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"He's an evil clone! An empty shell!"--Windcharger, referring to Megatron's Optimus Prime bootleg, "A Prime Problem" (TF)
This page is meant to serve as a reference guide for the unofficial, counterfeit toys that were based on Transformers brand toys. While there are hundreds of transforming toys in existence that could very well have been inspired by the Transformers concept (or by specific models of transformation), this page only deals with toys whose designs were, in whole or in part, physically copied from existing Transformers. If you find a Transformer you recognize but it has an odd color scheme, is made of brittle or flimpsy plastic, and/or is the wrong size, chances are good you've got a bootleg toy. The vast majority of unlicensed Transformers will have no official Hasbro/Takara copyright stamp.
Note that there are several "fake" Transformers in existence which are, in fact, legally licensed toys. Almost all the Transformers from the first two years of the toy line were based on earlier toys produced by Takara in the Diaclone or Microman toy lines, so these toys will not have a Hasbro copyright marking despite the fact that they are still official Takara toys. In fact, a number of genuine Transformers were produced and sold without Hasbro's official markings on the toys. For reference on the toys before they were released by Hasbro as Transformers, please visit the Pre-Transformer Page.
Release dates for these bootleg toys are sketchy (as there is rarely production information on the toys or packaging), and it's almost impossible to track down the names of the manufacturers since they very rarely print this information on the cards (probably with good reason, since the majority of these toys are illegal to begin with). The dates given here are the year the original toys were released, which does not necessarily correspond to the knockoff version.
At this time, only the informational portion of this document is completed. The image links on this page will not work; they only represent which images I've processed. I've still got about five hundred more images to sift through, trim and color-correct, and compress for the sake of space (and that's not counting the handful of new ones that seem to pop up every week), and once I've had a chance to process them all, I'll be adding active links to those images here.
1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990
The majority of Transformers knockoff toys will fall into this category, which lists toys whose genuine counterparts were sold in America. While the toy line was created for the U.S. market, the vast majority of these toys were sold in other parts of the world as well, of course.
Some knockoff toys are reduced or enlarged in size, ostensibly to differentate it from the genuine toy. The knockoff version of Bluestreak is much larger than the original toy, standing at about six inches high as a robot. The bootleg toy was produced by a company called Atom Toys, among the few bootleggers bold enough to leave their name on the packaging.
Packaged under the rather unimaginative name "Jet-Car," the toy is mostly black in car mode with white and red parts in robot mode. The toy comes with a facsimile of his rifle, as well as a gigantic bazooka that is nearly as long as he is tall. It fires the projectiles that come with the toy at a distance of almost ten feet.
There was a knockoff version of this toy available in red and white colors. The toy had die-cast metal in the same places the original toy did, but featured all-new stickers.
There is also an oversized version that has the name "Space Robo" on the packaging. Made in China, the figure card uses Hasbro/Takara's 1986 Frenzy box art (carrying the gold weapons, meaning they borrowed it from the version packaged with Ratbat) and comes with a sword and gun accessory. This bootleg comes in at least two different color schemes:
Additionally, there is another oversized version sold under the name "Space Robot." Coincidence? Maybe. At any rate, this version stands at almost 6" tall in robot mode (the original Frenzy/Rumble toy was only 2¾"). Again, there are at least two color variations, and they're both pretty gaudy.
And finally, there is an oversized version sold on a card with the name "Change Robot." The card features some of Hasbro's official art and photos of the genuine Ravage, Ramhorn, and Steeljaw (who are also part of this knockoff assortment) as well as Rewind (who is not, as far as I know). This edition of Frenzy comes in at least two color variations.
One knockoff was based on the Diaclone edition of the toy that would later become Optimus Prime, and was called "Battle Convoy" by the bootleg company. Changes were made to the wheels, smoke stacks, and windows to differentiate this toy somewhat from the genuine Optimus Prime; the word "TRUCK" is written inbetween the windshield wipers. The trailer still opens up and the toy comes with Roller, but the Combat Deck's artillery robot is missing. It also comes with a black version of Roadbuster's rifle.
This same toy was later sold under the name "Battle Supbot" (possibly a foreign countryman's attempt at the word "superbot"). One version has "High Speed Container" written on the trailer stickers.
This one is a mostly faithful reproduction of the original Decepticon leader, and even included the original full-color instruction booklet, but all the Decepticon symbols (both on the toy and inside the booklet) were changed to a crown symbol. The toy has no metal parts.
This bootleg was made in China and called "Racebot Rider 28" on the packaging (which also features Mirage's original box art). This garishly-colored Mirage has new stickers, including the numeral 28 on the hood. It comes with his hunting rifle but no missile launcher, and has snap-on plastic wheels. The toys was simplified so that the elbows and wrists have no articulation and the legs don't separate in robot mode. There are at least two color variations.
There's another version that looks like a similar mold, but it's cast in more or less the correct colors. The chest is metalized silver, the forearms and fists are blue (and have no articulation), and the face is unpainted, but other than that it's a pretty decent reproduction. This one also has snap-on plastic wheels.
While not obvious from the mail-in catalogs, there were actually three distinct Powerdasher toys.
Produced in Korea by Atom Toys, this oversized knockoff is simply called "Police Car" on the packaging. About 6" in height in robot mode (the original toy was only 4"), Prowl is mostly blue with red bumpers in car mode, with some black and white parts in robot mode. Like Bluestreak, he comes with an upscaled version of his original rifle as well as a giant rocket-firing bazooka.
There are some all-new paintings of Prowl in his original colors and stickers on the box, suggesting that either someone was using the Transformers version for reference, or a more normally-colored version was available at some point.
Brown versions of Ravage have popped up every once in a while. I remember seeing one sold in Toys "R" Us back in the day, sold on a card by itself right next to the genuine Transformers.
Ravage was also among the toys bootlegged and scaled up for release in the "Change Robot" series. This version is purple with green paint deco, and apparently comes with no weapons.
One bootleg was actually based on the original Microman toy, which was called Cassette Man. The bootleg uses the same name and same package design, complete with a direct lift of the box art. Like the Microman toy, it comes with a set of pretend headphones, which plug into the top of his tape player mode. The copyright stamp on the toy reads "SHIANTAI TAIWAN."
Another version is sold under the name "Trans Master" (whose logo uses pieces of the 1989 Transformers Micromasters logo). The knockoff version is entirely plastic (including the feet and arm/leg connectors) but does have a spring-loaded cassette door. It comes with a cassette accessory that has a sticker on it which includes a Decepticon symbol that was apparently based on the one from Soundwave's box art. The toy also comes with one of Soundwave's missiles, which has been retooled so that it can be held as a weapon, as well as a sword. There are at least three color variants of this bootleg: Yellow/blue, orange/purple, and red/purple.
Also, check out the Transformers Juniors knockoff version of Soundwave, below.
One knockoff was actually based on the Diaclone version of the toy that would become Starscream, not the Transformers version. The packaging is very remeniscent of the Diaclone version, and even includes a pilot figurine. It was sold by Kingdam, who called it "Jetrobo F-15."
Another toy, sold in Four Star's "Transistor Robots" line, was white with a black chest, and features new wings and new missile accessories. This version had a more angular, trapezoidal canopy and a hard plastic nosecone in place of the rubber tip.
The incomplete toy pictured below may be a different model from the one above, but is most certainly a knockoff nevertheless. I've heard this one may possibly have had yellow wings.
Here's a good example of a bootleg toy that only utilizes a small portion of an existing toy. The toys have been sold under both the "Formulator Force" and "Space Former" names. There are three different vehicle styles which all use a black, unpainted Sunstreaker head. I've seen variations of this toy sold at CVS pharmacies in packages with Micromasters knockoffs, too.
