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Tracks (G1)

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Specifics: Fictional appearances


Tracks
Tracksg1
Continuity: The Transformers
Affiliation: Autobots

If any Autobots think Sunstreaker is self-absorbed, they haven't met Tracks. If there was a bio stat for vanity, Tracks's would be at ten. No doubt this is not in part due to his tripped out sports car alternate mode, which is not only an automotive classic, but capable of flight thanks to its third winged mode.

However Tracks's conceitedness sometimes plays to his advantage, since the slightest threat to his finish will send him into a furious retaliation. Of course, his enemies will find it hard to shoot him, once he blinds them with his black-beam gun. Meanwhile his shoulder launchers fire heat-seeking incendiary missiles, which will give his opponents an exceptionally bad day. That will teach them to threaten Tracks's paint job.

If Tracks has any weakness, it's a difficulty working with the other Autobots, who view him as entirely too egocentric for his own good.


French name (Canada): Le Sillage ("The Trail")
Hungarian name: Vágány ("Railroad tracks")
Italian name: Puma
Portuguese name (Portugal cartoon): Pisteiro ("Track")
Portuguese name (Portugal comic): Rasto ("Track")
Portuguese name (Brazil comic): Trilho ("Track")


Fiction

Marvel Comics continuity

Generation One

Note: Events from the UK-only comic stories are in italics.

Tracks was (re?)constructed on Earth by Wheeljack when the Autobots' forces were depleted using the Mind Bank, his mind downloaded into a new body from a memory crystal. He attended Bumblebee's field training exercise on human culture -- rock and roll wasn't quite Tracks' taste, but when the Seekers tried to steal and convert sonic energy from the concert, surface-to-air combat with the enemy seemed quite a bit more enjoyable for him. Rock and Roll-Out! On a later mission, he attempted to help Optimus Prime prevent Megatron from being reawakened by the Decepticons, but the mistrustful human armed forces kept them at bay long enough for Soundwave to revive his leader. I, Robot-Master! Shortly thereafter, Tracks joined Ironhide, Smokescreen and Brawn in protecting Buster Witwicky from Soundwave and the Constructicons. He and Smokescreen actually managed to hold their own against Devastator for a short period of time. Devastation Derby! Tracks also was part of the Autobot strike on Decepticon headquarters which allowed Bumblebee to record Devastator's transformation and combination sequence, giving the Autobots a chance to replicate the unique gestalt technology. Command Performances!

The Autobots experienced a major setback when Optimus Prime, Prowl and Ratchet dematerialized before their eyes at a meeting, seemingly atomized in seconds. Matters only became more pressing when Galvatron, Decepticon commander of 2006, arrived in the present, kidnapped Jazz, and co-opted the Constructicons for his own purposes. Goaded into rash action by their friend's distress, the Autobots rushed into battle with the new warriors. Tracks stood shoulder to shoulder with Jetfire, Ironhide, and Smokescreen against Galvatron, but the future Decepticon just laughed and voluntarily allowed them to unload their firepower on him. Staser bolts, high-density lasers, thermal charges, fracture rockets...all hit Galvatron dead centre, and all did absolutely nothing. To add injury to insult, he then beat the helpless Tracks and his comrades into a pulp for good measure.

Beyond desperate, the Autobots actually stooped to reviving Megatron from where Galvatron had left him to rust earlier, and working with him to concoct a strategy against their common foe. Their gambit was somewhat successful, as Tracks and the Autobots managed to capture Galvatron's lieutenant, Scourge, with Megatron's aid. When Tracks and the others went for a prisoner exchange to get Jazz back, however, they found that Galvatron had lobotomized their friend and turned him into a rampaging zombie. Jazz disabled Tracks and the others for a time, and they only woke up into time to wander into the climax, when Kup and the future Autobots destroyed Galvatron's new space cannon in a massive explosion, convincing him to return the future empty-handed. Needless to say, the Autobots were glad when Optimus Prime and the others miraculously returned after Galvatron and his men returned the future, reversing the mass-substitution effect. Target 2006

Tracks and the Autobots became much less involved in Earth affairs when Grimlock assumed control of the army after Prime's death and took the Ark back out into space. Tracks was trapped on the moon for some time with the combined crews of the Ark and Steelhaven after a Decepticon attack damaged their transport Totaled! He was later deactivated while battling the combined Decepticon armies in the Arctic, when he received an unexpected acid bath from Blot. Dark Star!

Earthforce
Note: These stories do not fit into the normal Marvel continuity. See Earthforce for details.

