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A '''Transmetal''' is a (generally) [[Vok]]-related enhanced form of a [[Beast Wars]] era Transformer, featuring a "mutated superstructure" which seems to be made out of some kind of organic metal.
 
A '''Transmetal''' is a (generally) [[Vok]]-related enhanced form of a [[Beast Wars]] era Transformer, featuring a "mutated superstructure" which seems to be made out of some kind of organic metal.
   
 
__TOC__
 
{{-}}
 
 
==Transmetal (first wave)==
 
==Transmetal (first wave)==
[[Image:Megs_transmetal.JPG|left|thumb|200px|"With the power of ''shininess,'' I shall be unstoppable!"]]
+
[[Image:Megs_transmetal.JPG|left|thumb|200px|"With the power of ''shininess'', I shall be unstoppable!"]]
   
In beast mode, the Transmetals seemed almost, if not entirely, mechanical, much like the animal forms of their [[Generation 1|predecessors]]. However, as part of a partial "inversion", many of their robot modes bore organic elements, such as [[Cheetor (BW)|Cheetor]]'s furry chest. Transmetals also typically featured a third "mobility" mode. While not full vehicular modes, these half-modes gave aspects of a vehicle to the existing beast forms. Examples included Rattrap as a wheeled rat, Primal as a sky-surfing gorilla, Cheetor as a jet-powered cat, and [[Megatron (BW)|Megatron]] as a [[Wikipedia:VTOL|VTOL]]-enhanced inline skater.
+
In beast mode, the Transmetals seemed almost, if not entirely, mechanical, much like the animal forms of their [[Generation 1|predecessors]]. However, as part of a partial "inversion", many of their robot modes bore organic elements, such as [[Cheetor (BW)|Cheetor]]'s furry chest. Transmetals also typically featured a third "mobility" mode. While not full vehicular modes, these half-modes gave aspects of a vehicle to the existing beast forms. Examples included Rattrap as a wheeled rat, Primal as a sky-surfing gorilla, Cheetor as a jet-powered cat, and [[Megatron (BW)|Megatron]] as a [[Wikipedia:VTOL|VTOL]]-enhanced inline skater.
 
{{-}}
 
{{-}}
 
===''Beast Wars'' cartoon===
 
===''Beast Wars'' cartoon===
 
[[Image:Optimus_transmetal.JPG|right|200px|thumb|Brass monkey.]]
 
[[Image:Optimus_transmetal.JPG|right|200px|thumb|Brass monkey.]]
   
The Transmetals were created as a result of Transformers being bathed in a [[quantum surge]] after the destruction of the Vok [[Planet Buster]]. {{storylink|Aftermath}} All the Beast Warriors who were not "born" from a [[protoform]] on Earth or shielded in a [[CR Chamber]] were altered. Why Earth-"born" Transformers were unaffected by the surge's effects a mystery, especially considering that protoforms still in stasis pods ''were'' affected to various degrees.
+
The Transmetals were created as a result of Transformers being bathed in a [[quantum surge]] after the destruction of the Vok [[Planet Buster]]. {{storylink|Aftermath}} All the Beast Warriors who were not "born" from a [[protoform]] on Earth or shielded in a [[CR Chamber]] were altered. Why Earth-"born" Transformers were unaffected by the surge's effects a mystery, especially considering that protoforms still in stasis pods were affected to various degrees.
   