One bootleg version is actually based on the Diaclone toy, not the Transformer. It was produced by Kingdam, who duplicated the Diaclone toy almost precisely, but made some minor mold changes to the top of the jet body and replaced the word "DIACLONE" on the wings with "KINGDAM 6." The only parts this toy is missing are the small missiles--it even comes with a red and blue Diaclone pilot. Note that both this bootleg and the Diaclone toy had an orange cockpit (the version the cartoon model was based on), unlike the official Transformers version.
One bootlegged version of Blitzwing was actually based on the Diaclone toy that predated his Transformers release. Sold under the name "Triple Changer," this one is grey and green like the Diaclone version, but the original holes in the missile launchers have been filled in for the bootleg mold.
Another version of Blitzwing was made in China and packaged in robot mode under the name "Robot Attack." It had blue parts instead of purple, with plastic feet instead of die-cast metal. One interesting point to note is that the tank turret was actually packaged as a separate accessory. This toy has reportedly been packaged in all three modes.
There is also a bootleg version that was packaged in jet mode under the "Trans Formers" name with a miscolored logo. This toy is reportedly smaller than the original, and is colored grey with blue and tan.
Yet another version is also packaged with the "Trans Formers" name, in tank mode this time. It's quite authentic, with the correct color scheme, all the same accessories as the original (the missiles even come on a parts tree), and uses some of the official Hasbro box art and photos on the card as well. The crown logo found on the top of the card is the same one found on the Megatron knockoff.
This is one of the few knockoffs with another company's copyright markings actually stamped on the toy. Produced by Four Star, this version of Bombshell had some minor cosmetic differences made, most notably to the stinger, robot face, and chest. The toy is decked out in blue and red.
At some point, Four Star's version of Bombshell was bootlegged for yet another toy line called "Galgo Robots Transformables." This series included knockoff versions of some of the Tonka GoBots, as well as a bootleg Scrapper. For their version of Bombshell, they retained the same modified design, but changed the colors slightly and gave him two guns to hold in robot mode.
Four Star also produced another, much more heavily redesigned Bombshell toy. This version shares almost no actual mold similarities with the genuine toy, featuring a larger, articulated stinger (Bombshell's head-mounted stinger was redesigned to become the scorpion mode's tail), new scorpion claws, and a vacuum metalized gold body.
Bonecrusher was released as a knockoff under the name "Super Robot Force." Agglo produced this blue and yellow bootleg, which has a different face in robot mode, different stickers, and lacks the connector to combine into Devastator. Sold at the same time as Long Haul.
There was also a version packaged under the name "Construction Team." Purple in vehicle mode with yellow robot parts, Bonecrusher came packaged with Scrappers' gun (oops) and his Devastator accessories.
The "Construction Team" knockoffs were also sold as a set in Canada in 1999. They're the same toys as the Construction Team toys that were sold separately.
There is also a set produced in China under the name "Engineering." The toys are very nearly identical to the original Constructicons, but each of them has plain green plastic instead of vacumm metalized silver parts. Apparently, Scavenger is now called "Building"; Mixmaster is "Disguise"; Hook's new name is "Ravage"; and Long Haul shall henceforth be known as "Feeding." Figure that one out.
This toy was sold under the "Prehistory Animals" name. The mold was modified to include spine and tail ridges, larger claws, arms, and teeth, and a horn on the head of the dinosaur mode. The stickers and colors otherwise remain the same.
There is also a Grimlock-like toy in teal, light purple, and yellow, which stands at around three inches tall and was produced by Buddy L and sold under the name "Robo Masters." The same mold has been sold under the name "Transformer Dinosaur Robot Tech" by Agglo. It's not a Grimlock bootleg in the strictest sense, but the transformation was quite clearly based on the Grimlock toy.
There is also a 2" parachuting toy that was clearly based on Grimlock in his dinosaur mode. They were sold around 1986 in gumball machines and the like, and came in assorted colors, including red, pink, and glow-in-the-dark.
Another "Construction Team" bootleg, this version of Hook is blue with yellow parts. Like the others in this set, he's the same mold as the original toy, but got some new stickers. He comes packaged with Mixmaster's gun and Devastator's head and head-mounted laser.
Strictly speaking, there are very few Jetfire knockoffs. The toy was based on Bandai's VF-1S Valkyrie/Veritech Fighter from the Macross/Robotech toy line, but the jet nose is stubbier and the gun's spring-powered launcher was gutted. In other words, the exact Jetfire mold was unique to the Transformers toy line, and the toy was rarely copied.
There is at least one knockoff out there that is a reproduction of the Jetfire toy. It was sold in Malaysia under the name "Transformable Galaxy Warrior" (and the Galaxy Warrior part is made up in a font obviously meant to emulate Gundam Wing). This version is decorated with Macross-style skull-and-crossbones and is almost entirely white.
Here's a bootleg version of the Macross VF-1S. It's the same size as the original, but sold on a card with some Gundam Wing art and is made entirely of plastic (including the landing gears).
This toy was so heavily redesigned that I debated including it here. Four Star (who was also responsible for the Bombshell knockoff) kept the basic transformation but remolded Kickback with larger, longer limbs and turned him into a preying mantis. The only part of the toy that remained unchanged was the main body and chest panel. The toy was available in blue or black versions.
Sold at the same time as Bonecrusher under the name "Super Robot Force," the toy was yellow and blue, and apparently had a head that looked like a human driver for use in his dump truck mode.
There was also a "Construction Team" version sold in Canada. This edition of Long Haul is a solid green, and the parts he comes with to form Devastator are red.
Also part of the "Construction Team" set, the bootleg version of Mixmaster was black and yellow, with a red painted chest. He comes with Hook's gun, Devastator's rifle, and both the dual and single-barreled missiles on a parts tree.
One unlicensed version of Omega Supreme is actually a knockoff of the pre-Transformer version, which was made by ToyBox and called Mechabot-1. The bootleg version uses very nearly the same packaging as the genuine Mechabot-1, but the Japanese text has been translated (badly) into English. Like the original Mechabot-1, this toy is dark grey and red, but has yellow track sections and vacuum metalized arms and robot head.
There was another version packaged under the name "Cosmos Robot. " This knockoff had all the same functionality of the Transformers version, and even had an identical sticker sheet.
There was a knockoff that was based on the Microman version of Perceptor, colored black and grey. The toy was sold in both Korea and in U.S. stores like Toys "R" Us, right next to the real Transformers.
One of the knockoffs sold under the "Construction Team" label, Scavenger's alter-ego was yellow with black treads, and new factory-applied stickers.
The last of the "Construction Team" toys, Scrapper's counterfeit version is entirely red with a black canopy and robot head. He comes packaged with Bonecrusher's gun and Devastator's chest armor.
Scrapper was also part of a the "Galgo Robots Transformables" toy line. The toy is yellow and purple, like the G2 version, but has a red head in robot mode with red hub caps.
Like Jetfire, most of the "fake" Shockwave toys in existence are not bootlegs at all. Around 1983, ToyCo. licensed the toy to Radio Shack, who called their version Galactic Man. This was a grey version of the toy who would later become known as Shockwave, with a red eye and chest panel. The toy could carry the barrel extension as a shield, had a differently-shaped gun trigger, and made eight different electronic sounds. Many fans have taken to calling this toy "Shackwave."
There is another knockoff version out there. It's grey and has the same trigger as Galactic Man, but its arm gun is translucent red, and has a completely-different shaped chest and barrel extension.
I've also read reports of a "mini-deluxe shockwave knockoff," but have no information about it at this time.
There is a very good copy of the Diaclone verison of Slag in existence. Sold under the name "Dinosaur Robot" in a box that mimics the Diaclone packaging, it has the vacuum metalized silver horns and sword (which were changed to red polyetheylene for the Transformers version) but is missing the appropriate copyright symbol.
