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Following up on the highly successful Armada, the Energon toyline carried over a number of characters in new forms, and added many newcomers as well.
The Energon line is dominated by the concept of combination, which pops up in numerous forms. Virtually every smaller toy came with an "Energon weapon", a clear-colored assortment of accessories, which could peg into one another to form larger weapons. The Combat and Mega Autobots can combine with one another in pairs (top and bottom, a source of endless jokes in the fandom), while the Command class combines with a vehicular accessory to form a larger "brute" mode. The line's first Mini-Cons were two teams that could combine. And three combiner teams in the spirit of the Scramble City gestalts dominated the line's later waves.
The Energon weapons formed another of the line's main concepts, as the battle for control of Energon dominated the cartoon storyline. The clear Energon weapons feature standardized 5mm pegs that all but a few figures can hold, and the weapons could be pegged together in almost infinite combinations.
A third concept was the Hyper-mode of the Decepticons, basically a series of flip- or fold-out weapons that could be deployed without the addition of Mini-Cons.
The line introduced two new ostensible factions, the Omnicons and Terrorcons, though in practice these were more subgroups of the Autobots and Decepticons, respectively. They filled the smallest price point left vacant by the Mini-Con 3-packs of Armada.
Nearly all alternate modes are futuristic vehicles or robotic animals. Robot modes are angular and mechanical-looking, continuing the G1-esque look started by Armada but refining it. Articulation rose almost to pre-Armada levels, and the complexity required by some of the combining gimmicks brought forth ingenious and complex designs, though sometimes at the expense of the overall appearance of the toy.
Initial waves of Energon included three redecos of Armada toys as new characters: Sideways as Rapid Run, Scavenger as Treadbolt, and Overload as Ultra Magnus. These toys were meant to "bulk up" the early line and did not ship long, making them -- particularly Ultra Magnus -- difficult to find at US retail.
As in the later Beast era, all new-mold figures have spark crystals to display their allegiance. As in Armada, most have at least a few Mini-Con hardpoints. Two Mini-Con teams were part of the line, with Hasbro stating that the runaway success of the Mini-Cons in Armada caught them by surprise, and that more would be forthcoming in future lines.
The line was notable for the fact stores MASSIVELY overordered initial waves of the line, leading to massive shelfwarming for the first two waves. The situation was so severe, Hasbro removed much of the older product from stores' inventory to get the Powerlinx Battles subline to shelves in time for the 2004 holiday season. Much of this early stock would reappear on store shelves in "buy one get one" bonus buys in VERY large numbers.
The Basic-sized Omnicons and Terrorcons come with clear Energon weapons and 'Energon Chips' or 'Energon Stars' that can be attached over their spark crystals. Chips and weapons are red and pink for Omnicons and green and yellow for Terrorcons.
- Arcee (motorcycle)
- Offshoot (communications truck)
- Strongarm (jeep)
- Signal Flare (communications truck)
- Skyblast (space fighter)
The Air Team is one of three Scramble City-style combiners, in which four Basic-sized limbs join a Combat core. The Autobots had one such combiner; the Decepticons two. Each had a unique core design and two unique limbs. Each limb was recolored once to make the necessary four. The limb figures all came with add-on weapons and Energon Chips, cast in blue clear plastic, and these weapons formed the hands or feet of the combined robot.
- Sky Shadow (attack jet)
- Storm Jet (bomber jet)
- Terradive (attack jet)
- Treadshot (fighter jet)
- Windrazor (fighter jet)
Combine to form Superion Maximus.
Combat and Mega Autobots, besides transforming from vehicle to robot, can also become the top or bottom half of a 'Powerlinx' combination robot. While it was not widely advertised, the two size classes can freely inter-combine, with occasionally ludicrous results. The need to combine did compromise the articulation, stability, and appearance of many Autobot figures.
- Downshift (rally car)
- Energon Hot Shot (sportscar)
- Energon Kicker (armored human) w/ High Wire (motorbike)
- Hot Shot (sportscar)
- Inferno (fire engine)
- Prowl (police racer)
- Roadblock (utility vehicle)
- Rodimus (racing highway tractor)
- Tow-Line (TV van)
SWAT Team 2-Pack - K-Mart exclusive
- Beachcomber (dune buggy)
- Cliffjumper (dune buggy)
- Ironhide (SUV)
- Jetfire (space shuttle)
- Overcast (space shuttle)
- Treadbolt (bulldozer) w/ Minicon Rollbar (buggy)
- Wing Saber (stealth bomber)
- Grimlock (Tyrannosaurus rex)/Swoop (Pteranodon)
Command Autobots each include transforming accessories that form part of their vehicle modes; they can combine with these to form a 'Brute Mode'.
- Bulkhead (helicopter)
- Landmine (halftrack construction vehicle)
- Landquake (halftrack construction vehicle)
- Quickstrike (helicopter)
- Ultra Magnus (shuttle carrier) w/ Minicons Knock Out (tractor cab), Astroscope (space station), Payload (rocket transporter) and Sky Blast (rocket)
- Optimus Prime (tractor trailer)
- Battle Ravage (jaguar)
- Command Ravage (jaguar)
- Cruellock (dinosaur)
- Divebomb (hawk)
- Doom-Lock (dinosaur)
- Insecticon (Hercules beetle)
A loose homage to the original Constructicons.
- Bonecrusher (front-end loader)
- Duststorm (mobile crane)
- Sledge (front-end loader)
- Steamhammer (hydraulic power shovel)
- Wideload (mobile crane)
Combine to form Constructicon Maximus.
A loose homage to the original Combaticons.
- Barricade (missile truck)
- Blackout (helicopter)
- Blight (anti-aircraft tank)
- Kickback (anti-aircraft tank)
- Stormcloud (helicopter)
Combine to form Bruticus Maximus.
- Cyclonus (helicopter) w/ Minicon Crumplezone (tank) - Kay Bee Toys exclusive
- Demolishor (dump truck)
- Demolishor (tank) w/ Minicon Blackout (combat car) - Kay Bee toys exclusive
- Energon Starscream (fighter jet)
- Rapid Run (motorcycle) w/ Minicons Nightcruz and Nightscream
- Sharkticon (submarine)
- Slugslinger (dual-cockpit fighter jet)
- Snow Cat (snowcat)
- Starscream (fighter jet)
- Alpha Quintesson (armored Quintesson alien)
- Dreadwing (battle speedboat)
- Mirage (battle speedboat)
- Shockblast (tank/satellite)
- Six Shot (tank/satellite)
- Scorponok (scorpion based construction vehicle/jet)
- Tidal Wave (Dark Fleet) w/ Minicon Ramjet (fighter jet)
- Energon Saber (combined form)
- Perceptor (combined form)
Leader 2-Pack - Toys 'R' Us exclusive