Recent News | Old News

For those who dont know, I published the first ever issue of Micropola, a micronauts magazine. It's a high quality, color publication, professionally printed on a digital press. I had a limited run of 300 issues done just in time for the Con. Info on how to order the magazine plus a listing of it's contents and a picture of the cover can be found at the opening page of this site,


Minor update. I added a new section to the Henshin Cyborg area of the site (see Related Toys) for vehicles. It now showcases the Cyborg Rider and Cyborg Rider Three-Wheeler motorcycles, as well as an accessory set for the bikes. I also added new pictures of Kamen Rider V3 to the site. Look for lots of new pictures of costumes, accessories and figures, including the alien invaders, Android A, Ultra Seven, TAC Team Leader and more.

For those of you who haven't heard, Takara has released a new series of Microman figures in Japan, dubbed Microman 99 by collectors. While somewhat smaller than the originals, they are still nice looking, interchangeable and very much in the spirit of the original Microman concept. Alongside these new toys, Takara has also started releasing reproductions of some original Microman figures. The first out are repros of each of the four original barefoot Microman figures; M101, M102, M103, M104. These are the first Microman figures ever released, and are what Micronauts Time Travelers are based on. And yes, they do come with the original capsule as well. From what I can tell, prices are under $10 a figure.

Among other places, the best place to get these new figures (and tons of other toys as well) is FantAsia Toys. Go to The proprietor is at this very moment in Japan on a buying trip and will be back on the 16th of January. Look for lots of goodies at that time. Be sure and tell them who sent ya!


I've been working on a redesign of the entire Micropola site and its coming along well, though slowly. Once I get done it should be easier to find what you're looking for, especially in the Microman section. I hope to make it much more interactive so that you'll be able to search and view entries by year, type (figure, vehicle, etc.), name, etc. Of course I'll also leave the traditional listings by year up there as well.

I added a great many listings to the links page, so if you havent checked it out recently, you should do so.

I am still selling issues of Micropola, so if you're interested and haven't picked up a copy, check the link to your left, Micropola Magazine for info.

We are on track to produce the second issue of Micropola, #01, to hopefully be published in early December. Our intention is to double the amount of pages while dropping the cost. We have a huge amount of stories in the works for the second issue, but we're always taking submissions, including tips and tricks and custom figure and art pictorials. If you have an article idea, email the editor, Michael Jaecks, at [removed] with a brief description of your idea.


MicroCon 98 Special Report: Originally posted on the Micropola mailing list.

Day one; Friday:

Well, as most of you know, I was struggling with getting the first ever issue of Micropola out the door in time for the Con, so last week was wall to wall busy with last minute preparations for that, as well as arranging all the travel plans. Friday was an experience, as I had to pick up three people from O'Hare Airport, starting with Michael at 9am, Paul Lorphanpaibul at noonish, and Felix at 3:30pm. So it was a long day running back and forth to the airport! Actually, it started with me picking up the freshly printed copies of the magazine from the printer that morning, around 8am to be exact. We BARELY, and I mean JUST barely, got all of our respective toys and luggage packed into my Rover. It was a very tight fit, as I'm sure Felix and Paul will attest to, since they had to ride in the back seat with luggage between them! Hope it wasnt too uncomfortable guys!

The drive there was a bit long, made so by the construction traffic we encountered just inside of Indiana, but it was pretty enjoyable overall, since we all chatted about toys, Hello Kitty "toys" and various other topics. I always love talking with other collectors, so it was fun. And I'd like to take a moment to say that Paul is one of the coolest, nicest guys I've ever met! He was just kind and friendly, even bought my wife and I toys for our impending baby! We arrived in Toledo (hereafter referred to as Ghost Town, or GT) around 10pm, unpacked with the very attentive help of the bellboy and got into our rooms. Thanks to Erik Larsen for clueing me into the $65/night rate over the net. Saved some money on that.

