Main
Features
 FOTD
 NYCC 2019
 SDCC 2019
 Toy Fair 2019
 SDCC 2018
 Toy Fair 2018
 HasCon 2017
 SDCC 2017
 Toy Fair 2017
 SDCC 2016
 Toy Fair 2016
 SDCC 2015
 Toy Fair 2015
 SDCC 2014
 C2E2 2014
 Toy Fair 2014
 SDCC 2013
 C2E2 2013
 Toy Fair 2013
 SDCC 2012
 C2E2 2012
 Toy Fair 2012
 NYCC 2011
 SDCC 2011
 Toy Fair 2011
Archives
 Books
 DVD
 Music
 Statues
 Prop Replicas
 Toys
 Video Games
Credits
Contact



Favorite Links:
16bit Tumblr
16bit Twitter
ASM
Awesome Toy Blog
Battle Beasts
Battlegrip.com
Doomkick
EE Podcast
Galactic Hunter
Glyos News
OSM News
Parry Game Preserve
Shortpacked
Toyfinity

Micro Trainer Machine Takara, 2004

Micro Trainer Machine Review Capsule
In 2003, Takara relaunched Microman not as toys, but as hyper-articulated collectible action figures. In 2004, they surprised collectors by having a table at San Diego's Comic-Con International, and they even brought an exclusive-- the Micro Trainer Machine, supposedly a training dummy for the other characters in the line. This super-posable and super-limited figure sold for an even $5.00.

Introduction

Takara released a few blank colored "Material Force" figures in Japan to customize, so fans could whip out a Spider-Man or some other famous character using their excellent templates as a base. These figures tended to be quite rare in the West, and few if any were priced low enough to warrant picking them up to customize. On the whole, the molds were the same as other Microman/Microforce toys except the heads looked a little like a fencing mask in some respects and was, as you can see, blank.

This is the first-ever Material Force style figure to be released outside Japan and as far as we can tell, Takara's first US-exclusive toy in this series. It was limited to a very small run, yet at the convention, there were virtually no lines to get it and it took almost the whole show to sell through. No Web sites reported its availability prior to the show, though, and as such nobody really knew to go looking for it. The production run is questionable-- a Takara representative told me they had produced only 800 units, yet a rep told the guy who runs Microman Forever that 1200 units were produced. Either way, it's a very low run.

With nearly 30 points of articulation and some swappable hands, there's a lot you can get out of these little guys, from a cheap model for figure drawing to a fun, low-budget toy. Of course, it's shaping up to be less a "low-budget" toy now on eBay.

Figure

Like other figures in the line, you start with a base that's fairly muscular and in an interesting change, the figure is in two colors instead of one.

It's basically a blank figure, much like a blank Kubricks figure or a LEGO minifigure. You can add on to it if you wish, but in the Microman storyline, apparently these act as a training dummy for figures like the Ninja, Gunner, and so on and so forth.

Overall, the figure's sculpt is on the flat side. Basically, it's a fairly muscular little man without a lot of texture, but he is insanely posable.

The figure also has fairly unique soles of his feet, which at this time serve no obvious purpose. There aren't any Microman figures that I have seen that would make use of these connection points, but they're here just the same for aspiring customizers or for future expansion.

The head is as generic as humanly possible, with no facial features. If you wanted to make a crack about his neck throwing up, here's a good place to put it. In theory, you could draw a smiley face on it, put a sticker on it, or carve it down to something else. Heck, since the limbs are designed to pop right off, you could even replace it with a head from any other similarly sized toy line, which makes it easier to put other accessories on it.

Jedi Microman? Hmm. The mind reels at the possibilities.

The figure's real fun comes from the fact you can pose it pretty much any way you can imagine a human to move. If you want to make a stop-motion film with people doing... well, anything, these would provide the best bases. There's not a lot new to this figure, and anyone that had other Material Force figures would probably be sad to see there's no new tooling, but if you're like most Western fans, it's new to you.

Accessories & Gimmicks

This figure includes a dozen interchanegable hands, and the stand introduced with figures starting in 2004.

The hands are a great extra, but without any weapons, they'll basically be used to express some sort of emotion when you pose the little guy, or will be whipped out when you're working on a custom figure or having him hold a gun. Like other 2004 figures, he includes a sort of "hand rack" for easy storage, which is much better than the small taped plastic baggie that we usually get.

The stand is generic, and a tight fit. It's not exclusive to this particular figure but is now included with virtually every new Takara Microman figure, which is good. The figures have no problems standing on their own if you take a moment to pose them right, but with the stand you can get some fairly extreme poses out of the figure limited only to your imagination and the strength of his ankle joints. (Note: the stand here is shot from the back and presented in a mirror image to improve legibility. The sculpting of the text and the Microman are on the bottom of the stand, the top is flat except for the two pegs.)

Packaging

He's packaged in several baggies.

His text reads as follows:

MICROMAN

Thirty years have passed since 1974 brought us the birth of Microman.
Now he has returned to us in a new form.
We entrust the new Microman to a new generation of caretakers,
to explore a coming future now shrouded in mystery.

COMIC-CON 2004

The vinyl sleeve has all the text on it, and this sleeve is in a taped plastic bag. Inside the sleeve, the figure, stand, and hands are each individually packed in a plastic bag. It's easy to untape and make it look like the packaging has never been tampered with, so fair warning.

Fin

While not filled with accessories or any real personality, the Micro Trainer Machine is a cool, durable and super-posable figure. He won't be as cheap as the other figures in the normal part of the line, but collectors might want to pick him up as the first US-exclusive toy in the line. It's ridiculously low production run will probably make it a classic if the line takes off in the USA, and considering that Takara and DC Direct are bringing many of these to the USA, we all hope it will.

Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased from Takara at Comic-Con International for $5.00 in July, 2004
Reviewed on August 3, 2004.

Other Toys
 Adult Swim
 Master Shake (Toy Fair)
 Battle Beasts Minimates
 Alligator (Toy Fair)
 DC Pocket Super Heroes
 Catwoman
 Emperor's New Groove
 Kuzco (100 Years of Disney)
 Final Fantasy VII (Japan)
 Cloud Strife
 Gladius
 Mongrel Man
 Go-Bots (Tonka)
 Leader-1
 Jurassic Park (2009)
 Tyrannosaurus Rex
 Kubricks
 The Count
 Lord of the Rings
  Ringwraith
 Microman
  Gatchaman
  Micro Trainer Machine
 Nightmare Before Christmas
 Jack Skellington Wind-Up
 Nintendo
  Samus Aran
 Q*Bert
 Q*Bert on Skateboard
 Real Ghostbusters
 Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
 Rockman
 Rockman 8
 (Ironbuster)
 Shockinis
 Toy Fair 2004 Figures
 Shooting Game Historica
 Vic Viper T301
 Shrek 2
 Dragon
 Spider-Man
 Spider-Man 2
 Magnetic Spider-Man
 Classics
 Spider-Man
 Spider-Man (Black)
 Venom
 Star Wars
 Boba Fett
 Titan A.E.
 Akima & Phoenix
 Universal Monsters
 Creature from the Black Lagoon (12")

16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal.
We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.