Rescue Bots
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Last Updated: 7/28/19 with partial catch-up after eight months of neglect.


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    Welcome to the little page for Transformers aimed at little kids, typically aimed at ages 3-6 (no longer toddlers, but not quite ready for the regular toys). There's a few that I haven't included here, because they were tied specifically to something that has its own page (like Fast Action Battlers in the movie lines). Boldfaced names are Strongly Recommended, italicized ones are neutral or worse.


  • My First Transformers: the original kiddie line.
  • Super Wings: not actually Transformers&TM;, but I decided to review some.
  • Rescue Bots Academy: A new show, new character designs, but more or less the same continuity.
  • Rescue Bots: The longest-lasting of the "Transformers for Kids" lines, with one of the longest-running shows to boot.
  • Mr. Potato Head: This tie-in didn't last long at all, by comparison.
  • Robot Heroes: Strictly a non-transforming line of chibi PVCs, mostly based on the first few movies, but eventually moving beyond that.
  • 1-2-3 Transformers: While this line only lasted a for a few toys, it was the current line when I made this directory.
  • Playskool Go-Bots: The main spiritual ancestor to Rescue Bots, it even sort of got a cartoon.
My First Transformers fanspecs

    Dredged up from Izzy Drogue's archive, techspecs/bio notes I wrote for the original Kiddie Transformers. I later found that I'd used a pre-existing Transformer name for one of them, and was a bit mortified, but that was in the 90s, before rampant name reuse became the norm.

Super Wings

    A show imported from China, aimed at really little kids, and airing on Sprout. The company making these toys, Auldey, has made other robot toys, so this might be the start of importing more of their stuff. Or it might be a flash in the pan.

  • Transform-a-Bots wave 1, "Deluxe" Jerome, Dizzy, Donnie, and Jett - A set of Legion-sized transforming planes, and a few of the larger (and better articulated than Rescue Bots) main cast members. Updated with some stuff learned from watching two episodes of the show, and now has all four Deluxe-size toys.
  • Transform-a-Bots wave 2: Donnie, Bello, Jerome, Dizzy.
  • Deluxe Paul: I might do a full review once I find the rest of the new figures. Short form, it has about the same transformation as Jerome, same articulation, decent show-accuracy.
  • A bought a bunch more after this, but didn't feel like reviewing them, sorry. The small mech suits are okay, but the big $40 mech suit wasn't even worth $20 when I got one during TRU's closeout.

Rescue Bots Academy

    More or less a sequel to Rescue Bots, with new animation designs and a somewhat shaky continuity connection to the original thanks to the inclusion of some elements from Cyberverse. It's set at the Academy established in the final season of Rescue Bots, with a new batch of recruits (Blurr and Salvage have graduated), and some new tech that allows multiple altmodes without the whole "meditate and become worthy" hassle.

    The toys show more continuity in design than the cartoon, at least initially. Given the sprawling mess that Rescue Bots is below, I might need to do some reorganization of this page, but such is life.

SCOUT: Still not the official name, but it's basically the "regular" transforming size. Around 5" tall in robot mode, with very limited articulation (often just arms) and simple transformation. Note, the name area in the upper right of the backing card is in a lighter shade of blue than previous Rescue Bots, so it's easier to scan a peg and see if any RBA toys are in the mix.

  • Jet Hot Shot: Released alongside older Rescue Bots Scouts as part of the Bumblebee movie promo stuff, this is a "same engineering as" toy for the VTOL jet Bumblebee. No actual mold parts in common, just the same articulation and transformation. In the show, each day Hot Shot can choose whether to have a ground altmode (off-road buggy, possibly a "same engineering as" the Bumblebee Rock Rescue Team and its redeco that I never got around to reviewing), a water altmode (probably based on Heatwave's boat), or this jet mode. It's a more whimsical jet than most, with the ground mode's wheels turned into VTOL fans (the packaging shows them painted black, they're not on the actual toy), fire extinguishers repurposed as rear jet thrusters, and various other ground mode bits showing up here and there. The cockpit is between the tail fins for a sort of 1930s stunt plane feel. The only articulation in robot mode is the elbow hinges. The forearms are the only piece held over from the Bumblebee VTOL mold.
  • Wedge: A head-swap redeco of Arctic Rescue Boulder, without the Mini-Cons or human. It's a nice enough toy, but in the show Wedge is more of a skip-loader. This toy does at least evoke the original RiD(2001) version of Wedge. Mine doesn't quite stay together in vehicle mode, the shovel halves don't want to reliably stay connected, so there's a 2mm seam much of the time.
  • Hovercraft Hot Shot: New mold. More comments later, maybe?
  • Medix Medix: The previous Medix mold gets a new head as the new Medix.
  • Four-Pack: May or may not even get this. Lots of retools, some of which might show up in single-packs later. VTOL Blades retooled as Whirl, Off-Road/Rock Rescue Bumblebee retooled as Hot Shot, cement-mixer Salvage retooled as Wedge, and a heavy retool of the Optimus Prime mold into a flatbed truck Hoist.

MEGA MIGHTIES: These are like the Epic class of Rescue Bots, but with oversized heads, broader shoulders, and no openable chest compartment. As tall as Epic, but wider. $10 price point.

  • Wave 1: Bumblebee and Hot Shot. I picked up Hot Shot once I saw these had been mispriced at $20. Decent articulation, but disturbing proportions.

DELUXE CLASS: $15 size class, with some motion gimmick.

  • Wave 1: Whirl (very show-accurate helicopter with blade-spinning gimmick) and Medix (decently show-accurate car more, weak claw gimmick in robot mode). Whirl is worth picking up.

