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or Six Degrees of Separation
Just as Barbie inspired G.I. Joe, which in turn inspired Henshin Cyborg, so too did Henshin Cyborg inspire other toys. While in the midst of the Henshin Cyborg line, Takara decided they needed to make a scaled-down version of Henshin so that they would better be able to design playsets and vehicles for the figures. This was an especially important social and marketing issue for the company because, as you might have noticed, Japan is a series of small islands and space is a commodity.
From this concept was born Microman Zone, the first series of Microman figures ever made. The early figures are almost exact replicas of Henshin Cyborg. Microman took off and ran concurrently with the Henshin Cyborg series for a number of years, outlasting the Henshin series. During this time, Mego licensed a subset of the Microman line and introduced them to the US as Micronauts. The Micronauts became Mego's bread and butter all through the mid to late 70's replacing the waning popularity of Mego's cloth 8" Super Heroes line. From the Micronauts' demise was borne a whole slew of different toy lines, including the Lords of Light, the Inter-Changeables, the Fantauti and the AstroWarriors.Meanwhile Microman begat New Microman in late 1980 or early 1981. New Microman went on for a number of years until 1985, at which time it was discontinued and part of it's later product line, called Micro Change, was retooled and repackaged as the Transformers. And of course, the Transformers are still with us, currently as Beast Wars.