Machine Robo Series

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A 1984 toy store flyer for the series.

The Machine Robo Series was the first assortment of Machine Robo figures, initially produced by Popy and later Bandai. The range encompassed 54 figures released from 1982 to 1985. Due to the figures retailing at ¥600 (around US$2-3 in 1982) the range is informally known as the 600 Series among fans and collectors. Many of the toys were reissued in varying packaging alongside newer releases, while four Machine Robo Best 5 giftsets were also made.


Each figure retailed at ¥600 and came in a small rectangular box, packed in robot mode. The packaging was of high quality, with a picture of the robot mode in portrait orientation on one side and the vehicle mode in landscape orientation on the other, featuring a polystyrene tray and lid inside the cardboard box, an instruction leaflet (during 1982 to 1983, this portrayed the figure's transformation as a short manga-style comic strip) a sheet containing additional stickers for the toy and a product catalogue. The toys themselves were a mix of diecast zinc alloy and ABS plastic, and many of the vehicle modes were based on designs suggested by children.

Machine Robo Series figures[edit]

Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos[edit]

When the line was reinvented as Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos a selection of Machine Robo Series figures were reissued. As per the rest of the line these were distributed among the Battle Tribe and Jet Tribe. While the boxes bore new reference codes the stamps on the toys were not updated and the figures themselves were unchanged from the original releases.

Battle Tribe[edit]

Jet Tribe[edit]

Compatible Toys & Sister Ranges[edit]

The Machine Robo Series was the backbone of Machine Robo and much of the range was built around them. The Jet Garry, Combat Buggy, Battle Base and Battle Suit were made specifically for interaction with the ¥600 toys, while the Devil Invader Series toys were scaled to match them. Jumbo Jet Robo, a Japan Airlines exclusive, was designed by the same team as the Machine Robo Series with the same characteristics, though collectors are divided as to whether it 'counts' as part of the range or not.

Unreleased Figures[edit]

Numerous designs were considered for the range that went unreleased, and several made it to the prototype stage. A group of the latter toys were released as GoBots in the third series of Tonka's toyline and were never released in Japan. No planned Japanese names are known for these prototypes.

Other designs that made it no further than the concept stage included:

Carded versions[edit]

As well as the boxed versions of the Machine Robo Series figures many of the toys were also issued on blister cards, for kiosk sales in gas stations and the like. The toys themselves were unchanged, still including the instructions, sticker sheets and a catalogue. All used the same card, featuring a similar colour scheme to the initial Popy releases. From 1986 the kiosk versions switched to a rainbow card; this range included the figures not reissued in boxes alongside the Revenge of Cronos figures.


  • The range was a resounding success, and by 1985 had registered 13.1 million units sold in Japan - an average of around 250,000 per figure.