This toy was also sold under the name "Prehistory Animal." The bootleg company that produced these toys apparently felt it necessary to make cosmetic modifications to the mold, presumably in order to slip through some legal copyright loophole. In this case, their version has a differently-shaped head crest, antlers in place of the normal triceratops horns, and teeth. The robot form is colored differently, with white upper legs and a yellow die-cast chest and head.
It looks like this version was also sold under the name "The Legend of Transformable Change Dinos." The bootleg is the same design, but colored green in dinosaur mode, with a red chest in robot mode.
This version of Sludge was brown with vacuum metalized highlights, and the mold was modified to include a new demonic head and furry sculpting on the body. What, is this a wooly brontosaurus? Curiously, the silver dinosaur halves were not designed to swing open for the robot mode, meaning his robot head is only half-visible. This toy was sold at Toys "R" Us stores on the shelves right next to the real Transformers. It came in either silver or gold metalized versions.
There was also a "Prehistory Animal" version. This much-talked about bootleg was called "Prontosarus" (yes, with a "P") and was remolded with a pterodactyl-like dinosaur head and wings in vacuum metalized gold. The knockoff company actually did a fairly decent job of adding the wings to the original box art. The toy has a yellow die-cast metal chest in robot mode.
One edition was actually based on the Diaclone toy, and had black die-cast metal parts instead of red, and box art to match.
This heavily-modified toy comes to us courtesy of the "Prehistory Animal" series. It looks like they tried to turn him into a Dimetrodon, with a larger head and a pair of fins partly covering his back instead of stegosaurus plates. It also had a black die-cast metal body, like the Diaclone version.
I've also seen a couple of reports of a giant knockoff Snarl toy, one of which described him as "fish-eyed."
The Jumpstarters were among the more commonly emulated bootlegs, probably because their relative lack of moving parts made them easy to engineer (read: counterfeit). Hasbro actually went to court in 1985 with a company named Sparkle Toys, Inc. over a Jumpstarter bootleg. Apparently, the initial batch of Jumpstarters manufactured by Takara lacked their copyright stamps, which Sparkle took to mean that they had free reign to copy the design and make their own toys.
Here's one bootleg in which the mold was copied directly, but the toy was colored black and red. This is actually a knockoff of the Diaclone toy (as evidenced by the "DAR" logo on the wings) but there is no copyright stamp.
Another Topspin knockoff was sold under the simple name "Robot Fighter" and was colored red, blue and grey with new stickers and a shield that mounted on the top of the transformed mode.
There seems to be a variant of this toy in red and grey that comes equipped with a nosecone that mounts on the front of the vehicle mode. It's uncertain whether one was a knockoff of the other or the two were produced by the same company.
Yet another incarnation of Topspin was about twice as large as the genuine toy, and lacked the spring-loaded transformation capability. Sold under the name "Transformation Fighter Robot," it had a blue body with white arms, legs, and head (it may have been available in inverted colors, since it's depicted this way in the new box art). This one also had the nosecone, which again raises the question of whether one bootleg company was copying another.
Here's one called "Transformers Robot Troop" that features Gundam card art. The toy was remolded and recast in blue and white, and appears to lack the hook that holds the legs in place in vehicle mode (the toy probably isn't spring-loaded).
There's no shortage of fake Topspins in this world. This one is similar to the "Transformation Robot Fighter" design, equipped with the nose cone and center weapons mount in vehicle mode, but also has retractable fists! This bootleg is not motorized, however.
Like Topspin, Twin Twist's basic design was frequently emulated by bootleggers. The Diaclone version of the toy was also copied. This knockoff is grey and dark blue, just like the Diaclone toy, but has no copyright markings.
One version by Four Star has an entirely new mold, but is obviously based on the same design. Red and grey with metalized chrome arms and head, this one has twin front-mounted guns instead of drills.
There was also an oversized redesigned version called "Flying Force Skycraft Bot" in black, red, and metalized silver. It came with a sword, gun, and shield accessories for the sides of the arms in both modes.
One knockoff of everyone's favorite fun-loving Aerialbot was packaged as part of the "Transfiguring Combination: Five in One Robot" series. The toy is essentially identical to the real Air Raid, and even comes with the same weapon. They've renamed the character "Component Combatant" on the box. Catchy, eh?
Another, larger bootleg was sold under the name "Transformer Combat Troop." Air Raid is colored white with an orange cockpit and yellow wings (a bit like Slingshot, actually) and a blue chest in robot mode. Where the original Air Raid was five inches long in jet mode, this oversized knockoff measures 7½" long. Ever wanted an Air Raid as big as Starscream in jet mode? This is it, baby! Among the toys pictured on the card is the lime-green knockoff Highbrow. Also, instead of including Silverbolt as part of this set, the bootleggers decided to use an oversized, recolored Scattershot.
SEE ALSO: Bruticus (G2).
Blades was part of a set of oversized Protectobots from China. This verison is called "The Brave Fighter 2 in 1" and measures eight inches long in helicopter mode (twice the size of the original Blades). He's white and dark blue with some red highlights and new stickers. He's also got four helicopter blades rather than two. He comes packaged with a knockoff Gundam Wing figure. He comes with his large gun and a bunch of accessories for the Gundam toy.
There's another normal-sized version of Blades that's yellow with red and green. He got himself a redesigned cockpit, and again, has a couple of extra chopper blades.
I'm not sure if this is a color variant on the bootleg Breakdown sold in the "Scramble Robot" giftset, or something else entirely. In any event, it's a pretty hideous red, yellow, and white combination.
This Autobot Triple Changer was sold under the "Meta Morphs" name, with the company name Globo on the box. The packaging is almost identical to the original box, and uses the same box art, but Broadside's Autobot insignias are altered in the illustration. The toy is very similar to the original version, but its cockpit is opaque in jet mode and the toy has no Autobot symbols.
Among the most talked-about and highly-coveted bootleg Transformers, one set of knockoff Combaticons is truly gigantic. Packaged with the name "Transformers Destrong Combat Robot" (apparently a mistranslation of "Destron"), this toy stands at over 13" in his combined form (the original is only 8" tall).
What's interesting is that the bootleg version includes some features that appear to be part of the toy's original concept design, but which weren't included in the release of the U.S. toy. The bootleg Onslaught is equipped with a spring-loaded launching mechanism in his ramp mode (the olive green panels on Onslaught's back would have been a trigger and launcher), has an extra set of peg holes so that the dual cannon can be mounted farther back on the ramp mode (instead of balancing it on the back of his head), and comes with a landing gear that connects to the Bruticus chest shield (presumably for use as an aerial vehicle).
In 1992, Bruticus was given a new color scheme and rereleased as Battle Gaea in Japan. For this version, Onslaught is still blue, but Brawl is white, Swindle is red, Blast Off is white, and Vortex is green. A bootleg versions of this set was available in China, packaged under the name "Space Warrior 5 in 1." The stickers are the same as the Transformers versions, except that all the Decepticon symbols have been changed to goofy little robot face emblems. This knockoff also get my vote for the most colorful packaging.
SEE ALSO: Baldigus.
Sold under the name "Air Force Robot," Cyclonus is white with purple wings and red trim. Where the original toy had metal connectors holding the nose cone and wings in place, this version is entirely plastic. He comes with a sword and gun, neither of which were included with the original toy.
One Defensor gift set from China is packaged under the name "Fortified City." The box makes use of Defensor's original box art, and the following text also appears on the package: "The just Cyberton comes to earth for defending it against any offense. Generally it is in the form of cars or streetcars around you for carrying out patrolling duty. Once the Deathron appears it shall transforms into the robot for beating it." Whoo! You get that Deathron!
Made entirely of plastic parts, the Protectobots were redecorated as follows: Hot Spot is now red with a blue head and upper legs, and has the same stickers as the Transformers version, except for a strange permutation of the Autobot symbol. Blades is white and blue, with an unpainted face and four rotor blades. First Aid is pretty much the same, but somebody mixed up the stickers on the side of his ambulance mode, which say "NCE AMBULA." Groove is white and dark blue with different stickers. Streetwise is white with red headlights, and is decorated in Chinese police markings.