The Radisson was great. Our room was really nice, pleasant, clean and large. Overall, the extra $6/night we spent (over the Best Western) was well worth it. And since both hotels were within 50 feet of each other and both were attached to the convention center, it was easy for us all to get together.

We did meet Ray Miller and Tom Vigneau in the lobby and all walked to the Big Boy around 11pm to finally eat a meal. Wow, what a mistake! It was possibly the worst service I've ever had in a restaraunt! Quite the experience to say the least. NEVER eat at the Big Boy in Toledo! After about 2 and a half hours, we wandered back to the hotel and all turned in around 2:30 am.

Day two; Saturday:

Saturday started WAY too early. It actually started with a phone call from what I presumed was the front desk, at 5:45 am. Well, it was actually Felix! The actual conversation went something like this:

"Hi, Michael?"
"This is your wake-up call!"
"Oh, ok. Thanks." Click. I hung up on him! And of course I wasnt Michael either. Hey, I was groggy!

Despite that, I did manage to get my ass out of bed and roll into the shower, which revived me for all of 5 minutes. So we got ready, got a bellboy to take our boxes down, and crawled into the con to set up.

First impression was, wow, big space. The dealer area seemed a bit better set up this year than last, and it seemed as if there were more dealers too. Michael's and my table was right next to Tom Vigneau and Ray Miller's table, so we could kind of pal around all day. Michael and I set up our stuff, with consisted mostly of loose spare parts and incomplete vehicles, etc. as well as two display stands with the magazines in them, one at each end of the table.

Then Michael and I took turns setting up the stuff we'd brought for display; Michael's awesome Geag display and my modest Henshin collection; both next to Tom's and Ruben's displays. And of course, I got my first glance at Ray's display of prototype artwork for the aliens! Having seen the high-res images on my computer, and working with them for literally weeks for the magazine, I have to say, I was still mightily impressed. It was worth going to the Con just to see that! And of course there were images in the display that arent in Micropola, so that was an additional benefit for con attendees.

As always, it was a pleasure to meet Ruben again, and even though his display was more modest this time around, it was no less impressive! I felt that Ruben's display really gave a good sense of the Microman line and the tighter focus was a benefit. Some of Ruben's newer pieces I was really looking forward to, including the Black Tiger tank and the awesome Rolling Thunder! Both new "must-haves" on my expanding list!

Michael also set up his custom figures which are simply amazing. This guy has more talent than he knows what to do with! My favorite was the Membros he'd done a while ago. Of the three first series aliens, this one kind of did it for me. The sculpt was original and refined, and the paint job was just brilliant. If I could have, I'd have walked away with that one! If we're lucky we might all get the chance to walk away with one next year...

As far as dealers go, there were no Japanese dealers at all. There was a french dealer, from Lulu Berlu, but the rest were US dealers. There was plenty of Micronauts around, though most at prices we net types tend to scoff at for the most part. Still, deals could be and were found. Felix had quite an amazing collection of toys for sale at his table, including some diecasts at to-die-for prices! I couldnt believe that they werent all gone by the end of the Con! Had I had the necessary amount of cash, that motorized Hound Tank would have gone home with me!

Skip Wallace, an offline collector, had a table across from ours and it was a real pleasure meeting and talking with him, having never met him before. Skip was just happy to have all these like-minded people in the same room with him I think! As we all were, no doubt. Skip sports some pretty damned cool tattoos, including one of the Microman logo and of the Hornetroid! Of course I snapped some digital pictures of those and will be adding them to my site!

A fair amount of people wandered into the con the first day, but not nearly as many as we'd all hoped. I kind of thought that the Mego 8" collectors might show up to fill out the convention a bit, but it didnt really happen, unfortunately. And actually, it was a bit their loss, as there were presentations by the sculptor who did a great deal of the Mego 8" figure heads, and by someone from Flattline productions (Charlie Flatt) who has been doing custom Megos for some time now. Flattline Productions is the toy company Charlie has formed and from what I heard they are going to be doing a highly detailed Dracula figure that will evoke the same feel as the original Megos. I'm gonna have to watch this, since I've always admired his work, even though I dont collect the 8" guys.

