Combination Warrior Blockman was released in Japan in April 1984, and ran to June 1985. A table of releases is shown below, with release dates and recommended retail prices sourced from a post by a user of Japanese social networking website Mixi (many thanks for this!).
Releases were split into three broad types, as denoted by code letter: the A, or Armed series; the C, or Combination series; and the G, or Gao, series.
Both the A and C series were split into two groups of three releases each. A-0X were single Blockman sets with armour upgrade accessories, whilst A-1X were single Blockman sets with vehicle transformation parts. C-0X formed smaller five-Blockman vehicles, with each set including a basic cockpit, whilst C-1X formed larger six-Blockman vehicles, with each set including a cockpit with a retractable head that allowed the set to be reconfigured into a super-robot.
What’s In a Name?
You’ll sometimes see the Japanese Blockman line referred to as Union Fighter Blockman, with Combination Warrior Blockman only used for the Finnish releases. This is really just a translation artefact, as “union” and “combination” are synonyms, as are “fighter” and “warrior"
Accordingly, both names have equal merit as translations of the full Japanese language brand name Gattai Senshi Blockman. However, my view is that the Finnish releases constitute Takara translating their brand into English (and Suomi of course), rather than starting a new, Finland specific brand. Look at the packaging – it’s identical to the Japanese releases except for the translated text, which is quite a different situation to the licensed Robotech Robolinks and Robotech Changers releases.
For this reason, I decided to respect the choice that Takara made for their product, and hence this website uses Combination Warrior Blockman as the official term for Takara’s Blockman line.
The A series were initially released in 1984 in two alternative colours each, but with otherwise identical packaging between colours. The C series were rereleased in 1985 as recoloured versions that came with differently coloured Blockman robots as compared to the 1984 releases. These 1985 releases also came in newly designed packaging, with and updated Blockman logo and with painted box-art in place of the stock photography of the 1984 releases.
The newer 1985 C series packaging designs were those released in Finland, albeit with the text translated into English and Suomi. The A series Finnish releases were translations of the 1984 packaging design, since this was not updated for 1985 in Japan.
Three Japanese Blockman giftsets were made available in December 1984. There was an A series giftset containing all six A series releases (it is currently unknown whether this was released in two colour variations), a C-0X giftset (containing C-01, C-02, and C-03), and a C-1X giftset (containing C-11, C-12, and C-13).
The two C series giftsets were the first use of product-specific box-art in the Blockman line, with earlier 1984 releases all using an identical box-art picture of a blue light-type Blockman robot. The giftsets were never released under the Robotech Robolinks banner, but were available in France as Robotech Changers C10 and D10, although in much less attractive packaging.