There's another version of Defensor, sold as a gift set under the name "Fireeninebot" (which is just like "Fire Engine Bot," except different). Produced in China, this set is very close to the original Protectobots as far as the color scheme, but none of these guys have die-cast metal either. Again, Hot Spot is red in this version (I guess the whole blue fire engine concept just didn't go down too big). Other changes include Blades having four rotor blades again, abd white wheels, but otherwise in the correct colors this time. Groove has red wheels and a red seat/robot feet. Streetwise is pretty much the same, but he's got yellow headlights and different paint deco on his roof lights. First Aid's pretty much the same, but his bumper and headlights are black in ambulance mode.
Fireflight was available in the same assortment as the other knockoff Aerialbots, but the character's new name, Fire Bolt, is written in large letters where the "Transfiguring Combination" logo would normally go. Fireflight is basically identical to the genuine Transformers version, and comes with his gun to boot.
Fireflight was also available as another one of the "Transformer Combat Troop" toys. The counterfeit version has a red body, red wings, and a yellow jet nose. They enlarged the toy from five inches long to 7½" in length.
Also part of "The Brave Fighter 2 in 1" assortment, First Aid is a six-inch long ambulance (the real First Aid was barely 3" long). He's got some new decoratvie stickers in ambulance mode, and is almost entirely white in robot mode. First Aid's also got a little Gundam Wing robot to help him fix wounded street lamps and stuff. He comes with his large gun and a bunch of accessories for Wing Zero.
Another one of the badly-colored oversized Protectobots, Groove measures seven inches long in vehicle mode (Groove was originally only 3" long) . He's red and white with some yellow painted highlights. Groove also comes with a Wing Zero knockoff figure, apparently intended to ride Groove in cycle mode. I can't tell if he comes with his side-mounted cannons, or one of the other Protectobots' rear-mounted dual cannons.
This set comes with a knockoff Goranger figure (known in the U.S. as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and a giant-sized Hot Spot, colored red and grey and yellow. Curiously, the card images feature the original box art for Defensor, and an entirely different fire engine robot from the ??? series. I think this toy is compatible with the oversized "Brave Fighter" Protectobots.
This gift set was sold under the name "The Scramble Robot," a name apparently intended to play up the interchangeable aspect of the toys. (Based on Scramble City, or just a coincidence? Who knows.) The set came with all the Stunticons' normal accessories and parts to form Menasor, but the bootlegs are far more colorful. Motormaster was renamed "Container Truck" and has a red cab and white trailer. Breakdown was called "Destroy Car," recast in blue with a yellow chest. Dead End was named "Tying-Up Car" and actually looks a bit like his cancelled G2 release, in bright red with blue. Drag Strip was yellow and orange, and given the name "Poison Gas Car." Wildrider was blue with a red chest and called "Cross Country Car."
There are no known Metroplex knockoffs, but his auxiliary robot named Scamper was bootlegged and sold on a card by itself. The toy is twice the size of the normal Scamper and is packaged under the name "Racer Robot." It comes with both arms and Scamper's pistol as well as the pistol for Six-Gun, and perhaps surprisingly, is decorated with stickers.
Another one of the cassettes to be enlarge and bootlegged for the "Change Robot" line, Ramhorn is entirely yellow, entirely plastic, and equipped with no weapons. He's yellow with green paint deco.
Reflector wasn't made available in America until 1986, and then only through mail-order. This knockoff version, on the other hand, actually was sold in U.S. stores. It's actually based on the Microman version that preceded the Transformers release, as it's got the word "MicroX" (possibly short for Microchange) written on the front of the camera rather than Reflector's name. This version has no copyright stamp but is otherwise identical.
This is one gigantic knockoff. While the original toy was 7½" long, this bootleg version is over a foot long in jet mode! He's compatible with the other oversized Aerialbot knockoffs on this page, but he's packaged differently, using the Japanese Transformers logo and a Decepticon symbol on a backdrop of the 1986 box art battle scene. Silverbolt is light grey with red painted details, and his gun has silver and red highlights on it. No accessories for Superion, unfortunately.
Made in Taiwan and sold under the name "Transfiguring Combination: Five in One Robot," the normal-sized Skydive knockoff comes in his original colors and comes with a replica of his weapon. They seem to have gotten him confused with Silverbolt, since they've renamed him "General Commander" on the box.
There's another version of the toy, obviously produced by the same people. This time, he's sold under the name "Trans Combination" (I think they shorted the word "Transfiguring" so the peg-hole wouldn't interfere with the lettering) and is repainted in turquoise, purple, and pink. Curiously, the box has original art of Air Raid on the front (there's some new Skydive art on the side panel, though). His new name would appear to be "Air Jet."
Like Air Raid, the oversized Skydive knockoff actually looks a lot like Slingshot. It's white with an orange cockpit, and has red wings and a yellow tail section. Packaged as "Transformer Combat Troop," Skydive is eight inches long in jet mode.
SEE ALSO: Bruticus (G2).
This oversized Aerialbot completes the set of "Transformer Combat Troop" bootlegs. The toy is yellow with white wings and a blue chest (in other words, all the Aerialbots in this assortment look like Slingshot except for Slingshot himself), and measures about 6½" long.
Like the other oversized bootlegs in the "Change Robot" assortment, Steeljaw has no weapons and no die-cast metal parts (aside from the bolts holding him together). He's purple with green paint detailing.
Streetwise is the fourth "Brave Fighter 2 in 1" Protectobot. A hefty seven inches long, the knockoff version is pretty much the same colors as the original toy, with some new decorative stickers. Like the others, he comes with a Gundam Wing knockoff figure, and a super-sized version of his photon pistol. Curiously, there appears to be a knockoff Triggerbot Backstreet featured on the card.
This set from China is a mostly faithful reproduction of the original Aerialbot toys, with Silverbolt in bright white instead of light grey. Sold under the name "Fighterplnce" (apparently, someone was shooting for "Fighter Planes"), the set comes with all the accessories to form Superion as well as Silverbolt's gun, but is missing the shield for Silverbolt's ramp mode as well as the guns for the individual Aerialbots. The bootleggers even attempted to emulate the rub symbols from the original toys.
Produced in Taiwan and sold under the name "Scramble City" (which was a marketing gimmick Takara used to play up the interchangeability of the special teams), this bootleg Afterburner is largely identical to the genuine article, with some different stickers. They apparently renamed the toy "Shooter Afterburner," which is probably some kind of mistranslation of the tech specs card that describes his function as "gunner."
SEE ALSO: Bruticus (G2).
This toy was sold under a name whose logo is covered up by the toy on the card ("Argon Robot," maybe?). The bootleg version of the toy is predominantly red with some yellow and off-white, and features a new tail section that plugs into the back of the jet (where the tech specs meter is located) as well as a new molded cockpit in the nose section. His Nebulan partner is a modified Stylor (from Autobot Headmaster Chromedome) instead of Arcana, and comes available in red or yellow.
SEE: Fortress Maximus.
Sold in China under the name "Gaojiwanju," this knockoff is red and off-yellow. He comes with both his guns (in black) and an entirely-red Stylor. His stickers are different, too.
These counterfeit Autobot clones are sold as a pair under the name "The Twin Metamorphs." Instead of the heat-sensitive symbols on the originals, the bootleg versions appear to be wearing facsimile stickers (and Decepticon insignias, at that). Red and white, they come packaged with their guns and Fastlane's spoiler.
One knockoff set is very nearly identical to the genuine Transformers version. Packaged as "Living Super Robot" (a slight mistranslation of Takara's full name for the line, "Super Robot Lifeform Transformers"), the set features the original box art for all five Technobots and Computron and even makes use of the Scramble City designation. Only the lack of rub symbols, some different stickers, and the lack of copyright stamps set these apart from the real thing.
