#1805: Izam



While I’ve touched on its American cousin, Micronauts, a number of times for this site, I’ve only actually looked at the original Microman line twice before.  The line initially began as a 3 3/4-inch-based line, and has mostly lived on in that fashion.  However, for a brief period of time in the late ‘90s, Takara attempted to mix things up, rebranding the line under the Magne Power banner and shrinking the basic figures down to 2 1/2 inches.  Though ultimately short-lived, it’s an interesting cross-section of the line.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of its figures, Microman Izam!


Izam is figure 002 in the Microman Magne Power line, the second member of the main team of Micromen from the launch of the line.  The figure stands 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  Izam’s sculpt is largely identical to that used on all of the main Magne Power team members.  It’s sort of rudimentary, especially when compared to some of the more recent Micromen.  It’s certainly a product of its time, and possesses some strong ‘90s vibe.  That said, compared to the Demon Acroyear I’ve already looked at, he’s definitely got more reserved proportions.  Also, for whatever reason, all of the early figures had this weird magnet attachment on the left arm, which removes the elbow joint.  Odd choice, but he’s still got the swivel, so it works out alright.  His one unique piece is his head, which is a pretty fun sculpt.  He’s wearing a helmet, which has a bit of a Wolverine vibe to it, because hey, it was the ‘90s.  It’s really angular, and definitely fits well with the body.  Each of the initial figures had their own distinct color scheme to help keep them separate from each other.  Izam is purple and grey, with a predominately clear body.  It’s more reserved than you tend to see from this line, but it is certainly pleasing to the eye.  He’s got the standard chromed head, which clashes ever so slightly with the gold sections, but it’s decent enough looking.  There were no accessories included with Izam, but he does have four magnets built in: one in his torso, one at the end of his left arm, and two in his feet.  It makes him rather handy for sticking to fridges and the like, which is certainly nifty.


I missed this whole thing when they were new, since the line was exclusive to Japan.  However, I came across the line during my freshman year of college and ended up tracking down a whole assortment of them.  Izam was amongst those.  I wasn’t really expecting much out of Izam, but he ended up being one of my favorites of the basic line.

#0634: Orion Vs. Onigumo




Okay, now for something completely different. So, I had initially planned to review the Ant-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series Ultron today, but…things decided not to agree. Essentially, I’m out of town with a broken computer without access to a fair portion of my files, which includes the Ultron images (and a few of my Giant-Man images as well, hence the slightly lighter entry yesterday). Things should be fixed when I get back, but until then, I’m at the mercy of what I have access to currently.

Amongst the things I have access to are these guys, Orion and Onigumo. Who are they? They’re part of the long running Microman line, my fandom of which I’ve kept no secret. The line went on hiatus a few years back, but before doing so, they did their best to keep it alive for as long as possible. Their last attempt was to pair it up with a Super Sentai show, called Wecker Signa. The show’s designs were based on existing pieces in the Takara library, allowing the tie-in figures to use as little tooling as possible. It was ultimately unsuccessful in its goal of saving the line, but it did get out a few sets of figures.


This pair was released as set 03 in the Microman Wecker Signa line, released in Japan by Takara. They are both based on the designs of their respective characters from the Wecker Signa show.


WeckerSigna2Orion is one of the mentor figures of the show’s main team, at least I think. There’s not really a lot of info on the show available here in the US, so I made due with what I could find. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic Microman body, with a few add-on pieces. The base body is a little bit dated by today’s standards, but not horribly so, and it was very good at the time. Some of the joints are a little loose, and the right arm has a little difficulty staying on, but I think that’s limited to mine. Most of the add-ons are re-used from Microman Shouma, with the exception of the head. The armor parts are all nicely handled and snap onto the body pretty well, so that’s good. The head is the defining WeckerSigna3piece, and it’s pretty great. I like the sleekness; it looks like a cross between an Ultraman and a Power Ranger, which is certainly fine by me. The paintwork is rather important here, much more so than the usual Microman. The colors are nice and bright, and everything is pretty clean. Vac Metallizing is used heavily, but that’s hardly shocking to see. It’s done well and accents the normal paint very nicely. The figure includes six pairs of hands in varying poses, a lightsaber-like sword, a stand, and an extra, more-Microman-inspired head.


