Micro Robot 1-2-3
Takara released New Microman Micro Robot
series in April of 1981. The line was design as Microman version of
die-cast robot toys that were popular in the late 1970's. Each Micro
Robot 1-2-3 was retail for 550 Yen which was slightly more expensive
than Microman figure (which were retail at 480 Yen). These small robots
(about 3" tall) would augment the New Microman figure series with Takara
hoping that the new robot series would help inject new interest into the
aging Microman series. Little that they know at the time, that these
Micro Robot would become the forerunner of the Transformers series.
Micro Robot 1-2-3 consisted of three figures M1 Gordon, M2 Galac and M3
Flash. Each figure, like many toys in New Microman line, have three
variant colors - red, blue and green. Takara initially designated Micro
Robot with "M" prefix but this would later get change to "R"
designation. (Note: the toys are, however, imprinted with "MR"
M1 Micro Gordon (Red Type)
Micro Robot has similar
construction design as Takara Block-man line. Each Micro Robot 1-2-3
has die-cast pelvic and feet section. The three figures have their own
unique designs and transformation features. They also have unique looking
head designs and accessories. Micro Robot 1-2-3 follows the typical
Getter Robo-like theme, with M1 a sleek jet, M2 as a hover craft and M3 a
drill tank style vehicle. Micro Robot 1-2-3 robots all feature simple
transformation. The robots despite the small size are actually a triple
changer type (three forms). The first form is a robot, second form is jet
form and the third is tank form.
M2 Micro Galac (Green Type)
Each Micro Robot 1-2-3 were initially
sold with three color variations (common among New Microman toys) - red
type, green type and blue type. The red and blue seems to be the most
commonly found one. Takara would later released Real Type version of
Micro Robot 1-2-3. The Real Type would offer up three more variant
colors for each Micro Robot 1-2-3 for total of six color variations for
each. The later Real Type Micro Robot would drop the "M" designation and
used "R" designation like the other Micro Robot. Micro Robot line
however are not particularly sought after by most Microman collectors
however they do share some interest with Transformers collectors. The
toys, from historical perspective, do offer a very fascinating look at
the history and evolution of robot toys. These Micro Robot figures offer
a very interesting insight into the designs of 1980's Microman and the
line that would eventually became Transformers.
M3 Micro Flash (Green Type)
Micro Robot 1-2-3 is designed to be
interconnect with Micro Gander vehicles. These are precursor to many of
the Transformer toys and throw back to the old Microman series where
toys interaction was a key play feature.
Micro Robot Series
M1, M2 & M3
Retail Price :
Micro Robot 1-2-3
come packaged in light blue computer grid design box (similar to
most New Microman toy packaging designs). The box house
the figure in robot mode with small vehicle mode photo as part
of box-art to show off the transforming feature of these toys.
The figure and
accessory are packaged inside vac-form plastic tray. The back of the
packaging show all three Micro Robot 1-2-3 line up along with
the toys transformation features. (The Blue Type are shown on
all three box arts).
Instruction & Insert
Each toy comes with
small insert info sheet that also double as mini catalog.
L-R: M1, M2 & M3 weapon
Micro Robot Series
Micro Robot Series was a
sub-series of New Microman line. They were essentially micro-size robot
line of Takara Diaclone giant robot series. These small robot features
transformation features, die-cast parts just like their larger size
counterparts but done in Microman action-figure scale. These Micro Robot
along with their sibling series Diaclone would later became the basis of
Transformers series. Many of Micro Robot features such as unique chrome
weapons, unique robot head design and transform features would became
part of Transformers standard feature set.
There were total of eighteen
Micro Robot figures span among four sub-series released by Takara during
1981-82 ; three Micro Robot 1-2-3 (R1-R3), Micro Robot V (R4-R8), Micro
Robot W (R9-R11) and Micro Robot 7 (R12-R18)
Real Type Series
In late 1982 following the new
trend of realistic style robots, Takara released several of New Microman
toys in "Real Type" color schemes. Instead of bright red, green
and blue, the toys are in subdue tone of gray brown and maroon. Micro
Robot 1-2-3 series were also re-released in "Real Type" colors as R1, R2
and R3. There were three "Real Type" schemes for each figures -
Mountain Type, Forest Type and City Type. Beside the "Real Type" colors,
Micro Robot 1-2-3 were also sold as plastic model kits by Nitto (under
license from Takara).
Real Type R3 Flash (City Type)