Sold under the name "Bianding 2 in 1," the toy's main gimmick is neutered, as there are no springs to activate the transformation. His original robot head was replaced with a new vacuum-metalized head, and three more heads were included with the toy to mount on the tank module. Freaky!
Another bootleg included only Flywheels' tank module, meaning the toy itself lacked a complete robot mode. It was in neon yellow and pink colors.
There are no known full-scale Fortress Maximus bootlegs, but a bootleg set from China packaged under the name "Robot Master" includes serviceable versions of Cerebros, Spike, and Cog (Gasket/Grommet). Cerebros does have the tech specs meter, but it's missing the springs that makes the readout function. Grommet's wheels don't roll, but the two vehicles are still capable of forming the Cog robot. There is reportedly a color variant on Cerebros; pictured is the white/red/blue version.
One bootleg measures 7¼" in robot mode, and is a reasonably accurate scale model of the genuine Fortress Maximus. The words "Transforming 5 in 1 Uranus" are written on the package, presumably because they're counting the images of him on the package in mid-transformation as separate modes. The same toy has also been sold under the name "Sun Warriors Uranus: 5 Changes."
This bootleg is fragile, and the mold has some problems (the legs can't be folded up all the way in city mode because there are screw threads in the way, and the dual guns on the side of his left leg don't fold up), but it retains many of the features of the original toy (the guns in the legs and torso swing out, the repair bay and jail cell in each of the legs both open). The toy comes with a slightly modified Spike figurine, which forms the head. Fans sometimes call this toy "Fortress Minimus" or "Mini-Max."
There is another knockoff that's even smaller, reportedly only three inches in height. It's grey, red, and light blue and appears to have nearly all the functionality of the 7" version. (Look at the screws holding the feet in place in the city-mode image to get a sense of scale.)
SEE ALSO: Fortress Maximus Junior.
This toy, made in China, is packaged with the name "Machine Wars," which is either an interesting coincidence or a rather daft attempt to circumvent copyright issues. This version of the toy has lots of vacuum metalized paint in silver and gold, and is decorated with red Decepticon symbols! His head is removable, but it doesn't transform. He comes with his two rifles and his tank turret cannon.
I'm operating under the assumption that all four small Technobots were reproduced for the "Scramble City" bootleg toy line. If this is the case, they toy was likely identical to the genuine version but had different stickers. It's possible they called him "Drill Nose Cone" or something like that.
Nosecone was also sold under the name "Scramble City," but it looks like somebody got a couple of Technobots mixed up since they've renamed him "Scout Light Speed" on the box. The toy has new stickers but comes with the same accessories as the normal Nosecone toy.
SEE ALSO: Bruticus (G2).
Scattershot was part of the same "Transformer Combat Troop" assortment that brought us the miscolored oversized knockoff Aerialbots (SEE: Air Raid; Fireflight; Skydive; Slingshot). Apparently the bootleggers decided to group him together with the Aerialbots instead of Silverbolt. Cast in yellow, red, and blue, the knockoff oversized Scattershot stands at over 10" tall. Curiously, he comes with the fists, feet, and slightly modified (and vacuum metalized gold) chest plate for Abominus, not Computron. The combiner robot head and gun (also vac-metal gold) are entirely new molds. The combined robot form is an estimated 13" tall.
One of the largest original Transformers ever to be bootlegged, this knockoff was the same height as the original Scorponok (about 13" tall) and packaged as "Sun Warriors Mercury: 8 Changes." In addition to his robot, scorpion, and city modes, the bootleggers also invented a couple of alternate base transformations. The toy is a menagerie of colors--purple, blue, orange, yellow, and includes an entirely red Lord Zarak, a Fasttrack tank/robot, and all of Scorponok's other accessories.
This bootleg has the name "Poison Dragon" on the package. This version of the toy is blue and pink and white, and comes packaged with the same modified Nebulan (Stylor) that Brainstorm does. The version I've seen comes with a yellow one but there may be other colors as well. The toy has a blank space where the tech specs meter should be.
There's another knockoff packaged under the name "Crocodile King" that's sold in a two-pack with "King Lion" (aka Weirdwolf). This one's cast almost entirely in vacuum metalized silver, was slightly remolded here and there, and has much different stickers. He comes with his gun and tail accessory and Grax in red and yellow.
This toy was sold under the name "Space Fort I." The card uses Hasbro's official box art and toy photos, but the toy itself is differently colored. It comes with an entirely blue Krunk, two vacuum metalized chrome guns, and black stabilizer fins. Apparently the toy's robot legs are molded incorrectly (a fairly common occurrence with knockoffs) so it can't properly transform to robot mode.
Squawktalk is the last of the oversized "Change Robot" toys. Entirely yellow with green cassette detailing, Squawktalk has no weapons, and no Beast Box bootleg was ever created so he has no one to combine with. Poor Squawky.
Another one of the "Scramble City" knockoff series, Strafe was renamed "Sniper Strafe" and sold with all his usual accessories, but different stickers. Note that this was the only toy from this batch that didn't recycle the original package art, and it shows.
This is the other knockoff that was sold in a two-pack with Skullcruncher in the "Crocodile King vs. King Lion" set. Weirdwolf is almost entirely vacuum metalized silver with some yellow highlights, and comes with a silver sword, a yellow gun, and Monzo in white and yellow.
This Triggerbot was remade in a rather ghastly red, green, and yellow color scheme. This toy shows up on the Streetwise knockoff's packaging, so presumably they're made by the same bootleggers.
A more garish Decepticon Triggercon, you'll likely never see. The knockoff version of Crankcase is yellow/red/blue, and reportedly his spring-powered guns still deploy at the press of a button.
There are at least two bootleg versions of Darkwing and Dreadwind. One is an oversized model by Toi-Toys from Holland, packaged with the name "Transformable Robot Warrior" and featuring Gundam card art. The toy is white with blue wings and modified stickers. Curiously, his weapons and Throttle (and engine mount) are normal-sized, even though the knockoff itself is larger than usual.
The same toy is available in different packaging. This version is sold under the name "Trans Formers Robot Troop," and includes more Gundam art.
There's a third packaging variant out there. Incredulously, it's sold on a card (11" x 15") with the genuine Transformers logo, box art, and some of the official text like the "MORE... MUCH MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE" tagline. In robot mode, Darkwing is white and purple with an unpainted face, standing at 7" tall (the original is an inch shorter). All of his Decepticon symbols have been replaced with American flags.
Another Darkwing is identical in colors and design to the larger variety, but it's tiny! He's only four inches tall in robot mode. The Throttle figurine packaged with the toy does not transform, and there is no functional engine compartment to mount the figurine even if he did transform correctly. Darkwing still combines with the miniature version of Dreadwind.
This Autobot Triggerbot has been reproduced in a rather sickly blue/white/yellow/red color scheme. As far as I know, his spring-powered weapons still deploy.
This is certainly one of the more brazen knockoffs out there, and was part of the "Metamorphs" assortment. A rather unattractive white, green and blue, the toy is packaged in a very nearly identical box to the genuine Transformer, but the text "Autobot Mercenary Doubledealer" was changed to "Autochange Tercel Double Dagger." Knok and Scar, his Decepticon and Autobot engine partners, were changed to green/red, and red/green/blue, respectively. (Wonder if I should call this version Knok-Off?)
This is an oversized bootleg, in white and blue. Like Darkwing, he's got American flags in place of his Decepticon insignias. (Actually, the bootlegs seem to have swapped stickers in a couple of places.) Dreadwind's equipped with normal-sized versions of Hi-Test and his guns (the ones I have are white; pictured are translucent blue versions that match his cockpit), as well as two extra, red-tipped missiles that mount underneath his wings in jet mode. The toy does actually connect together with the oversized Darkwing toy; the combined Dreadwing form is about 13" long, compared to the original version, which was only 10" long.
