Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mego Micronauts Baron Karza

The Micronauts were a toy line that debuted in the US in 1977. Like Shogun Warriors (from Popy), they were created by a Japanese toy company (Takara) and imported by a US toy company for sale in the States. In Japan, the line was called "Micro Man" but Mego Corp. renamed the line "Micronauts" and sold it in the US.

The Micronauts were a bit ahead of their time. They were a fully-articulated line of 3 3/4" inch figures that pre-dated Hasbro's 3 3/4" articluated GiJoe line by 5 or 6 six years. Although most of the figures were around 4 inches tall, there were some larger figures in the Micronauts universe. The subject of this post is one such figure. This is Baron Karza. He was kind of the "big bad" of the Micronauts line. Although Mego didn't really provide much story for the toy line, Marvel Comics produced a series of comics that did flesh out the story of the Micronauts.

Baron Karza is about 6" tall and uses a fairly unique mechanism for his articulated sections. Magnets. His shoulders, neck, and hips are all magnet joints that can be pulled apart and then put back together... in crazy configurations, if desired. Baron Karza's magnets also allowed him to be combined with a black magnetic horse toy called Andromeda to create a Centaur version of Karza.


This example belongs to my younger brother (but currently resides in the Yesterville Archives). As a kid, I didn't have any Micronauts because they were being sold alongside Kenner's brand-new Star Wars toy line. Consequently, my allowance usually went to something Star Wars while my brother tended to be a bit more "open" to other toy lines. As an adult, I can now see just how cool this line of toys was. These toys seem to have a nice, quality build to them that you just don't see all the time. Baron Karza is a fairly heavy, solid-feeling figure with loads of play value.



Like Shogun Warriors, Karza has projectile fists that shoot off at the touch of a button. Also included with the Baron were two large cone-shaped missiles and several small 1/2" red missiles (not shown...long gone). Both kinds of missiles could also be shot from Baron Karza's wrists or the missile port in his stomach. There was even a missile storing attachment included that could be carried on Karza's back and a pair of non-firing "missile silo" arms.




The good Baron with a smaller, more-typically sized Micronaut, Pharoid.

For information on the Micronauts Time Traveler (similar to Pharoid but the most recognizable figure in the series), please see Iok's (from That Figures) excellent post on the figure and the Micronauts series, in general:

MICRONAUTS TIME TRAVELER


The Micronauts were an insanely cool toy line that truly stood out on toy shelves in the late 1970s. They really had a unique look and unique set of play features that set them apart from other toys.

Karza looks awfully Vader-esque, don't you think? Coincidence?

15 comments:

  1. I love the Micronauts! I still have my childhood figures, including the aliens and Force Commander. But, I never had Baron Karza :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funnily enough, I was just thinking about posting a feature about the Baron yesterday. He's a superb figure and a lot of fun, especially if you combine him with Andromeda (his horse) to create a centaur-style creature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Erick... that's really cool that you have all your childhood figures. Sadly, all I have left of my brother's collection is Karza and Pharoid. I have been feeling "the bug" to pick more of them up, though.

    Iok... I hope that you will still do your post on Baron Karza. Your post on the Time Traveler was very thorough and entertaining. Plus, I'd love to see what Karza looks like combined with Andromeda.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will do Brian - I've a bunch of figures I picked-up sitting waiting for Review, but I like to mix it up some (rather than just have a load of, say, GI Joe or Marvel coverage) so I'll get Karza out of the display case and get some snaps.

    And thanks for the link!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's my Baron Karza:

    http://that-figures.blogspot.com/2011/02/vintage-view-micronauts-baron-karza-and.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. I miss my Micronaughts am going to have to go find some soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Terrific article! Awesome photos of Karza too! Nicely done! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great photos of the Baron! He's obviously a Lord Vader clone made in the very same year, 1977! What a great figure he is though on his own right. Found one today at the local junk sale! Just missing his missiles!

    ReplyDelete
  9. this is so weird i have one of those when i was about 6 years old, but i never knew who that character was. Im from Mexico and i remember that it was a gift from my uncle and i dont have idea where the hell did he buy it that time, because the imported toys where almost impossible to get back then.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great shots! I had Baron Karza--talk about play value; I used to use the "missile silos" as mini-spacecraft. The cone fit in and I pretended that was fuel exhaust. I kept my extensive Micronaut collection until college, at which point I gave them to the child of a friend, and told him to do the same when he got too old to play with them any longer. I hope they're still getting passed along and played with, as toys should.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great shots! I had Baron Karza--talk about play value; I used to use the "missile silos" as mini-spacecraft. The cone fit in and I pretended that was fuel exhaust. I kept my extensive Micronaut collection until college, at which point I gave them to the child of a friend, and told him to do the same when he got too old to play with them any longer. I hope they're still getting passed along and played with, as toys should.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Here's a bit of Karza trivia for you. When Mego brought him over from Japan, they renamed the villain Karza, which is Azrak backwards. Azrak-Hamway International (known as AHI in collectors circles) was a competitor of Mego's. Kind of funny in retrospect.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's actually a black version of the japanese hero Kotetsu Jeeg with a different head.

    ReplyDelete