformation" for Microman series began with the Micro Change series.




Takara continued with the successful Micro Change series but the changing of the guard was inevitable.


Microman Zone toys came packaged in black color box with the "rainbow atomic ring" design. During the first year, the boxes had beautiful painting of the toys as box arts (this was a common practice for toys from late 1960's and early 1970's). The painting box arts were later abandoned in favor of the photographs of kids playing with toys.


The back of the box depicted the toy in various configuration (one of the selling point for the original Microman line). The back also show other toys in the series including two other Cosmo Car toys and the Kit-Machine series.



Bulk Lifter came with B&W instruction sheet with details drawing of how to assemble the toy.


1974 version of Bulk Lifter did not come with the sticker sheet.  It was not until 1975 that Takara began to include sticker sheet with Microman toys. (Below is a sample of sticker sheet from Micronauts version - Hydra)



Microman Driver Not Included

While the Cosmo Car did not come packaged with Microman figure, the toys were design especially for these early Microman Zone Microman. The figures were sold with Microman Kit-Machine toys and later as individual figure inside white capsule case. (Shown above - Reproduction Orange Microman)

Screw Driver Included


One of the selling point for Microman Zone toys was the emphasis on "construction" skill so many of the early toys came totally unassembled and must be bolted together by the included nuts & bolts and mini-screwdriver.


Bulk Lifter was one of many Microman toys that were licensed by Mego and sold as part of the Micronauts line in the US. Mego changed the name to "Hydra" and the toy was slightly retooled with new seat and new safety tip missiles. For more information about Mego Micronauts version of Bulk Lifter please check out Dave Waugh's excellent Micronauts website - Innerspace Online - Hydra


Micronauts Innerspace Online

Takara released second series of Microman Zone toys in August of 1974 following the release of the debut series Micro-(kit) Machine. The second series was called Cosmo Car and consisted of three small un-powered vehicles MIC-01 Space Buggy, MIC-02 Bulk Lifter and MIC-03 Sky Roader. Unlike the first series Micro-Machine, these toys did not come with Microman figure and was sold in small box. Cosmo Car toys were originally retailed for about 700 Yen back in 1974. (In comparison, Micro Machine toys were sold for 750 Yen and Micro Base M115 Conning Tower was sold for 2500 Yen).

Takara original marketing idea for Microman Zone was build around small size cyborg with the theme of scientific exploration and construction. Following this theme, Cosmo Car toys were sold also as "construction" toys and required some minor assembly. Cosmo Car MIC-02 Bulk Lifter was the second vehicle in the series. The design of Bulk Lifter was quite unusual with Microman seated on an elevated seat. Bulk Lifter had missile launcher and came with two missiles (with the nosecone painted red, a commonality for missile rocket back in 1960's and early 1970's). The missiles were spring loaded design and this was one of the gimmicks of the Cosmo Car series. The second selling gimmick was the interchangeability of these Cosmo Car toys. This feature would later became one of the main selling point for later Microman line. Bulk Lifter featured standardized 5mm port and peg and the toy can be reconfigure in various ways or even combine with other two Cosmo Car toys for even more playability.

Microman Bulk Lifter in Alternate Mode

Cosmo Car toys were designed exclusively for the early Microman Zone figure. At this early point, Microman were mainly sold as miniature "micro" version of the Henshin Cyborg line. The figures did not yet incorporate the 5mm standardized port. The seat for Cosmo Car toys, like that of the Micro-Machine were fitted with small clip to hold the figure in placed. When Mego licensed Microman, Bulk Lifter (along with Space Buggy) was sold as parts of the early Micronauts line up. Bulk Lifter became Micronauts Hydra and Space Buggy became Galactic Cruiser. The third vehicle Sky Roader was never released as part of the Micronauts toys. Microman Bulk Lifter toy was retooled for the Micronauts line (which debuted in 1976) and the clip style seat was changed (though the picture still appeared in the instruction sheet) and replaced with 5mm port style seat that utilized the "L" connector piece.  Micronauts version also replaced the missiles with safety style "rubber tip" design that would became common with Micronauts toys that featured missile firing gimmick.