Henshin Cyborgs (Changing Cyborgs) were an extremely badass 12-inch action figure line produced between 1972 and 1974 by the Takara toy company in Japan. Instead of designing the entire toy from scratch, Takara used their recently acquired licence to sell G.I. Joe figures in Japan and cast a clear version of the 12-inch G.I. Joe, while adding a chrome internal 'chest engine' and cyborg skull.
|(GI JOE & HENSHIN CYBORG)|
The cyborg's internal parts came in four colors; silver, blue, gold and flat grey. You could also buy accessories for them, including costumes of popular Japanese TV show characters like Kamen Rider and Ultraman (see video below)... but who would want to cover up these awesome toys with goofy clothes and masks?! If you want to play with Ultraman, go buy a fucking Ultraman toy, not a Henshin Cyborg.
During the initial release of Henshin Cyborg, their retail value was around $10 (¥1,000) per figure, but now due to the fact that they were only sold in Japan and only for a couple of years - they can go for anywhere between $200 to $600 each, depending on the condition.
Henshin Cyborg also had several villains to face off with, the leader being King Waruda. There were several incarnations of King Waruda that came in different colors and original armored disguises. There was even a miniature version of him that was only sold in the UK called MUTON. Later the miniature version was released in Japan in different color variations. I will go into detail about King Waruda in a later article.
|(My mini King Waruda aka King Waruda Jr. with a proton pack that I gave him)|
Living in Tokyo and frequenting shops like TOY CATS, I come across these bad boys fairly often. However, upon discovering them for the first time, I wondered why I had never heard of them before. They were just too cool not to have seen or heard about. You too may be wondering why you've never heard of these guys... but they are just the tip of the cybernetic iceberg...
Stay tuned tuned for more about the Henshin Cyborg action figure line and click here to learn about Henshin Cyborg's little brother, Microman.
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