The sculptor from Mego also presented a great show on Sunday, highlighting all the prototypes that were never made! More on that in the next report.

Marty gave his talk sometime during the day, most of which I missed as I was tending to the booth. I did see the Acroyear prototype from a distance, and honestly, it was no big surprise to me as to what it looked like. Of course I was disappointed, but I expected to be so no big deal. And of course this was offset by the fact that Takara is going to be doing (hopefully) new Microman figures.

Boothwise, I personally did pretty well. I came home with nearly all of my loose parts and pieces gone. I sold and traded almost all of it! In fact, I dumped my incomplete Hornetroids first thing that morning and tucked away a goodly amount of money from that. Of course that money later went to pick up a Micro Robot W (which is very cool IMHO), one of Bob Adam's Randall Barker designed T-Shirts (awesome guys! Both of you did a great job!), and a few other small items.

But for the most part, I refrained from spending money on toys. I've got a huge debt with Micropola and felt the need to keep that in perspective. Having suffered through the dearth of items to buy at last year's con, I was actually pleasantly surprised at the amount of stuff there this year that I would have picked up.

I have to say the idea of bringing lots of parts and pieces to sell turned out really, really well. There were plenty of dazed and confused collectors milling about the room that came by the table literally dozens of times, each time rummaging through the parts bins, finding more things they wanted. If someone had done this last year, they would have made a fortune off me! I really felt that I helped to contribute to the well being of a few collectors, who were genuinely thankful for the opportunity to nab parts to long-incomplete vehicles and figures! I'm glad Michael and I did it.

Micropola sold decently, considering the low turnout. I havent tallied the issues sold yet, and I know the number is a bit low, but I feel ok about it. I think it's going to take some more work on my part to push this magazine out there, but I think given time, I will at least get my money back on it.

And for those of you who dont know, we decided in the car on the way to the Con that the price should be $12 instead of $15. So anyone who already sent money (thanks Elvis and Randall! Got it already!), you will be getting some $$ back with the magazine. So now it's $15 total through mail order, instead of $18. Seemed to make more sense, so we did it.

Speaking for myself, the issue came out great! I do this sort of stuff for a living and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality job that the digital printer did. They really impressed me. The color cover and the color poster in the center spread just look amazingly cool. I was happy with the way things turned out. The mistakes were minimal and miniscule (a miracle considering the rush job I did!) and I feel like I did the right thing by putting this out, even if I dont get my money back.

And I'd also like to take the opportunity to announce that there will be another issue, probably out in time for Christmas. Dont know if it will be color or what, but it will be more pages and it will be there. I've already got contributors lined up and I'm taking submissions now, so let fly with ideas!

A HUGE thanks to all contributors for this issue. I could not have done it without all of you. Sincerely, thank you. Especially thank you to Michael Jaecks for fronting a lot of money to make this a reality. We all owe you a LOT.

Back to the Con. We closed out the con and all met for dinner at around 6pm. There were 14 of us. We ended up at an ok chinese restaraunt through a roundabout way and proceeded to yak about toys and various crap for a few hours. Then it was off to the hotel lounge to sip drinks and talk more. We had some riotous conversations about Toledo and various other non-micro things, as well as toys of course. Overall, it was a very relaxed atmosphere and we had a good time. The evening just seemed to drag on though and we finally called it quits at a mere 12pm! So much for a blow the roof off soiree!

Day three; Sunday:

Well, thank god we didnt have to get up too early on Sunday. I think we rolled into the Con at 9am and the doors opened at 10am, and a huge multitude of like, at LEAST, 8 people came in...

Oh yeah. Sunday was altogether disappointing. For the last few hours of the con, I pretty much felt like there were no fans, just dealers, milling about like a bunch of unfettered cattle, constantly grazing over the remains on everyone's table...

