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.
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
- 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,
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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
- Masterpiece Starscream - Not released in the U.S. yet.
- Masterpiece Megatron - Likely not to ever be released in the U.S.
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
- 1:32 Wave 2 - Totoya Celica and Mitsubishi Lancer
- 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.