Microman (????? Mikuroman) is a line of toys manufactured by Takara (known as TOMY in English and K.K. Takara-Tomy [??????????] in Japanese since 2006) from 1974 to the present. Microman toys were originally imported to the United States by Mego Corporation as Micronauts until the company went bankrupt in 1982.
Some of the toys later became a part of the first line of Transformers. The line of toys consists mainly of small 3.75" action-figures that are known for their high number of articulation points, averaging thirty, relative to other toys of similar size. The toys include vehicles and robots, and interchangeable parts that can be transferred from one toy to another.
Vintage Microman Toys
In 1972, Takara released a series of 8" and 12" action figures called Henshin Cyborg ("Transforming Cyborg"). The Henshin Cyborg line was a spin-off of the earlier Combat Joe line. The Combat Joe line was created from the mould of the 8" and 12" G.I. Joe figures that Takara licensed from Hasbro. The body of the Henshin Cyborg was molded in clear plastic to expose the gleaming inner cybernetic implants and the "atomic engine". Since both the cost of producing and the large size of the vehicles and playsets for the 12" dolls were prohibitive, in 1974 Takara decided to produce a miniature version of the Henshin Cyborg line which was called Microman. The first series, Microman Zone, included four figures and several vehicles in kit form that needed to be assembled. Microman Zone proved to be popular and by its second year, the Microman line was spun off from the "Henshin Cyborg" line. Unlike other toylines at the time, Microman figures were marketed as being the "actual" size of the cyborg beings they were meant to be replicas of. The cyborg beings were said to hail from the fictional planet Micro Earth, and to disguise themselves as toys. All of the Microman toys used 5 mm connectors and ports, which allowed parts from one toy to be attached to another toy to form new toys.