Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Takaras Diakron & Kronoform Part 1: Diakron


Source: eBay

With Takara producing toys for Italian toy company GiG since 1981, they decided to release the Diaclone line in North America to match the popularity in Italy. Renamed Diakron, a few of the Diaclone figures were repackaged and released in 1983 to test the market in toy stores such as Toys R Us and Kay Bee Toys. Unfortunately the figures released were not well received; there was no marketing campaign or background and the back of the boxes being the only catalogue for the toy line.


In June 1983, Takara had a booth at the Tokyo Toy Fair held in Harumi where they displayed their Micro Change and Diaclone line. One representative from Hasbro (Henry Orenstein) was in attendance; Takara and Hasbro signed a deal and the rest is history.

Late 1983 and 1984, Takara tried once more to market the Diakron line, rebranding the line Kronoform and releasing the figures that Hasbro did not select for the upcoming Transformer toyline. This time round Takara did try and market the toyline with television commercials and separated the figures into 3 factions, the Originators The Protectors of the Universe; Terminators Evil Robot Force and the Time Machines. Three of the Time Machines were released in Transformers packaging and advertised the other Kronoform Time Machines on the reverse.

Kronoform were on the shelves until around 1986 / 87 but due to the popularity of the Transformers, Kronoform disappeared much like Takaras own Diaclone and Micro Change line with Takara concentrating on the Transformers brand jointly with Hasbro.


Diakron


Welcome to the futuristic world of the Diakron, where Diakron commanders go on secret missions to protect their civilization against enemies. To disguise their movements, the Diakron commanders ride in special vehicles that magically change shape and transform into robot warriors, space ships, lunar landers and more!

Seven figures were released under the short lived Diakron line, plus a stand alone figure called "Kronoform" which was released in the Diakron styled packaging.

Multi-Force 14 Robot


Source: eBay

Source: eBay

Second version of the box, note the advert for the Diakron cars at the bottom. Source: The Gassy Autobot!


The Multi-Force 14 Robot (Art No 001) was released in 1983 and retailed for around $12.99. One of the more common Diakron releases this has two box variants. The later and rarer releases advertise the three available Diakron cars on the reverse. Five Inch Men came with the Multi-Force 14 Robot.

The Multi-Force 14 Robot also saw the following releases:-
  • Guts Blocker, Diaclone 1982 (Japan)
  • Dai-Gats, Diaclone 1982 (Italy)
  • Multiforce, Kronoform 1984 (North America)
  • Multiforce 14, Joustra Diaclone 1984 (France)
  • Alphatron, Grandstand Convertors 1985 (United Kingdom & New Zealand)

Power Dashers



Source: eBay

The Power Dashers (Art No 004) were released in 1983 and retailed for around $3.99. The 3 figures were released in identical cards and were given individual names: Aragon (the red car), Zetar (black & yellow drill) and Cromar (blue and red jet). These names were later transferred to the Italian re-releases under the Trasformer brand in 1984 which came on similar styled card to the Diakron versions. Each of the Power Dashers came with an Inch Man pilot.
The Power Dasher name was later used again, slightly changed to "Powerdasher" when these were released in the Transformer toyline as mail away figures in 1985.

The Power Dashers also saw the following releases:-
  • Dashers (F1 Dasher, Drill Dasher & Sky Dasher), Diaclone 1981 (Japan)
  • Dragster (Car), Perforer (Drill) & Bomber (Jet), Diaclone 1982 (Italy)
  • Scatter (Aragon, Zetar & Cromar), Trasformer 1984 (Italy)
  • Aragon, Zetar & Cromar, Joustra Diaclone 1984 (France)
  • Powerdashers, Transformers 1985 (North America)

Diakron DK-1


Source: eBay

Diakron DK-1 (Art No 811) was released in 1983 and retailed for around $8.99 and came with an Inch Man pilot. The box had two packaging variants, the inside tray either held the figure straight or slightly at an angle; the above example shows the "straight" variant. The following year in 1984 the DK-1 was repainted yellow and released as Sunstreaker in the Transformers toy line.

The DK-1 saw the following releases:-
  • Countach LP500S Super Tuning, Diaclone 1982 (Japan) - released in red and a white police variant
  • Countach LP 500S, Trasformer 1984 (Italy) - released in both red and yellow and a white police variant
  • Countach, Joustra Diaclone 1985 (France) - released in yellow although box art shows the red version.
  • Sunstreaker, Transformers 1984

Diakron DK-2


Source: eBay
Diakron DK-2 was released in 1983 and retailed for around $8.99 and came with an Inch Man pilot. The box had two packaging variants, the inside tray either held the figure straight or slightly at an angle; the above example shows the "straight" variant. The following year in 1984 the DK-2 was repainted red and released as Ironhide in the Transformers toy line.

The DK-2 saw the following releases:-
  • Onebox Cherry Vanette, Diaclone 1982 (Japan) - released in black
  • Onebox Cherry Vanette, Diaclone 1984 (Finland) - released in red
  • Cherry Vanette, Trasformer 1985 (Italy) - released in both red and black
  • Ironhide, Transformers 1984
  • Ironhide, Transformers Classic Heroes 1990
  • Ironhide, Transformers Collectors Edition 2001
  • Ironhide, Transformers Encore 2007
  • Ironhide Protect Black, Transformers e-Hobby Exclusive 2008

Diakron DK-3


Source: eBay

Diakron DK-3 was released in 1983 and retailed for around $8.99 and came with an Inch Man pilot. The box had two packaging variants, the inside tray either held the figure straight or slightly at an angle; the above example shows the "angled" variant. The following year in 1984 the DK-3 was repainted black and released as Trailbreaker in the Transformers toy line.

The DK-3 saw the following releases:-
  • 4WD Hilux, Diaclone 1982 (Japan) - released in black, blue or yellow
  • 4WD Hilux, Trasformer 1984 (Italy) - released in blue or black
  • Toyota 4x4, Joustra Diaclone 1984 (France) - released in black
  • Tralbreaker, Transformers 1984
  • Trailbreaker, Transformers Collectors Edition 2001
  • Trailbreaker, Transformers Encore 2008

Kronoform

Source: eBay

Released in 1983 retailing for around $12.99, technically it could be argued that the Kronoform Robot Time Machine it is not part of the Diakron line; it does not feature the Diakron name yet the packaging design and text font is identical and its name "Kronoform" is a precursor to Takaras toy line released the following year. The figure came in 3 colour variants: black, gold or chrome. It was eventually released in the Transformers toy line simply called "Autobot" in 1994.

Kronoform saw the following releases:-

  • MC06 Watch Robo, Micro Change 1983 (Japan) - released in gold, chrome, black or blue
  • Watch Robo, Watch-Q 1984 (Japan) - released in gold, chrome or black
  • Watch Robo, Watch-Q Series 2 1985 (Japan) - released in gold, chrome or black
  • Robot Clock, Trasformer 1984 (Italy) - released in gold, chrome or black. The box art is near identical to the 1983 Kronoform release
  • Watch Robo, Microman 1984 (Finland)
  • Crono Robot, Trasformer 1984 (Italy) - released in gold, chrome or black. 
  • Kronoform, Kronoform 1984 (North America) - released in gold, chrome or black. 
  • Kronoform, Joustra Diaclone 1984 (France)
  • Autobot, Transformers Generation 2 1994

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