In his Body Shop at Autobot Earth base, Wheeljack was attempting to revive Tracks, but Grimlock kept sabotaging his efforts, hoping to move efforts towards Autobots he thought were more deserving. Not only did he fail to stop the reconstruction, Optimus Prime ended up assigned Tracks to Earth force to Grimlock's eternal regret. Makin' Tracks! Later on, he joined the other Autobots in hunting Motormaster, who had kidnapped their human ally, Irwin Spoon. The other Stunticons tried to stop them, and did managed to derail several others, but Tracks and Bumblebee got Motormaster to separate from his trailer (apparently he can do that..?) and then led Dead End and Drag Strip into knocking their own leader off the road. End of the Road!

Generation 2

Tracks was operating out of Autobase on Earth after the Autobots began confronting the threat of the Cybertronian Empire. When Megatron agreed to join forces with Prime, Tracks began working closely with the Decepticon Rotor Force members Leadfoot and Manta Ray. It's possible his friendship and influence had something to do with their interest in switching sides. Total War

American cartoon continuity

Voice actor: Michael McConnohie (English), Shō Hayami (Japanese)

Tracks was one of several Autobots who appeared out of nowhere one day. He, Cliffjumper and Seaspray were sent out to intercept and drive back a pirate ship that had appeared through a temporal anomaly due to Megatron's interference on the temporally displaced Dinobot Island. Dinobot Island, Part 2

G1MakeTracks TracksRaoul

It's not what it looks like, honestly!

Tracks and Blaster assisted the New York Police Department's Crime Buster program by parking themselves in a seedy, run-down neighbourhood to entice car thieves to steal them, then capturing the thieves and their buyer. Back at Sparkplug's garage, Tracks opined that New York City was exhilarating and that they could remain there forever as far as he was concerned, to the amusement of the other Autobots. Annoyed at their attitude, Tracks took off for a joyride, but almost immediately fell prey to a gang of would-be car thieves who shot out Tracks' tires as he tried to run them off the road. Crashing into a streetlight, Tracks was badly damaged and unable to transform. Fortunately, the car thief with a heart of gold, Raoul, happened by and decided to take possession of Tracks, who quickly revealed he was no ordinary badly damaged dark blue Corvette Stingray with a giant flaming logo on his hood. Together, they foiled a Decepticon plot to use the local criminal element to steal cars so that Megatron could build an army of remote-controlled, transforming car drones. Make Tracks

When San Francisco was threatened by an alien bird creature; Tracks risked his life in battle to defend the city. The Secret of Omega Supreme

Whilst out on a supply run with Bumblebee, Tracks opined that Optimus Prime had sent him out on this task to show the humans that Autobots didn't just have strength, but refinement as well. When Bumblebee sharply pointed out his comrade's lack of humility, Tracks replied that he feared some Autobots had much to be humbled. Together, they watched a storefront television report by Hector Ramirez on the disappearance of a top secret Soviet jet, for which blame was placed on the United States. Bumblebee suspected Decepticon involvement, which was convenient, as Tracks saw Astrotrain and Blitzwing lurking about nearby. The Autobots gave chase, only to discover the 'Cons were holographs projected by the big game hunter Lord Chumley, and the pair were quickly subdued. After several more Autobots were captured, the imprisoned hostages were forced to run through several cruel and unusual torture devices. Tracks in particular was forced to race around a small, spiked track while laser cannons fired at him. Prime Target

G1Auto-Bop Tracks girl

"Eeek, Mr Tracks, can I have your autograph?"
"Sure thing baby"

Tracks and Blaster were reunited with Raoul when the human and Bop Crew were being chased by Furg's gang outside of the Dancitron nightclub. Tracks stylishly defeated the thugs by pointing his laser fire horizontally, simultaneously destroying several of the weapons wielded by Furg’s men. As he did so, he noticed that one of the gang members was a man dressed in a business suit. The Autobots decided to investigate further.

Inside the club, Tracks declined to dance with some girls, and another patron asked him where he could "get those threads" (meaning Tracks's robot body). As Tracks left, remarking that Dancitron wasn't his kind of club, he noted that there were more out-of-place humans, including a homemaker in a bathrobe and a garbage man. Tracks and Blaster came to Raoul's aid again when the driver of a train in which the humans were travelling was "activated' by Starscream and accelerated the train to unsafe speeds. Later, brainwashed “workers” at a construction site attacked Tracks and Raoul for something large and mysterious. Bravely risking his paint job, Tracks protected Raoul from red-hot rivets fired by a brainwashed construction worker.

Trackscruc2

Radio killed the video star.