Rescue Bots

    Ditching the Go-Bots crew in favor of a new quartet (later to expand) of Transformers that continued to focus more on rescue operations than combat. Technically in the same continuity as Transformers: Prime and Robots in Disguise (2015), it wasn't until the last couple of seasons that they really felt connected.

CARTOON: First aired December 17, 2011. Aimed at littler kids, but surprisingly watchable for adults. Hit some doldrums around season 3, but pulled out of it by the end.


TOYS: Generally more simplistic than the Go-Bots that preceded them, but also smaller and lighter for the same basic price class. There's a LOT more toys than shown here, and there's even several that I bought but didn't even give capsule reviews to. Just not a lot of interest from adult fans in these toys, which made it hard to motivate myself to write in-depth (or any) reviews. Note, unlike other contemporary toylines, they never really stuck with size classes, so I tended to make up my own.

   Toy Comparison with GoBots: I compare Boulder from Rescue Bots to Strong-Bot (original) from GoBots.

LEGION: Tiny transforming figures about the size of the regular Legion class in other lines, only chunkier. Started with the "Roar and Rescue" line. While smaller toys exist, I stuck with this for the smallest transforming toys, such as the later Mini-Cons.

  • Wave 1: Heatwave (brontosaur), Blades (they say it's a pterodactyl, but...).
  • Wave 2: Boulder (Triceratops) and Chase (Stegosaur). No review, but I did get and repaint them (see Quickbashes page for all four under Touchups).
  • Rescue Mini-Cons Wave 1: Same $5 price point as Legion, beastbot-to-tool partner toys. Servo (from the cartoon, robot dog) and Drake the Dragon-Bot.
  • Rescue Mini-Cons Wave 2: Adds Valor the Lion-Bot to the other two. A blue and gray lion with red shoulders that partners with Chase, turning into a clamping weapon. Really needs paint on the face in beast mode, and the clamp would work better if it held closed with a spring and had to be opened, rather than how it does work, holding open unless you pull back on the mane. Transformation is a bit disturbing, splitting the beast lengthwise and turning it inside out.
  • Rescue Mini-Cons Wave 3: Just Sequoia the bear-bot. Makes a decent axe weapon, clearly meant to go with Brushfire in colors, but he can't stand up while wielding it.
  • Flip Racers Wave 1: 3" tall chibi robots that automatically become vehicles when laid down on their fronts. First wave is Optimus Prime, Heatwave, Medix, and Hoist. They do flip, and they race nicely enough forward, but the arms flip out slightly when in reverse and make for erratic movement. Worth picking up one or two for the fidget factor.
  • There were several more waves, but no real variety save for a more expensive pull-back version that seems to have gone straight to Ross/TJMaxx. There's also Flip Racer track sets, launchers, and so forth...none of which interested me enough to even get on deep clearance.

BASICS: This is basically where I lump all the non-transforming low-end price stuff, whether it's humans with transforming accessories, humans with non-transforming bots, just the non-transforming bots, etc. They tend to be at the $5-6 price point, which is what Basics were back in the day for other Transformers lines.

  • Wave 1: Axel Frasier with Microcopter, Cody Burns with Rescue Hose, Chief Charlie Burns with Rescue Cutter, Sawyer Storm with Rescue Winch, Jack Tracker/Billy Blastoff (being sold under two names, not sure which is the "final" version) with Jet Pack, Walker Cleveland with Rescue Saw. Status: Walker Cleveland and Axel Frasier reviewed.
  • Wave 2: A running change sort of thing. Billy Blastoff is now the preferred name for the cop. Walker Cleveland gets a new jackhammer tool, Cody Burns gets the Rescue Axe. The other three humans from wave 1 probably reship in the case. Status: Picked up a few on sale, may review them someday, but don't hold your breath.
  • Energize Wave 1: Gone are the vehicle/tool accessories, replaced by robot-mode Rescue Bots! Gone is all articulation for the human figures, but at least they're show-accurate. This wave has Chase/Chief Burns, Optimus Prime/Cody Burns, Heatwave/Kade Burns, Bumblebee/Graham Burns. Yeah, Boulder and Blades get the marketing shaft again.
  • Energize Wave 2: Well, it only took a year, but Boulder and Blades got toys too. Partnered with Doc Green and Dr. Morocco. The first because Graham was already released with Bumblebee, the second because NO GURLZ ALOUD, apparently. Sigh Boulder came out pretty well, though.
  • Energize Wave 3: Tail-end charlie, and a squandered opportunity to address the gender issue. Optimus Prime (blue redeco) with T-rex, Heatwave (fireboat) with Rescue Boy Cody, Bumblebee (black redeco) with a Scrapmaster drone.
  • Wave 6: No longer Energize, not really Roar to the Rescue either. Jet-mode Blades with Dani Burns, motorcycle Bumblebee with tiny Morbot. Bonus review of Titan Hero Blades.
  • Wave 7: Heatwave and Boulder.
    • CAPSULE: They shifted to companionless sets and dropped the price point to $5, but added an action gimmick to compensate for the fact that the bagged earlier wave stuff is cheaper. Heatwave is the Energize Wave 1 mold with new arms that give him broader shoulders and a fire axe that swings down into ready position. The paint applications are slightly different, removing the Energize elements. Boulder is an entirely new mold based on the dump truck altmode seen in the Scout wave 3, with a spinning drill replacing the left hand. The trigger on the actual toy doesn't match the package photo. Additionally, Boulder shows signs of too much paint economizing, such as his hazard strips just being the yellow part, with the black parts left unpainted on green plastic.
  • Wave 8: Optimus Prime and High Tide.
    • CAPSULE: Optimus Prime is the Energize version with new arms, just as they did with Heatwave. The left arm has a push-to-spin saw blade inspired by his Energize gear, with a fist molded onto the side so it doesn't replace his hand. The left arm is beefed up to be a match for the extra size needed on the left to accomodate the mechanism. Oddly, his smokestacks are painted blue. High Tide is actually the combined form Omega Supreme riff, probably the only toy we'll get of that (the $30 High Tide set has a Basic-sized transforming High Tide submarine, but the boat turns into a playset rather than a robot). No attempt made to include the crane, which would be a break-off-and-choke-on hazard at this size, but the left arm gimmick is a claw that snaps open when the button is pressed and closes when the button is released. Suffers more from the limited paint apps than Optimus does. The biggest visual balance problem is the lack of blue on the shoulders.
  • Blind Bag Figures: Smaller than previous Basics and with only one real point of articulation (shoulders joined on an axle), but they do seem to be intended as the same sort of thing. Better than the Tiny Titans that they also resemble. At only $3 each, they're about half the price of previous Basics.
    • Series 1: Two poses/tools each of Blades, Blurr, Boulder, Bumblebee, Chase, Heatwave, Optimus Prime, and Quickshadow.