On Sunday I took the opportunity to nail down a few deals; I bought a Micro Robot W off of Bryan, after he had second thoughts on purchasing it in the first place. Bry also brought my long-awaited (my fault, I'm such a slacker) blue opaque TT which completes my collection of the opaques, after 3 years of searching. I feel such closure on that! I also got a Takara Real Type Diaclone Bio Suit, which should kind of fit nicely with my original Biosuit. These were put out by Nitto I think? Pretty cool over all and the price was right ($9). I had my eye on a few other pieces, including a Beast Wars clear Gorilla guy (Optimus Primal?) on Felix's table and the Fujiko Mine Medicom. More about those later.

On either Saturday or Sunday I also did some parts trading with various people, including David Crouse! David was one of the mystery people who showed up; I wasnt expecting him or at least didnt realize he was coming. Dave is a great guy and has a very tolerant wife who is probably just now beginning to realize the extent of Dave's mania! God knows what she thought of all of us! Dave sold/traded me some great Terraphant parts which will help to complete my long-incomplete (going on three years?!) Terraphant at home. Dave also let me abscond with various Antron connectors and weapons to add to my Ant army!

Erik Larsen also showed up on Saturday and stayed over. He and I did a sweet deal for the future that should help us both out! Looking forward to it Erik!

Most of sunday was spent trying to obtain food, get rid of my headache and being terrorized by Kaleb who hung out at our booth and created all sorts of crazed abomination-like figures out of my spare parts bin! It was fun watching him work and he lightened my return load by quite a bit by the end of the day, so I was grateful. I always love watching people play with the toys, since I really dont play with them all that much. Willy too created a few metal man/lords of light combos out of my parts! These two guys are going to get added to my permanent collection!

Getting food at noon was an ordeal in itself. Seems that most of the places dont even stay open in Toledo on a Sunday. We finally, after three tries, were able to order a pizza and have it delivered to the Con, thanks to the efforts of Erik.

Later in the day, Ruben videotaped each of the people who had brought stuff for display. We each explained our collections, pointed out each piece and it's name, etc. Ruben threw in some questions he wanted answered and overall it was kind of fun sitting there and talking about the toys I brought. People seemed to really respond to the Henshin motorcycles I'd brought to the convention, especially the regualr motorcycle whose body is partially formed from a headless Henshin figure! It's a neat trick and it is very reminiscent of the Titan Dobers only on a larger clearer scale.

Michael also won the custom contest for best 3D work and best of show. Congrats Michael! well deserved.

By 3pm we'd started packing and getting our stuff out of there. We had to take Paul to the airport, which turned out to be a rinky-dink little airport about 25 miles outside of town (apparently they have problems with cows crossing the runways!). We got Paul there and kind of lightened our load and made a little extra space, since once again, we barely got everything in the car!

We had a pretty calm, leisurely drive back to Chicago, stopping once at a rest stop for food. Strangely enough, the car parked next to us at the Con was full of Micronauts toys! And we even got to see a guy in a skirt heading back to his car! Those wacky people in Indiana, I tell you...

We got Felix to the airport in plenty of time and he bribed the skycap people to check in a few extra boxes of stuff for him. And then the most amazing thing happened. As he was about to leave, Felix turned around and handed me that clear Optimus Primal I'd been coveting at the Con. He told me thanks for everything and for driving, etc. For once (and it doesnt happen often!) I was pretty much speechless. It was a very nice, selfless act of kindness on Felix's part that pretty much sums him up. He's a great guy and a pleasure to know and hang out with. I really appreciated his gift and the sincerity in which it was given. Thanks Felix.

And thanks to Paul as well, who gave me a cool little set of plushy toy things for my soon-to-be child! That too was a great act of selfless kindness that shouldnt go unrecognized! In fact, a few people gave me stuff out of the blue that I should recognize here really quickly:

Ray Miller - thanks for the cool Power Lords guy to add to my goofy bugs collection! I was told its not exactly a cheap toy either!