The Transmetallized individuals were Megatron, [[Tarantulas (BW)|Tarantulas]], [[Rattrap]], and [[Cheetor]]. [[Scorponok (BW)|Scorponok]] and [[Terrorsaur (BW)|Terrorsaur]] were in the middle of their mutation when they fell into lava pits beneath the ''[[Darksyde]]'' and perished. [[Rampage (BW)|Rampage]] was Transmetallized in his stasis pod. {{storylink|Bad Spark}} It's unclear whether he was a true protoform at the time, but when [[Optimus Primal]]'s spark was transplanted into a fresh new protoform, the resulting form was Transmetal as well. {{storylink|Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2)}} Other protoforms in evidence include [[Transmutate]], who was judged "partially Transmetal," {{storylink|Transmutate}} and the [[Fuzor]]s [[Silverbolt (BW)|Silverbolt]] and [[Quickstrike (BW)|Quickstrike]], who displayed the Transmetal quality of immunity to the [[Metal Hunter]]'s weapon. {{storylink|Other Visits (Part 2)}} Even a fair bit of time after the surge, [[Depth Charge (BW)|Depth Charge]] was turned into a full Transmetal as he approached Earth in his ship. {{storylink|Deep Metal}}
+
The Transmetallized individuals were Megatron, [[Tarantulas (BW)|Tarantulas]], [[Rattrap]], and [[Cheetor]]. [[Scorponok (BW)|Scorponok]] and [[Terrorsaur (BW)|Terrorsaur]] were in the middle of their mutation when they fell into lava pits seeping into the [[Darksyde|Predacon base]] and perished. [[Rampage (BW)|Rampage]] was Transmetallized in his stasis pod. {{storylink|Bad Spark}} It's unclear whether he was a true protoform at the time, but when [[Optimus Primal]]'s spark was transplanted into a fresh new protoform, the resulting form was Transmetal as well. {{storylink|Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2)}} Other protoforms in evidence include [[Transmutate]], who was judged "partially Transmetal", {{storylink|Transmutate}} and the [[Fuzor]]s [[Silverbolt (BW)|Silverbolt]] and [[Quickstrike (BW)|Quickstrike]], who displayed the Transmetal quality of immunity to the [[Metal Hunter]]'s weapon. {{storylink|Other Visits (Part 2)}} Even a fair bit of time after the surge, [[Depth Charge (BW)|Depth Charge]] was turned into a full Transmetal as he approached Earth in his ship. {{storylink|Deep Metal}}
   
{{note|The [[Ain't No Rat|various]] [[Primeval Dawn|spinoff]] [[The Gathering|series]] of Beast Wars, despite being mutually exclusive, agree both that [[Ramulus|many]] [[Spittor|protoforms]] [[Optimus Minor|were]] Transmetallized, and that [[Razorclaw (BW)|some]] [[Bonecrusher (BW)|were]] not at all. There is no known determining factor.}}
+
{{note|The [[Ain't No Rat|various]] [[Primeval Dawn|spinoff]] [[The Gathering|series]] of Beast Wars, despite being mutually exclusive, agree both that [[Ramulus|many]] [[Spittor|protoforms]] [[Optimus Minor|were]] Transmetallized, and that [[Razorclaw (BW)|some]] [[Bonecrusher (BW)|were]] not at all. There is no known determining factor.}}
   
 
[[Image:Depth_charge_tm.JPG|left|200px|thumb|Yep, he's a Transmetal too. That's what happens when [[transwarp|time itself]] gets messed with.]]
 
[[Image:Depth_charge_tm.JPG|left|200px|thumb|Yep, he's a Transmetal too. That's what happens when [[transwarp|time itself]] gets messed with.]]
   
Most Transmetals had additional weapons and seemingly enhanced power levels. They were immune to some [[Vok]] weapons and possibly to the effects of [[energon]] radiation.
+
Most Transmetals had additional weapons and seemingly enhanced power levels. They were immune to some [[Vok]] weapons and possibly to the effects of [[energon]] radiation.
   
The evidence of the latter is scant, since most of the energon deposits on [[Earth]]'s surface had been destroyed or converted to stable [[energon cube]]s by the Planet Buster cannon. However, Transmetal Tarantulas was once seen standing beneath an energon cache, completely unaffected. {{storylink|Tangled Web}} Then not long afterwards, the non-Transmetal [[Inferno (BW)|Inferno]] suffered energon overload while in a cave containing energon crystals. {{storylink|The Agenda (Part 2)}} So immunity to the radiation may be an effect of Transmetallization.
+
The evidence of the latter is scant, since most of the energon deposits on [[Earth]]'s surface had been destroyed or converted to stable [[energon cube]]s by the Planet Buster cannon. However, Transmetal Tarantulas was once seen standing beneath an energon cache, completely unaffected. {{storylink|Tangled Web}} Then not long afterwards, the non-Transmetal [[Inferno (BW)|Inferno]] suffered energon overload while in a cave containing energon crystals. {{storylink|The Agenda (Part 2)}} So immunity to the radiation may be an effect of Transmetallization.
   