SCOUT: Originally, "Scout" was just a rename of the "Basic" class in other lines, but I decided to use the two names as a distinguishing factor. Where Basics don't transform (or at best have transforming accessories), Scouts do actually transform. When the Basics lost the transforming accessories, the Scouts arrived to take that price point, while the Basics got cheaper. Generally one or two step transformations, and minimal articulation. After a while, I lost track of the waves, especially since every so often there'd be a "wave" that was all reissues. TFWiki kept track, though.

  • Wave 1: Heatwave (fireboat), Optimus Prime (monster truck), Bumblebee (motorcycle).
  • Wave 2: Bumblebee (raptor), Optimus Prime (T.rex).
    • Wave 2.5: Adds in Blades as a jet in a running change. Looks nice, other than missing a bunch of paint all in one area.
  • Wave 3: Wave 3 was reships of monster truck Optimus Prime and motorcycle Bumblebee, plus new molds Chase (SUV) and Boulder (dumptruck).
  • Wave 4: Salvage (garbage truck) and Optimus Prime (new cabover), plus reships.
  • Blurr: A surprise bonus semi-wave. Not a great toy, about middle of the pack for Scouts, but a nice automorph.
  • Wave 5: Mostly a packaging wave. Only new figure is a new car-mode Bumblebee in the smaller scale, nothing too special, although I did buy one.
  • Wave 6: Chase and Blades are back at this size in versions of their original Deluxe toys. Same basic transformation and engineering, but no clear plastic, and more show-accurate detailing. The lack of articulation is more palatable at the $8 size, and while both could stand a few more paint apps, it's not too bad. Worth picking up, especially if you never got the original Deluxe molds. Just don't get them at TRU, where they're $13.
  • Wave 7: Smaller Boulder (just a smaller version of the original Deluxe mold, basically), and new Medix the Doc-Bot. While it's still roughly the same sort of ambulance as the original Deluxe Medix, it replaces most of the orange paint with neon green and replaces the goofy kiddie head with something more like a Rescue Bots take on Ratchet. Similar transformation as the original (arms become front fenders, legs become rear chunk, head tucks down into front grille), several details are different and I like the overall results better. The rear roof halves collapse inward to make the legs look less like halves of a vhicle, and the roof of the cab slides up to make a more convincing chest. Definitely worth picking up once it's at a store other than TRU, but I did shell out $13 for it there.
  • Wave 8: Quickshadow and Morbot. Quickshadow has a simple one-step transformation (same as the recent Bumblebee) that is prone to gear slippage issues. Decent paint job, although the rear window is left unpainted and the chinstrap could use paint to keep the lower face from being totally bland. Zero articulation, as usual. Not bad if you can get it for Walmart prices, but don't pay TRU or Walgreens prices (of course, those were the first two chains to get it). I plan to get the Morbot later, either at Walmart price or if I have a coupon at TRU.
  • Wave 9?: Hoist the Tow-Bot. A smaller and simpler version of the 2012 Deluxe, and it doesn't seem to be shipping along with the Morbot at all, but Rescue Bots assortments tend to be messed up in execution.
  • Brushfire: Another "running change" to wave 8 or 9 or whatever. This is an orange and neon yellow "forest ATV" (treads in back, wheels in front) tasked with firefighting. Fairly clever transformation, a brick in robot mode as usual. If you're still interested in this size class at all, this is worth picking up.
  • Wave 10: A distinct change in packaging, replacing things like "Brushfire tackles the toughest forest fires" with "Pretend to help (character do thing)" in the cardback blurb. Includes new figures Bumblebee (VTOL jet) and Heatwave (two-headed dragon) plus some reships like dumptruck Boulder. Later shipments which may be wave 11 or whatever also include a black-with-yellow redeco of dino Bumblebee and a predominantly blue T.rex Optimus redeco.
    • Bumblebee VTOL: Jet mode is sort of Quinjet-ish albeit in Bumblebee colors, with ducted fans inside the wings. With a new head I suppose it could be a Rescue Bots Windblade if they wanted to go that way. The arms bend at the elbows, putting this ahead of a lot of RB toys.
    • Heatwave Dragon: Beast mode is basically Twinferno/Doublecross as a Rescue Bot, although for some reason one head is painted yellow and the other is painted blue. Transformation is fairly clever, if a bit tricky to reverse, and the dragon necks are dual-hinge struts, giving them decent articulation and the ability to hide on the back in bot mode. No bot articulation, though.
  • Really, the waves went off the rails a long time before what I called wave 10 above. Here's some brief comments on a few of the others I've gotten since.
    • Snowplow Optimus Prime: This is a weird one, it's mostly blue and looks like it was originally intended to be a new character, maybe Hot Spot (colors would match) or a Rescue Bots version of TF:A's Sentinel Prime.
    • Chase the Dino-Protector: A larger version of the stegosaur Legion class, not a whole lot more detail, but better paint.
    • VTOL Blades: Same basic engineering as VTOL Bumblebee, but the mold is pretty much new (the forearms are the same, as are some of the guts of the transformation stuff in the torso).
    • Heatwave Racer: Shares engineering with the Mor-Bot racer, but mostly new tooling. This sort of thing gets pretty common in the second half of the 2010s, across lines. Clever use of the spoiler to look like a back-mounted ladder in robot mode.
    • Off-road Bumblebee: Same mold as the Rock Rescue Bumblebee below, but with orange paint apps replaced by yellow-green ones. No articulation, but pretty good despite that.
    • Motorcycle Chase: Hey, they finally made Chase a motorcycle as a sort of homage to TF:A Prowl. A headswap retool and redeco of motorcycle Bumblebee.
    • Cement-mixer Salvage: A new mold, probably the last totally new mold prior to Rescue Bots Academy. The shoulders don't connect to the body, instead the arms just sort of float out there with struts at wrist-level connecting them to the body. It's actually the same transformation as Off-road Bumblebee, but it looks a lot worse in robot mode due to the lack of big off-road tires to fill the gaps. Not very well executed in vehicle mode either, it's hard to get it to hold together.

