|Specifics: Fictional appearances|
Gears hates Earth, a lush, green planet practically as unlike his cozy, gray, metallic homeworld as possible. He grumbles and complains about being shipwrecked on it -- complains and grumbles to a ridiculous extent, until he becomes a source of amusement, rather than negativity. This is usually his intent -- unlike his fellow Mini Vehicle Huffer, Gears has a desire to help his fellow Autobots see good in a bad situation. Still, he does get depressed from time to time.
Gears is strong and tough, not so much in lifting but in endurance, and carrying heavy loads with little effort, be they energon cubes, disabled Autobots, or potatoes for the farmers' market. He is fitted with infrared vision sensors.
In robot mode, Gears can release controlled bursts of compressed air from his feet, launching himself to altitudes over 100,000 feet, and floating back down. In doing so, he must be careful not to lose air pressure before coming close enough to the ground for a safe landing.
- Nicknames: Ox, Sourball
- Portuguese name (Brazil comics): Engrenagem
- Hungarian name: Fuvaros (meaning Hauler)
- Portuguese name (Portugal comics): Mecano
- Italian name: Mulo ("Mule")
- South American name: Pick-Up
- French name (Canada): Rollo
Marvel Comics continuity
Shortly after arriving on Earth, Gears teamed up with Spider-Man, using his ability to launch himself upward using compressed air and fly alongside the superhero in an attempt to reach the mountaintop Decepticon fortress. When Gears ran low on power, he began to fall before Spidey caught him in webbing. Although Spider-Man's webbing is extremely strong, the Autobot's weight threatened to break it, and Spider-Man completed Gears' ascent using the webbing for assistance. After a fight with the Decepticons, Megatron caused Gears (and human Sparkplug Witwicky) to fall through a hole in the fortress. Although Spidey was able to rescue Sparkplug, and attempted to catch Gears as he had done before, the added momentum of the fall proved too much strain on the webbing, and Gears crashed to the ground. Gears was quickly patched up enough to tell the Autobots that Megatron had gotten what he wanted (a fuel conversion process) from Sparkplug. His complete restoration was seemingly interrupted when, following recriminations, Ratchet needed to drive Sparkplug to the hospital to treat his sudden heart attack.
When the Autobots overheard Shockwave's plans to drop the captured head of their leader, Optimus Prime, in a nearby swamp, Gears was among the Autobots who traveled to the swamp with Prime's body. However, the head was actually a decoy head, which, when attached to the body, caused it to go on a murderous rampage. Buzzsaw shot Gears right in the face!
Gears was eventually restored, however, and joined Cliffjumper and Windcharger in searching for Sludge during the Dinobot Hunt. Their mission was suddenly cut short by the arrival of Soundwave and the Decepticons, who shot the Minibots in the back and took them prisoner. Bumblebee soon rescued his disabled comrades from the Decepticon cruiser, but they were too badly injured and remained inactive for some time thereafter.
Gears was repaired in time to witness a battle between Grimlock and Blaster for Autobot leadership on Earth's moon. While Autobots around him cheered vehemently for either combatant, Gears seemingly didn't really care, choosing to watch in stoic silence.
Gears was among the Autobots who answered Buster Witwicky's distress call from just outside the Decepticons' headquarters in the Arctic. Shortly thereafter, when an Underbase-powered Starscream announced that he would "destroy the cities of New York, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires," Gears was among the allied Autobot/Decepticon teams sent ahead to New York City. As Starscream approached, Goldbug led a team of Autobots which included Gears, and the entire team was destroyed with a "single wave of
a market executive's Starscream's hand"! Oops.
Gears was one of the original crew of Autobots on the Ark spaceship when it crash-landed on Earth millions of years ago. When he awoke in 1984, he was reformatted by Teletraan I so that his alt-mode was an Earth-based pickup truck. Not a combatant, he didn't participate in too many of the Autobots' most famous battles against the Decepticons, but he did his part despite his complaints. Gears' infrared sensors were useful in capturing Ravage when the Decepticon was caught trespassing at the Autobot headquarters.
Megatron stole a chip from Gears to complete his Solar Needle, a weapon that will pierce the sun itself. The removal of the chip altered Gears' personality from cranky to jovial. Nobody wanted to fix him, but, sadly, if they didn't the Solar Needle would destroy the sun. Tough choices.