{{note|According to [[Ben Yee]], the Transmetals were originally conceived of by ''Beast Wars'' writers as "absorbing" energon radiation and then needing to discharge that energylater , typically as weapon energy.<ref>[http://www.bwtf.com/bw/tvshow/episodes/seasontwo/badspark/ Ben Yee's "Bad Spark" review]</ref> However, the only time this was hinted at in the series was during "[[Bad Spark]]", when Cheetor "farts" a little energon cloud.}}
+
{{note|According to [[Ben Yee]], the Transmetals were originally conceived of by ''Beast Wars'' writers as "absorbing" energon radiation and then needing to discharge that energylater , typically as weapon energy.<ref>[http://www.bwtf.com/bw/tvshow/episodes/seasontwo/badspark/ Ben Yee's "Bad Spark" review]</ref> However, the only time this was hinted at in the series was during "[[Bad Spark]]", when Cheetor "farts" a little energon cloud.}}
   
 
{{-}}
 
{{-}}
   
 
===Toys===
 
===Toys===
In addition to the characters mentioned above, Transmetal toys were also produced for [[Rhinox (BW)|Rhinox]], [[Airazor (BW)|Airazor]], [[Waspinator (BW)|Waspinator]], [[Terrorsaur (BW)|Terrorsaur]], and technically [[Inferno (BW)|Inferno]]. (The [[Scavenger (BW)|Scavenger]] toy was initially intended to be his Transmetal form, and was so in Japan and the UK.) None of these appeared on the show.
+
In addition to the characters mentioned above, Transmetal toys were also produced for [[Rhinox (BW)|Rhinox]], [[Airazor (BW)|Airazor]], [[Waspinator (BW)|Waspinator]], [[Terrorsaur (BW)|Terrorsaur]], and technically [[Inferno (BW)|Inferno]]. (The [[Scavenger (BW)|Scavenger]] toy was initially intended to be his Transmetal form, and was so in Japan and the UK.) None of these appeared on the show.
   
Scorponok, [[Blackarachnia (BW)|Blackarachnia]], and [[Dinobot (BW)|Dinobot]], though also not Transmetal in the show, were given their own Transmetal toys as Happy Meal pack-ins from McDonald's. [[Claw Jaw]] and [[Spittor]] were redecoed and sold as Transmetals in European markets with a VHS tape.
+
Scorponok, [[Blackarachnia (BW)|Blackarachnia]], and [[Dinobot (BW)|Dinobot]], though also not Transmetal in the show, were given their own Transmetal toys as Happy Meal pack-ins from McDonald's. [[Claw Jaw]] and [[Spittor]] were redecoed and sold as Transmetals in European markets with a VHS tape.
   
Initial Transmetal toys were not designed with guns, only melee weapons, contrary to the requirements of the animated series (kinda the opposite of the situation with [[Bludgeon (G1)|Bludgeon]] and co.'s toys vs. their comic book depictions). As a result, [[Mainframe Entertainment]] was forced to come up with creative solutions to give these characters ranged weapons without diminishing the newly increased [[Show-accuracy|toy accuracy]] of the show. Thus, [[Tarantulas]]'s handheld buzzsaw functioned like a gun and the green markings on his shoulders were depicted as missile ports, [[Megatron (BW)|Megatron]]'s pincer/whip/flail/"whiplash cutlass" thing (read: he's holding his damn tail) gained the ability to stiffen and fire like a cannon, and [[Cheetor (BW)|Cheetor]]'s hideous hands were capable of firing energy blasts, although only when placed together and thus temporarily making the halves of his beast-mode head whole, with the zaps emanating from its mouth (a pose impossible to achieve with the figure without unhinging the shoulders from the sides.)
+
Initial Transmetal toys were not designed with guns, only melee weapons, contrary to the requirements of the animated series (kinda the opposite of the situation with [[Bludgeon (G1)|Bludgeon]] and co.'s toys vs. their comic book depictions). As a result, [[Mainframe Entertainment]] was forced to come up with creative solutions to give these characters ranged weapons without diminishing the newly increased [[Show-accuracy|toy accuracy]] of the show. Thus, [[Tarantulas]]'s handheld buzzsaw functioned like a gun and the green markings on his shoulders were depicted as missile ports, [[Megatron (BW)|Megatron]]'s pincer/whip/flail/"whiplash cutlass" thing (read: he's holding his damn tail) gained the ability to stiffen and fire like a cannon, and [[Cheetor (BW)|Cheetor]]'s hideous hands were capable of firing energy blasts, although only when placed together and thus temporarily making the halves of his beast-mode head whole, with the zaps emanating from its mouth (a pose impossible to achieve with the figure without unhinging the shoulders from the sides.)
   
