Thursday, June 18, 2009

Microman to Diaclone

Here are some awesome commercials from 70's Japan. They're great marketing for even better toys, and lots of fun. This is a series of spots that illustrate how Microman/ Micronauts evolved into Diaclone/ Transformers in their country of origin. This is basically one product line that was marketed to appear as a new product after a sales slump. These toys will be familiar stateside as "Micronauts" and "Transformers"

Dig the metal background music.

Do you recognize this world wide favorite?

Check out the kids in this one...

What the hell is that kid saying?!

This one must have aired late at night. Please keep in mind Microman's original mission of getting kids interested in science when you watch this. It will help you understand why I nominate this next commercial for "Most Bad Ass Toy Commercial In the History of The World For All Time"

Here Microman starts to incorporate vinyl figures and a new theme song. It's a few years along for these toys and now Time Traveler is on his the way out.

As the 70's come to a close...

Here we see the beginnings of Diaclone, the final nail in the Microman's coffin.



and yet another world wide favorite...

Diaclone is a hit!

There are more of these, but you get the idea. I love how Takara segues one toy concept into the other as Microman's vehicle accessories gradually take on a life of there own as Diaclone. I don't think toy companies operate like that in the states. You just know that there were kids in Japan totally unaware of how this transpired. They probably just ignored Microman until all of sudden there was Diaclone. Despite briefly slumping sales, the fact that both these concepts were huge international successes is remarkable. Sadly, Diaclone devolved into Transformers, where it lingers in mediocrity to this day. I guess when you consider the mountain of products produced during the 70's it's not so bad. Westerners will never really know the extent of what was manufactured as Microman and Diaclone, but we can have fun trying.

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