We waited, we begged, we pleaded, we hoped. And in 2001, we finally got our wish: Hasbro finally took the Transformers back to the vehicle age. After several years of Beast Wars and a compromised year with the Beast Machines, the Autobots have finally returned and Optimus Prime is no longer primal.

The premise this time is rather different than the "parallel universe" which the previous Transformers came from: Megatron and his Predacons have arrived on Earth in search of energy to steal, but Optimus Prime and the Autobots have been in disguise as human-owned vehicles for some time now. The Autobots have a secret underground headquarters and everything, but that's all run by computer -- when they're not battling the enemy somewhere, they're back in disguise among the humans they're protecting.

The RiD lineup is a direct reproduction of last year's Transformers Car Robots from Japan, with only a few small changes to each figure and several new figures added to the toy line. Even the cartoon is a straight English language dub of the Japanese Car Robots, with minor additions and subtractions for the sake of an American audience. Hasbro is re-entering the Transformers line with caution, spending as little money as possible and letting Takara take all the risk. Considering that Car Robots wasn't nearly as successful as Takara would have hoped, their caution is probably well-spent.

While many of the toys are new (to Americans, anyway), their names are not. As with Beast Wars, Hasbro decided to reuse as many names as possible from the original Generation One Transformers. Optimus Prime and Megatron are still leading the opposing sides, Ultra Magnus is still a car carrier, and Prowl is still a police car. The only other two new characters are X-Brawn (Brawn) and Side Burn (Sideswipe?), who almost retained his Japanese name of Speedbreaker (it's used once on his packaging). The other toys in the RiD lineup are all borrowed from previous generations of Transformers, some from the Machine Wars and others from later Beast Wars, simply with their colors and names (and sometimes their allegiance) changed.

Collectors and young children generally don't care about such things, though. They just buy the toys.


Robots in Disguise Toys

Besides bringing over all the original Transformers Car Robots toys and giving them new names, Hasbro decided to "amplify" the line with a few creations of their own. Few of the new toys were actually new, though. Most are imported from previous Beast Machines or Beast Wars toys, and a couple, most notably Megabolt Megatron, were toys from those lines that were designed but never manufactured. (In the list below, the Car Robots toys are hardlinked, and the Hasbro-only toys are italicized.) Since the cartoon was imported and dubbed from the Japan episodes, only the Car Robots toys were ever featured in the show.

The groupings -- Basic, Deluxe, Mega, Ultra, Super, and Supreme -- are those used by Hasbro to separate the toys by size and price point. Generally speaking, all the toys in a single grouping use similar packaging and cost the same amount of money at the same store. Some toys were packaged in sets of two or three to make them more attractive to buyers. Toys that are part of a "combiner" team are identified as such.

Autobots

Basic
Crosswise - blue sports car (with W.A.R.S.)
Daytonus - yellow/black racecar (with Side Burn)
Hot Shot - black sports car (with R.E.V.)
Ironhide - white/black pickup truck (with Mirage)
Mirage - white/blue Formula 1 racecar (with Ironhide)
Optimus Prime - red fire truck
Prowl 2 - white/blue police car (with Side Swipe)
R.E.V. (Race EVolution) - yellow sports car (with Hot Shot)
Side Burn - blue sports car (with Daytonus)
Side Swipe - green/black sports car (with Prowl 2)
W.A.R.S. (Wicked Attack Recon Sportscar) - red sports car (with Crosswise)
Ultra Magnus - white/blue/grey car carrier
X-Brawn - grey SUV (with Scourge)
Deluxe
Grimlock - green excavator (combines to form Landfill)
Heavy Load - yellow mining truck (combines to form Landfill)
Hightower - red mobile crane (combines to form Landfill)
Prowl - white/black police car
Side Burn - blue sports car
Skid-Z - purple/white Formula 1 racecar (with Wind Sheer)
Storm Jet - red/white jet
"Supercharged" Prowl - blue/white police car
"Supercharged" Side Burn - red sports car
"Supercharged" X-Brawn - white/green rally SUV
Tow-Line - green two truck (with Skyfire)
Wedge - orange bulldozer (combines to form Landfill)
X-Brawn - grey SUV
Mega
Midnight Express - white/blue bullet train (combines to form Rail Racer)
Mirage GT - yellow/black racecar (with Nightcruz and Scavenger)
Nightcruz - black attack jet (with Mirage GT and Scavenger)
Railspike - white/blue bullet train (combines to form Rail Racer)
Rapid Run - grey/black bullet train (combines to form Rail Racer)
Scavenger - blue/white excavator (with Mirage GT and Nightcruz)
Sideways - yellow/black motorcycle (with Axer)
Super
Optimus Prime - red/grey fire truck (combines to form Omega Prime)
Ultra Magnus - white/blue/grey car carrier (combines to form Omega Prime)
Supreme
Air Attack Optimus Primal - gold/black/grey gorilla
Fortress Maximus - black/blue/red armed fortress (with headmaster Cerebros)