There's also a miniature version in the same colors that stands at about 4" in robot mode. Like the Darkwing toy at this scale, his Hi-Test figurine does not transform to engine mode. The holes on either side of Dreadwind's engine mount, originally designed for Hi-Test to depress in engine mode and unlock the transformation, now serve as gun mounts.
This is one of the few high-quality knockoffs out there, which is almost perfectly identical to the genuine toy in quality and color scheme. Apparently someone felt the need to modify his Decepticon symbol, though. This toy was available in France along with Skalor.
A bootleg version of this Decepticon Targetmaster was sold in a two-pack with a yellow-and-red Pretender Grimlock bootleg.
Optimus Prime (Powermaster)
SEE: Super Ginrai.
This rather garish knockoff was sold under the name "Sea Warrior Composite Formation 6 in 1." It came with all the parts to form Piranacon as well as the Seacons' individual weapons, but is missing the free-standing Targetmasters weapon stands for the small Seacons. The molds are the same, but via accident or design, the chrome fins on Piranacon's chest plate are facing the opposite direction of the genuine version.
The Seacons themselves got new names and color schemes as folows: Nautilator became "Lobster Satan" in green, white, and black; Overbite was renamed "Shark Satan" and changed to blue, red, and yellow; Seawing became "Hijack Satan" in white, green, and black; Skalor's new name is "Dolphin Satan" and is red, blue, and yellow; Snaptrap, aka "Tuytle Satan" (because he's a snapping tuytle, you see) is decked out in a dashing red, green, and blue combination; and Tentakil, the rather cleverly-renamed "Sepia Satan," is yellow, red, and blue. Piranacon's new name is "Sea Bottom." Needless to say, Sea Bottom is a veritable box of Crayola gone horribly, dreadfully wrong.
There is a bootleg version of this Autobot Triggerbot. No information is available at this time.
I've seen pictures of a bootleg that's green/red/yellow, which is a different color scheme than the one on this page comes in the knockoff Piranacon set. This may simply be a color variation on the bootleg gift set.
This bootleg is sold under the name "Electric Shock Robocar." It's white with blue and red, and includes all the accessories that the original toy had (Quig is red and blue), plus a riot shield for Siren to carry in robot mode! They made some changes to his stickers, including Korean police markings for hims vehicle mode. The tech specs meter is actually a sticker, too.
Sold in France at the same time as the Nautilator bootleg, this toy comes with all the same accessories as the original. It's nearly indistinguishable from the real thing.
One version sold in Korea was almost entirely vacuum metalized in gold, and came with all the components needed to form Piranacon.
Classic Pretender Bumblebee
This bootleg was sold without his Pretender shell, and came in two color schemes--red with yellow wheels, and yellow with red wheels. The toy was apparently packaged with a mini-Fireflight accessory! (Well, not really Fireflight. But close.)
Classic Pretender Grimlock
This toy is available in at least two color schemes--one in red and blue, and the other in blue and red. Note that the original package art of his Tyrannosaurus rex mode is mistransformed in the same way that the toy is packaged.
Action Master Jazz
This toy was sold under the name "Sliding Board King Kong." The figure is grey and turquoise with a bright magenta Turbo-Board, but the metal bar originally holding the legs in place was replaced with brittle orange plastic.
Action Master Optimus Prime
Action Master Prowl ("Bluestreak")
Packaged as "Trans-Convoy," this bootleg is sold with the cab section of Action Master Optimus Prime's vehicle, the Armored Convoy. This toy is sometimes called Action Master Bluestreak because of the color scheme.
Action Master Rad
Another one of the "Sliding Board King Kong" toys. Like the knockoff Jazz, the original Action Master Rad card art appears on the packaging.
Autobot Astro Squad (Blast Master, Phaser)
These knockoffs are twice as large as the genuine Autobot Micromaster toys. Both robots are white and green, and Phaser evidently has some minor molding differences around the feet. There was apparently a yellow/blue variant as well. They were available in a vehicle three-pack along with Raker and Missile Run from the Japanese combiner set, Sixwing.
Autobot Battle Patrol
This set from Singapore duplicates the original Micromasters' packaging almost exactly, except for the Transformers logo being replaced with the name "Battle Patrol." Curiously, according to the new packaging, these guys have defected to the Decepticons! The back of the card is a black-and-white facsimile of the original card, except that the numerical portion of the tech specs was lopped off and replaced with the box art of the four characters.
Air Raid (Cyberjet)
Bootleggers didn't show interest in the Cyberjets toys until Skyjack was repainted into the Autobot named Air Raid. His toy was copied and sold on a card in jet mode almost identical to Air Raid's original Cyberjets card, complete with package art, but the toy has evidently been re-named "Pu Shun." (I won't ask if you won't.)
Evidently, later on the bootleggers changed the packaging. They continued to use the "Transformers" (and "Pu Shun") names on the card, as well as Cyberjet Air Raid's card art, but the background has been redesigned. The toys were sold in robot mode by this point, and packaged in a variety of colors. For some reason, the left shoulder is consistently a different color from the right shoulder and upper legs.
Each of the G2 Combaticons exists in at least two oversized bootleg incarnations, but there are at least three versions of Blast Off. The first of them measures about seven inches long in vehicle mode (the original Blast Off was only four inches in length). This one actually had the temerity to recycle the original G2 logo, but it reads "Transformers: Generation." The original G2 package art for all five Combaticons is featured on the card, and Blast Off is true to his G2 colors and comes with all his accessories.
There is another bootleg version of Blast Off, also packaged as "Transformers: Generation." This one's white and red with blue camouflage, but it's only five inches in length and doesn't come with any weapons.
Finally, there's a 7" long version sold under the name "Transformer Combat Troop." It's identical in appearance to the G2 version, and comes with all three of his weapons.
Yet another G2 toy to get the oversized treatment, the largest of them is a five-inch long version that's a very faithful reproduction of the toy in its G2 colors. It's even decorated with stickers, including a G2 Decepticon symbol on the front of the tank!
The other version is slightly smaller, measuring four inches in length (still bigger than the original three-inch-long Brawl) and has a white tank barrel instead of black. This one has no weapons.
A giant-sized version of Bruticus in his Generation 2 colors was sold in a gift set, and actually used the name "Transformers: Generation 2" (as well as the word "Decepticon" and the G2 Decepticon insignia on the box). The toys comes with all their weapons, including Onslaught's spring-powered missile launcher. It's likely the same mold as the giant-sized G1 Bruticus.
Here's a knockoff that's actually only 1/5 Bruticus. The set consists of Onslaught, Air Raid, Skydive, Afterburner, and Nosecone. The toys are in their original G1 colors, and come with all the respective accessories of those toys (using Bruticus parts for the combined form). Bruticus' helmet actually has the Battle Gaia paint job on it (who was released in 1992), which was later used for G2, which is why I've listed this as a G2-era toy.
There was a knockoff toy based on the Generation 2 incarnation of Prime as well.
Optimus Prime (Laser Rod)
This knockoff is a reasonably accurate facsimile of the cab module of the original toy. Sold on that ever-popular "Aircraft Warrior" card, this version has a red head, feet, and torso plate instead of blue, and carried a vacuum metalized gold sword instead of a translucent clear one. The toy includes all the original stickers, but his chest stickers are reversed so that they read "PRIME OPTIMUS" (possibly in a feeble attempt to avoid trademark infringement).
This toy is packaged under the rather brazen "Transformers: Generation 3" logo. It's a unflattering red and yellow combination, and comes with all the same stickers and accessories that the G2 version did.
Road Pig ("Soundwave")
This knockoff is sometimes referred to as Soundwave, since its color scheme resembles the Laser Cycle version of Soundwave, a planned 1995 repaint of Road Pig before the toy line was cancelled.
