WELCOME TO BLOCKMAN LINK!
The Blockman Link website aims to provide you with comprehensive coverage of the Combination Warrior Blockman toyline marketed by Takara in 1984, and released internationally as Robotech Robolinks and Robotech Changers.
If you are looking for the history of Blockman as well as seeking help identifying products or parts, then you are in the right place! I hope that you enjoy the site!
Who or What is Blockman?
Blockman (or ブロックマン)was a line of modular robot construction toys marketed by Japanese toy company Takara in 1984 and 1985.
All Blockman sets came with one or more robots that were able to tessellate together using a 5mm peg system. The robots were made predominantly of plastic, with a metal torso plate. Each Blockman robot featured four pegs and ten holes to facilitate different combination configurations.
Two moulds of Blockman robot were released: the light type (officially denoted CD-1-R, although it should really be CD-1-L) and the heavy type (CD-1-H). Although slightly different in appearance, there were no functional differences (e.g., in unit size or peg and hole configuration) between the two types. The “CD” in the official codes presumably stands for “combination droid”. Light-type and heavy-type Blockman robots were available in a wide range of colours.
Blockman sets also came with accessories (typically packaged on sprues) that together with the Blockman robots allowed you to build a range of vehicles, spacecraft, super-robots, and even dinosaurs.
Check out this Japanese television commercial from 1984 to quickly familiarise yourself with the wonder that is Blockman (a massive thank-you to YouTube user 銀河宇宙太 for uploading this!):
The original line, Combination Warrior Blockman, was released in Japan in 1984 and 1985. The 1984 assortment consisted of 12 individual sets, with the six smaller sets available in two different colour variations each (increasing the total to 18 sets). Three giftsets, collecting the small, intermediate, and large sets, were also released in December 1984.
In 1985, Japan saw the three intermediate and three large sets rereleased in new colours and with individual box-art rather than stock photography. Two large dinosaur sets were also released.
Japan’s Combination Warrior Blockman releases had their packaging translated for multilingual English/Suomi releases in Finland. These releases are quite rare so there is little concrete information on them. However, the presence of box-art means that the Finnish releases presumably took place in 1985, or in both 1984 and 1985. It is possible that Finnish Blockman releases were exclusive to a specific store, as is known to have occurred with other contemporary Takara products.
Combination Warrior Blockman was also released in Korea by Samsung Plastic Toy Co. (presumably a branch of the very same Samsung known today for its mobile phones). Similar to the Finnish releases, Korean Blockman sets are quite rare, and I am currently unsure whether they were produced and marketed under license, or are actually knock-offs infringing on copyright. Unlike the Finnish releases, their packaging is not simply the Japanese design with translated text.
Blockman was marketed in the USA in 1985 by Ceji-Revell as Robotech Robolinks. Most of the Japanese 1984 releases were available, along with two large sets that were planned for Japan but never saw release there. As well as being available in the USA, Robotech Robolinks were also available from certain stores in Australia.
Blockman was also produced and marketed in France in 1985 by Ceji-Revell/Joustra. The French sets were released as Robotech Changers (not to be confused with a variety of model sets that were also released internationally as Robotech Changers). The range was similar to Robotech Robolinks in the USA, but included three “new” sets (consisting of a piecemeal assortment of parts from other sets). Notably, two of the large Japanese giftsets were also released. It is likely that Robotech Changers were also available in other parts of mainland Europe, and they may have seen limited release in Britain.
Tracking the correspondence between internationally released Blockman sets can be really confusing, so I’ve made the table below to help out.
Unlicensed Gumball Releases
In the USA, Blockman designs were miniaturised to create gumball machine premiums (presumably packaged in small plastic eggs). Each gumball Blockman came with its own little instruction sheet. The instruction sheet displays the brand name “Robolinks”, although these were not a licensed spin-off from Robotech Robolinks.
The miniaturised Blockman robots are made entirely of plastic, with articulated limbs. Although not intended for this purpose, the limbs can be removed and replaced (which isn’t really feasible on a proper Blockman robot). Gumball Blockman robots were available in white or yellow, and in both light-type or heavy-type moulds.
All of the smaller single-Blockman armour and vehicle sets (the Japanese A series) appear to be represented in gumball Blockman form, with the accessories coming in a few different colour variations (e.g., red, purple, turquoise-green). The gumball Blockman cockpit windshields were made of clear translucent plastic.
I’ve yet to meet anybody with a comprehensive set of gumball Blockman, so if you’ve collected a lot of these please get in touch via email or through the Blockman Link Facebook group. Although technically a knock-off product, gumball Blockman are pretty cool!
Comments and Questions?
If this website leaves you with any unanswered questions (or you’re able to answer some of my unanswered questions!), please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email (watermarked on all of the photographs) or through the Blockman Link Facebook group.
This website is for information purposes rather than as a trading post, but I’m always looking to expand my Blockman collection, so feel free to get in touch if you’ve got anything for sale!