Mego Micronauts toy trade catalog February 1977

Mego Micronauts toy trade catalog February 1977

The “Micronauts” was a North American science fiction toyline manufactured and marketed by Mego Corporation from 1976 to 1980. The Micronauts was based on and licensed from the Microman toyline created by the Japanese-based toy company Takara in 1974. The toys featured miniature action figures featuring a cast of characters and vehicles. 

The Micronauts comic book series was created by Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden, published by Marvel Comics. The first issue of “Micronauts #1” was released in 1979 and was based directly on the toys. In fact, the comic series was the brainchild of Marvel Comics writer Bill Mantlo from when his son Adam opened a new present containing Micronauts on Christmas 1977.  The first comic series outlasted even the toys, running for 59 issues and two annuals to August 1984.

The story of “Micronauts” revolves around a group of characters who are shrunken down to a microcosmic universe known as the Microverse. They embark on adventures within this tiny world, battling various villains and encountering unique landscapes. The main characters include Acroyear, Biotron, Bug, Microtron, and Marionette, each possessing their own distinct abilities and characteristics.

1977 'Star Wars' movie poster British release

1977 Star Wars movie poster (British release)

While the “Micronauts” and “Transformers” toy lines emerged around the same time (the former in the late 1970s and the later in the early 1980s) and they both share similarities in terms of being action figures, they were distinctively different. After all, the Transformers clearly transformed – but the the Micronauts?  Well they interchanged!  Also note in the comic’s background Baron Karza’s striking similarities to Darth Vader.  No doubt more than one young child found their Star Wars action figures mixing it up with their Micronauts in a playful row, possibly (dread the thought) going so far as to even have Marionette marry Luke Skywalker rather than Leia!  

The specific comic book featured here was a lucky eBay win from the estate collection of Jerry Weist (1949–2011), a notable figure in the world of comic book collecting and pop culture. He was a collector, dealer, writer, and authority on comics, science fiction, fantasy, and related memorabilia. Weist’s contributions to the field have had a lasting impact, particularly in the areas of comic book scholarship and the preservation of pop culture history.