Black repaint is a fan-coined term referring to a mostly dark-colored redeco of a toy, usually featuring black as its primary color. The term is usually inaccurate, as the toys are almost never actually repaints, but the name has stuck.
Black repaints are a comparatively common type of redeco; in particular, almost (but not quite) every Optimus Prime toy has been produced in a black repaint color scheme at least once. As with most aspects of Transformers, fandom opinion on black repaints is split: some like them, some denounce them as bland and/or uncreative, and some don't think of them as being any different from other redecoes.
Though not exclusive to these kinds of redecos, black repaints are most commonly the standard method of releasing an "evil counterpart" to an existing Transformer. A close followup is a "stealth mode" version to an existing character.
Black repaints are one of the two specific redecos Takara does, the other being the clear or "ghost" redeco. They are extremely easy to identify as they almost always feature identical packaging to the original version of the figure or character, or are packaged in a special black or gray packaging (as for example Black Starscream or Micron legend Scourge. The term becomes much more accurately in this context, because they always do feature black as their primary color. Some of these figures are either imported into the Japanese line (like Nemesis Prime, who in his Japanese toy was actually black) or exported to the Hasbro line, to be featured in an ordiary fashion (such as Nemesis Breaker).
Some particularly well-known black repaints include:
- Generation One Skywarp, the first black repaint in Transformers.
- Robots in Disguise Scourge, one of the few black repaints that represent a main show character, also the inspiration for many Optimus Prime based black repaints.
- Alternators Nemesis Prime, infamous for starting out as a nearly unobtainable exclusive surrounded by various problems with HasbroToyShop.com, then seeing a wide release in Australia.
- Movie Stealth Bumblebee, just a reversed colored Bumblebee with a face mask.
- Transformers Animated Skywarp, the main black repaint in Transformers Animated.