Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (commonly abbreviated ROTF) debuted as a movie and a toyline in 2009, and was a sequel to “Movie” in every way. Accompanied by a huge marketing blitz, the movie and toyline were huge sales successes.
ROTF toys continued to largely be comprised of licensed replicas of cars and other vehicles, and shared the same gritty mechanical stylings as their predecessors. However, the line did make some noteworthy changes to the overall form and function of the toys. ROTF toys typically had fewer accessories than Movie, favoring built-in weapons and non-firing guns. They also dropped the “Automorph” feature which often suffered from mechanical breakdowns. In its place, TakaraTomy engineered “MechAlive” into each new mold: moving the robot’s limbs would cause mechanical parts visible through the character’s endoskeleton to move. This could often be very simple, basically exposing the connector of a joint and decorating it with mechanical parts. Other toys had more complex gear-driven mechanisms, but the interior parts could not be forced or jammed like the previous Automorph toys, making MechAlive toys less likely to break.
The series distinguished itself by not reusing molds from non-movie series, keeping the aesthetic much more uniform, even though the Movie molds included tended to be distinctly bulkier looking. Many main characters received new molds in the same size classes as their original releases, changing their aesthetic to match the rest of the series.
The ancillary size classes were revamped. All of the younger-audience sublines were included under the umbrella of “Fast Transformers Fun”. Cyber Stompin’ Robots were replaced with less chunky-looking Power Bots and Mega Power Bots. Fast Action Battlers made a strong showing, with new molds for every main character. Bumper Battlers were replaced by Gravity Bots, which automatically changed forms when placed standing up or on the wheels, and Battle Chargers, which flipped open to reveal the robot when the front bumper was “crashed”. Robot Replicas saw another wave, though without any accessories.
Two noteworthy additions filled in the gaps of the price range: Human Alliance and RPMs (Robot Powered Machines). Human Alliance toys were larger, detailed versions of a handful of car characters that came with human action figures. The Transformers in these sets were based around action features that the human figure could operate. RPMs were die-cast and plastic vehicles in 1/64th scale that had an image of the robot mode embossed and painted on the underside of the vehicle chassis.
The line ended at the end of the year in a somewhat unusual way, from the perspective of contemporary marketing strategies. Rather than featuring a package refresh to disguise all the recolored molds to big-box store purchasing agents, the series simply dropped off, and left a whole new series in its wake - Transformers (just…“Transformers”).