DELUXE: Chunky Transformers without human partners, accessories, or much in the way of redeeming qualities. $10-15 price point. Discontinued after the Energize retools, replaced by smaller Scouts. I'll also use this category to cover anything that sits between Scout and Voyager, such as rescue teams with Scouts and Mini-Cons together.

  • Wave 1: Optimus Prime (semitractor), Bumblebee (sorta-Camaro), Heatwave the Fire-Bot (fire truck, not reviewed).
  • Wave 2: Chase the Police-Bot, Blades the Chopper-Bot and Boulder the Construction-Bot. I picked up Boulder for $5 using one of my Prime Style coupons, and it's nice enough (and a lot more solid than Prime or Bumblebee), but still a brick. Nice enough for five bucks, though. No review per se, but I compare it to Strong-Bot in the link at the top of the toy section.
  • Wave 3: Medix the Doc-Bot (ambulance) and Hoist (tow truck). I got Medix, but wasn't impressed enough to review it. It has a goofy face, push-button automorph, and a vehicle mode that wobbles all over the place thanks to the automorph. Never did get Hoist, although I saw it on the shelf several times.
  • Later waves of this size class were retools of waves 1-2 with Energize gear in clear plastic. Then the size class was retired and replaced with the Scout class.
  • RACERS WAVE 1: The $15 price point returns with pull-back racers that one-step transform into bricks. Lasted exactly one wave before they shifted to Flip-Bots.
    • CAPSULE: I got Sideswipe (meant to be the PRiD character, based on the card art) and Bumblebee. The pull-back motors are reasonably strong, when they didn't swerve they managed to go the length of the 24-foot hallway in my house, although even a small low-pile rug is too much for either to get onto, they bounce off instead. Very lacking in paint, zero articulation. Sideswipe's transformation is a little more interesting, although that is damning with faint praise. Both are about 4.75" (12cm) tall in robot mode, but Bumblebee has more of his vehicle mode as a backpack and is a longer formula racer (Sideswipe is vaguely similar to his PRiD car mode, but chunkier and without the under-door blades). Not really worth getting.
  • Rescue Rigs: Chase (pickup truck) and Heatwave (different mold fire truck) towed trailers that turned into roleplay weapons for little kids or adults with very small hands. Both of the bots later got released as Scouts with no trailers. I got both on clearance, not too bad all things considered.
  • Rescue Teams: Arctic Rescue Boulder (with Graham Burns and Windchill), Bumblebee Rock Rescue Team (with Cody Burns, Hunter the Lion-Bot and Talon the Eagle-Bot). Neither main bot has any articulation, but both have decent 5mm peg connectivity.
    • Arctic Rescue Boulder: A snowcat/snowplow version of Boulder in white. Windchill is a yeti who splits into a snowmobile and a pair of arms that can attach to Graham's backpack to give him exo-arms. Boulder alone got retooled into Wedge from Rescue Bots Academy.
    • Bumblebee Rock Rescue Team: The better of the two sets. Talon the eagle-bot can combine with half of Hunter the lion-bot to make a griffon, and part of the lion can become a crane/winch attached to the back of Bumblebee's buggy mode. (Bumblebee alone got slightly redecoed for a single release.) Fun for all the combinations of bits, and a solid (if totally unarticulated) main figure.

TITAN HEROES: Hollow with simple articulation and opening chests to allow human partner figures to ride inside. These are probably the best of the Titan Heroes Transformers, especially because of the pilot compartments. Not everyone fits the standard proportions (Quickshadow in particular looks wrong), but it's not bad for ten bucks. These eventually got named (if not on the package) the Epic Class.

