The year was 1994 and Ibanez deemed the time right to import the Iceman line of guitars again in the United States. (*) Production of the original series of Iceman was halted in 1982 as sales dwindled and guitar fans were caught up in "superstrat" mania. The 1982 Ibanez catalog offered but two models of the Iceman, the low end IC50 in blue and the high end IC400 in cherry sunburst.
For 1994 Ibanez had two models again. Following where they left off, the new for 1994 models were the IC500 and for the first time ever, an Iceman bass was offered, the ICB500. These were not featured in the Ibanez catalog and may have been sold to test the waters before a full scale re-introduction was implemented. Also, these are unusual models and differ from the "normal" line of Iceman guitars that came in 1995 and after. They feature wider, more decorative binding around the body, black hardware and glued-necks - but not with the smooth neck-heel that the PS10 Icemen have. Serial numbers indicate they were made in Japan. Starting in 1995, regular Iceman production moved to Korea, including the PS10 models. So the 1994's are easy to distinguish from other models.
ICB500 - Bass
Here are photos of the ICB500 that I own. At one time I also had a ICB300 (from 1996) so I took pictures of them side-by-side to compare and exhibit the differences. The ICB500 has these things that the ICB300 does not. A slightly smaller body (indicating that it was manufactured to be sold in Asia), glued-neck painted black, black hardware and truss rod cover, different control knobs, pickup selector switch and wider, more ornate binding. Also the strap button is not in the same place.
IC500 - Guitar
Here are photos of the IC500 model. Just like the bass above, this was a one year only model and differs greatly from the models that followed it. The IC500 has these things that the 1995 and up models do not. A slightly smaller body (indicating that it was manufactured to be sold in Asia), glued-neck painted black, abalone dot inlays, black hardware, different control knobs and wider, more ornate binding. Also the strap button is not in the same place.
(*) NOTE: A limited run of Paul Stanley PS1000 20th Anniversary models were sold in 1992 and 1993 and approximately 200 of them were sold in the U.S. So you could argue that 1992 was the year that early marketing was done. But these were commemorative and not regular production Iceman models. (return)