 
Even more elaborate was the functional reconceptualization of [[Optimus Primal]]'s toy, whose hoverboard thruster/mace launcher was used as a laser pistol. Not content with this rather puny-looking firearm, some clever cove at Mainframe noticed that his shoulder-pad and mace-stowing bracket thing could be flipped over his head (a function of his transformation) and improperly positioned in such a way that the long handles of his dual maces pointed outwards like gun barrels and, with the shoulder-pads positioned over his outstretched fists like trigger-guards, the whole device was re-imagined as something resembling two Gatling guns mounted on a steadicam harness.
 
Even more elaborate was the functional reconceptualization of [[Optimus Primal]]'s toy, whose hoverboard thruster/mace launcher was used as a laser pistol. Not content with this rather puny-looking firearm, some clever cove at Mainframe noticed that his shoulder-pad and mace-stowing bracket thing could be flipped over his head (a function of his transformation) and improperly positioned in such a way that the long handles of his dual maces pointed outwards like gun barrels and, with the shoulder-pads positioned over his outstretched fists like trigger-guards, the whole device was re-imagined as something resembling two Gatling guns mounted on a steadicam harness.
Line 43: Line 40:
 
The only exception to these exotic re-imaginings was [[Rattrap]], who used his tail/whip/spear as intended but also retained his pre-Transmetal gun (albeit with a redeco to suit his new color scheme), despite the fact that the toy did not.
 
The only exception to these exotic re-imaginings was [[Rattrap]], who used his tail/whip/spear as intended but also retained his pre-Transmetal gun (albeit with a redeco to suit his new color scheme), despite the fact that the toy did not.
   
As an odd point of comparison, the later Transmetal [[Optimal Optimus]] (although he was never really identified as such) ''was'' packaged with a rifle, which he never used in the show.
+
As an odd point of comparison, the later Transmetal [[Optimal Optimus]] was packaged with a rifle, which he never used in the show.
   
 
==Transmetal 2==
 
==Transmetal 2==
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[[Image:Ba_transmetal2.JPG|right|thumb|150px|This lasted like three episodes. Then Megatron got his [[Transformation_lock_virus|new invention]] all over it.]]
 
[[Image:Ba_transmetal2.JPG|right|thumb|150px|This lasted like three episodes. Then Megatron got his [[Transformation_lock_virus|new invention]] all over it.]]
   
The difference between a "Transmetal" and a "Transmetal 2" was somewhat vague. Only Cheetor, [[Dinobot II]], and Blackarachnia were explicitly described as Transmetals 2. Each of them was altered by an enigmatic piece of Vok technology known as the "[[Transmetal Driver]]," which appeared in Megatron's possession without explanation. Despite lacking the vehicle modes of the previous Transmetals, Transmetal-2-ness was generally viewed as an enviable upgrade. Cheetor and Blackarachnia both displayed some degree of "supernatural" powers, with Cheetor showing vague visionary tendencies (which, admittedly, had happened before), and Blackarachnia demonstrating telekinesis. {{storylink|Master Blaster}} Dinobot II showed no such powers, other than ''extreme badassitude.'' {{storylink|Proving Grounds}}
+
The difference between a "Transmetal" and a "Transmetal 2" was somewhat vague. Only Cheetor, [[Dinobot II]], and Blackarachnia were explicitly described as Transmetals 2. Each of them was altered by an enigmatic piece of Vok technology known as the "[[Transmetal Driver]]", which appeared in Megatron's possession without explanation. Despite lacking the vehicle modes of the previous Transmetals, Transmetal-2-ness was generally viewed as an enviable upgrade. Cheetor and Blackarachnia both displayed some degree of "supernatural" powers, with Cheetor showing vague visionary tendencies (which, admittedly, had happened before), and Blackarachnia demonstrating telekinesis. {{storylink|Master Blaster}} Dinobot II showed no such powers, other than ''extreme badassitude''. {{storylink|Proving Grounds}}
   
 
[[Image:Megs_tm2.JPG|left|thumb|"Optimal Megatron" didn't roll off the tongue.]]
 
[[Image:Megs_tm2.JPG|left|thumb|"Optimal Megatron" didn't roll off the tongue.]]
   