  • Regular Wave 1: $10 price point, actually look pretty good (especially compared to crappy earlier Prime and movieverse Titan Heroes). I eventually got all four, see above for a review of the Blades figure.
  • I've been remiss in updating this, but Blurr, Salvage, Bumblebee, High Tide, and Quickshadow came out in dribs and drabs over the years. I picked up Blurr with the intent of repainting him, but never got around to it. Salvage just looks horrible, not really interested in more Bumblebees, and I'm still on the fence about High Tide. I did get and like Quickshadow, though:
    • Titan Hero Quickshadow: She has the usual proportions of the line, meaning she's a bit leggy and blocky, but that's okay. The only "she's a girl" element in the design is a narrow waist, they didn't give her lipstick, boobplate, or high heels. Color matching is decent to the show model, other than the clear blue chestplate. Five points of articulation, and her hips are on V-cut swivels rather than H-cut, which I suppose is one other molded "female figure" element. There's 5mm peg holes on each of the four wheels (shoulders and boots), on the forearms, and in the fists. So you could load her down with Mini-Cons if you wanted. If you are willing to get any of the Titan Hero figures, this is one to get.
  • Epic Wave 1: 22" tall Optimus Prime with hollow limbs pitched as a storage case with articulation (shoulders, fists, neck, waist). Seats molded into the forearms for walking base play. I picked one up for $13 on clearance, it's okay for that much.

VOYAGER: They tried a few things at this size class, usually only lasting a wave or two before petering out. The "Megabots" still active in 2018 seems to have some longevity, though. Some of these are more Leader Class in terms of price.

  • Sound and Light Wave 1: Heatwave the Fire-Bot with Cody Burns, Chase the Police-Bot with Jack Tracker. These had Cyber Stomper style sound and light, but were non-transforming. Never bothered with these.
  • Flip-Changers: Released during the second year, these used lever-pull motors to zoom forward and flip up into a Jumpstarter-ish robot mode. I eventually got both (Chase and Heatwave) on deeeep clearance. No reviews forthcoming, and they didn't continue the concept.
  • Sound and Light Heatwave Rescue Dinobot: Dino-mode only, with voice and light gimmicks and ways for the unarticulated human companions to ride on him. I saw it on clearance, gave it a second look and noticed the legs don't move at all, passed.
  • Megabots Heatwave: Turns into a fire truck, more show-accurate than the original Deluxe, but still about as simple as a Scout. A trailer-less version of the car carrier Optimus Prime in new deco was also released in this packaging.
  • Deep Water Rescue High Tide: Second wave of the Megabots, not bad. While the giant robot seen in the cartoon is pretty much impossibly cheaty in its transformation, they did a decent job with this toy evoking the basic idea.
  • Copter Crane Blades: Another in the Megabot, but nowhere near as good as High Tide. Vehicle mode is in the "I suppose..." territory.
  • Knight Watch Bumblebee: Turns into a dragon, comes with two smaller dragons who become axes. Looks nice, actually has a tiny bit of articulation, but carries around a lot of kibble in robot mode. The Mini-Cons are Wingblaze (flaming wings) and Freezer Burn (ice wings), they have no articulation other than transforming by ducking their heads down and moving the wings to be axe blades. They look nice, though, with good use of clear plastic. The Knight Watch line is closer to Leader class in price, thanks to the pair of Mini-Cons.
  • Knight Watch Optimus Prime: Turns into a version of the T.rex seen in the cartoon, but with a much worse robot mode and a so-so dino mode. Very disappointing. His Mini-Cons are Lance the Raptor-Bot (blue raptor about the same size as Power of the Primes Slash, turns into a lance) and Scale the Shield Bot (red ankylosaur that turns into a shield). They're pretty good if unarticulated. If you come across this set at Ross or on clearance, it's marginally worth half price for the Mini-Cons. Scale is sort of a color reversed version of Slapper, the BWNeo Bazooka redeco from 2003: gray limbs and silver spikes, but red armor shell and head.
  • Megabots Quick Dig Boulder: Pretty good for an Ages 3-7 toy, with a funky multi-tread vehicle mode not generally seen in Transformers (other than TF:A Huffer and Pipes, who didn't get official toys).
  • Rescue Guard Bumblebee: An car-mode Bumblebee on the same scale as his dragon, with two canine oversized Mini-Cons, and sound/light gimmicks. Sadly, they didn't go for red clear plastic over the red lights, so all his lights look blue. For $50, not too impressive.

OPTIMUS PRIME BIG TOYS: Despite not really being in the show much, Optimus Prime gets all the really big toys.

  • Car Carrier Optimus: Upsized version of the Deluxe Optimus Prime with some retooling and movie-style flame decos. Comes with a car trailer that can carry the other Rescue Bots, and turn into a wingpack. The tractor part with some paint tweaks was later a casemate of Deep Water Rescue High Tide.
  • Optimus Primal: In addition to the Scout Class one, there's a huge stompy electronic T.rex Optimus Primal available at the $35 price point. I've seen it as low as $25, but so far haven't bought it.
  • Optimus Prime Racing Trailer: Part of the short-lived racer line, he had a trailer that could turn into a launch ramp for cars, including the Blurr that came with it. The cab was later released as a Scout, as was a redeco of the Blurr.

PLAYSETS: Various action features, done in the shape of character helmets with add-ons. They come with a human and with a non-transforming vehicle that can be tipped up to reveal a robot sculpture a la the RPM toys. The vehicles come out of the faceplate of the helmet, so they vomit cars. I don't plan to get any of the playsets.