Felix - for supporting the magazine by taking a full page ad on the back cover! Make sure you all check out Felix's site and give him business, because it's nice, sincere people like Felix who deserve our business.

Paul - for the cool kid's toy. It really meant alot and I dont think I ever properly expressed my gratitude to you for it. And thanks for being such an all-around great guy to hang around with! We were definitely enriched by your company!

Michael - A HUGE thanks to Michael for fronting me a good deal of money to get the first issue of Micropola going. A truly selfless act that we all thank you for. And of course for being such a great friend!

I know I'm missing all kinds of stuff that happened at the Con. Oh yeah, Dennis said there is going to be a Micro/MegoCon again next year, definitely. I believe they want to try to hold it in NYC or New Jersey, which I personally think is a great idea.

Though I felt the turnout at this con was disappointing, I truly felt Dennis tried hard. I thought the range of toys was better this time around; the speakers were great and overall I certainly felt like I got and gave a lot more this year than last. I think Dennis realizes what a sour taste last year's con left in everyone's mouth and he seems pretty sincere about trying to make up for it. He still has a long way to go and I think there could be a lot of improvements, but he's on the right path. And with more of us contributing to the Con this year in terms of getting displays going and in terms of taking matters into our own hands and getting booths, I think it will only get better for us.

Being one of the more skeptical people going into this Con, I have to say my experience was pretty positive. I wish the fan turnout was better; I wish the location was better; I wish we would have had a toy in hand (I know I didnt get a toy at least!); I wish Dennis would take some time to let other people have some positive input to the Con.

For instance, things that could have happened for this Con:

1. Dennis could have possibly gotten the original Aliens paintings to display at the convention;

2. The program/book he was selling for $20 could have been a LOT better. It was pretty much like last year's which we all felt was pretty bad despite the best efforts of Ruben.

3. Once again the discussions and guest speaker things could have been handled better. At least this year Dennis seemed to be spending most of his time running the con instead of selling toys at his booth. I certainly appreciated that and the rise in organization was apparent. He just needs to step that up a few more notches.

4. I wish the t-shirts for the Con were printed better, and in four color. I of all people understand the costs and limitations involved, but if Bob Adams can print up a kick ass four color, two sided t-shirt with some amazing artwork on it by Randall Barker and sell them for $18 (I think that was the price?) then surely Dennis can do better with the printing job. And he's getting great artwork from Willy, so it's not that end of the deal. 5. The exclusive toy. A step up. At least this year we know what it is and that it's being made, even if it wasnt done in time for the Con. I know it wasnt really the fault of MIB that it wasnt there, but I think with enough early planning and effort, it can happen for next year. I'd REALLY like to see Dennis pursue the idea of having Michael sculpt a toy for next year's con. hopefully Michael will pursue the idea too. This should happen ASAP, as it's only a year away and we all know it takes time to get this sort of thing done.

Ron Pringle 


Welcome back everyone, to the new improved site! Just got back from MicroCon 98, held in Toledo, Ohio, and I will be posting a special report on it sometime this week.

For those who dont know, I published the first ever issue of Micropola, a micronauts magazine. It's a high quality, color publication, professionally printed on a digital press. I had a limited run of 300 issues done just in time for the Con. Info on how to order the magazine plus a listing of it's contents and a picture of the cover can be found at the opening page of this site,

The big news both at the Con and on other fronts: Abrams/Gentile Entertainment (AGE) showed off a prototype of the new Micronauts 2000 line. It was an Acroyear figure. The sculpt was nice enough, but it just doesn't have the flavor of the old Micronauts. Projected release date is spring and fall of the year 2000.

It also seems that Takara will be releasing both re-issues of classic Microman figures AND new figures for a new Microman revival line! More on this when it becomes available.

There is also a new mailing list especially for Micronauts, run by me from this site. It's called Micropola and you can subscribe by following the directions below:

To subscribe to the list, send the following command to [REMOVED]: subscribe micropola.

I believe you have to put the words in the body of the message but just to be sure, I'd put it in both the body and the subject line.