{{note|Despite there being no overt involvement of the Transmetal Driver in the fiction, Megatron's dragon-form and [[Tigerhawk (BW)|Tigerhawk]] were sold as a Transmetal 2 toys. Also, [[Cryotek]]'s [[3H Productions|3H]] [[bio]]<ref>[http://botcon.com/archive/story/characters/cryotek.html Cryotek's 3H bio]</ref> described Megatron as a Transmetal 2. But "Optimal Optimus," who was upgraded in the same fashion (one body holding two sparks), was sold as a vanilla Transmetal. The fiction stayed quiet on the matter, other than portraying all of these characters as the most powerful of the Beast Warriors.}}
+
{{note|Despite there being no overt involvement of the Transmetal Driver in the fiction, Megatron's dragon-form and [[Tigerhawk (BW)|Tigerhawk]] were sold as a Transmetal 2 toys. Also, [[Cryotek]]'s [[3H Productions|3H]] [[bio]]<ref>[http://botcon.com/archive/story/characters/cryotek.html Cryotek's 3H bio]</ref> described Megatron And Cryotek as Transmetals II. But "Optimal Optimus", who was upgraded in the same fashion (one body holding two sparks), was sold as a vanilla Transmetal. The fiction stayed quiet on the matter, other than portraying all of these characters as the most powerful of the Beast Warriors.}}
   
 
{{-}}
 
{{-}}
   
 
===Toys===
 
===Toys===
According to their toy packages and bios, the Transmetals 2 were all the results of Megatron's cloning experiments. This roughly aligned with the beginning of the cartoon story, as the first Transmetal 2, Dinobot II, was created by Megatron. This cloning experiment angle also helped to explain the presence of [[Optimus Minor]].
+
According to their toy packages and bios, the Transmetals 2 were all the results of Megatron's cloning experiments. This roughly aligned with the beginning of the cartoon story, as the first Transmetal 2, Dinobot II, was created by Megatron. This cloning experiment angle also helped to explain the presence of [[Optimus Minor]].
   
Unlike Transmetals, most Transmetals 2 did not have a third mode. Only the largest Transmetal 2 toys, Tigerhawk and Megatron, were designed to have more than two modes, but Megatron's was never featured in the TV show and Tigerhawk's was dropped entirely even from the toy. Neither vehicle mode was especially well-implemented.
+
Unlike Transmetals, most Transmetals 2 did not have a third mode. Only the largest Transmetal 2 toys, Tigerhawk and Megatron, were designed to have more than two modes, but Megatron's was never featured in the TV show and Tigerhawk's was dropped entirely even from the toy. Neither vehicle mode was especially well-implemented.
   
 
Early on in the release of Transmetal 2 toys, the packaging used a Roman numeral "II", but a running change in the packaging was made to the Arabic number "2".
 
Early on in the release of Transmetal 2 toys, the packaging used a Roman numeral "II", but a running change in the packaging was made to the Arabic number "2".
Line 73: Line 70:
 
[[image:Devolvinggas in-action.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Well, that was fun.]]
 
[[image:Devolvinggas in-action.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Well, that was fun.]]
   
When the Maximals encountered Megatron's [[Transformation virus|virus]], the Transmetals among them had a strange reaction. Rather than becoming instantly paralyzed, as apparently happened to the majority of Cybertronians exposed, they simply lost their Transmetallization. Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, and Blackarachnia reverted to their pre-Transmetal beast modes (or, in Primal's case, the form he ''would'' have had if he hadn't been "born" a Transmetal {{storylink|Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2)}}). They were able to stay mobile, though glitching and amnesic, while Rhinox and Silverbolt immediately succumbed to paralysis. It seems that whatever Transmetal properties had protected Silverbolt from the [[Metal Hunter]] couldn't save him from the virus. {{storylink|Revelations Part II: Descent}}
+
When the Maximals encountered Megatron's [[Transformation virus|virus]], the Transmetals among them had a strange reaction. Rather than becoming instantly paralyzed, as apparently happened to the majority of Cybertronians exposed, they simply lost their Transmetallization. Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, and Blackarachnia reverted to their pre-Transmetal beast modes (or, in Primal's case, the form he would have had if he hadn't been "born" a Transmetal {{storylink|Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2)}}). They were able to stay mobile, though glitching and amnesic, while Rhinox and Silverbolt immediately succumbed to paralysis. It seems that whatever Transmetal properties had protected Silverbolt from the [[Metal Hunter]] couldn't save him from the virus. {{storylink|Revelations Part II: Descent}}
   
 
{{-}}
 
{{-}}

Revision as of 21:29, February 25, 2008

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Specifics: "Transmetals" logo
Transmetal

Rattrap admires his grasping forepaws while Cheetor flexes his pecs.