  • Bumblebee Rescue Garage: Smaller set, $20-25 price point, with no sound or light gimmicks, just a ramp. Comes with a non-transforming Bumblebee and the human figure Axel Frasier.
  • Optimus Prime Fire Station: The big set, at $50, with sound and light and the ability to "transform" to disguise the Prime-ness somewhat. Comes with Chief Charlie Burns and a non-transforming Optimus vehicle, and part of it catches fire (well, simulated plastic flames).
  • Chase Police Station: Similar size and style to Bumblebee's set.
  • Command Center: Big red vehicle that opens up into a base, as introduced in the alternate timeline episode of the show. This was a big $50 set.
  • Rescue Mini-Con Pack Sets: Very small playsets with one human (with arms that move as a single chunk) and a Mini-Con beast partner. I picked up the Griffin Rock Police Station mainly for Growl the K-9 Bot. I later got the Griffin Rock Garage on clearance. They have compatibility with Deep Water Rescue High Tide's hex sockets.
  • High Tide Rescue Rig Playset: $30 price point, with tiny (smaller than Scout but bigger than Legion) transforming High Tide minisub figure. The ship opens up into a playset with jail and sub launching and other gimmicks, but does not become a giant robot body (closest it comes is popping up the head of the giant robot when you push up a lever). Comes with a lot of stickers to apply, and much assembly required. It's a bit fall-aparty as a result...guaranteed to lose pieces if given to a kid in the target age range. The small robot toy transforms by kneeling, basically, and there's an automorph trick when placed inside the ship...works some of the time, just hammers on his knees the rest of the time. Still, for the $20 clearance price I paid it wasn't too bad.

Mr. Potato Head

    So...this seemed at the time like it might be a bigger sort of synergy for Hasbro's properties. Potatoes of all the G1 regulars, why not? Well, the second wave pretty much went direct to Ross and the like, I only vaguely remember they existed at all.

  • Optimash Prime: Leader of either the Tater-bots or the Autotots, depending on which side of the box you read. G1 style Prime.
  • Bumblespud: Bumblebee as a Potato Head. I might get it on deep clearance, or receive it as a gift, but I don't really plan to buy this one. It's the movie Bumblebee.

Robot Heroes

    Following in the wake of Star Wars and Marvel lines of little chibi figures, Transformers got some too. About 5-7cm tall, made of soft plastic and with minimal posability, they're a cute gateway to Transformers. Sold in two-packs at below the Basic price point. These did overlap a little with Rescue Bots, but were clearly meant to tie in with the main continuity characters, rather than being its own thing like Rescue Bots.

  • Wave 1: Optimus Prime/Ravage, Mirage/Starscream, Rodimus/Insecticon (Shrapnel), Grimlock/Shockwave.
  • Wave 2: Ultra Magnus/Megatron, Bumblebee/Soundwave, Autobot Jazz/Thundercracker (recolor of Starscream), Optimus Prime (with Matrix)/Unicron. Review now complete.
  • Decepticon Sneak Attack: Wal-Mart exclusive set, with metallic recolors of Prime and Megatron, clear variant of Mirage, and a couple of passable recolors (Bumblebee as Cliffjumper, Starscream as Skywarp). Has really cool packaging.
  • Wave 3/Movie Wave 1: Bumblebee/Barricade, Jazz/Frenzy, Ratchet/Megatron, Optimus Prime/Blackout. Updated 9/29/07 with a quick note on Megatron, as I finally found an intact one.
  • Best Buy Exclusives: Battle Damaged Optimus Prime, Cliffjumper. Repaints of Movie Prime and Bumblebee offered in a package with the Transformers movie DVD at Best Buy.
  • Wave 4/Movie Wave 2: Optimus Prime (sword)/Scorponok, Protoform Jazz/Brawl, Ironhide/Bonecrusher, Armor Bumblebee/Starscream.
  • The Final Battle: Wal-Mart exclusive set with diorama, repaints (but not renames) of Movie Wave 1 Prime, Jazz, Ratchet, Megatron and Blackout. Not as nifty as Decepticon Sneak Attack.
  • Wave 5/Movie Wave 3: Optimus Prime (weaponless)/Barricade (chibi), Ironhide (diving aside)/Dispensor, Battle Jazz (battle damaged)/Megatron (with mace), AllSpark Bumblebee (Classic Camaro)/Starscream (flying).
  • Wave 6/Universe Wave 1: Two Beast Wars sets and two Generation 1 sets. Rattrap/BW Megatron, Cheetor/BW Blackarachnia, Sunstreaker/Galvatron, Autobot Hound/Blitzwing.
  • Wave 7/Universe Wave 2: Two new BW sets, one new G1 set and a reship of the Hound/Blitzwing set. G1 Arcee/Decepticon Rumble (aka Frenzy), BW Rhinox/Waspinator, BW Optimus Primal/Predacon Tarantulas.
  • Wave 8/Universe Wave 3: One new BW set, two new G1 sets, and a reship of Arcee/Rumble. Ironhide/Kickback, Autobot Blaster/Thrust, BW Silverbolt/TM Megatron.
  • Wave 9/Universe Wave 4: Reships Blaster/Thrust, plus new sets Snarl (G1 Slag)/Sharkticon (G1 Gnaw), Perceptor (G1)/Hardshell (G1 Bombshell) and Cheetor (BMac)/Tankor (BMac). Yeah, half of them lost their original names.
  • Wave 10/RotF Movie Wave 1: Sideswipe/Sideways, Autobot Springer/Starscream, Optimus Prime/Blackout, Bumblebee/Long Haul, Autobot Skids/Megatron, Mudflap/Rampage. Two redecos (Starscream and Blackout).
  • Robot Heroes Game: Optimus Prime vs. Megatron: A simple "War"-style game with some random elements and Robot Heroes as playing tokens and a "3-D" backdrop for the board. $17 exclusively at Target.
  • Battle of the Fallen Set: Introducing larger figures and vehicles, set on an Egyptian backdrop. An oversized Fallen, a slightly oversized Jetpower Optimus Prime (that's what they call the version with Jetfire bits), plus vehicle mode Megatron and Ironhide.
  • Battle for the AllSpark Set: This has a Mission City backdrop. There's deformed vehicle modes of Starscream, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, a Sam Witwicky figure, redecos of Brawl and mace-Megatron (second mold from the first movie set), and a new Ratchet mold with the arm blade (same body as Wave 11's version, just a different arm). Did not buy, might grab it if I see it on deep clearance later.
  • Wave 11/RotF Series 2: Reships of Skids/Megatron and Mudflap/Rampage, plus Jolt/Ravage and Ironhide (redeco)/Mixmaster. Running change removed the reships and added Autobot Ratchet/Barricade (redeco) and Chromia/Megatron (guntank).
  • Desert Devastation Set: 5" tall Devastator (not as tall as the giant Marvel Super-Hero Squad figures, but bulkier than the Fallen), vehicle mode Skids and Mudflap and Lennox. Presumably $20 price point, mixed in with the previous two sets in a running change.