Predacons

Deluxe
Dark Scream - turquoise/grey flying squirrel (with Gas Skunk and Slapper)
Gas Skunk - black/orange skunk (with Dark Scream and Slapper)
Sky-Byte - grey/blue shark
Slapper - red/black frog (with Dark Scream and Gas Skunk)
Mega
Bruticus - red/black/yellow three-headed dog
Ultra
Cryotek - blue dragon
Megatron - black/purple jet/dragon/bat/car/hand

Decepticons

Basic
Armorhide - blue/black tank (combines to form Ruination)
Movor - white/black space shuttle (combines to form Ruination)
Obsidian - tan jet
Rollbar - olive green military jeep (combines to form Ruination)
Ro-Tor - blue/orange attack helicopter (combines to form Ruination)
Scourge - black truck cab (with X-Brawn)
Mega
Axer - blue/silver motorcycle (with Sideways)
Megabolt Megatron - blue/grey mechanical head
Mega-Octane - orange/green missile carrier (combines to form Ruination)
Skyfire - grey/purple fighter jet (with Tow-Line)
Wind Sheer - black/green fighter jet (with Skid-Z)
Ultra
Galvatron - black/white mammoth/griffin/phoenix/hovercraft
Scourge - black/silver tanker truck

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episodes

While the episodes weren't actually broadcast in the following order, this is the chronological order of the greater story and the order in which they were broadcast in Japan as Transformers: Car Robots. Some episodes were shown out of order to account for the dual weekday afternoon/Saturday morning schedule, while others were delayed or removed entirely following the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. The removed episodes were #17 "Attack From Outer Space," eventually shown on Canadian television, and #21 "Landfill" and #22 "Sky-Byte Saves The Day," which were shown for the first time at the 2002 Botcon convention.

  1. Battle Protocol!
  2. An Explosive Situation
  3. Bullet Train to the Rescue
  4. Spychangers to the Rescue
  5. The Hunt for Black Pyramid
  6. The Secret of the Ruins
  7. Sideburn's Obsession
  8. Secret Weapon: D-5
  9. Mirage's Betrayal
  10. Skid-Z's Choice
  11. Tow-Line Goes Haywire
  12. The Ultimate Robot Warrior
  13. Hope for the Future
  1. The Decepticons
  2. Commandos
  3. Volcano
  4. Attack From Outer Space
  5. The Test
  6. The Fish Test
  7. Wedge's Short Fuse
  8. Landfill
  9. Sky-Byte Saves The Day
  10. A Test of Metal
  11. Ultra Magnus
  12. Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion!
  13. Lessons From the Past
  1. The Two Faces of Ultra Magnus
  2. Power to Burn!
  3. Fortress Maximus
  4. Koji Gets His Wish
  5. A Friendly Contest
  6. Peril from the Past
  7. Maximus Emerges
  8. The Human Element
  9. The Mystery of Ultra Magnus
  10. Mistaken Identity
  11. Surprise Attack!
  12. Galvatron's Revenge
  13. The Final Battle

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