June 4, 2017: For Robot Fans: Takara's Diaclone Reboot
Three years ago, I pointed you at the Acid Rain World toyline and suggested that the setting would make an incredible GURPS worldbook. Transforming mecha and military action all wrapped up in one world, the Acid Rain series has continued, and the company still produces toys that eat at my bank account. The designs are spectacular . . . but those aren't the only robot toys capturing my attention these days.
Japanese toymaker Takara has returned to the early '80s with the new Diaclone Reboot toys that first reached stores last summer. What makes this line special is that the original toys are recognizable to many people, even if they don't know it. You see, those Diaclone toys that Takara made way back then were eventually licensed by Hasbro, brought to the U.S., and formed the core of the original Transformers toys. Hasbro's fiction surrounding the toys was so popular that Takara brought the American take on the toys to Japan, replacing Diaclone with the Transformers. It gets a little confusing, but the history surrounding the line is fascinating if you're into the business of toy sales and marketing.
So: Just what are the new Diaclone Reboot toys that Takara started releasing? By taking the toys from the '80s that did not find their way into the Transformers universe, and reimagining and modernizing those designs, Takara has launched a new world of small robot toys - with even smaller pilot action figures! - and the quality is far superior to the Transformers toys Hasbro releases these days. I've bought every release to date, and I can report that if you're at all into transforming robot toys, this is a series you cannot miss.
Check Takara's official website for the Diaclone Reboot, where you can find info on the toys, the story, lots of great artwork, and even a video showing the small Powered Suit designs in action. It looks like the new line is performing well, and I am sad that I'll miss Takara's special Diaclone day they're holding in Japan next month. I hope that any exclusive toys they release at the convention aren't too tough for me to chase down . . .
And, just as with the Acid Rain World series, wouldn't this make a remarkable GURPS worldbook?
-- Phil Reed
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