Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Micronauts Return!

Some big news today about the return of the Micronauts.

From Toy News International --
During Hasbro's 2009 Fall Investor Day Event held today at their headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, they announced the re-introduction of the classic toy line Micronauts originally created by Japan company Takara in 1974 under the name Microman and later launched in the United States in 1976 and backed by a Marvel Comics comic book series in 1979. As many know, Takara is the same company that originally invented the Transformers line and continues to work with Hasbro today. No specifics were given by Hasbro's Brian Chapman (VP if Hasbro's Global Designs) about what we can expect from the Micronauts brand other than that we can expect Hasbro to revise, reinvent and re-ignite the brand so it is exciting for fans old and new alike. There also was some indication that a television series and/or major motion picture could be in the works for this brand.

From SuperHeroHype --
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, "Lost," "Alias") is in talks to produce a movie about the Japanese interchangeable toys Micronauts, which Hasbro just acquired.

First released in Japan in 1974 (under the name Microman), the toys were imported to the U.S. by the Mego Corporation in 1976. The line consisted of 3.75-inch tall toys which used a universal, five millimeter inter-connective design. Mego cancelled the Micronauts line in 1980. In 2002, Palisades Toys bought the rights to reproduce Micronauts.

The Micronauts comic books were published by Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and Devil's Due Publishing. Their first comic appearance was in "Micronauts #1" (Marvel, Jan. 1979) with characterizations created by Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden.

Abrams tells the newspaper that those who doubt whether a board game or science-fiction toy should be accorded star status will be proved wrong.

"Sometimes, when someone is not a celebrity and you are casting them in a role, everyone who is in a seat of authority voices questions about that actor's talent, sex appeal, looks, ability -- their everything," he says. "But then they get the role, and suddenly they are on the cover of every magazine, and nobody questions those things again. In retrospect, everyone says, 'Of course that person is a star.'"

The Micronauts are one of my all-time favorite toy lines. I still have them all, including all of the aliens with glow-in-the-dark brains, Force Commander, Hornetroid, Terraphant and lots more. Sadly, I never had Baron Karza. The Marvel Comics series was also one of my favorites. Since Hasbro now has both the Micronauts and Marvel licenses, it would be cool if they released figures of Commander Rann, Mari and Bug.


DocManj said...

Awesome! My favorite toys when I was a kid, and one of my favorite comic books. A movie or cartoon based on the Micronauts would be fantastic - especially if they use the comics as a guide.

Azathoth said...

I think I still have a bunch of the old comics filed away in a comic storage box someplace, great stuff!

Not too sure how I feel about talk of a movie - as much as I love a lot of these sorts of things from the 70's and 80's, I really wish Hollywood would get over its obsession with re-making (and in most cases not very well) things just to make a quick buck.

It would be rather refreshing at this point to see even one original idea come out of that cesspool of no talent hacks. About one more crappy re-invention of some beloved chunk of nostalgia from my childhood is all I can take and then I'm very likely to go postal.