In 2005, Gears was stationed on Moonbase One under Optimus Prime's command. It is unknown whether he left for Earth with Prime and the Dinobots to repel Megatron's attack on Autobot City, or if he remained behind. If he did the later, his chances of survival aren't good, as only Jazz and Cliffjumper were seen escaping from Unicron's smelting pits.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Gears was part of the Ark's original crew, crash-landing on Earth four million years ago and awakening in 1984. Like all the Transformers of Earth, he was believed dead for many years after the mid-air explosion of the Ark II. In fact, Gears was one of many robots who were salvaged by the mercenary known as Lazarus, who began the time-consuming process of installing remote control programming into his inert Cybertronian captives. Lazarus was doomed to failure, however, for Megatron regained control of his own body shortly after the human reactivated him. With the Decepticons back in action thanks to Megatron, Gears and the other Autobots held captive by Lazarus were left at their mercy. Although a small group of Autobots were free under Optimus Prime's command to combat the Decepticons, most of the 'bots recovered by Lazarus (including Gears) were too badly damaged to be reactivated for that first battle.
Gears and the other deactivated Autobots were recovered, though, and were back to full functionality by the time Ultra Magnus and Shockwave arrived from Cybertron. As the Autobot forces split in two, Gears went with Optimus Prime and his contingent back to Cybertron aboard Sky Lynx. Back on his home planet, Gears participated in the insurrection by Autobot dissidents against the rule of Shockwave.
Much to his dismay, Gears was soon put in the position of having to return to Earth. With Prime temporarily out of action due to injuries, Prowl had assumed command of the Ark's crew on Cybertron, and made the decision that a new base of operations needed to be constructed on Earth, to fortify Autobot interests there. Gears reluctantly left his beloved homeworld behind to return to Earth, and begin work on the construction of Autobot City.
IDW Generation One comics continuity
In the modern era, Gears was seen reacting to the return of "The Voice".
IDW Hearts of Steel continuity
Gears participated in the pursuit of Astrotrain, helped clear rubble, and got hammered by Decepticon artillery. His altmode appears to be a boxcar.
Gears was hauling a load of potatoes, with plans to sell them for oil and gas money. (Really.) He was tricked by the Decepticons into taking a detour, which led him to their "Autobot Rest Stop" - a car crusher disguised with pillows and a set of curtains. Gears rolled into the Rest Stop and was enjoying himself when Soundwave activated the machine, crushing Gears flat.
Gears was later restored by Ratchet, with no ill effects.
- Gears (Mini Vehicle, 1984/1985)
- Part of the first assortment of Autobot Mini Vehicles, Gears transforms into a blue and red "penny racer"-proportioned pickup truck of indeterminable model, though it resembles a late 1970's Chevrolet/GMC K-Series truck. For reasons unknown, he was the only Mini Vehicle not made available as part of Takara's original retail line in any capacity (while Cosmos and Warpath were not available at normal retail, both were offered as mail-away toys).
- There were a few variations of Gears south of the border, where he was known as "Pick-Up". Initial releases had the same plastic colors but gave him a different robot-mode sticker, while later toys had the plastic colors changed to make him a red truck with orange robot parts. In some European markets, a maroon and white version was released, possibly to bring the character of Swerve over without the use of a new mold.
- This mold was used to make the Malignus Pick-Up, the Autobot Small Foot and was retooled to make Swerve.
- Minibots Team (Multi-pack, 2004)
- Japanese ID number: TFC-12
- Gears was finally put out at Japanese retail in 2004, as part of the Transformers Collection "Minibot" set, containing Gears, a retooled Bumblebee, Cosmos, Huffer, Powerglide and Warpath. This set was later redecoed to make the e-Hobby exclusive G1 GoBots team.
- The Gears toy was originally from Takara's Microchange line, in the same coloration, as the "Micro Robot 04 4WD Off-Road". This is the source of the "M" on his truck-mode hood.
- In his first appearance, Gears sported a more humanoid character model that looked less like his toy than his final animation model. He would also use this model in the UK annual story And There Shall Come...a Leader!, while Sideswipe was inexplicably drawn with this model in the earlier UK story "The Enemy Within!".
- In The Transformers: The Movie, in Unicron's smelting pit, two robots that bear striking resemblances to Ratchet and Gears are dropped into the pit.