SEE: Air Raid (Cyberjet).
This was sort of a mix n' match bootleg. Sold in Holland and packaged as "Auto Change 5 in 1," it features Silverbolt (in his G2 colors), Blast Off (also in G2 colors, minus the purple camouflage), Vortex (in army green and grey), and Lightspeed and Nosecone in their normal colors. From the looks of it, the set comes with all the normal accessories of these toys except for Lightspeed's cannons and the small lower armor piece for Superion. (The box shows Silverbolt in his G1 colors, suggesting this variation is available as well).
Each of the G2 Combaticons exists in at least two oversized bootleg incarnations. The first of them measures about seven inches long in vehicle mode (the original Blast Off was only four inches in length). This one actually had the temerity to recycle the original G2 logo, but it reads "Transformers: Generation." The original G2 package art for all five Combaticons is featured on the card, and Blast Off is true to his G2 colors and comes with all his accessories.
Like the other G2 Combaticons, there's also an oversized Swindle that measures slightly smaller than the above toy, at four inches. It's otherwise identical to the genuine toy, but has no accessories. Curiously, all four small Combaticons from this assortment have the byline on the card, "Transforms from truck to robot and back!"
The larger edition of this bootleg is over six inches long in helicopter mode, and is the same colors as the official G2 toy. The helicopter rotor blades are a slightly different shape, and the top section doesn't rotate like the original version.
There's also a slightly smaller five-inch-long version (still an inch longer than the official toy) in bright green and yellow, with green camouflage. On this version, the helicopter blades are at a sharper angle with respect to one another instead of being perpendicular.
1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000
Amazingly, the majority of Beast Wars bootlegs were sold on copies of the original figure cards, complete with the official logo and package art. This makes them a bit more difficult to identify as knockoffs at first glance, but typically these toys are sold with the wrong card art or instructions. One version of Armordillo was packaged with the "Beast Wars: Transformers" logo on a facsimile of Razorbeast's card. The toy is white with red claws. Maybe he should be named Albinodillo?
One version of Cheetor was sold on a "Beast Wars: Transformers" card with Tigatron package art. It's got red eyes in beast mode, with an unpainted face in robot mode and blue forearms and feet instead of gold. Also, his gut gun is made entirely of solid plastic, so it doesn't squirt water.
There's also an oversized version that stands approximately 6½" tall in robot mode (the original is only 5¼"). He's sold under the name "Space Wars" (obviously a modification of the Beast Wars logo) with the Transmetals-style background and Transmetal Waspinator's card art. The toy lacks some of the moving joints of the original (his knees don't swivel, and the mutant head is missing). His spots in cheetah mode aren't nearly as pronounced, and he's got Tigatron-colored sea green robot-mode parts.
Also sold as a "Space Wars" toy, this bootleg is actually a fairly faithful reproduction of the Transmetal edition of Cheetor. The toy is actually grey instead of the normal metallic silver, and it's missing some vacuum metalized paint on the front arms in cheetah mode, but still, they made a pretty good effort.
Cheetor (Transmetal 2)
Even the hideous TM2 version of Cheetor didn't escape the bootleggers. Unlike the regular Transmetal bootleg, this knockoff has no vacuum metalized parts. In place of the metalized purple, Cheetor has blue metallic paint.
While the original version was sold in a three-pack, the knockoff editions of the Predacons who form Tripredacus were made available on their own cards. This bootleg is on a "Space Wars" card, and is the same colors as the original and comes with his two blade accessories.
There is also a version sold under the name "Galaxy Warrior," which includes ZZ Gundam art in the top corner. When combining with the other Tripredacus knockoff toys, Cicadacon forms the upper torso of Tripredacus.
This toy was bootlegged and sold under the name "Savagery Warriors," which was obviously intended to mimick the Beast Wars logo. This series could be found at Toy Liquidators (an outlet of Kay-Bee Toys) for $1.99 a pop. Dinobot was essentially identical to the genuine toy, but was made of cheaper plastic. Many of the Savagery Warrior toys reportedly had differently-painted faces in robot mode.
The "lizard unlike any other" now has competitors for the title. Iguanus was part of a knockoff line called "Beast Worriors," an assortment which featured Dinobot card art on the front along with Hasbro photos of the first few Beast Wars toys. The bootleg is more or less identical to the genuine version in appearance.
The only other Transmetal 2 to get the bootleg treatment besides Cheetor, the knockoff edition of Jawbreaker is a pretty decent likeness of the toy. The yellow components on his front leg were repainted black, but other than that it would be difficult to tell the difference between this toy and the original release.
The knockoff version of this Maximal doggie is sold on a "Space Wars" card with the ever-popular Transmetal Waspinator art on the front. The bootleg identical in color and design to the genuine Beast Wars version.
Megatron in his original Beast Wars incarnation was bootlegged and released as part of the "Savagery Warriors" toy line.
Another knockoff toy is actually larger than its genuine counterpart, measuring at close to Deluxe Beast scale. It stands at 5" in robot mode, and retains the spring-loaded transforming gimmick (although the gimmick is less than reliable, due to the flimsiness of the plastic). The toy is sold in robot mode on a copy of Dinobot's backer card, complete with the "Beast Wars Transformers" logo. The lower legs are dark green instead of olive green, but that's the only color change made.
Optimus Primal (bat)
Even the Maximal leader in his first toy incarnation didn't escape the bootleggers. He was among the knockoff toys sold under the "Savagery Warriors" toy line.
Like the Megatron bootleg, there is also an oversized version of this toy, measuring about 5" in height (the genuine version was only 3¾" tall). It's packaged in robot mode on a counterfeit "Beast Wars Transformers" card with Dinobot's card art. The colors are pretty much the same, but his swords are dark blue instead of light blue.
Optimus Primal (gorilla)
This knockoff is actually a scaled-down version of the Ultra Beast, and measures only 5¼" in robot mode (the original toy was 8" in height). It comes in two color variations, one on which the robot arms, legs, and feet are white, and another version in which these parts are grey. The robot head is white in both versions.
Well, howdy! This oversized Fuzor is the size of your average Deluxe Beast. Sold on the "Space Wars: Space Monsters" cards, Quickstrike's scorpion legs are dark brown instead of orange (like the Quickstrike prototypes on the official Beast Wars packaging, curiously). He's otherwise a good reproduction the Predacon hombre.
Ram Horn was another member of the Tripredacus team sold under the "Galaxy Warrior" name. The bootleg forms the arms of Tripredacus when combining with the other two figures.
Rattrap was among the toys available in the "Savagery Warrior" toy line. His appearance and styling is largely identical, except for the top of his head in robot mode, which is painted purple rather than gold.
He was also sold in part of the "Beast Worriors" knockoff line.
Razorbeast was also among the Beast Wars toys copied and sold in the "Savagery Warriors" line. It was identical in color scheme and paint deco to the original toy.
Everybody's favorite pig Transformer was also part of the bootleg toy line sold under the name "Beast Worriors."
The meched-out version of Rhinox was among the toys bootlegged and packaged on a "Space Wars" card. This version of Rhinox is the same plastic colors as the original edition, but is vacuum metalized purple instead of turquoise.
The last of the Tripredacus Council members, Sea Clamp was available separately from the other two on a "Galaxy Warrior" figure card. It combines with the other two knockoff toys, forming the lower torso and legs of Tripredacus.
Like Tripredacus, the bootleg versions of the Magnaboss components were sold separately. The knockoff version of Silverbolt the eagle was sold under the "Best Wars" line, with neutered launchers and no swords. There were three color variants on this toy: White with a yellow head and red tail, white with a red head and yellow tail, and copper with a white head and yellow tail. The last of these could almost pass for the genuine version.