1-2-3 Transformers

    Released under the Tonka brand name, these toys are intended for rougher use than the average Transformer, and a younger age group. All of them have voice chips and rather chunky shapes.

  • Rescue Roy: A big Super-Level fire engine with light and sound in both modes.
  • Charlie Chopper and Policeman Pete: Mega-level toys with no light gimmicks but with sound chips. Charlie is a coast guard helicopter and Pete is a police SUV.
  • Rescue Chopper and Fire Marshall: Red recolors of Charlie Chopper and Policeman Pete to go together better with Rescue Roy. Didn't bother getting them, as I'm reluctant to get $15 recolors. Especially since the voice chips were not, as far as I could tell, any different.
  • Knockoffs: Stripped-down and joint-fused knockoffs of Charlie and Pete came out at Big Lots in Fall 2005 for $4 each. Not really worth it.

Playskool Go-Bots

    Originally called Big Adventures Transformers (and then Go-Bots Transformers, and then Go-Bots, and then Snookums...er, wait...in any case, they seem to change the name of the line every time a wave comes out), this line is even more rugged and less complicated than the 1-2-3 toys. They all originally had cutesy Autobot symbols, but later for their own stylized G symbol. They also have bio notes (but not numerical techspecs).

BASICS

$8 price point, mostly no electronics, but Glow-Bots added lights.

