Camshaft is a member of the Autobots' Omnibot team, serving as their scout.
(Note: While Camshaft was given no bio at the time of his release, he has since received two distinct and somewhat contradictory personalities. See individual entries below.)
- Japanese name: Downshift
Japanese cartoon continuity
During a massive battle on Feminia, Galvatron introduced his latest combining warrior, Predaking. Predaking simultaneously took out Defensor, Omega Supreme, and Superion with a single punch, causing much worry for the Autobots, as Sky Lynx was already engaged in battle on Earth!
The assembled Autobots cheered for these three mighty warriors of great justice, who were subsequently never seen or heard of again.
Dreamwave Generation 1 comics continuity
In this reality, Camshaft would never be accused of battlefield heroics. Though he strongly believed the Decepticons must be stopped, he had no intention of dying for the cause. (Oops.) Highly intelligent, he used his smarts to avoid risk and danger whenever possible.
Universe toy bio
- (Note: Being part of the "Universe" line, it is conceivable that this is some "alternate reality" version of Camshaft—who knows?)
- Camshaft (Omnibot mailaway, 1985)
- A re-release of one of the three "Double Changers" from Takara's pre-Transformers Diaclone line, Camshaft transforms into a Mazda Savannah RX-7. He also has a third "assault mode" which compacts his car's length and flips out his spring-loaded missile launcher from his rear window. He was only available in both the US and Japanese markets as a mail-order item. In the US, he cost $5 and four robot points, while in Japan he cost 980 yen and only 2 robot points.
- Camshaft and Downshift had their names swapped for their Japanese Transformers mail-away releases (which were also available in 1985), presumably because the RX-7 featured a rotary engine and therefore did not incorporate a camshaft. The Takara versions also had tech specs, unlike the Hasbro versions.
- Autobot Camshaft (2006)
- Alternators ID number: 23
- A retool of the Alternators Prowl toy, Camshaft transforms into a 1:24-scale licensed Acura RSX, complete with opening doors, hood, trunk, and an open passenger compartment. His engine becomes a non-firing cannon, plus he carries a clear-plastic nightstick. His rear spoiler and hubcaps are also changed from Prowl's; however, they are the same as those of the blue "civilian" Prowl from Takara's Binaltech version of the line.
- Like the other late-series Alternators, Camshaft has a state-specific license plate; specifically, Camshaft appears to be registered in Rhode Island (home of Hasbro).
- Autobot Camshaft (Spy Changer, 2006)
- For Universe, Camshaft is identical to the last Kay-Bee exclusive redeco of W.A.R.S., transforming into a clear-purple Ford Thunderbird stock car. He was available only on an individual card from discount chains like The Dollar Store.
- Universe Camshaft's new "grim shadow warrior" portrayal doesn't mesh well with his more timid portrayal in Dreamwave's More Than Meets The Eye profile, but in both he is a scout. Given the reality-hopping theme of Universe, they may or may not really be the same being.
- In later years, toys sporting the name "Camshaft" require an additional "Autobot" prefix for trademark reasons, hence making the official name "Autobot Camshaft".
- The Alternators Mazda RX-8 (which ultimately ended up as Meister) was originally intended to be named "Camshaft", according to various early store listings and a premature reply from Hasbro's customer service. This would also fit with the early idea of making the Alternators toys "direct updates" of their characters' Generation 1 predecessors. A prototype was leaked to the public in early 2004 sporting the same basic colors as the later Alternators "Autobot Camshaft" toy (the Acura RSX), although it's uncertain whether the prototype colors for the RX-8 were supposed to be indicative of the proposed colors for Camshaft (since the Acura redeco was originally intended as a Bluestreak homage before being renamed into "Autobot Camshaft"). The reason why the RX-8 Alternator was ultimately not named "Camshaft" was apparently because the real-life Mazda RX-8 car doesn't have a camshaft. Of course, the original Camshaft's RX-7 mode didn't have a camshaft either, but it's unlikely anyone gave a damn since that wasn't a licensed toy.
- The deco for Hasbro's redeco of the Alternators Acura RSX mold was originally designed with Bluestreak in mind—specifically, the original Diaclone deco for the Generation 1 toy depicted in early catalogs and the toy's instructions. Early leaked packaging samples even sported an abbreviated form of the name "Bluestreak" on their license plates. Ultimately, however, Hasbro decided to rename the toy and release it as "Autobot Camshaft" instead, possibly because they already had a representation of the G1 Bluestreak character in the Alternators line as a Subaru WRX, named "Silverstreak" for trademark reasons. An image from the mini-catalog that came with the Diaclone predecessors of the Omnibots depicted the toy that would become Camshaft with a Bluestreak-esque head, which some fans believe may have been one of the inspirations for the Alternators Autobot Camshaft toy...but this seems highly unlikely.