1996's Beast Wars brand granted new life to the Transformers franchise, despite changing its course forever. The line continued into 1997, growing with new characters, toys, games, and cartoon episodes. Takara also introduced Japanese Beast Wars, using its own selection of toys from the previous year, including some slightly modified decos.
As the success of the Beast Wars line grew domestically and abroad, Kenner stuck to the same formula as the previous year, using standard size classes to group its releases. Kenner also introduced two gift set only combiner teams to Beast Wars, sold at the Ultra class price point. Meanwhile, Takara chose to package their selections in windowed boxes, each custom fit to the figure inside, resulting in a huge variety of sizes and shapes.
A footnote to the success of Beast Wars was the Machine Wars series, which was distributed only through KB Toys stores. The series was comprised of only 12 figures, including modified versions of Europe's G1 Predators and Turbomasters, and four new flip-change basic class molds, created in the style of early Beast Wars basics. With such narrow release, and no supporting fiction, Machine Wars was over before it began, and quickly faded to obscurity.