Takara introduced the Diaclone toy line in 1980, building upon the transforming robot ideas that they had been toying with in the Micro Change line. To help them develop these toys, Takara called upon the designing skills of Shoji Kawamori, who gained fame when he later created the Macross Franchise. The other designer that helped develop the line was Kazutaka Miyatake. With the assistance of these two designers and Studio Nue, Takara successfully brought Diaclone to the market.
They decided to design these toys to correspond with a pilot who was created at a 1/60th scale. Thus, most toys from the Diaclone toy line featured seats and opening cockpits for these pilots. This practice continued until the line was discontinued in favor of a more popular line that Hasbro helped develop.
Diaclone had a storyline that presented an enemy group that wanted to plunder the Earth’s resources, the Waruders. These plunderers were particularly interested in the Freezon Gas that had been discovered on Earth in 198X. In response to the Waruders’ invasion, they created the Diaclone army of robots. The name was a combination of Diamond and Cyclone, indicating the prowess of these robots.
The logo was created from the face of the largest toy from the launch of the Diaclone toy line, the Robot-base. The other experimental original toys were toys like the early combiner, the Dia-Battles. There was also the Dia-train and Cosmo-Roller. Otherwise, the toy line featured four small Power-Bases.
When Takara introduced the first Waruder toy, Warudaros, they used its head to create an emblem for that group. This figure combined three smaller toys, the Mosquider, the Arinder, and the Sasorander.
The line expanded to feature the Car-Robots in 1982. The concept behind the Car-Robots was invented by Ono Kojin. Most Autobots were pulled from the selection of Car Robots from the Diaclone line. However, the Constructicons also had their roots in the Car Robots line.
Diaclone had several sub-lines including Car Robots. There was the Construction Vehicle Robo line which featured six vehicles and a gift set. There were also three Dashers toys as well as five Dinosaur Robo figures. Moreover, Takara created three toys for the Double Changes line, 2 Triplechangers, and two Jet Plane F-15 Robo toys. There was a choice to buy either the three Insecter Robo toys separately or in a gift set. Otherwise, there was a selection of 12 Train Robo toys which also featured a 6-robot gift set.
Diaclone appeared in America before Transformers as the Diakron and Kronoform toy lines. Then, the French company Jousta also imported Diaclone toys to the European market.
Hasbro became interested in Diaclone when they witnessed the toy line at the 1983 Tokyo Toy Show. This event led to the creation of the Transformers brand, which also pulled on toys from Takara’s Micro Change line and other Japanese toys. Even though Hasbro did not include the drivers in their new toy line, the opening cockpits and seats meant for these drivers remained.
When Hasbro’s new toy line became an undeniable success, Takara canceled all future production of Diaclone toys in 1985. Rather than scrapping the planned toys, they integrated them into the new Transformers toy line.
Diaclone returned as a special edition recolors of G1 toys in 2002. These toys were offered through the Japanese retailer, e-Hobby. This format continued into the Masterpiece line, with mail-away Diaclone recolors like Tigertrack available to interested customers.
Meanwhile, Fun Publications in America provided the chance to purchase these Diaclone recolors. Many of these recolors were used to create Shattered Glass variants of the characters. They provided the chance to buy Diaclone recolors from 2009 up until they lost the license in 2016.
Hasbro and Takara began to offer Diaclone-inspired toys and reimagining within the Generations Selects toy line in 2018. Similar to Fun Publications, they recreated some of these toys as Shattered Glass characters.
Takara Tomy also officially relaunched the Diaclone brand in 2016. These toys were designed for adult collectors with more expensive, premium parts.
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How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toy lines
Do you have an old-school G1 Transformers toy you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! I’ll help you use this identification tool. For example, just type in “jet” in the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the Transformers G1 Toys that are jets. Maybe try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of Transformers matching those results will appear. Maybe you don’t know what the finished vehicle will make, so try searching by “red” only. Did you forget to remove “car”? Now search just the color “red”. Perhaps you know the name, but can’t spell it try “Wheljck” instead of “Wheeljack” and all the Wheeljack characters are listed for you.
We have all the G1 Transformers list of characters in our database. You can search by Transformers name, as well as just line or subgroup. You can identify Transformers that are all red or all the figures that are orange. The Transformers toy list can even be sorted by package type. You can identify which came with a sticker sheet, or which came without instructions. Want to know all the 1984 Transformers toys and none of the others from 1985-1990? No problem, just select the release year from “1984” to “1984”. Perhaps you just want to know the list of G1 Transformers “Autobots”, or just the “Decepticons”, our ID tool can do that.
Mostly we made this so you could see if your action figures were missing some accessories or parts. So you can see that too.
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