A Transmetal is a (generally) Vok-related enhanced form of a Beast Wars era Transformer, featuring a "mutated superstructure" which seems to be made out of some kind of organic metal.

Transmetal (first wave)

Megs transmetal

"With the power of shininess, I shall be unstoppable!"

In beast mode, the Transmetals seemed almost, if not entirely, mechanical, much like the animal forms of their predecessors. However, as part of a partial "inversion", many of their robot modes bore organic elements, such as Cheetor's furry chest. Transmetals also typically featured a third "mobility" mode. While not full vehicular modes, these half-modes gave aspects of a vehicle to the existing beast forms. Examples included Rattrap as a wheeled rat, Primal as a sky-surfing gorilla, Cheetor as a jet-powered cat, and Megatron as a VTOL-enhanced inline skater.

Beast Wars cartoon

Optimus transmetal

Brass monkey.

The Transmetals were created as a result of Transformers being bathed in a quantum surge after the destruction of the Vok Planet Buster. Aftermath All the Beast Warriors who were not "born" from a protoform on Earth or shielded in a CR Chamber were altered. Why Earth-"born" Transformers were unaffected by the surge's effects a mystery, especially considering that protoforms still in stasis pods were affected to various degrees.

The Transmetallized individuals were Megatron, Tarantulas, Rattrap, and Cheetor. Scorponok and Terrorsaur were in the middle of their mutation when they fell into lava pits seeping into the Predacon base and perished. Rampage was Transmetallized in his stasis pod. Bad Spark It's unclear whether he was a true protoform at the time, but when Optimus Primal's spark was transplanted into a fresh new protoform, the resulting form was Transmetal as well. Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2) Other protoforms in evidence include Transmutate, who was judged "partially Transmetal", Transmutate and the Fuzors Silverbolt and Quickstrike, who displayed the Transmetal quality of immunity to the Metal Hunter's weapon. Other Visits (Part 2) Even a fair bit of time after the surge, Depth Charge was turned into a full Transmetal as he approached Earth in his ship. Deep Metal

Note: The various spinoff series of Beast Wars, despite being mutually exclusive, agree both that many protoforms were Transmetallized, and that some were not at all. There is no known determining factor.
Depth charge tm

Yep, he's a Transmetal too. That's what happens when time itself gets messed with.

Most Transmetals had additional weapons and seemingly enhanced power levels. They were immune to some Vok weapons and possibly to the effects of energon radiation.

The evidence of the latter is scant, since most of the energon deposits on Earth's surface had been destroyed or converted to stable energon cubes by the Planet Buster cannon. However, Transmetal Tarantulas was once seen standing beneath an energon cache, completely unaffected. Tangled Web Then not long afterwards, the non-Transmetal Inferno suffered energon overload while in a cave containing energon crystals. The Agenda (Part 2) So immunity to the radiation may be an effect of Transmetallization.

Note: According to Ben Yee, the Transmetals were originally conceived of by Beast Wars writers as "absorbing" energon radiation and then needing to discharge that energylater , typically as weapon energy.[1] However, the only time this was hinted at in the series was during "Bad Spark", when Cheetor "farts" a little energon cloud.

Toys

In addition to the characters mentioned above, Transmetal toys were also produced for Rhinox, Airazor, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, and technically Inferno. (The Scavenger toy was initially intended to be his Transmetal form, and was so in Japan and the UK.) None of these appeared on the show.

Scorponok, Blackarachnia, and Dinobot, though also not Transmetal in the show, were given their own Transmetal toys as Happy Meal pack-ins from McDonald's. Claw Jaw and Spittor were redecoed and sold as Transmetals in European markets with a VHS tape.

Initial Transmetal toys were not designed with guns, only melee weapons, contrary to the requirements of the animated series (kinda the opposite of the situation with Bludgeon and co.'s toys vs. their comic book depictions). As a result, Mainframe Entertainment was forced to come up with creative solutions to give these characters ranged weapons without diminishing the newly increased toy accuracy of the show. Thus, Tarantulas's handheld buzzsaw functioned like a gun and the green markings on his shoulders were depicted as missile ports, Megatron's pincer/whip/flail/"whiplash cutlass" thing (read: he's holding his damn tail) gained the ability to stiffen and fire like a cannon, and Cheetor's hideous hands were capable of firing energy blasts, although only when placed together and thus temporarily making the halves of his beast-mode head whole, with the zaps emanating from its mouth (a pose impossible to achieve with the figure without unhinging the shoulders from the sides.)

