Robots In Disguise Quick Facts

December 14, 2011  by Tony_Bacala  •  Blog

The Autobot’s transport system in RID was named the “Global Space Bridge” after the original Transformers series’ teleportation device used to travel between Earth and Cybertron.

T-AI was referenced as the daughter program of the Teletran 1 computer system in RID. Teletran 1 was the Autobot headquater’s master computer system in Generation 1.

Megatron uses something called a Psycho Probe in RID, and a similar device was used in Generation 1 during the episode The Girl Who Loved Powerglide.

Slapper makes a comment “What are we, Vehicon drones?” in an RID episode. Vehicons were mindless vehicle based drones controlled by Megatron in the previous Transformers series, Beast Machines.

In an episode of RID focusing on a racecar event across the country, a character named Augie Cahnay is mentioned. This was the name of a driver in an episode of the original Transformers series, also about a cross country race.

X-Brawn mentions “Insecticons” in an RID episode, stating the Decepticons are after him “like Insecticons on a power core”. Insecticons often consumed energy from power plants in Generation 1 like locust swarms feed on crops.

The original Hasbro-desired theme song for the series was not used because it would have become the intellectual property of Saban/Fox Kids due to the contract used for all it’s animation at the time.

Computer animated faction logos were used to transition between the segments reminicent of Generation 1. A Predacon symbol was also used along side a Decepticon and Autobot one this time.

The recap episodes for RID differed greatly than the ones in Car Robots, due to footage editing needed to be done because of the 9/11 attacks.

The Car Brothers power up modes are throwbacks to Generation 1 characters paint schemes. Sideburn resembles Hot Rod, Prowl resembles Mirage, and X-Brawn resembles Wheeljack.

The toys used to make the RID Decepticon Combinor Team Ruination were originally released as toys in Generation 1. As a team they were called the Combaticons, and their combined form was called Bruticus.

The character named Bruticus in RID was named so because it was slated to be released by that name in the previous series Beast Machines, before that line was cancelled. Copyright/Trademark submissions applying that name to that toy was already in the works by Hasbro.

Fortress Maximus was originally slated to be released in the United States by Hasbro, but it could not pass industry level “Drop Tests”, which ensure toys do not form sharp or dangerous edges when breaking after being dropped. Numerous remolds were supposedly done with no successs.

T-Ai stands for Tactical Artificial Intelligence. In Japan, that characters name was just AI, which also means love in Japanese.

RID makes reference to Alpha Trion as the creator of both Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus. In Generation 1, Alpha Trion created Optimus Prime.

In RID, Ultra Magnus is a rebellious Autobot who does not follow commands and has a gripe with Optimus Prime. This is the exact opposite of the G1 Ultra Magnus, who was a dedicated, submissive and perfect soldier.

Prowl, the orderly police officer-ike character from RID was voiced by a radio shock jock named Wankus known for being politcally incorrect. At the time and currently Wankus hosts a radio show related to the adult film industry in LA.

Over half of the Car Robots toyline consists of repaints from previous lines, or repaints of the new molds created just for this series. Robots In Disguise added even more repaints to the line in the USA.

The Korean version of Robots In Disguise/Car Robots included even more repaints not seen in the US and Japanese versions.

Michael McConnohie was a director on this series, and also did the voices of Tracks and Cosmos in Generation 1.

Stasis Pods containing “blank” transformers which scan their enviornment for alternate modes to transform into were mentioned in RID during the creation of the Decepticons. This idea was first used in the Beast Wars series.

Robots in Disguise marked the return to cell animation in a Transformers cartoon for the first time since Generation 1 in the United States.

Robots In Disguise marked the return of Autobots and Decepticons to the American toylines since the start of Beast Wars in 1996, which used Maximals and Predacons (and eventually Vehicons in Beast Machines).

Car Robots was developed by Takara specifically for the Japanese market by themselves with no intention of sending it to America.

Robots In Disguise was brought to America by Hasbro as a replacement line to fill the market in place of the failed Beast Machines toyline. Beast Machines was slated to run until the end of 2002, where Transformers Armada would then begin the new era of Transformers for Hasbro.

Toys developed to be released at the end of the Beast Machines toyline, but never actually released, were put into the Robots In Disguise line. More popular Vehicon toys from the Beast Machines line were also repainted and inserted into the RID line as well.

The Spychanger Tiny Tins were intially solicited as having 8 figures per case (1 of each figure). Retailers ordered multiple cases to guarantee several sets. When they shipped, they did so with almost no notice, and assortments were drastically changed. Cases had 3 sets of 8 per case, in turn flooding the market. As of mid-2005, you can still find ample supplies of these figures in stores like Toys R Us.

The mold to RID X-Brawn was changed when brought to America to cover the lights, a direct copyright infringement of Mercedes Benz. X-Brawn is actually a direct replica of a real world M-Class Mercedes SUV.

Hasbro eventually agreed to put the Dodge Viper logo on later releases of Side Burn due to it being a direct replica of a Dodge Viper.

Just in RID, the original 6 Spychangers were released in 4 different packages. 2 different sets of clear spychangers were produced. There are 3 packaging variants for the original 6 spychangers. There are 2 packaging variants on the clear Spychangers with RIDMADA style packaging. Couple that with individual and a giftset releases of the original 6 spychangers in Japan, and that is alot of Spychangers, just within these lines.

Car Robots did not do well in the Japanese market.

Gelshark, aka Sky-Byte was one of the favorite characters in Japan.

