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Why Were Micronauts so Cool?

I have an interesting relationship with Micronauts. As a kid I didn’t have much of a collection. In fact, I only discovered they existed around 1984 – years after the Micronauts toy line was done and Mego (the company that produced them) had gone out of business.

The reason for my late introduction was pure chance – I saw a couple in a random discount store and begged my folks to buy them for me. They did and it sparked a fascination that’s stayed with me even as an adult collector. So, today I want to look what makes Micronauts so cool and collectible.

Baron Karza in centaur mode

Transformers Before Transformers

Ok, so that might be a bit misleading. Micronauts are done in the GI Joe, 3 and ¾ inch scale and Transformers are totally different! But what share is their Japanese heritage. Both toy lines were given a bit of a rework so that they would appeal to a more global audience and Micronauts where first. They started life in 1974 as Microman. They were produced by Takara who, of course, would go on to create Transformers.

Making Your Own Toys

A popular toy today is Mashers from Hasbro (My son loves them!). They make Marvel, Transformers and Jurassic World Mashers and the idea is that you can take an arm from, say Iron Man, and stick it on Optimus Prime! Micronauts were doing this 40 years ago and that was what I and many other kinds thought was so cool about the line and gave them a unique level of playability.

You could interconnect them with each other and have a lot of fun coming up with different combinations and as long as you had at least two Micronauts, you could do some pretty cool and innovative stuff thanks to the neat accessories like wings, battle armor, interchangeable vehicle parts and other great stuff that certain Micronauts came with.

Awesome Playsets And Accessories

Though the Micronauts were small, the world that they had to play in was huge. The vehicles and playsets looked really cool – there were a ton of them. As a kid, there were two things that really captured my attention. The first is the Stratastation playset which is like its own space station, complete with track and vehicle. This thing was awesome and something I wanted as a kid but had to wait over 30 years for!

The Stratastation was cool but there was another playset that was truly stratospheric – the Mobile Exploration Lab. This thing was/is totally awesome – part jet, part science lab and part robot all rolled into one! As an adult collector getting one of these in mint condition is one of my collecting grails!

 

Marvel created a long running comic book series which ran from 1979 all the way to 1986 and many Micronauts fans consider this to be the best incarnation of the Micronauts story. Image Comics and Devils Due Publishing would try and bring the Micronauts back to life in comic book form in the early 00’s, but it never really caught on. However, IDW relaunched the Micronauts comic book series in 2016 and just like they did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, did a great job with their take on the legend.

Cross Media Appeal

Micronauts
Marvel Comics! The Micronauts Issue 37

Time For A Comeback?

There has been talk of a live action movie and an animated series being in the works, but these stories seem to come and go. Hopefully the phenomenal success of The Transformers movie franchise along with the moderate success of G.I Joe will encourage one of the big studios to take a chance – let’s hope so.

Toy company Palisades did try to bring the Micronauts back In 2003 with the Retro Series and Hasbro tested the waters with a limited edition set released during the 2016 San Diego Comic Con. If Hasbro were to go all in and rerelease the line today I believe kids and adults would be super into it as this is one very fun toy line.

As an adult collector, I have found Micronauts a pretty fun and affordable line to collect. You can often find cool items at reasonable prices, though getting a loose one complete with all its accessories can be tough and some of the playsets, if in showroom condition, can be pricey. But hey, that’s life.

Though I came into them late I have fond memories of the Micronauts. What are you thoughts?

We also found this cool site Micronauts Gallery: Mego Museum check it out!

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