Four other Combination Warrior Blockman series were planned but never released: the B, or Basic, series; the D, or Drive, series; the E, or Electric series; and the F, or Fortress series.
Of these planned series, only the D series saw release, although this was exclusive to the Robotech Robolinks line. The Blockman sets designed to be D-01 and D-02 were released in the USA as Force 50 and Force 51 respectively. The intent for the Japanese release was for these sets to be propelled by a friction motor, however the wheeled motor part had the friction motor removed when released in the USA.
Interestingly, Force 50 and Force 51 are marked as “D-1” and “D-2” on their polystyrene trays, but their cockpit decals denote them as M-50 and M-51, possibly indicating that at some point there was a plan to change the code to M for Motor rather than D for Drive.
One of the cooler aspects of the A series is that each set included a promotional poster showing a Blockman diorama. The large cannons included with Force 50 and Force 51 are visible in a prototype diorama photo included in the promotional poster that was packaged with each Japanese A series release, despite these cannons never being sold in any of the Japanese Blockman releases.
As well as showing the prototype D series cannons, the promotional poster included with the A series releases shows a number of unreleased prototypes. Apparent prototypes for an A series speedbike and helicopter appear in the bottom-left corner of the poster, and these are sitting on a very interesting prototype trailer base…
A Transformers Connection
That’s right, the prototype trailer base is actually a kitbashed Optimus Prime trailer from Transformers (well, technically it’s probably a Battle Convoy trailer from Diaclone)!!!
The trailer includes the command module from Optimus Prime’s trailer, except rather than purple it has been recoloured to white with a blue cockpit windshield. Apparently C-13 Blockman missiles are compatible with Optimus Prime’s launcher! The antenna dish array has been replaced with the chrome antenna from the Diaclone Cosmo Car (also known as the Cosmo Roller, and strangely enough repurposed in 1995 as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mini Mutants Cyber Rover).
The remaining trailer pieces have been recoloured to silver (rather than the traditional grey), with even the traditionally black launcher mechanism now rendered in silver. A large “Blockman 01” decal has been used to make a runway on a modified Optimus Prime trailer door in the bottom-right corner of the poster.
Needless to say, I think this is an awesome piece of history, and to my knowledge it’s the only time the original Battle Convoy / Optimus Prime mould has appeared in a toyline that isn’t Diaclone or Transformers. A Japanese Blockman fan has apparently customised their own Blockman trailer, which they’ve dubbed the Blockman Ground Raider. However, this image is the only sign I’ve ever seen that anyone is aware of the Optimus Prime mould being used in Blockman prototype photography.
If you have any further information on this trailer, or Blockman production material in general, please get in touch via email or on the Blockman Link Facebook group. Especially if you have the original mock-up prototype trailer in your collection and would like to sell it to me!