Category Archives: Toy History & Trivia

1985 Diaclone Catalog Banner

Diaclone Toy Catalog Scans Translation: 1985: a Powered Conclusion!

By 1984, the handwriting was on the wall. Transformers was the future of transforming robot toylines everywhere. Try as they might, Takara could no longer justify avoiding the introduction of the Robots in Disguise to the Japanese market. After all, they had all the brilliant engineering of Diaclone (not to mention Microchange), plus the benefit […]

1982 Diaclone catalog logo

Diaclone Toy Catalog Scans Translation: Early 1982: Introducing Car Robot Pre-Transformers

In my longtime fascination with Takara’s Pre-Transformers toylines, it’s always been interesting to see the many robot toys that were never selected for Transformers re-use. Diaclone started out as a somewhat different genre of robot sci-fi than the more familiar G1 tone of “Robots in Disguise”… these earler ‘mecha’ weren’t so disguised. They were gorgeous […]

1983-4 Diaclone Catalog Logo

Diaclone Toy Catalog Scans Translation: 1984: Dinosaur Robo Pre-Transformers

I’ve always had a fascination with Takara’s pre-Transformers toy series like Diaclone. It’s been mysterious, static, and just out of reach beyond the iron barrier of the Japanese language. Now, with a little technology, and a lot of persistence, Transformerland breaks that barrier with a full translation of a 1983-4 Diaclone toy catalog. With the […]

The notorious transformable block assembly.

The G1 Transformers Patent Table (and the reversibly transformable toy block assembly)

You wouldn’t know it by the avalanche of vintage knockoffs, but Hasbro had filed US Patents for nearly all of the original G1 Transformers. These legalese-named patents protect the “ornamental design” and often the transformation mechanism of classic Transformers characters, typically for up to 10 years. To the fandom, however, these patents present an interesting […]

WJ banner

Masterpiece Wheeljack: a Piece of Racing History (and who the heck is Exhaust?)

Wheeljack has always fascinated me. His alternate mode, the Group 5 Lancia Stratos Turbo, stood out like a sore thumb among the Autobot Cars: it was not quite an exotic like Sideswipe, though it was wide and flat, but it didn’t look like a racer either: certainly Mirage belonged in F1, and certainly Jazz belonged […]

Binoculars featured

The Rejected Robots #1 – Binocular Robo Scope Man

By 1984, it was clear that Takara’s long-running Microman toyline was at an end. Transformers G1 was having huge success in the United States, and Takara was gearing up to follow suit for 1985. However, a few more transforming robots were released in the Microchange sub-series. Transformers picked up almost all of these designs, as […]

Secrets from Diaclone unearthed: Ratchet and Ironhide hidden gun post storage

The Ironhide/Ratchet mold has always been one of the stranger Autobot Cars. For one, it’s not an exotic or sporty car, and for two, his robot mode is… not standard. Aside from all this, though, it’s the only Autobot Car design that can store robot mode accessories. The large circular socket in Ironhide/Ratchet’s belt buckle […]