Even more elaborate was the functional reconceptualization of Optimus Primal's toy, whose hoverboard thruster/mace launcher was used as a laser pistol. Not content with this rather puny-looking firearm, some clever cove at Mainframe noticed that his shoulder-pad and mace-stowing bracket thing could be flipped over his head (a function of his transformation) and improperly positioned in such a way that the long handles of his dual maces pointed outwards like gun barrels and, with the shoulder-pads positioned over his outstretched fists like trigger-guards, the whole device was re-imagined as something resembling two Gatling guns mounted on a steadicam harness.

The only exception to these exotic re-imaginings was Rattrap, who used his tail/whip/spear as intended but also retained his pre-Transmetal gun (albeit with a redeco to suit his new color scheme), despite the fact that the toy did not.

As an odd point of comparison, the later Transmetal Optimal Optimus was packaged with a rifle, which he never used in the show.

Transmetal 2

Dinobot2-postcard

Pose!

Near the end of the series, a new breed known as the Transmetal 2 appeared. These new forms blurred the line between the mechanical and the organic even further, with equal parts of both appearing in both modes in an asymmetrical patchwork-like jumble. This often resulted in somewhat monstrous-looking designs.

Beast Wars cartoon

Ba transmetal2

This lasted like three episodes. Then Megatron got his new invention all over it.

The difference between a "Transmetal" and a "Transmetal 2" was somewhat vague. Only Cheetor, Dinobot II, and Blackarachnia were explicitly described as Transmetals 2. Each of them was altered by an enigmatic piece of Vok technology known as the "Transmetal Driver", which appeared in Megatron's possession without explanation. Despite lacking the vehicle modes of the previous Transmetals, Transmetal-2-ness was generally viewed as an enviable upgrade. Cheetor and Blackarachnia both displayed some degree of "supernatural" powers, with Cheetor showing vague visionary tendencies (which, admittedly, had happened before), and Blackarachnia demonstrating telekinesis. Master Blaster Dinobot II showed no such powers, other than extreme badassitude. Proving Grounds

Megs tm2

"Optimal Megatron" didn't roll off the tongue.

Note: Despite there being no overt involvement of the Transmetal Driver in the fiction, Megatron's dragon-form and Tigerhawk were sold as a Transmetal 2 toys. Also, Cryotek's 3H bio[2] described Megatron And Cryotek as Transmetals II. But "Optimal Optimus", who was upgraded in the same fashion (one body holding two sparks), was sold as a vanilla Transmetal. The fiction stayed quiet on the matter, other than portraying all of these characters as the most powerful of the Beast Warriors.

Toys

According to their toy packages and bios, the Transmetals 2 were all the results of Megatron's cloning experiments. This roughly aligned with the beginning of the cartoon story, as the first Transmetal 2, Dinobot II, was created by Megatron. This cloning experiment angle also helped to explain the presence of Optimus Minor.

Unlike Transmetals, most Transmetals 2 did not have a third mode. Only the largest Transmetal 2 toys, Tigerhawk and Megatron, were designed to have more than two modes, but Megatron's was never featured in the TV show and Tigerhawk's was dropped entirely even from the toy. Neither vehicle mode was especially well-implemented.

Early on in the release of Transmetal 2 toys, the packaging used a Roman numeral "II", but a running change in the packaging was made to the Arabic number "2".

Post-Transmetal

Beast Machines cartoon

Devolvinggas in-action

Well, that was fun.

When the Maximals encountered Megatron's virus, the Transmetals among them had a strange reaction. Rather than becoming instantly paralyzed, as apparently happened to the majority of Cybertronians exposed, they simply lost their Transmetallization. Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, and Blackarachnia reverted to their pre-Transmetal beast modes (or, in Primal's case, the form he would have had if he hadn't been "born" a Transmetal Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2)). They were able to stay mobile, though glitching and amnesic, while Rhinox and Silverbolt immediately succumbed to paralysis. It seems that whatever Transmetal properties had protected Silverbolt from the Metal Hunter couldn't save him from the virus. Revelations Part II: Descent

References

  1. Ben Yee's "Bad Spark" review
  2. Cryotek's 3H bio
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