Returning to the club, Tracks was lured into a trap by the mind-controlled Poplock and Rocksteady. Barely evading Starscream's attack, Tracks was assaulted by the rest of the club's patrons and chained up to the sound system, where the Decepticons hoped the music would eventually shake him apart. After Raoul de-hypnotised the club patrons by getting them slightly wet, the humans freed Tracks, who proceeded to take off after the fleeing Starscream. Crazy like a fox, Tracks seeded the clouds above the mysterious construction site, causing rain to fall down on the hypnotised workers, totally ruining Starscream's plan forever. Knowing that despite his good looks, he was outgunned and out powered, Tracks used his superior agility to trick Starscream into flying into the half-constructed building and damaging himself when the Decepticon failed to avoid obstructions. With the Decepticons defeated, Tracks and Blaster destroyed the mysterious building. Grateful to the Bop Crew for saving his life, Tracks had Blaster help them out by acting as the boom box for their curb side break-dance sessions, to the latter's horror. Auto-Bop

Later, Tracks was one of several Autobots facing off against the Stunticons near the Seattle-Tacoma area when Megatron was using the Key to Vector Sigma to transform the land into metal. He was rammed by Breakdown into a boulder and flipped over. The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2

Tracks was part of a responsive strike against a series of Stunticon raids on human compounds. He took to the air at one point, prompting Dead End to remark that his flying car mode was "droll". In retaliation for this unwarranted remark, Tracks blinded Dead End with his black light gun, which caused the Decepticon to drive into the car-crushing fists of Warpath. Masquerade

Tracks was one of several Autobots who participated in the Europa 2000, a charity race from Paris to Istanbul which, if the Autobots won, would have netted them a million dollars, which they would give to charity. Tracks was disdainful of the arrogant American driver Auggie Cahnay and his supped-up Symultech Industries car. During the race, Tracks tried to contact the other Autobots, only to find out they had been disabled by the Stunticons in Megatron's quest to stop the Autobots from interfering with his plans for the Pearl of Bahoudin. Teamed up with Cahnay and a scientist who mysteriously disappears during the course of the battle, the Autobots defeated Menasor and destroyed the Pearl. Trans-Europe Express

Japanese cartoon continuity

Binaltech

When the Decepticons unleashed Cosmic Rust on Earth, Tracks was one of the many Autobots infested with the virus. As Earth Defense Command created the Binaltech Project in order to help the Autobots, Tracks was one of the first patients to undergo transference into an electro-cell powered new body. With the help of his fellow Binaltech Autobots (Smokescreen, Hound, Sideswipe and Bluestreak), Tracks and his new powers were used to drive the Decepticons off the planet. He remained part of the soldiers based at Autobot City on Earth.

Tracks apparently now had the power to change and update his paint job at will. Thrilling, simply thrilling.

Dreamwave comic’s continuity

Tracks was an active member of the Autobot forces as far back as the days of Sentinel Prime. The War Within He served with the Autobots for several million years until the time of the Great Shutdown, working with Prowl and his faction during the Dark Ages. The War Within: The Dark Ages

Afterwards, Tracks seemed to lapse into semi-retirement while other Autobots worked towards establishing a new unified Cybertronian government with the Decepticons. He was seen among the general populace observing the Anti-Prime propaganda Shockwave was pumping out through the cortex. Cold War He eventually recognized the rotten core of their alliance with Shockwave, though, and formed a resistance cell with Smokescreen, Devcon and the Triple Changers. They and their Minibot allies joined the major offensive alongside Optimus Prime, Hot Rod and the other cells, which ultimately overthrew Shockwave's control. Countdown to Extinction

Timelines

Tracks (in his Alternator's body) is one of countless "offworlders" residing in Axiom Nexus. Gone Too Far

IDW comic’s continuity

Tracks is living on the ruined Cybertron with several other Autobots, while Ratchet tries to repair their fallen leader, Optimus Prime. All Hail Megatron issue 1

Toys

Generation One

G1Tracks toy

Some looks just don't go out of fashion, my dear.

  • Tracks (Autobot Car, 1985, 1991, 2002/2003)
    • Japanese ID number: 44, TFC-4
    • Accessories: "Black Beam Gun", 2 missile launchers, missile launcher mount, four missiles: The original Tracks toy transforms into a blue Corvette Stingray with a large flame decal on his hood. Tracks's vehicle mode can achieve a flight mode via two flip-out wings and attachable rocket launchers. In robot mode, Tracks is armed with a long rifle that covers most of his lower arm, and the two white rocket launchers are now mounted above his head.
The European version of Tracks by Milton Bradley was initially available in red, based on the original Diaclone colour scheme. This toy is featured on the box art on the back of 1985 toys. Due to poor sales, Hasbro decided to re-release Tracks in Europe[citation needed], this time in his blue colour scheme. Because of this, the red MB version ended up being rather rare. [1] Later, MB changed the red Tracks for the regular blue scheme one in late 1985 early 1986.[2]
Tracks was reissued in Europe in 1991 as part of the "Classics" line.
Tracks was reissued by Takara in 2002 as part of their "book-box" Transformers Collection series. The following year, Hasbro re-released him as part of the Toys "R" Us exclusive Commemorative Series V.
This mold was used to make Road Rage, an e-Hobby exclusive based on the red European version.


