Dave's Transformers Page: Alternators
Last Updated: 11/24/08 More RoadBots added.


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    The Alternators line goes back to the classic G1 characters and finally gives us highly articulated versions that transform into realistic vehicles (having licensed the likenesses). Of course, this comes at a price...the cheapest is about $20, and Prime will end up more expensive than Unicron. I'm splitting them into Mega ($20) and Ruinous ($80). Hasbro has confirmed that there will NOT be 1:24 scale Decepticon jets. Rather, recolors/remolds of the Autobots will eventually be released as Decepticons (i.e. Stunticons et al).

    The storyline, as used in Binaltech in Japan and not official in the U.S., is as follows: The Decepticons used Cosmic Rust to devastate the small band of Autobots left behind on Earth. To protect the planet, car manufacturers retooled to build new bodies for the Sparks of these damaged Autobots. Dr. Archeville brainwashed employees of the relavant companies into rebuilding some Decepticons in upgraded versions of the bodies, although former combiner team members have lost the ability to combine as a result.

    A U.S. storyline is being worked on, and a cartoon is rumored...of course, it could be on the same level as the Go-Bots cartoon.

MEGA
    Most of the line seems to be at this price point, with the vehicle modes being 1/24 scale reproductions of actual cars. The Japanese Binaltech versions have die cast metal parts, the US versions do not. It looks like most will get slight remolds and repaints, but Hasbro has said they will never remold one brand of car as another (so Side Swipe might get remolded as a different model of Dodge Viper, but not as a Corvette).
  • 1. Smokescreen: Race-modified Subaru Impreza WRC 2003 in blue. With lots of rally logos.
    • Recolor/Remold - 4. Silverstreak: Smokescreen recolor and slight but significant remold to a WRX instead of a WRC. Car mode is all silver (metalflake, not chrome).
    • Recolor/Remold - 20. Ricochet: Straight recolor of Silverstreak in the general colors of Ricochet, the U.S. name for Stepper (the black Japanese Targetmaster remold of Jazz in G1). Has a New Jersey license plate rather than the generic Autobot or Decepticon ones the toys have had so far. I'm not buying it, but it's a good mold and the color scheme has generally been well-received.
  • 2. Side Swipe: Convertible 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 in red. A bit hobbled in robot mode.
    • Recolor/Remold - 6. Dead End: Black Dodge Viper Competition Coupe hardtop. Decepticon. Despite having what is essentially Sunstreaker's head, this mold will not be reissued as Sunstreaker, according to Hasbro. The Binaltech storyline has this being built for Sunstreaker and stolen (and repainted) by Dead End.
    • Recolor - 18. Sunstreaker: Yellow recolor of Dead End, finally confirmed about a year after it was first rumored. Not the same look as the Binaltech version, the U.S. one has black "Viper stripes". I am not buying this one, I don't think the color matching is good and there's no remolding.
  • 3. Hound: A late-model Jeep Wrangler. Official name is Autobot Hound, apparently more trademark fun. Vehicle mode is forest green, but there's no star on the hood.
    • Recolor/Remold - 8. Swindle: Jeep Wrangler Custom. Decepticon. Ignore the Autobot symbol on pictures of the prototype seen at OTFCC, it does have a Decepticon symbol. The bright yellow color may seem inappropriate for the character, but I've seen the real vehicle and it is indeed that shade of yellow. The Binaltech storyline has this intended as Trailbreaker's new body, stolen by Swindle.
      • Justin Anderson is working on a set of G1-style Swindle Weapons for Alternators/Binaltech Swindle, using oversized knockoff Bruticus bits for the base.
    • Recolor - 19. Rollbar - A straight recolor of Swindle, in orangeish red. Slated for the second wave of the fishbowl packaging. Has a Colorado license plate. Not buying it myself, Justin (from above) is lukewarm on it.
  • 5. Autobot Tracks: A Corvette Z-06, in G1-evoking colors. Binaltech release is yellow, but that turned out to be too translucent when made in plastic instead of metal.
    • Recolor/Remold - 11. Battle Ravage: A black, red and silver repaint of Tracks with a panther head in robot mode and redone as a convertible. Someone's already worked out a four-legged fanmode...which seems to have been intentional on HasTak's part. Named Ravage in Japan.
    • Recolor/Remold - 15. Swerve: Red hardtop remold. Head is dead on to G1 Swerve's, but that's the only mold difference between it and Tracks. Comes with flaming hood stickers from BT-06 Tracks (which I applied to Tracks instead, looks spiffy).
  • 7. Meister: Mazda RX-8, CLICK HERE for a Mazda webpage promotion of the car, with a short animated piece. It also has the first U.S. canonical appearance of the Binaltech storyline as applied to Alternators. The version on the Mazda site was designed in-house, and the actual toy has some differences.
    • Recolor/Remold - 12. Shockblast: Blue RX-8 with some body remolding in vehicle mode (more of a racing shell, called a Mazdaspeed), a new head and a gun-hand. Like the Energon version, it's supposed to be Shockwave, but Hasbro lost the trademark to Lanard. It's blue. And has horrible QC.
  • 9. Grimlock: Ford Mustang GT, has correct Grimlock head in robot mode and carries a sword and gun.
    • Recolor/Remold - 13. Wheeljack: Ford Mustang Street Tuning variant. Mixes in some Energon Downshift elements.
  • 10. Windcharger: Honda S2000, Hasbro has up official pics. He's red, and a convertable with a removable ragtop that acts as a shield. His engineblock gun has been neutered and is officially a shield too, but I fixed that. Several people online are offering actual reproduction parts. Has an Overdrive homage head, and named Overdrive in Japan.
    • Recolor/Remold - 14. Decepticharge: Hardtop racing variant Mugen S2000 (Mugen is the customizing company). Has a Windcharger-homage head, due to a number of changes in plans that bounced the head around. Think of it as the Decepticons stealing Windcharger's original body, but the Autobots got another S2000 before the Decepticons could boot up the stolen one.
  • 16. Prowl: Acura RSX in the classic Japanese Federal Police car color scheme. It's a highway pursuit car rather than a four-door patrol prowl car. Being released at the tail end of the red box era, was also part of the first wave of white bubble packaging.
    • Remold/Recolor - 23. Autobot Camshaft: A gray Acura RSX Type-S without police accessories. Early ads had it named Bluestreak, but that fell through.
  • 17. Skids: Scion xB in blue with flame decos and general pimpin'. Review also brings together the "Fishbowl" wave 1.
  • 21. Optimus Prime: Dodge Ram SRT-10, the sporty variant of the pickup truck with a Viper V-10 engine. While pictures don't really show it, he does have knees, and they bend almost 90 degrees. A noble effort, but too many design constraints resulted in a so-so toys.
    • Recolor - 24. Nemesis Prime: Black and blue recolor, a convention exclusive.
  • 22. Mirage: Ford GT10. Definitely a fitting mold for the character, since the "drive off" cost of this car is about a quarter of a million dollars.
  • 24. Decepticon Rumble: Honda Civic Si, an all new mold. Available in the U.S. only as a Wal-Mart exclusive. And yes, this is a second #24, they goofed.
  • 26. Ravage: Ravage gets an all-new mold, a Jaguar XK, and transforms into a jaguar rather than a robot this time. Available in the U.S. only as a Wal-Mart exclusive, but also available in other packaging overseas.

