Wednesday, July 27, 2016

1985 Japanese Takara/NTV Transformers Menko

Growing up in the 1980s offered a ton of new toy and electronic gaming options. I think most collectors today yearn for "the good ol days" of that entertainment bliss and I was one of the kids that caught the transformers craze and still have the original toys. Fortunately, my love for Japanese sumo cards has also afforded me the opportunity to collect other Menko Japanese, mini cards, and bromides from the 1970s and 1980s.  One of these menko sets is this 1985 Takara/NTV Transformers Menko Set. I have a feeling what I have here is only a partial set, but I couldn't pass up the artwork and nostalgia. They are printed on fairly thick cardboard and likely were distributed in boxes like most menko were.  This set is actually quite late for a menko set as the peak popularity was in the late 1970s.

This is the checklist I have so far:

- Alert
- Convoy
- Perceptor
- Slag
- Smokescreen
- Snarl
- Trailbreaker
- Wheeljack

- Condor
- Frenzy
- Hook
- Jaguar
- Kickback
- Megatron
- Megatron Combo
- Mixmaster
- Reflector
- Rumble
- Soundwave
- Thundercracker


  1. Those are really cool! I am about the right age for Transformers nostalgia, but for whatever reason they never really caught on with me when I was a kid. I know I had a few of the toys as well as some of the knock-offs, but I don't think I ever saw much of the movies or shows. I do like these cards, though.

  2. Oh wow, those are pretty cool. I was into Transformers pretty big time when I was a kid in the mid-80s, the first generation ones like that really appeal to me.

    Its kind of interesting from a Japan perspective since the Transformers were based on a couple of earlier Japanese toy lines called Diaclone and Micromen, both released by Takara which gave Hasbro a license to make them in the US. Then when they became popular in America they were re-released in Japan under the same Transformers name. So these are cards of a Japanese version of an American version of a Japanese toy.

    Another piece of trivia is that the Micronauts toy line in the US from the late 70s is based on one of the same Japanese original toylines (Micromen) as the Transformers.

  3. it so interesting how toys we got from the Japanese....from the tin toys of the 1950s/1960s....electronics in the 1970s and 1980s..Nintendo, Pokemon. Good stuff.

  4. These are AWESOME! Transformers (along with G.I. Joe) were my favorite cartoon for a two to three year period back in the mid 80's. I wish I would have kept all of my toys. I've actually considered a few times going back and buying some of them, but they're so darn expensive.

  5. RAZ - It was hit or miss too with all the goings on of the 1980s.

    Sean - I appreciate the nice little history lesson there. I went and searched for cards or menko of Diaclone or Micromen and didn't see anything that jumped out at the moment.

    Fuji - I was huge into both in the 1980s and would love to go back to collecting them again but they are expensive for sure.