AMTracks toy

As if I would be seen wearing that.

  • Tracks with Basher (Action Master, 1991)
    • Accessories: Gun, Basher partner: This version of Tracks was a European exclusive, sculpted to resemble his cartoon appearances more closely. As with all Action Masters, he cannot transform but is highly articulated by the standards of the time. He came with small tank partner named Basher, who forms a battle helmet/backpack for Tracks (or any other Action Master), colored in bright green and baby blue.


Alternators

BTTracks toy

You can colour me blue, you can colour me yellow, but I will still be that most excellent fellow.

  • Autobot Tracks (2004, 2006)
    • Alternator ID number: 5
    • Japanese ID number: BT-06
    • Accessories: Engine/blaster
Tracks was first released in Japan under Takara's Binaltech line, with a yellow paint job, but was later released in blue to match Hasbro's Alternators release. Tracks transforms into a Corvette Z06 featuring open doors and hood and a realistic interior. Amusingly enough, his rocket launchers are stored next to the passenger and driver seats.
In robot mode, Tracks greatly resembles his Generation One self, though with one major difference: The roof of his actual car no longer forms the front of his chest. Instead, he has a pseudo-car-roof chest piece that folds down. His large shoulder pads, formed from the rear halves of the car, give the impression of the wings his original toy had. He is armed with his double-barrelled engine gun, two pairs of double-barrelled, slide-out wrist blasters, and two shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, making him the most heavily armed Alternators toy.
The main difference between the Japanese and US releases is that the Japanese Binaltech versions are constructed of die-cast metal for the majority of the car body panels, which are also fully painted. The blue version of Binaltech Tracks also came with a large reproduction of his original hood flame sticker. This sticker was eventually released with Hasbro's own Alternators Swerve, a retool of Tracks.
This mold was more significantly retooled to make Alternators Battle Ravage.

Merchandise

Notes

  • Voice actor Michael McConnohie chose the voice of Thurston J. Howell III from Gilligan's Island, played by Jim Backus, as the basis for Tracks' snooty voice and mannerisms. McConnohie refers to Tracks's manner of dialect as a "Harvard Lockjaw".
  • In parts of Europe, Tracks was released in the Diaclone toy's red deco through Milton Bradley in 1985. Due to being a royal shelf warmer, the toy was re-released in its proper Transformers colours through Hasbro a year later. It is possible Hasbro has originally planned for Tracks to be released in Diaclone colours, as Tracks is red complete with the Diaclone hood stickers ("CS" instead of the Autobot sigil) on the 1985 back-of-the-box mural.[3] Interestingly, the 1985 box-mural from Japan shows not only the red Tracks in the centre, but another Tracks, this one in his Hasbro blue deco, in the upper right area.[4] Perhaps this indicates that there were plans to create more than one Transformers character from the Stingray mold, as had been done with many of the other Diaclone moulds, that were unrealized.
  • In later years, toys sporting the name "Tracks" require an additional "Autobot" prefix for trademark reasons, hence making the official name "Autobot Tracks".
  • Chevrolet initially denied Hasbro and Takara the license for the Z06 Corvette that was going to be released as part of the Alternators line. Thus, Hasbro and Takara came up with an auxiliary plan for Tracks, this time as another "well-known American sports car", a Dodge Viper. Eventually, though, Chevrolet had a change of mind and granted Hasbro and Takara the license for the Corvette design after all. As a result, the Viper mould was slightly redesigned, was given a new head sculpt, and ultimately ended up as Sideswipe instead (called "Side Swipe" for trademark reasons). Control drawings for the Viper as Tracks, sporting a Tracks head sculpt and a different transformation for the doors, allowing them to more closely resemble Tracks's G1 wings, are depicted in the Japanese Transformers: Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide book.
  • Hasbro initially intended to release their Alternators toy in yellow, with a blue running change variant coming later down the line. However, problems with the darker interior parts being visible though the yellow plastic encountered at the test shot stage prompted Hasbro to cancel the yellow version and instead release the toy in blue right away. Thus, the only yellow version of the mould is Takara's Binaltech release. Supposedly, yellow Hasbro Tracks never made it beyond the paint sample stage (a few pieces were leaked to the public), although there have been rumours that the yellow version was actually shipped out to stores and later recalled. Conveniently, anyone who claimed to have seen the packaged toy in person was unable to take a photo as evidence. Thus, this rumour is considered to have similar credibility to the infamous "blue G1 Bluestreak in Hasbro packaging" myth.




References

  1. "Milton Bradley and the Transformers Red Tracks" at TF-1.com
  2. [1]
  3. Back of the Box Art: 1985 - USA
  4. Back of the Box Art: 1985 - Japan

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