All About Diaclone

All About Diaclone

The Diaclone toy line first released in 1980 and is the series that started the widely popular Transformers toys. Although toy companies released changing robots previously, Diaclone made this feature it’s central purpose. This line of toys, released by Takara Toys in Japan, include robots and vehicles that transform. The Hasbro toy company then licensed Diaclone and Microman by Takara in the 80s to create the Transformers toys. Journey with us through the years and learn all about Diaclone toys, from it’s starting in 1980 to modern day.

The Original Diaclone Toy Line

Takara 1 inch Diaclone figure

The Diaclone original science fiction series of figures, playsets, and vehicles began in 1980 by Takara toy company. The name Diaclone comes from the words diamond (with the idea of unity) and cyclone (with the idea of power). Takara originally intended the Diaclone line to be a spin off of their largely popular Microman line. The Diaclone line shifted the scale of the Microman line, including figures that went from 3 3/4 in. (Microman) to 1 in. (Diaclone).

Shoji Kawamori and Kazutaka Miyatake designed these robot toys, incorporating popular Japanese toy trends of transformation and combining robots within the line. This toy line began entirely sci-fi with robots and spaceships but hit even more popularity with the release of car robots. The first of these was the predecessor of Sunstreaker, whom Hasbro claims to be the first ever transforming car-to-robot designed. This toy’s form based it’s design on a previous Takara toy, the “Cosmo Countach”. This toy comes from the Microman sub-line, “Micro Command” released in 1978.

Before the introduction of Transformers, these Diaclone toys were attempted to release around the world. Takara exported some Diaclone toys to North America as well as the French toy company, Joustra, that released various figures in Europe. Unfortunately, both of these lines met with very little success. In 1983, Hasbro toy company was all about Diaclone toys and Micro Change after discovering them at the Tokyo Toy Show. Hasbro then proposed the deal to make the Transformers brand.

Diaclone to Transformers

Hasbro transforming toy
Ref. Found on, all rights are reserved to the original photographer and toy company, Hasbro. Shown for education and entertainment purposes.

Next, as we discuss all about Diaclone toys, we dive into the transition from Diaclone to Transformers. Many well known toys and characters originated from Diaclone including: Autobot Cars, Dinobots, Deception Planes, Trainbots, Omnibots, the 1984 Optimus Prime, and more. When the planned 1985 Diaclone line ended, Transformers took it’s place. These abandoned toys from the 1985 toy line then incorporated and formed into the 1986 first Transformers toy line.

In 2002, the Takara Tomy Collecter’s edition line turned from Generation 1 series’ to taking the unused Diaclone Transformer molds and creating new characters. The first Diaclone refugees, Crosscut and Road Rage, were recreations of the original Diaclone toys. This first series, exclusive to e-Hobby by Takara Tomy, used the already lined up Generation 1 molds. Then, more than ten years later in 2013, the Masterpiece line built up enough molds for Car Robots. Because of this, they were able to start with the former mail-away, Tigertrack Diaclone.

The Diaclone Reboot

Diaclone Reboot toys

Next up, we take our journey all about Diaclone toys to 35 years after they first came out. In 2015, the Diaclone toy line restarted and relaunched as the Diaclone Reboot. This reboot first received recognition at the Tokyo Toy Show in 2015 with the announcement of these toys coming in winter of that year. The release of these toys in 2015 proved to be a hit as many fans found it both new and nostalgic at the same time. These figures showed similarities to the original Diaclone toys but had updates and new, sleek packaging. These toys have the ability to take parts and combine them into bigger vehicles or even robots. This feature started in the original line but improved throughout this Diaclone line. With the smaller scale of these toys, they focus more on the detail of their combined forms.

Diaclone Around the World

Diaclone logo

Now, we dive into the history all about Diaclone toys throughout the world. Although Diaclone was released around the world, sometimes licensed to other companies, this only made the popular transforming toys more of a hit.

The company Takara released these toys in the U.S. under the name, Diakron which were later released as three Transformers. Also in the U.S., the company Kronoform featured many Diaclone toys that, unlike the others, did not release as Transformers. In Finland, Takara released toys under the name Diaclone and included pieces from GiG’s Transformer line packaging, found in Italy. This Italian company GiG originally released these toys under the name Diaclone but changed it to Trasformer (spelled similarly to Transformers). These toys also released in France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The French company, Joustra, released the toys under the name Diaclone in these countries. Here, they featured a combination of Diaclone and Micro Change toys with new packaging and storylines.

Diaclone Catalogs

Diaclone 1980 catalog cover
Ref. Found on, all rights are reserved to the original catalog designer and publisher. Shown for education and entertainment purposes.

Lastly, we continue to learn all about Diaclone toys through these Diaclone catalogs. From it’s first release in 1980 to it’s last in 1985, these catalogs came out along with the toys. These catalogs featured bright colored covers and storylines to go along with the toys the company released. The storylines helped capture more fans and helped bring more life to these popular robots.

1980 Catalog

The first catalog came out in 1980 along with the first release of toys. The storyline begins with the discovery of Freezon Energy in the middle of Earth’s core. It also mentions the threat of the Waruder Army who continue to search all over for the Freezon Energy.

1981 Catalog

The second catalog came out in 1981 and introduces the Waruder Army’s side of the story. This story explains how the Waruder Army’s science led to an entitlement to all Freezon in the universe. The catalog features toys such as Robot Base, Big Powered, Warudaros, Gats Blocker, Dia-Attacker, Power Bases, Dashers, Dia-Train, Dia-Battles, and Cosmo Roller.

1982 Catalog (Early and Late Editions)

Ref. Found on, all rights are reserved to the original catalog designer and publisher. Shown for education and entertainment purposes.

The next catalog came out in 1982, at first as just a singular catalog but then later released that same year as an extended and revised version. In this story, the Diaclone Corps design robots that can turn into cars after the defeat of the first wave of Waruder Army assault troops. The 1982 later release first retraces the steps of the previous catalog. Then, it goes into the Diaclone Corps after their headquarters blew up. They prepare to attack the Waruder base while defending against any further attacks as they disguise themselves through transformation to cars.

1983 Catalog

Next up, we have the 1983 catalog. This catalog is unique with it’s large airbrushed art scenes throughout. The storyline begins again with the Diaclone Corps reconstructing their base while the Waruder Army begin building new mecha on earth. When the Diaclone Corps notice this, they continue building even more robots to keep guard of the army’s attacks. This catalog is also special since it features the first 12 Car robots.

1984 Catalog

The 1984 catalog tells the story of the unsatisfied Waruder general, Blue Star. This general travels back in time to grow an army of dinosaurs In response to this, the Diaclone Corps develop dinosaur robots in order to defend against the Waruder Army. This catalog features toys such as Car Robots, Dinosaur Robo, Insect Robo, and more.

1985 Catalog

The 1985 catalog is the final one of the series and continues on through the story of the Blue Star general. The general designs Machine Dragons with the intention of using them to control their dinosaur armies. The Diaclone Corps then send their Dinosaur Robo to fight the dinosaur army in order to prevent things from getting destroyed in cities on earth. The Diaclone Corps also set up new Car Robots around the Powered Convoys to block attacks from the army. With this being the last catalog before the transition to Transformers, only a few new characters released through this edition.

Do You Have Old Diaclone Toys?

If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your Diaclone toy collection.

Made in Collaboration with:

Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab Pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

   Keep up to date with our latest news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(will not be published, only used if contact is requested)