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Henshin Cyborg

Neo Henshin Cyborg

A photo of a Takara Neo Henshin Cyborg figure from 1998.

The original Henshin Cyborg, released in August 1972, was one of the more important action figures. It was Takara’s attempt to put a sci-fi spin on its 12-inch GI Joe license, Combat Joe, which wasn’t captivating Japanese kids. The Cyborg figure had a clear plastic body, techno-innards and had a crazy storyline. It sold like hotcakes so naturally Takara went wild.

The company went on to release Henshin sets containing costumes to transform Cyborg figures into popular characters of the day. Takara took the transformation concept even further with the release of the Cyborg Rider set which allowed kids to transform a Cyborg into a motorcycle.

As the cost of producing plastic increased in the Seventies, Takara decided to reduced the size of its action figures and this led to the creation of another influential Japanese toyline, Microman.

Takara has tried to revive the Cyborg line a few times. In 1998, it produced Neo Henshin Cyborg and in 1999, it produced Cyborg 99. Both figures were updates of the familiar concept but neither found much of an audience. In 2003, Takara released a reproduction of the original Cyborg-1 figure but this didn’t have much of an impact either.

Posted in Pix, Toys.

2 Responses

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  1. Richard Rivera says

    Very Interesting article. Do the original Cyborgs that were made in 1972 have any value being the first line? if so I do have an original cyborg. Also some costumes and gear for his little partner.

  2. Gobi says

    Richard, I’m not the best person to ask about the value. The Visible Innards forum might be a better place to get an answer.

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