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Transformers: The Year Ahead
Pictures, News and Rumours of what's to come

by Anthony Brucale

This future looks very bright if you are a Transformers fan. The next year will bring not just one line as we are used to, but several lines of figures aimed at everyone from kids to adult collectors.

Transformers: Armada

The current Armada line will continue with several Powerlinx repaints spanning nearly the whole line. In addition we will see a number of Mini-Con repaints as well as the Unicron Battles portion of Armada draws near a close. The Mini-Con teams to be repainted include the Emergency Team and the Air Military Team.

Armada Cheetor and Predacon
Armada Cheetor
Assorted Mini-Cons
Assorted Mini-Cons 2
Assorted Mini-Cons 3
Powerlinx Jetfire
Powerlinx Recolors
(Wheeljack, Red Alert, Demolisher,
Nemesis Prime)
Powerlinx Thrust, Cyclonus,
Regular Wheeljack (out now),
Powerlinx Hot Shot
Powerlinx Hot Shot
(Center)
Nemesis Prime, Powerlnix Demolisher,
Powerlinx Wheeljack
Thrust
(Powerlinx and Regular)
Unicron

Transformers: Energon

Transformers: Energon appears to have lots of promise. At the Hasbro panel a short animation sample was shown, and so far the test phase is substancially better than the Armada animation. Energon takes place 10 years after the end of Armada, so expect to see a number of carry-over characters. Also, the line seems to take the notion of combination much further. Beyond Mini-Cons, which will return in Energon, the smaller Autobots portion of the line will be able to cross-combine with one another to form super modes, very similar to the way members of Multiforce could combine to form the upper and lower halves of a robot in the Victory series.

Other things of note:

A new faction, the Omnicons, will emerge. Omnicons will form weapons for the larger figures to use.
The series will start in Feb. 2004 and run 52 episodes.
An Arcee figure is being planned.
Optimus combines with four other vehicles, including a helicopter and a drill tank, to form a super mode. Whether or not the vehicles are drones and/or included with Prime has yet to be determined.

Energon Group Shot
(L to R: Battle Ravage, Skyblast,
Recolored Star Saber, Hot Shot, Ironhide)
Energon Inferno
Energon Ironhide
Energon Hot Shot
Energon Hot Shot
Skyblast
Energon Group Shots

Transformers: Alternators

The Alternators line is aimed more at adult collectors and is based on real cars. each figure will be modeled in 1:24 scale and have numerous features such as opening doors, hoods and trunks and movable seats. So far, 10 cars are planned for the line with more to follow if the line is successful. At the Hasbro both, the first toy in the line, Smokescreen was on display and at the panel, images for the next toy, Sideswipe, based on a Dodge Viper were shown.Many of the robots will be G1 inspired and will retail for about $20. The Japanese Takara versions will feature diecast metal but will retail for a higher cost.

Smokescreen

Transformers: Universe

Transformers Universe is set around the tale previewed in the OTFCC comic. Essentially, Unicron is abducting Transformers from various continuities to battle one another so he can power himself on the energon released from their wounds. This line will be all repaints, but will feature characters from many generations. The repaints span from various lines, including Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Robots In Disguise. Armada figures will also be used for this line, as I have it on good word that Scavenger and Sideways repaints will appear in TF:U. Additionally, the recolored Overload is rumored to be TF:U Ultra Magnus. Also, with Unicron being an intergral part of the line, expect to see a Universe version of our favorite Chaos Bringer as well.

"Ultra Magnus"
Blackarachnia
Depth Charge
Depth Charge - Beast Mode
Inferno
Inferno - Vehicle Mode
Inferno
Omega Prime - Sam's Club Exclusive
Ratchet
"Scavenger"
"Sideways"
Vehicle Modes
Striker

Transformers: Built To Rule

The Built To Rule line will feature Armada characters in Lego-like block form. Each figure will be sold individually with Megatron and Cyclonus coming together in a 2-pack.

Cyclonus
Hot Shot
Jetfire
Megatron
Optimus Prime
Red Alert
Smokescreen

Store Exclusives, Reissues, and 20th Anniversary Prime

Store exclusives for this year include RID Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus for Sam's Club as part of the Transformers Universe line (pictured above as Omega Prime); additionally, the Robots In Disguise line will continue with a yellow repaint of Landfill exclusive to Wal*Mart and Megabolt and Jhiaxus (recolored from Megatron Megabolt and Stormjet, respectively) for KB stores.

The Commemorative Series reissues will continue as a Toys R Us exclusive and will feature Tracks, Hoist, and Inferno in Series V and Smokescreen and Grapple in Series VI.

20th Anniversary Optimus Prime will feature diecast parts, rubber tires, and a wrist communicator. He will ship to Toys R Us stores first before other retail outlets and will retail for $75. He will also come with a classic rifle, his energy axe, and a Megatron in gun mode for him to hold. He will not, however, come with a trailer.

Jhiaxus
Megabolt
Yellow Landfill

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