Car Robots/Robots In Disguise marked the first time Predacons battled Autobots as a main plot line, combining previously unconnected factions in Transformers mythos.

The Maximals were not mentioned in the RID cartoon, but Air Attack Optimus Primal bears the Maximal symbol on his toy box, making him the lone Maximal in the entire series.

Bio Cards came with all the Japanese versions of the toys, and multi-toy giftsets came with a card for the combined form of combinor teams.

Japan had multiple giveaways to promote the line, including clear, black, and other alternate colored versions of the toys in very limited numbers.

At the start of Car Robots in Japan, Takara gave away several original colored Fortress Maximus toys with a new “city foldout” that you could place around Fort Max and use to decorate your display/play area.

In Japan, the Bad Guys say “Henshin” before transforming, while the Good Guys usually say “Transform”.

Bio Cards for god Fire Convoy, aka Omega Prime, were given away at stores with a scratch off area used to see if you won a prize.

The Robots In Disguise television show was the first break from Generation 1 continuity in America. Beast Wars and Beast Machines were direct continutations (tho in the future/past) of the Generation 1 “Universe”.

The term spark was used in Robots In Disguise several times, a term originally developed during Beast Wars to explain the “life-essence” of a Transformer.

The creative team behind RID actively listened to the fans and worked in many nods to original lore, such as “Transform and Roll Out” and “Let’s Roll” catchphrases by Optimus Prime.

The voice of Omega Prime is actually done by the same actor that does Megatron.

The voice of Scourge in the US RID series has passed away as of the year 2005. (RIP)

The Robots In Disguise Toyline lasted for about one amd a half years, from Summer 2001 – Christmas 2002.

The Robots In Disguise name was applied to repainted toys released as store exclusives during 2003, which had a change in packaging from the traditional red, yellow, and orange colors to one that copied the then-current line, Armada.

The Storm Jet toy was initially extremely limited. Over production of the Construction team, and being released in several waves, caused the shelves to clog with Construction Team members. The last wave of deluxe toys, including Storm Jet, were backlogged in Hasbro and distributor warehouses because of this.

Takara imported some of the extra RID packaged Storm Jets and placed a “USA EDITION” style sticker on it. Those were then imported back to the US by several retailers and sold for high prices.

Storm Jet eventually filtered out onto the market regularly when discount and close out chains bought the remaining old stock of RID toys from Hasbro and other distributors. The last wave (and some previous ones) for each size class were easily found in 2003 at places like Odd Lots, Odd Jobs, Value City, and other close out stores for below normal retail prices.

Due to being on Fox Kids, and therefore a Saban production, American union voice actors were used, and it was re-dubbed in the USA rather than Canada. No other Transformers series has been dubbed in America since Generation 1.

Car Robot toys hit price points in America of more than triple their retail cost in Japan during it’s peak in the import scene, and the toys were selling out at these prices.

Due to the high profit and demand, many retailers ordered Car Robots merchandise after the rush began to die down, and rumors of it coming to American began. These shipments were then held up because of a dock workers slow down and strike in 2002, lasting for about 6 months. It caused freight ships to sit at sea with merchandise from Asia, including Car Robots toys, for months on end before docking.

Once the clog at the docks cleared out and merchandise got to the retailers a flood of Car Robots toys hit the American market. Today you can find a good number of the Car Robots versions cheaper than the American counterpart.

The Japanese Car Robots toys were relased to the stores in direct correlation to the initial appearance of the character in the television show.

Due to Takara having financial trouble at the time of production for Car Robots, only 39 episodes were created instead of the normal 52.

The Car Robots television series aired non-stop every Wednesday for 39 weeks in a row.

Car Robots were released during the 15th anniversary of the Transformers in Japan, hence the return to the classic Autobot/real-life-vehicle feel of the toys.

The 15th anniversary of the Transformers in Japan is also said to be the reason for combining all styles of Transformers (beast, futuristic, real-world), new creations, and old repaints, into one line, a celebration of the last 15 years of Transformers for them.

The box style of the Car Robots toys were shifted from window styled boxes to pure-cardboard style boxes mid-line, supposedly to better serve the import market in other countries, so there would be less damage to the boxes in transit. Another reason for this is said to be that it allowed them to run the “lucky-draw” campaign, where a limited alternate colored version of the toy was randomly inserted into the boxes to boost collectors sales. Could possibly be a bit of both.

In it’s production deal with Hasbro, Saban/Fox Kids retained the right to put out Robots In Disguise via their own DVD/Sountrack production and distribution labels, as was commonly done with Digimon and Power Rangers at the time.

Saban was broken up from the Fox Coroporation, and sold to Disney along with Fox Family, now ABC Family. Disney currently owns Digimon, Power Rangers, and the rest of the Saban library, including Robots In Disguise.

In order for Robots in Disguise to be released on DVD in the US, it would need to be approved by both Disney and Hasbro. Hasbro has dvd and video agreements with other companies to produce new releases based on current series, and retro releases based on the classic titles G1 and Beast Wars. A Robots In Disguise release to DVD could negatively affect market sales for a current paying DVD licensee, therefore, will most likely not be approved anytime soon. Disney would need to put it out under their own DVD network, and pay a percentage to Hasbro, or, sell the rights to another company in full or lease for a set fee, all of which is also unlikely.

Robots In Disguise, and other Saban titles, are currently being put onto DVD in the UK/European market only. How this connects to what will happen in the US market is unclear.