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In 1999, Hasbro released a small toyline based on the popular Animorphs book series by K. A. Applegate. The line was released under the Transformers brand name, though the two franchises have no relation to each other story-wise. Animorphs toys were stocked on shelves alongside Beast Wars Transmetal 2 toys, and their presence may explain why the Transmetal 2 series was so small with only 17 toys.
For the most part, the Animorphs line was poorly received by Transformers fans for a variety of reasons:
- The franchise was totally unrelated to the Transformers universe, and many felt that Hasbro was trying to milk the brand name by using it on the Animorphs line.
- In both the accompanying books and television show, the humans transformed via a liquid-style "morph" (a la Beast Machines), which made the transformations difficult to engineer in toy form. As such, the "human" modes often had animal kibble hanging off them if not still blatantly visible in both forms, and many of the animal forms required separate pieces that slid over the human hands to turn them into paws or claws. Some fans found this design approach sloppy and unaesthetic.
Animorphs toys featured a small cast of human characters that transformed into various animals. Most figures also had a third "mid-morph" mode that represented a halfway point in the morphing process. There were also 2 alien "Andalite" characters, one hero and one villain. The villain, Visser Three, was the only "bad guy" toy released during the line's run, and had 2 figures.
As the line trickled to a close, two of the later figures (Marco/beetle and Ax/panther) became fairly rare and difficult to find. Another pair of figures, (Jake/stingray and Taxxon/Battlebeast), never saw release at all, though a few fans were able to get their hands on some.
(Each Deluxe toy came packed with a small Yeerk figure in either orange, purple, or red translucent plastic.)
- Ax (human/panther)
- Cassie (human/wolf)
- Jake (human/tiger)
- Jake (human/bear)
- Marco (human/gorilla)
- Marco (human/beetle)
- Visser Three ("Andalite"/"Hork-Bajir"/"inferno creature")