Defensor was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Protectobots, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however. Defensor was designed by Kaoru Matsumoto. His US Patent, titled Assembled humanoid robot toy (aka Transformers G1 Defensor) was filed on October 24, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD294157 S).
The Protectobots attach directly to Hot Spot using the standard rectangular connectors (the smaller figure’s heads, except for Streetwise) to form Defensor’ limbs. Like all US G1 combiners, he requires a number of accessories to complete his combined robot form, namely fists, footpads, a waist plate, and a two chest armor halves. The fists and feet attach by a standard 5mm peg. Defensor's light-colored combined mode is one of the smaller combiners from G1. He is also the only one to dual-wield weapons.
Defensor’ Protectobots are all relatively sturdy, and their weaknesses are described in their individual articles. Always use care when removing Defensor’ limbs from Hot Spot, to prevent breakage of the heads or connector pegs.
Defensor has several production variations. The gift sets contained uniform sets of either metal or plastic variants, it is unknown which types were available. The variants individual figures available globally are discussed in their articles. Typically, aftermarket Defensor sets will include figures different variations available in their region of origin.
Defensor was available in 1986, individually carded and boxed, or as a boxed gift set. Due to the popularity of the combiners, he was available again in 1987 with or without a random red Autobot Decoy packed in with the small members. He was re-released on new gold colored individual cards and box in Europe’s G1 as the Classic Protectobots in 1991.
Redecos & Retools
Defensor’s mold was redecoed in 1992 in Takara’s Operation Combination as the Guard City gift set. Defensor was slated to be released in G2, decorated in bright colors and sold as individual members. This was release was ultimately canceled, but a few prototypes exist in the wild, including some sealed small members. In recent years, the handful of these sets in existance have become some of the most sought-after and valuable rares in the fandom, and they very rarely change hands.