WeckerSigna4This guy seems to be one of the show’s big bads, so, there he is. The figure is also about 4 inches tall and has 28 points of articulation, though he does have a little but more at times, depending on how he’s set up. He too is built on the standard body, with most of his add-ons coming from Acro Hidou. The re-used parts are nicely sculpted and appropriately creepy, though they lose a lot of their edge here. I like that you can reconfigure the armor into different layouts, but other than that, ehh. He’s also got a unique head sculpt. It’s…accurate to the source material. Can’t really say much more about it. I don’t really care for his design and I care for it less in WeckerSigna5action figure form. In addition to the sculpted pieces, he’s got a faux-leather cape. It’s alright, but hard to get it to sit properly under the armor. Paint is what really pulls this guy down. While Orion still stuck with the more traditional Microman style, Onigumo really diverges, which makes his seem rather bland. Still, what’s there is cleanly applied, so I can’t say they did a bad job, just a somewhat boring one. In addition to the armor and such, Onigumo is packed with three pairs of hands, a sword, and a display stand. An extra, chrome head would have gone a long way here, but, alas, there is none.


It’s Tim’s fault. Again. See, while we were messing with our Assemble Borg stuff, I noted the similarities to some of the Microman figures I had a while back. I pulled them out, and Tim decided he had to get some of his own. Which meant he informed me of how easy they were to find on Amazon. And like that, I was pulled back in. I’d be lying if I said I bought this set for both figures. I liked the look of Orion, and the price for the set was about what I’d have been willing to pay for him by himself, so I got both. In hand, I love Orion. He’s a lot of fun. Onigumo…not so much. He’s not terrible, and with a little bit of tweaking, you can make him suck a bit less. However, there’s still a clear star here, and it’s Orion all the way.


#0073: Demon Blue Acroyear



Today’s review comes from if from the line Microman, a toyline that is more influential to the toy industry than many people would realize.  The line started in Japan in the 60s, and it’s been imported to the US under three separate names.  The first was Mego’s Micronauts line in the late 70s, which reused a bunch of Microman molds with new names and color schemes.  The second is the one most people know, Hasbro’s Transformers in the 80s.  This connection is generally lost, based on Hasbro’s desire to make the line its own thing.  More recently, the line has been brought back under its original name, but the line’s never really died down in Japan, just been rebranded numerous times.  The line always featured heroes with chrome heads, and most of the time the heroes faced the villainous Acroyears.  I’ll be looking at one of the Acroyears today.


This version of Acroyear was released as part of the Microman Magne Power line, which was the branding of the line during the 90s.  He was part of a whole series of Demon Acroyears.  The figure was offered in red, green, and blue.  I have the blue one, mostly because it was the one I found.  The Magne Power line showed a break from the typical Microman style in scale.  Traditionally the figures have been in 3 ¾ inch scale, but Magne Power was closer to just 3 inches even.  Acroyear himself stands about 3 ½ inches tall, and has 11 points of articulation.  His sculpt is lanky and textured, and is slightly reminiscent of Transformers in the 90s.  The figure is light on paint, instead relying a lot on pieces molded in the appropriate color.  Part of his head and his upper torso are vac-metailized to give them the appropriate chrome look that the line sports.  The chrome is accented by a translucent blue color, which is a neat combination.  The Acroyear included 3 small sphere-shaped missiles that can be launched out of the cannon on his right arm.


Though this figure was released in the 90s, it was only released in Japan.  As such, I only had the chance to get him when online stores started to hit it big.  I picked Acroyear up a few years ago along with a bunch of other figures from the Magne Power line.