originally intended to launched New Microman series along with Diaclone
as a way to enter the then lucrative die-cast robot toys market
dominated by Popy and others. However, by the time the New Microman
series was finally launched in 1981, Japanese toys market was radically
changing. One of the major force for the change was the new trend of
realistic machines or mecha that became prevalent in the mind of
Japanese youth due mainly to the shows like Gundam and later Macross
series. The notion of super-giant robots became a thing of a past and
young people of Japan took on new emerging hobby of plastic modeling.
(known as pla-mo in Japan). The old style die-cast robots combining toys
once popular with kids of all ages now view as toys for young children.
Bandai line of Gundam plastic toys became best selling "toys"
and left other toys company at the time scrambling for products to
compete in this new arena.
in a wacky Remodeling Project world would you have a Microman
riding a kit-bash Triceratops. (Dinosaur kits by Tamiya
was very popular around that time). And you thought only
Micronauts almost get to have a reptilian ride.
decided to introduced a concept called "Remodeling Projects"
whereby Microman toys could be used for kit-bash and remodel into new
realistic looking machines and figures. This concept of kit-bashing was
made popular by Mr. Kow Yokoyama, a popular modeler who began to have
his works publish in Hobby Japan magazine in a series call SF3D. Kow
would used toys, model parts, or whatever he could find to fashion a
1/20 scale realistic looking sci-fi figures and armor suits. (He was reported to used many of
Microman toys for his projects.) Based on this idea Takara began selling
many Microman toys in 1982 with plastic model parts that older kids can
be used to fashioned a realistic Microman from the existing toys. By using
this Remodeling Project concept Takara figured they could sell New Microman toys to
both younger and older kids. Beside these dual purpose toys, Takara
would later produced "model kits" toys specifically for
Remodeling Project. The only series that was produced however was the
three Mighty Suits. (See sidebar) Takara also licensed Microman designs
to be produced as model-kits to a plastic model kit company (they were
produced by Nitto who incidentally also produced Kow's SF3D kits after
his serial became so popular). In 1983 Takara decided to produce
new series of Microman called the Real Microman which would replaced
both the Remodeling Project and their licensed model kits line. The Real
Microman however had very short lives and only one series was ever
produced (the Bio-suits kits), when in 1983 Takara stumbled onto a new
series of toys called Micro Change and Car Robot that would forever
change their fortune but that story is for another section....
Mashinen Krieger (SF3D)
(a small plastic kit company) released many of the original
designs by Kow Yokoyama from SF3D as modeling kits in mid
1980's. The kits, after much legal wrangling, were recently reissued
by Nitto however this time under the name MA.K. or Mashinen Krieger.
These kits of armor suits and vehicles are perfect for any
Remodeling Project fans as most were produced in 1/20 scale.
(The same scale as Microman if they were human size).
Microman Remodeling Project
Suit Series (C.1982)
released only one series of toys specifically for the Remodeling Project
line. The line consisted of set of three Mighty Suit molded in white
plastic. Some of the kits were sold in the box and some were sold in
blister card format. (This was a popular format used by Airfix during
that time for their inexpensive kits). The kit came with pamphlet on
remodeling suggestion. However seller of this particular
kit that I got off an auction site removed the instruction and only send me
the kit (he then refuse to reply to my email, even though his auction
picture clearly shown the catalog was present), fortunately Matt
Doughty gave me a full color photo copy of these rare Remodeling Catalog
and it can be seen on the right. So who is this Matt? Well, see the
section below on his Remodeling talent.
DOUGHTY's REMODELING PROJECT
a kid many of us were probably wondering what were these wonderful and
realistic Microman on the back of some of the 1980 Microman
catalog. Matt Doughty like many of us who do not reside in Japan
the time, missed
out on the opportunity to do his own Remodeling Project as a
kid. However as adult, Matt decided to remedy this and went on a one man
quest to bring back the Real Microman series.
Matt, whom I met on line several years
ago, was already on his great (some would say mad) project to
realize what future for Real Microman series could have been
like. Matt custom made and kit-bash any Microman, Block Man or
any things he could find to fashion new Microman figures with
more hard edge and realistic military looks. Not satisfied with
just making new figures and vehicles, Matt took it a step further
and published his own Microman story book called Micro Show. His
full color booklet featured not only beautiful pictures of his
works in diorama setting but also background story.
you enjoy remodel your Microman and kit bash your own toys, then
this book is a must see. His figures rival many of the figures
produced by Japanese Microman fans (like those seen in Microman
The Another Story book). Below are some sample pictures from the
first Micro Show book. Matt promised a second installment of his
Micro Show, so stay tune.