A "generic" is the fan-coined, unofficial term for any unnamed background Transformer that is clearly not intended to represent any previously existing and named toy/character. Generics are frequently used to fill out crowd scenes and battles, and often (though not always) employ repeated standardized designs (especially in the older material such as the The Transformers cartoon).
It is rare that a generic gets a speaking part, but it has happened from time to time. However, if the character is given a name he/she ceases to be a generic and becomes a regular old character (see Sunstorm for an example of such an apotheosis).
The Transformers cartoon
- Seekers - The comparatively low number of Decepticons in the early episodes of the cartoon led to the filling out of the ranks with numerous generics based on the existing cast, and most notably the Seekers.
- Frenzy/Rumble-type - Same with the Seekers... except for the fact they're only in one episode.
- Reflector - At times, there were more than three. Though to be fair, it's speculated that Relector was just one guy who could clone himself...
- Paradrons - The entire population of Paradron save for Sandstorm were generics, especially their medics.
- Lithonians - Lithone designs featured many background generics of strange design, some of which were later recycled as members of The Hive.
- Many Decepticons of various designs were seen running as Unicron is on the verge of destroying Cybertron during The Transformers: The Movie. A few were later seen inside Unicron along with Spike, Bumblebee, Jazz and Cliffjumper, with two onscreen dropped into the acid and melting. A few Autobots were also seen, including one who resembles Beachcomber.
- Generation One character models created for the Beast Wars episode "The Agenda (Part III)" were modified to represent various generic Cybertronian citizens who were infected with Megatron's transformation lock virus.
- A Prowlish character model shows up as a corpse in a Vehicon factory.
- Autobot and Decepticon forces were filled out using Generation One character models, creating several odd instances of classic characters getting remarkably awkward (and often randomly-colored) cameos.
- Depending on who was animating the episode, the masses of Mini-Cons combined toy-characters with either randomly-colored toy-based models or entirely-new designs... or, in one notable instance, Wheelie's character model!
- Due to the computer generated nature of the graphics, both Autobot and Decepticon forces were filled out with generics assembled from parts of other existing or unused character models. Wing Saber's original "Wing Dagger" form is one such example of a mixed-and-matched generic character model.
- The first issue of the Marvel comic featured a very high proportion of generic characters - probably more than any issue of a Transformers comic since. Many of these were recycled from existing character models and some may be simple coloring errors, though a generic that resembles a miscolored Optimus Prime leading the Decepticons' assault on the Ark may take more explaining. It's also worth noting that a number of the generics in battle scenes tote weapons like ion blasters and fusion cannons.
- A generic Decepticon technician of a standard design originally created by Will Simpson for issue #103 was forcibly upgraded into a clone of Megatron.
- Dan Reed drew hundreds of generic "zombie" Transformers for the stories City of Fear! and Legion of the Lost!
Devil's Due comics
- After the events of G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers left the Decepticons short on troops, in G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II artist E. J. Su padded out Shockwave's Cybertronian forces with nameless, but intricately designed generics. Sadly the Dinobots arrived, and Dinobots vs. generic Decepticons is always going to end badly for the no-names.
- Also notable is the generic "future Decepticon" from the cover of #3 (as seen to the right) who did not, in fact appear in the issue at all. Instead his place was filled by hordes of generic Ravages, Reflectorbots and Insecticons. Though the Insecticons have been previously shown to be able to clone themselves and - as noted above - Reflector was often accompanied by duplicates, this is the first time we have seen clones of Ravage.
- At the series' conclusion, Shockwave is tended by a generic Decepticon medic, who has a similar design to Soundwave.
- Generics at the Obscure Transformers Website
- Generic G1 Decepticons list
- Armada Background Characters at insecticons.com