  • Wave 1: REVIEW here.
    • Gorillabot - Beast Machines Optimus Primal in simplified form. He has a minor "autotransforming" feature that causes his heads to swap when you move his robot legs. He's also a buttmaster, with his robot head coming out of his gorilla butt and vicve versa. Heh.
    • Cheetor - Beast Machines Cheetor in simplified form. He has a minor "autotransforming" feature where raising or lowering one of the arms causes the heads to swap.
    • Speedbot - Red sportscar.
    • Mototron - Black sportscar (same mold as Speedbot).
  • Wave 2a: REVIEW here.
    • Dino-Bot - A dinosaur mold.
    • Reptron - Recolor of Dinobot.
    • Buzzer-Bot - Cute widdle Waspinator.
    • Beast-Bot II - Purple recolor of Cheetor
  • Wave 2b: REVIEW here. Separated into two batches because that's how they're boxed.
    • Aero-Bot II - Speed-Bot recolor in Aerobot colors (with fixed hood clip).
    • Prowl-Bot - Police car remold of Speed-Bot, extensive remolding of the car body.
    • Fire-Bot - Red Alert color scheme on Prowl-Bot mold.
    • Strong-Bot - Essentially a Playskool version of Wedge in terms of color scheme and vehicle mode. 9/29/07: This mold has been knocked off for the Transformax line available at Dollar General. The knockoff even kinda has the motion gimmick, but it works poorly and lacks a spring.
  • Wave 3a: REVIEW here. Same theory of wave-bunchings. The packaging and line name changed again.
    • Strong-Bot - Now in Dump Truck mode!
    • Buzzer-Bot - As Waspinator became Thrust, so Buzzer-Bot gets this sleek motorcycle mode.
    • Flash-Bot - Ah-aa! King of the impossible! Sorry. An off-road 4x4.
    • Scrap-Bot - Green recolor of the first Strong-Bot (NOT the steamroller remold).
      • GO-19 Randy - Japanese-only remold of Scrap-Bot, with steamroller hands instead of shovels.
  • Wave 3b: No review of this batch of all recolors.
    • Beast-Bot - Original Gorillabot with new faction symbol.
    • Cop-Bot - Blue and white revision of Prowl-Bot.
    • Reptron - Black, silver and a little red repaint of Reptron.
    • Tigertron - Red, silver and a little black repaint of Cheetor.
  • Wave 4: REVIEW. Glow-Bots, mostly remolds with light-up gimmick.
    • Taxi-Bot: Prowl-Bot recolor with the police lights replaced by an LED Taxi light.
    • Buzzer-Bot: Wasp version with the abdomen replaced by a light-up one of a larger size. Less paint colors on it.
    • Truck-Bot: Flash-Bot recolor with the roof lights replaced by an actual light.
    • Racer-Bot BETA: 50s muscle car hotrod with light-up engine block. Only entirely new mold of the series.
  • Wave 5a: REVIEW here. No real gimmick to this batch, but they do have a few cases where the Kid-Bot minifigs can ride in them. The new molds are all a little smaller than previous Basics. The TRU receipt lists these as "Secret Shield", but that's nowhere on the packaging.
    • Beast-Bot Dinosaur: Reptron mold in Beast-Bot colors. Odd choice, considering that Beast-Bot is also Preditron in 5b.
    • Strong-Bot All Terrain: New mold, Strong-Bot as a 4x4 jeep sort of vehicle, no top (so that Kid-Bot can ride in it).
    • Speed-Bot Race-Car: Yet ANOTHER Speed-Bot, an entirely new mold that for once doesn't use the front of the car as the chest.
    • Buzzer-Bot Convertible: A new mold convertible with the top down and a special depression inside to fit the Kid-Bot feet.
  • Wave 5b: REVIEW here. Invisibility Force! These four all make heavy use of clear plastic, and feature the first true villain of the series, Preditron (who is Beast-Bot turned bad). It doesn't seem that the other three Invisos are evil as well, but they might be. The Glow-Bots are built to counteract the Invisibility Force, more or less.
    • Preditron: A remold of Cheetor into a wolf (new heads and tail) in clear blue plastic. He's a badguy, yay!
    • Racer-Bot BETA: Same mold as the Glow-Bot, but without the glowing bit and done in clear purple.
    • Strong-Bot Cement Mixer: Clear yellow and has the mixer as a hand.
    • Fire-Bot: Clear colorless recolor of Fire-Bot.
  • Wave 5c: REVIEW here. A batch of mostly recolors, plus a Speed-Bot-ing of the as-yet unreleased Racer-Bot ALPHA. Rang up as Invisibility Force, but they're not clear plastic.
    • Gorilla-Bot: Optimus Primal style recolor of the original Gorillabot.
    • Cop-Bot Motorcycle: Buzzer-Bot Motorcycle in Cop-Bot colors.
    • Strong-Bot Pickup Truck: Flash-Bot recolored, reassembled and remolded a bit into another Strong-Bot.
    • Speed-Bot Muscle Car: A Mustang-ish street racer originally scheduled to come out as Racer-Bot ALPHA. Not a great mold, tired of Speed-Bot name.
  • Wave 6: REVIEW. Wave 2 of the Invisibility Force, all recolors of earlier molds. Never sold in mass market in the U.S., but eventually showed up at closeout stores like Tuesday Morning.
    • Speed-Bot: The original mold in clear plastic. Looks nice, but I wasn't about to buy ANOTHER copy of this mold. Update: a friend wanted it, though, so I picked it up and reviewed it in-package before sending it off.
    • Reptron: Similar to the dark-color Reptron of Wave 3b, but with clear blue and clear smoky plastic. May be one of Preditron's "unruly" bots.
    • Strong-Bot: Strong Bot All-Terrain with the yellow plastic made clear, and less paint apps.
    • Racer-Bot ALPHA: The Speed-Bot Muscle Car in its original name before getting absorbed into the Speed-Bot Collective. Another unruly bot, looks nice.


DELUXE

$12 price point, sound but no lights.

  • Mirage-Bot and Speed-Bot II - Formula One race cars, partially autotransforming. They come with driver figures and one other figure each. Kinda disappointing in robot mode, but decent otherwise. Speed-Bot II was later re-named Speed-Bot Racer.
  • Speed-Bot Racer (v2) and Aero-Bot Racer - Aero-Bot is a recolor of the above two, Speed-Bot Racer is a new mold but has the same sound chip as Speed-Bot II. New driver figure for this wave. Pic of Speed-Bot Racer in a dynamic pose.
  • Speed-Bot Racer (v3), Mototron Racer and Fast-Bot - Speed-Bot Racer is a new mold, Formula 5 I think. Mototron Racer is Speed-Bot Racer (v2) with Mototron colors. Fast-Bot is Speed-Bot Racer (v1) in yellow and red, with a new driver figure. Never released in mass-market stores in the U.S., only overseas. But they may end up at Tuesday Morning as well.


MEGA

$14-15 price point, light and sound gimmicks.

  • Aerobot - A jet. I forgot to mention in the review, but a "gerwalk" mode is possible. Renamed Aero-Bot in the Go-Bot packaging.
  • Silverbolt - An extensive remold and recolor of Aerobot with new voice bits. Also called Silverbolt II on the bio note. Later renamed Silver-Bot.
  • Chrome Aero-Bot and Silver-Bot - Same jets, in chrome. Packaged in jet mode instead of robot mode, not sure if the sounds changed.
  • Flying Fists Aero-Bot and Silver-Bot - Forearms are remolded to launch fists (on the ends of strings) with a spring mechanism. Some color tweaking as well. REVIEW of Flying-Fists Silver-Bot.
  • Final recolors - Both regular versions got one more tweak of color schemes about the same time the Invisibilty Force toys came out.


ULTRA

$20 price point, no electronics.

  • Speed-Bot Dragster - Speed-Bot gets yet another form, a huge dragster with a Jay Leno chin.
  • Copter-Bot - Sadly, this one never made it to stores anywhere.


SUPER

$40 price point, light and sound.

  • Hauler-Bot - HUGE. Truck and trailer, the trailer splits into two animal bots or combine with the main robot to make a 14" tall Super Go-Bot Robot.