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Transformers Animated

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Japan Equivalent: Animated (Japan)

After the massive success of the Transformers Movie line, Hasbro had to switch gears to a regular cartoon-based series in 2008, until the Hollywood sequels could be delivered. The resulting partnership with Cartoon Network created a different breed of series - toys designed after the cartoon, instead of the other way around: Transformers Animated.

Animated did more than showcase function following form: the artistic form changed dramatically. The TV series featured a very contemporary cartoon style: heavy, swooping lines and cel-shaded areas. This visual style attracted much ire from fans, who were used to a more traditional anime style, or perhaps CG animation. Animated traded blockiness and realism for some of the most highly-stylized designs seen in Transformers. TakaraTomy’s engineering department followed close suit, and developed sleek, smooth toy designs that were very coherent in both modes. Some figures (typically Voyagers) also had automorph gimmicks like Movie before them. Unfortunately, like Movie, some of these gimmicks proved to be weak points of the toy.

Animated broke ranks from many previous series, and did not have any over-arching gimmicks or play features. Each character was equipped with accessories and action features as appropriate to that figure, such as interchangeable tools, triple-changing, or combining. The toys fit into the usual size classes (Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader), but like Movie, included some special classes targeted at younger audiences. Bumper Battlers featured vehicles that flipped up a robot from inside when the bumper was pressed, along with numerous electronic voice recordings. Activators supplanted Scout Class figures, and each featured simple push-button spring loaded transformations. The line also featured a number of Target exclusive giftsets, usually containing a redeco of a main-line figure packed with either an Activator or two Legends Class toys.

Animated spent its short life plagued by accusations of particularly poor quality control. Mis-assembled parts, voids (pockets of air left in the plastic mold leaving holes in a part), and too-loose or too-tight fitment were all common complaints registered by fans online. Infamously, a spate of the much-awaited Blitzwing figure were spotted in stores without heads. By 2009, the line had run its course, with a legacy of a few Animated toys included in later toylines due to the unique (and incompatible) visual style. More importantly, Revenge of the Fallen was ready to dominate the toy shelves.

 

Activators

Armor Up Optimus Prime

Autobot Ratchet

Bandit Lockdown
Battlefield Bumblebee

Bulkhead

Bumblebee
Cliffjumper

Dirge
Fireblast Grimlock

Grimlock

Lockdown
Megatron

Optimus Prime
Patrol Bumblebee

Soundwave
Starscream

Thundercracker

Bumper Battlers

Autobot Jazz

Autobot Ratchet

Bulkhead

Bumblebee

Lockdown

Nightwatch Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Soundwave

Sting Racer Bumblebee

Deluxe Class

Arcee
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive
Autobot Jazz

Autobot Ratchet

Blackarachnia

Blazing Lockdown

Blurr

Bumblebee

Cybertron Mode Autobot Ratchet
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive

Cybertron Mode Ironhide
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive

Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime
Electrostatic Soundwave

Elite Guard Bumblebee
Freeway Jazz

Lockdown

Oil Slick
Prowl

Rodimus Minor
Toys 'R' Us Exclusive

Samurai Prowl

Sentinel Prime

Snarl
Soundwave
Swindle

Swoop
Waspinator

Entertainment Packs

Jetfire and Jetstorm

The Battle Begins

Gift Sets

Rescue Ratchet with Starscream and Prowl
Target Exclusive

Shockwave vs Bumblebee
Target Exclusive

Stealth Lockdown with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime
Target Exclusive
Sunstorm vs Autobot Ratchet
Target Exclusive

Leader Class

Bulkhead

Megatron

Roadbuster Ultra Magnus

Shadow Blade Megatron

Ultra Magnus

McDonald's Happy Meal

Autobot Ratchet

Bumblebee

Bumblebee
Latin America Exclusive

Lugnut

Megatron
Latin America Exclusive

Megatron

Optimus Prime
Latin America Exclusive

Optimus Prime

Starscream
Latin America Exclusive

Starscream

Power Bots

Cyber Speed Bumblebee

Patrol Bumblebee

Roleplay

Optimus Prime Battle Blaster

Supreme Class

Roll out Command Optimus Prime

Value Packs

Battle in Space
Target Exclusive

The Revenge of Blackarachnia
Target Exclusive

Voyager Class

Atomic Lugnut

Blitzwing

Bulkhead
Cybertron Mode Megatron

Grimlock
Lugnut
Optimus Prime

Shockwave

Skywarp
Starscream

Wreck-Gar