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1981 New Microman Series

Micro Robot 1-2-3 M1 (R1) Gordon, M2 (R2) Galac and M3 (R3) Flash (c.1981)


Micro Robot

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" designation.)


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.



New Microman Micro Robot Series

M1, M2 & M3 (R1-R3)

Released : 4/1981

Retail Price : 550 Yen




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 accessories



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)