Master-Braces are (originally, at least) a product of the super-science of the planet Master, created to allow human beings to connect to Transtectors and effectively "become" Transformers themselves.
Master-Braces take the form of a pair of shining, metallic bracelets, stored within spheres which split in two; once the human in question puts the bracelets upon their wrists, the wearer is unable to remove or put them back on. By crossing their arms, thereby touching the bracelets together, and shouting "Masterforce!" the human activates the bracelets; in a flash of light, their bodies are then transformed, infused with Chokon Power that enhances their strength, agility and reflexes and surrounded by a Master Suit, a suit of armor. Most importantly, an ill-defined holistic conversion of their bodily cells allows them to actually "physically" transform into a fragment of their Transformer body (heads in the case of a Headmaster wearing these braces and engines in the case of a Godmaster) and connect to and control their Transtector. However, there is one technical catch that comes with donning a Master Suit and controlling a Transtector: Godmasters cannot swap Transtectors; i.e., Ginrai cannot switch his with Lightfoot's. Such an ability "looks" possible in appearance, but it has not been shown nor has it been mentioned. On a more mundane level, Master-Braces also act as communicators, patching the wearers into their respective faction's communications frequences.
There are two distinct types of Master-Braces:
- The first type introduced is that worn by Headmasters (specifically the Juniors), cast in lesser being silver. With nearly all the Autobots having left Earth after the defeat of Scorponok, rumblings of Decepticon activity starting up again on the planet prompted the lone group of Autobots remaining on Earth—Metalhawk's Pretenders—to contact Chromedome of the Autobot Headmasters. They hoped to increase the presence of Autobots on Earth, but with the space bridge having been destroyed, quick access to and from the planet was limited, prompting the need for another solution. That solution was the creation of Master-Braces, one pair per Transtector and human, that would allow human beings to connect to Headmaster Transtectors, thereby increasing the Autobot ranks on Earth without compromising their forces in space.
The Master-Braces and Transtectors were dispatched by Chromedome aboard a transport shuttle, but en route to Earth, the craft was attacked and half of its cargo was stolen by the Decepticon Pretenders. The remaining three were successfully received by the Autobots, and warehoused by their human ally, Professor Gō, until such time as it could be definitely confirmed that their use was necessary. A series of public attacks by the Decepticons convinced Metalhawk that the time had come, and he gave the Master-Braces and Transtectors to three human children that had become friends to the Autobots—Professor Gō's son Shūta, south-sea island prince Cab, and daughter of Mont Porte's Japanese ambassador Minerva. At the same time, the Decepticons abandoned their attempts to empower humans in other ways and followed suit with the stolen Master-Braces and the following people—former biker gang leader Wilder, orphan martial artist Cancer and street thug Bullhorn.
- The second type is worn by Godmasters (referred to on one occasion as "God-Braces"). These golden Master-Braces are infinitely more mysterious, which is par for the course, given that they are tied into the complicated origins of the Godmaster Transtectors. "God-Braces" debuted with the introduction of the Darkwings Brothers ; they had been given their Master-Braces and Transtectors by the Decepticon couple Giga and Mega, who were also Godmasters, and had in turn been given theirs by Devil Z. Not long thereafter, Japanese trucker Ginrai discovered a sphere holding a pair of Autobot GodMaster Master-Braces in the glove compartment of a truck cast in familiar colors he had just rented. Donning the bracelets, he decided they didn't suit him, but was distressed to discover that they would not come off. It was at that point that Autobot Pretender Diver, in his civilian guise, discovered Ginrai wrestling with the bracelets in his cab; shocked to see the Autobot insignia glowing on their surface, he had Ginrai take him back to the rental shop he got the truck from. Along the way, they were attacked by Hydra and Buster, and Ginrai discovered that he was a GodMaster, and that the truck was his Transtector.
A short time later, while still deliberating over whether or not to join the Autobots, Ginrai discovered three additional sets of Autobot-branded Master-Braces in his glovebox—scans performed on them at the Autobot base proved that they were definitely of the GodMaster variety when the sheer amount of power they contained caused it to explode.After making a televised appeal, Ginrai successfully located the three owners, who were all recruited to the Autobot cause:
One more GodMaster was later revealed: Clouder/Doubleclouder, who possessed a unique pair of Master-Braces—one side was an Autobot, the other, Decepticon. Depending on which bracelet was atop the other when they were crossed, he could adopt either an Autobot robot mode, or a Decepticon falcon mode, making him a GodMaster "Double-Spy" with regards to his sub-group. After briefly dallying with the Decepticons, he soon sided with the Autobots.
The precise origins of GodMaster-Braces are undisclosed. GodMaster Transtectors were developed by the Transformers in a region of space known as G-Nebula 89, but as they were never intended for humans to combine with, there seems to be little reason for Master-Braces to have been made to go along with them. It is known that Devil Z stole the GodMaster Transtectors and brought them to Earth with the intent of putting his modifications to them to action, and he would later claim that he was responsible for forging the connection between humans and their Transtectors, so it is possible that the GodMaster bracelets were created by him. Such a train of thought, however, would require some degree of hand-waving to explain why 4 of them were Autobot Transtectors and why they had bonded to humans sympathetic to the Autobot cause, when this was contrary to Devil Z's wishes. Similarly, it is never explained how 3 pairs of bracelets spontaneously appeared in Ginrai's glovebox when they had categorically not been there before—if on theorizes, then it can be assumed that Devil Z arranged for them to be placed there, in order to flush out the remaining GodMasters in an Autobot-friendly fashion (It is unknown whether or not this is true), but that's unashamed speculation.
During the final stages of the Masterforce war, Devil Z transformed several Decepticon Transtectors, Headmaster and Godmaster alike, into true Transformers by forcibly severing their connection to their human partners and causing their Master-Braces to simply disappear from their wrists in a glimmer of light in response. Wilder, Cancer, Bullhorn, Clouder and Giga & Mega were all made his victims of such a separation, but Ginrai ultimately destroyed the villain by retaining the benefits that come with bonding a Transtector to a human. Adding credence to Devil Z's claim that he was responsible for creating the bond between human and Transtector, his death caused all remaining Master-Braces to vanish out of existence from the wrists of their wearers—however, through their bond with humans, the Transtectors themselves continued to live on as true Transformers, beginning their lives anew as independent Transformers no longer needing to be assimilated by lifeforms.
These releases are role-plays for the little Transformers born in children. They are sold exclusively in Japan, as you might expect. Thankfully, for all involved, these roleplays are removable. They also come with a rectangular communication pin.
- Headmaster—Go-Shooter (1988)
- These are presented as Shūta/Go-Shooter's. Sadly, no Decepticon versions were available—because it would have been totally cool to role-play as the socially-maladjusted leader of a disbanded biker gang.
- Godmaster—Ginrai (1988)
- These Master-Braces are presented as Ginrai's.
- Transtector - The lifeless Transformer body which Master-Braces allow a wearer to transform with and become a Transformer themselves