Transformers: Robots in Disguise, commonly abbreviated as “RiD”, started in 2000 as Takara's plan to contrast the recent Beast-era series with something more in the vein of Generation 1. It was a bit different spin though, as the bad guys remained divided between the beastlike Predacons and the mechanical Decepticons. The line was interesting in Hasbro's lack of involvement in the development. In 2001 the line was largely ported directly from the preceeding Japanese release, including a dubbed-over anime originally written only for the Japanese market.
The line featured many new molds and new characters (mostly Autobots), which had a much higher complexity than previous lines. The line also included many redecorated older toys as primary characters, hailing from nearly every previous Transformers series. This resulted in a huge variety of style and form, from blocky G1 redecos to sleek, realistic vehicles with Beast Wars articulation.
The line sold well, but Hasbro had fallen somewhat behind Takara's development cycle, so until the next series (Armada) was ready, Hasbro had to fill the line up with more redecos to keep new toys on the shelves and pegs. By the end of the line in early 2003, molds had been sourced from Generation 1, Generation 2, Beast Wars, Machine Wars, and Beast Machines…every previous toyline. The line would be the last story-based line to stand alone for quite some time, as Takara had big plans in store.