In 2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the third installment in the multi-billion dollar Movie
trilogy quadrilogy “cinematic universe”. While it did not enjoy a merchandising storm quite as massive as its predecessors, it included a very well-advertised toyline, using many new molds. DOTM’s toyline was fated to truncation however, possibly due to slumping sales.
DOTM rearranged some of the size classes slightly. Legends class toys were regrouped into “Cyberverse” Legion class. Cyberverse sought to expand on the “micro” play scale, by including playsets of varying description and replacing the Scout class with larger figures in the Cyberverse scale, dubbed Cyberverse Commander class. DOTM also expanded on the Human Alliance concept, issuing Human Alliance Basic toys: a human figure in scale with previous Alliance toys, but including an offscreen robot with a smaller alt mode, such as a dune buggy or motorbike. While the main Human Alliance offerings continued to depict popular characters, the Basics were new, off-screen characters- uncommon in any of the movie toylines.
Like the two movie-based toylines before, many store exclusives were released, mostly using existing tooling in a new deco. DOTM’s indigenous molds focused on a new play feature, MechTech weaponry. Each main-line figure of deluxe or larger scale came with a spring-loaded weapon that could change into a different type of weapon when a button was pushed, or be interchangeably connected to other MechTech weapons. In many cases, the MechTech weapon looked like a nondescript brick or lump in its natural form. Unfortunately, none of the weapons packed with deluxe class toys could “lock” in their expanded form, and would immediately snap back to brick mode when the button was released. Voyager and Leaders’ weapons could often lock in the alternate form, allowing it to be statically displayed either way. Early rumors described a “superweapon” that could be assembled from the regular weapons with yet-unreleased instructions, but these claims turned out to be wholly unsubstantiated.
While the figures themselves remained largely realistic licensed replicas of real vehicles, and retained their intricacy of design from previous movie toylines, many figures paid for their large MechTech weapons by downsizing the main figure of the set. In some cases the figure was visually out-of-scale with toys from previous movies; in others, they were simply lighter or less substantial internally.
DOTM ground to a halt after nearly half as many waves as its forerunners, leaving several figures unreleased in the US, including on-screen characters that had no other toy representation. To add to the sense of collapse, a single Optimus Prime toy formerly exclusive to Japan was relased under a follow-up series called “Movie Triolgy Series”. Due to continual sales decline, this line was scrapped after this lone release. Ending in the year of its birth, DOTM left a legacy of massive clearances, dollar-store specials, and surprisingly few redecoes of its new molds. The movie-verse was far from done, however, and would continue with a “soft reboot” as Age of Extinction, featuring a new cast of characters (except for Bumblebee and Optimus Prime).