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|Robots in Disguise|
Robots in Disguise is a Transformers franchise that launched in the year 2000. It was an American port of 2000's Japanese Transformers series Car Robots. Many of the characters were changed into new incarnations of characters from Generation One and Beast Wars, and it remains notable for its numerous vague reference to characters and events from other series, making it difficult to place in relation to other continuities. Despite fan rumors to the contrary, Car Robots was never called and was never going to be called "Transformers 2000".
The Robots in Disguise franchise featured the following primary components:
- A toyline
- An anime series
- A single American comic book story by Dreamwave (produced after the series ended production) set in the same continuity as the cartoon series.
Robots in Disguise was intended as a low-cost, minimal-work "filler" line after Hasbro scrapped Transtech, the series slated to follow Beast Machines. Hasbro used the time this bought to co-develop Armada with their Japanese partner, Takara. It aired on Fox Kids (the last Transformers series to air on a broadcast network) and saw surprising commercial success, laying the groundwork for the success of the subsequent series, Armada. The series dub was inadvertently bought by Disney in 2002.
The series has had several DVD releases, all of them in the UK only. The DVDs are Region 2 and in PAL format, to serve you better and protect us all from robot pirates.
- The Robots in Disguise cartoon rewrote the Japanese Transformers series Car Robots, transforming the all-new Japanese cast into familiar American characters, notably Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ultra Magnus, Fortress Maximus and Prowl.
- Takara considers Robots in Disguise to be the 'same' series as Car Robots. Thus, the American release of Sideways for Robots in Disguise toyline means that Doubleface (Sideways's Japanese name) first appeared in Car Robots.
- The Robots in Disguise cartoon included numerous references that seemed to make it follow season 2 of the original cartoon, but which precluded it being in the same continuity as the movie and season 3. Though unprecedented at the time, as of this writing there are now 3 or 4 more 'branch off before the movie' continuities.
- Takara placed Car Robots in the year 2000 of its Transformers Generation One timeline, and the Generation One-based Kiss Players storyline makes several references to its story events taking place in then-recent history (even suggesting that, thanks to time travel, Fortress Maximus (G1) and Fortress Maximus (RID) are the same character). Yes, we're aware that's crazy. The show even throws in bits of comedy relief.
- In the Devil's Due G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers continuity, Firewall has a mug with what appears to be Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime's face on it. Either that, or it's the logo of the real-world website TFW2005. Presumably this means there is either a Robots in Disguise (or possibly Car Robots) animated series within Devil's Due's Joe/Transformers universe... or a TFW2005 in that universe?
- Car Robots is also the original name of the Autobot Cars (including Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus) in the Diaclone toyline.