ULTRA
    There are rumblings of a $30 price point. This would not be enough for semis or 1/24 scale jets (or even 1/48 scale jets, really), but would allow for SUVs, vans, etc. Including a potential Hummer Ironhide, I suppose. Nothing confirmed yet, however.


RUINOUS
    So far, only "Masterpiece Optimus Prime" (or MPOP) exists at this scale. Named "20th Anniversary Optimus Prime" in the U.S. Strictly speaking it's not actually an Alternator (no licensed vehicle mode), but I'll put it here anyway. Will be the most expensive Transformer since Fortress Maximus, at $63-90 depending on store.
  • 20th Anniversary Prime review
  • Masterpiece Ultra Magnus - A white recolor of MPOP, no trailer. However, some fan-made transforming trailers have cropped up. Not released in the U.S.
  • Masterpiece Starscream - Not released in the U.S. yet.
  • Masterpiece Megatron - Likely not to ever be released in the U.S.



ROADBOTS
    These are Alternators-ish figures from noted Hong Kong company Happy Well. They come in three size classes: 1:32 scale, 1:18 scale and 1:12 scale (which are HUGE). They don't have a storyline or techspecs, so I made up my own.

  • 1:32 Wave 1 - Ford GT and Mitsubishi Pajero (Montero). This file also has my fanficky background that ties the toys into Alternators/Binaltech.
  • 1:32 Wave 2 - Totoya Celica and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
  • 1:32 Wave 3 - Hummer H3, Lamborghini Murcielago, Toyota Supra. The H3 is pretty bad, the other two decent.
  • 1:18 Toyota Celica - Not collecting the bigger ones in any significant way, but I decided to grab one on clearance to see if they were any better.
  • 1:32 Morphbots - Knockoffs of Roadbots, $3 each and not really worth it unless you just want cheap vehicle shell pieces.