First year included the Founder Microman, Micro
Kit Machines and the Conning Tower.
Second year saw more Microman and several new sub
series such as the Acroyears, Titans and Victory series.
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.
tried new design and direction for the series with the released of
Hoodman and Arden.
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.
& Blizzard Man
The last year of the original series saw the shift
in the line to more robot like look and larger figures.
Takara reset the line and relaunch the series
under the New Microman banner.
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.
The "transformation" for Microman series
began with the Micro Change series.
continued with the successful Micro Change series but the
changing of the guard was inevitable.
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.
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.
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)
Driver Not Included
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)
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
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 -
Online - Hydra
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).
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.
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.