Hasbro Equivalent: Generation 1 (1984 and 1985)
Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers was the wordy name given to the first series of Transformers G1 in Japan. The concept line was initially called Henshin Sentai Transformers (Transformable Squadron Transformers), and Takara wanted to unite the stories and universes of Diaclone and Microman: Microchange, but after Hasbro’s massive success (massive sales) in 1984, Takara assented to adopting the story model pioneered in the West. FSRLTF debuted in 1985 after the cancellation of both of its ancestral series.
Since FSRLTF was a year behind Hasbro’s G1, it included almost all of the releases from both 1984 and 1985 US product. All the releases were sold in Japan in their later variants, with the mold changes made after some 1984 toys experienced, as well as the addition of rubsigns to all releases. The most prominent omissions from Japan’s lineup were toys licensed by other manufacturers and brands for sale in Japan, such as Omega Supreme, Jetfire and the Deluxe Insecticons. A scant few Takara-designed toys were also omitted for unknown reasons, such as Ironhide and the Jumpstarters, while others were only available as mail-away exclusives, such as Ratchet and Dirge.
Beyond these omissions, FSRLTF bore other differences from Hasbro’s G1. Megatron was quite different from his US counterpart, lacking chrome and including an entirely different set of accessories, based on the prior non-UNCLE Microchange Gun Robo release. Missile launchers included with the toys used much stronger springs than those in US G1, as toy safety regulations were different in Japan at the time. Another note of interest is the less defined boundary between Transformers and Diaclone/Microchange in Japan. The packaging style of FSRLTF more strongly resembled Diaclone than the US releases, retaining styrofoam trays in place of blister packaging in shadow boxes, or in the Devastator/Devastor giftset’s case, maintaining the aspect ratio of the Diaclone box instead of the new box size marketed in the West. The unique Japanese names for figures and their weapons also bears stronger resemblence to pre-Transformers lines, such as Convoy (Diaclone: Battle Convoy) and Ligier (Diaclone: Ligier JS11 F-1), or Meister’s “Freezon Cannon” (Freezon being the energy source that Diaclone Corps fights to protect).
The series was a great success in Japan, much like its Hasbro forerunner. Choosing to brand each year of Transformers slightly differently, Takara would market the subsequent 1986 series as Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: 2010.