Synthoids are scientific creations of the evil terrorist organization, Cobra. These mindless, artificial creatures are formed from liquid protoplasm, which is sculpted by a complicated system of machinery into the forms of human beings.
The Transformers cartoon
In the year 2006, after having several of his criminal endeavours foiled by the Autobots, crime lord Victor Drath sought out Old Snake in hopes of acquiring synthoid technology to dispose of his robotic foes. Although his former terrorist organization was little more than a memory, Old Snake still had access to the technology, and was only happy to supply and operate it for Drath. Subsequently, the villains lured Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Springer and Arcee to Drath's compound, where they were captured in the synthoid-producing machinery, and had their minds transferred into four unformed masses of protoplasm. Drath instructed his goons to dispose of the blobs, but as they attempted to crush the material in a trash compactor, the unexpected happened—the Autobots synthoid bodies took form, and they were able to escape the compactor in time.
Getting over the initial confusion their new bodies created, the Autobots donned overalls acquired from the workers' hut at the garbage dump and quickly formed a plan. While Rodimus headed back to Drath's compound, Ultra Magnus and Arcee attempted to contact Autobot City, and Springer hooked up with Drath's unwitting goons, who were using the Autobots' lifeless bodies to commit heists. Both Rodimus and Ultra Magnus were captured by Drath's men, but things turned out okay in the end when Springer sprung Magnus, and the pair were able to alert Autobot City to the villain's schemes. Perceptor quickly sussed out the synthoid technology, and restored the Autobots' minds to their robotic bodies. The synthoid bodies dissolved back into protoplasm.
- Synthoids originally appeared in the G.I. Joe animated series, specifically the Christy Marx-penned "The Synthoid Conspiracy", and Steve Gerber's twisted "There's No Place Like Springfield". Notably, however, neither of these stories involved the minds of the copied individuals being transferred into the synthoids—in fact, that's totally contrary to the entire point of synthoids, which were created for the purposes of infiltration. In "Only Human," this is the key aspect of the technology that Drath is interested in, so presumably Cobra developed this ability sometime in the intervening twenty-odd years.