The Master Bait -- uh, Builder

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Grapple and Hoist ally themselves with the Constructicons.

Detailed synopsis

Master builders2

I think you'll need to join Weight Watchers.

Grapple shows Hoist a working model of a Solar Tower he wants to build and the two of them take it to Optimus Prime. Optimus is occupied at the moment because Spike is teaching him how to play basketball. Optimus likes Grapple's concept, but rejects the plan because it would be difficult to defend the tower against attack.

The conversation is cut short when Teletraan 1 alerts them that Powerglide has been shot down by Starscream and Skywarp. Hoist and Grapple leave to repair the Autobot plane. On their return, Grapple tries to convince Hoist to build the tower with him, regardless of Prime's orders, but Hoist isn't going for it.

Their conversation is cut short when they are trapped by the Constructicons. Scrapper says they've left the Decepticons and proposes a joint project. Grapple, enamored with his solar tower idea, agrees, but wants proof of their partnership. They promise to bring proof back and fly off.

On their return to Decepticon headquarters, Megatron confronts the Constructicons with video tape of their conversation with Grapple. They all swear loyalty to Megatron, and insist they plan to betray the Autobots. Satisfied with their explanation, Megatron lets them go with a present. They return to Grapple and Hoist with "proof," an entire truckload of energon. Convinced that they are working in good faith, Grapple and Hoist agree to the partnership.

Master builders prime basketball

The NBA covered up the fact that Prime won the 1985 dunk contest

Meantime, Optimus is playing basketball with Tracks, Inferno and Smokescreen. After he shuts Tracks down during a drive to the net, Prime notices that Tracks needs maintenance, but no one knows where Hoist is. The Autobot leader sends Powerglide out to find the missing Autobots. Powerglide finds the solar tower and reports back.

Grapple is in his element, directing the Constructicons as the tower is built, and blissfully unaware of their deception. The Constructicons merge to form Devastator in order to place the sun-focusing sphere at the top of the tower. With the last piece in place, the tables turn. Megatron attacks Grapple and Hoist and claims the tower as his own. The Decepticons get to work collecting the energy.

The Autobots arrive and attack. The Constructicons form Devastator and fight back. Prime tricks Devastator into trying to kick Smokescreen but he kicks the tower instead. A few more rounds of laser fire send Devastator crashing into the tower, demolishing it. Megatron and the Constructicons retreat.

The Autobots dig in the debris to try and find Grapple and Hoist. Brawn discovers them encased in a sheet of metal and punches it apart. Grapple and Hoist apologize for the trouble they've caused. Prime is in a forgiving mood, but says they have to clean up the mess themselves. As the others drive off, Grapple and Hoist fondly remember the tower.


Original airdate: 8 October 1985

Written by: David N. Gottlieb and Herb Engelhardt

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans Others


Notable quotes

"Move over, blue skies. Here comes old Powerglide, king of the cloud chasers, sultan of the stratosphere, ace of the air."

Powerglide, king of self-esteem. former king of self-esteem.

"What goes up must come down! Ah-hahahahaha! And the harder, the better!"

Starscream telling us how he likes his enemies to come down.

"Well, if he's not impressed, I'll... be depressed."

Grapple worries about whether Optimus Prime will agree on his proposal for a Solar Tower.

"A-okay, Grapple! With a capital 'A'!"

Wheeljack, impressed on Grapple's work on the solar power tower.

"Am I 'drooling' correctly?"
"The word is 'dribbling', Optimus!"

Optimus Prime and Spike play basketball.

"Hey, hey, hey! Airborne is reborn! Thanks a zillion! And awaaaay we go!"

Powerglide after he is repaired by Hoist and Grapple.

"Hold your fire Autobots!"
"And miss a chance to nail you? Never!" [fires missiles]

Scrapper attempts to open a dialogue with Hoist and Grapple

Megatron: "Ahhh, my loyal Constructicons. You are loyal, aren't you? No! You're traitors! And you can't deny it."
Scrapper: "Megatron, y-y-you got it all wrong!"
Hook: "We're still working for you, and for the glory of the Decepticons."
Bonecrusher: "You see we eavesdropped on their plans."
Long Haul: "Plans to build a whopper solar tower!"
Scavenger: "That'd produce megawatts of energy."
Mixmaster: "Energy we can use to destroy the Autobots. Get it, Get it, heh-huh?"

Constructicons try to explain themselves to Megatron.

Bonecrusher: "We'll just help ourselves if you don't mind."
Long Haul: "Or even if you do!"
Construction foreman: "Who me? M-mind? Why should I! hehe... he."
[tears up his blueprints]

The Constructicons rob a hapless building site.

"As soon as the Power Tower is finished, I need to find a place to sign my name... in very large letters."

Grapple as the Solar Tower is approaching completion.

"Watch out Spike! I'm driving for a layoff!"
"Its called a layup Prime! And watch out for Tracks!"

Optimus Prime gets basketball lessons from Spike.

"'Get this.' 'Bring that.' I thought I was finally gonna build somethin'!"

Long Haul after being told to bring another solar panel.

"Hey, Here I am you scrap-metal meatball."


Devastator: "Ha, ha! We'll both get a kick out of this!"

Devastator taunts Smokescreen.

"Hey, anybody want some economy-sized wall plaques?"

Ironhide, commenting on Hoist and Grapple's impressions on a iron slab.

"There'll be other towers to design and build, Grapple."
"It was magnificent... for a little while, wasn't it, Hoist?"
"Incredible. Absolutely incredible."

Hoist and Grapple, amid the ruins of the Solar Tower.

Other Notes

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • Near the end, when they're about to dig Hoist and Grapple out of the rubble of the solar tower, Cliffjumper is given Bumblebee's colors; although he doesn't speak you can recognize it as Cliffjumper by the spoiler across his chest.
  • When the Autobots are approaching the Solar Tower, Inferno is not to be seen at all, when they finally transform to robots, one of the first shots shows Inferno, but none after. Probably meant to have been Ironhide in that shot.
  • After Grapple and Hoist apologise to Prime, Hoist's right arm is missing.
  • While welding a segment of the tower, Hoist's legs are colored black for a while then returned white.

Continuity errors

  • If energon cubes explode upon impact, how come they did not do so when Hook dropped them?

Transformers references

  • Scrapper claims that the Constructicons admired Grapple's work back on Cybertron. Hmmm...

Real-world references

  • References


  • When remastered for DVD by Rhino Entertainment, the re-created title card for the episode was incorrectly rendered as "The Master Builder." This title appeared on all associated material included with the DVD set, and can be seen in the screen shot above.
  • This is the first episode not to feature Soundwave.
  • Apparently random rocks are equipped by the Decepticons with video cameras.
  • The Autobots shoot lasers out of their headlights when they drive into battle, yet that idea never crossed their minds in "The Autobot Run".
  • Megatron has a compartment in his chest that holds a pair of binoculars. Well, if he doesn't have a Matrix to store in it, at least he can put it to good use!
  • Megatron gave the Constructicons his Energon because he says that its the most important thing to him. Was anyone else expecting the fusion cannon?
  • Seriously, can you imagine the size of the ball that the Autobots need to play basketball?
  • How did Devastator's hand get way over there?
  • One of Devastator's lines sounds suspciously like, "Tough luck, bitches!", but the low audio makes it uncertain (he's actually saying "A trap it is").
  • When Teletraan I alerts the Autobots of Powerglide's attack, it is coded as "Condition: Magenta."


Solar Tower, basketball

External links

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