Microchange was a subseries of Takara’s long-running microman. In 1981, Takara rebranded the Microman series (which reached back to 1974) as New Microman, introducing a new story that disconnected it from the long and deep lore of the previous generation of children. New Microman focused more and more on transforming accessories and vehicles for Microman.
By 1983, Takara noted that sales were concentrating more in the robots than the action figures, so they went with the flow and dropped almost all the regular action figures from the 1983 subline, dubbed Microchange. The line changed to include fully-fledged living robots, who were created to assist Mircoman with their battle on earth.
The initial wave of the line featured many real-life “everyday” objects that transformed into robots. An assortment of cassettes, guns, and toy cars filled various price points, and a lone Microman figure released in several colors. The line still featured a handful of mecha that still interacted directly with the 3 ¾” figures. The following year, they dropped the only remaining Microman figure, and presented several more transformable toys, again changing into various everyday objects (and a series of orbs or “comets”).
However, during the same year, Takara’s American partner Hasbro licensed a large number of Microchange and Diaclone toys and sold them in the US under a new brand name: Transformers. The experiment was a resounding success, and Takara cancelled Microman after 10 years’ run in order to focus all its attention on introducing the Transformers to Japan in 1985.
Before the Transformers, however, a few Microchange toys got western exposure through the Kronoform line, an attempt by Takara to market a mix of their robots directly to the US in 1983. The toys also saw some exposure in Europe as part of French Licensee Joustra’s “Diaclone” and Italian GiG’s Diaclone/Trasformers.
Despite its differences from the preceding eight years of Microman, and the demise of the line, Microchange lives on as the most recognizable portion of Microman outside Japan. Its designs contributed some the most famous early Transformers, and even those that were not used for Transformers have become highly desirable for collectors.
Ten tiny refugees from MicroEarth arrive on our planet after the destruction of theirs by the evil Acroyears - who arrive hot on the heels of these survivors. The Micromen get to building various robots and vehicles to track Acroyear movements, while the Acroyears start targetting innocent humans in addition to the Micromen. Featured toys include Lock Robo, Microscope Robo, RadiCasse Robo, and Scopeman. The entire document has been scanlated (recreated in English) by Bryan Wilkinson of the "Club of Spirited Boys" Microman Club blog. This thumbnail links to the first of four parts.