Part of the "Space Wars: Space Monsters" assortment, Silverbolt is a slightly lighter color plastic than the original version (he actually resembles the Japanese version a bit) but is otherwise the same as the original release.
Snapper was another one of the Beast Wars toys who made it into the "Beast Worriors" knockoff assortment.
Tarantulas was among the toys sold under the "Savagery Warriors" line. No information is avaiable about this version at this time.
Terrorsaur was among the toys bootlegged and packaged as part of the "Beast Worriors" toy line. This one was red and yellow instead of red and black, which makes for one positively gaudy robot mode. He retains the same blue paint deco in robot mode and green spotted skin in pteranodon mode.
Terrorsaur was also sold in the "Savagery Warriors" bootleg assortment.
There was also a Terrorsaur knockoff sold under the "Beast Wars" name on a Tigatron card. It's identical in appearance to the "Beast Worriors" version, with yellow parts instead of black.
Tigatron is one of the more convincing bootlegs out there. His card has the official "Beast Wars: Transformers" logo and features the original Tigatron card art (purely serendipity; all the toys in this batch use Tigatron's art). He's accurate as a tiger, but his robot mode is a bit off, with the front of his legs and his gun barrel painted blue, and his face unpainted with his eyes a sickly lime green. Like Cheetor, his gut gun no longer shoots water--in fact, it's got screws running through where the water plunger used to be.
Tigatron also exists in an oversized bootleg that measures 7½" long in beast mode (compared to the original toy's length of about 5½"). He's sold on that Transmetal Waspinator "Space Wars" card. Like the oversized Cheetor, his paint deco isn't very good in beast mode. He's got a blue head in robot mode.
SEE: Cicadacon; Ram Horn; Sea Clamp.
There is probably a normal-colored version of this one.
The Waspinator mold has proven popular with bootleggers. Another version was sold under the "Space Wars" name, and is based on the Fox Kids repaint, colored light blue with a gold abdomen.
Here's another Fox Kids version on a different card. I have no idea who that insectoid robot on the card is.
There is an oversized verion of this toy in existence, but no information is available about it at this time.
An oversized version of the toy, this bootleg features the same colors and stickers, but the toy lacks the spring-loaded transformation of the original. Megaplex is also missing the barrel extension to his gun, and his robot head is missing its mouth!
Like the Beast Wars Megatron toy, this is an oversized knockoff scaled up to a Deluxe-sized toy. True to form, the Megatron knockoff is identical to Megaplex, aside from the colors and paint deco.
Again, this bootleg was colored and painted accurate, but is larger than the original. Unlike Megatron and Megaplex, Thundercracker does come with both pieces of his weapon, but the barrel hole is too small to connect it to the main gun.
Part of the "Space Wars: Space Monsters" assortment, Blackarachnia's translucent yellow-green plastic was replaced with a solid black spider head and silver abdominal highlights. Other than that, she's a faithful reproduction of the original.
One of the newer toys to be bootlegged, the knockoff edition of Snarl is a good likeness of the genuine toy. It has solid blue plastic instead of translucent, but it's got all the right paint deco in the appropriate spots.
Another "Space Wars: Space Monsters" toy, this bootleg has opaque plastic instead of translucent plastic, and his missile is yellow instead of green, but is otherwise identical in size and design to the genuine Beast Machines Thrust.
I've lumped these two toylines together since the U.S. verison is largely a direct port of the Japanese toy line. I'm using both the Japanese and English names to identify the toys, where applicable.
It was probably inevitable that someone would get around to bootlegging these toys as well. The set of five Combatrons is sold under the name "Waqon Soldier" (I can only assume they were going for "Wagon Soldier") and is identical in color scheme and paint deco to the Car Robots/Robots in Disguise versions. The Combatrons got new names on the packaging, too. Dolrailer (Onslaught) is now called "Steel Generals"; Greejeeber (Swindle) is "Armoar Brain" [sic]; Heptor (Vortex) is called "Land Brain" (and is missing his large guns); and Shuttler (Blast Off) is now "Secondary Brain" (and is also missing his large guns). Dangar (Brawl) didn't get a new designation, it seems. There are two packaging variations--one with Korean text across the top, and another in English that reads "Kob Bot" (maybe they were going for "Combat"?).
SEE ALSO: Bruticus.
Build Boy (orange bulldozer) is the central component of Build King, made up of four similarly-named robots who transform into construction vehicles. The oversized, individually-packaged knockoff version is almost identical in design to the genuine Takara version, and even includes the large Autobot symbol on his chest. The bootleg toy is a darker shade of orange, though, and its windows are solid black plastic instead of transparent-black.
What's interesting about Build King is that the other three robots are interchangeable. The oversized Build Cyclone (red crane) can form the arms and upper torso or either leg of Build King. The knockoff version has a yellow component inside the crane arm (which forms the barrel of his weapon in robot mode), which was black in the original version. Also, the toy has opaque cabin windows instead of the translucent-black ones on the original toy.
Build Hurricane (Grimlock)
The oversized Build Hurricane (green backhoe), which was renamed Grimlock for the Robots in Disguise series, can also form any of three components for Build King. The knockoff version of this one is pretty much the same as the Takara edition, once again with the exception of opaque windows instead of translucent.
Build Typhoon (Heavy Load)
The last of the oversized Build King members, Build Typhoon (yellow dump truck) is known as Heavy Load in the RiD toy line. The individually-carded knockoff of Typhoon is missing some paint deco on the front of his truck mode, and of course his windows are opaque plastic instead of translucent, but beyond that he's the same.
There is also an oversized Build King set that has all four team members packaged in Build King's combined mode. An estimated 11" in height (the original Build King is only 9" tall), this version of the toy is produced by the same company who made the individual knockoffs listed above, with the opaque windows and Cyclone's yellow gun barrel.
There's also a version that's sold as a four pack, with the individual Build Team members in their construction vehicle modes. Unlike the above knockoffs, this is a normal-sized set. Apparently, it comes in two versions: the original colors, and a variant in which Build Cyclone's entire cab and crane section is yellow. These toys have the opaque cabin windows, too.
What follows are knockoff versions of Transformers produced and sold for the European market. None of these toys were sold by Hasbro in America, though of course the bootleg versions have occasionally popped up stateside.
Falcon was one of the four small Predator jets, which were equipped with scopes and could connect to the larger Stalker or Skyquake. Originally a blue stealth fighter, the toy was released in the "Power Robot" knockoff assortment, in which the toys were reproduced in their entirety, including the Hasbro/Takara copyright stamps! The knockoff version was black in color.
There was also a version sold in the Predators bootleg gift set.
This Autobot Turbomaster bootleg is a faithful reproduction of the original, but is sold under the name "Auto Change Auto." Check out the image of the robot helmet embedded in the logo on the package.
Predators (combiner team)
The four small Predator jets were sold in a knockoff gift set, and the bootleggers actually invented a new combiner form for them! In this set, Falcon (stealth fighter) was recolored from light blue to yellow; Skydive (black widow jet); was changed from purple to green/grey; Snare (X-29) was changed from red/black to white/grey; and Talon (F-15) was refurbished with red and yellow paint deco.
Since the Predators form the arms and legs of the larger robot, the set came with accessories for the head, torso, upper legs, fists and feet, as well as a gun. (Apparently a fifth robot to form the body was a bit beyond the bootleggers' capacity.)
Another Autobot Turbomaster knockoff, this version is yellow/purple instead of yellow/dark blue. He retains the original flame design, but the Autobot symbol on his chest had been replaced with a phoenix decal. Based on the original toy's box art, it looks like the knockoff version got a different robot head.
Another Predator jet that was reportedly reproduced in its entiretly for the bootleg market under the "Power Robot" name. Like the others, the toy retained the gimmick that allowed his eyes to glow when held up to a light source.
The toy was also available in different colors as part of a Predators gift set.
One of the Predator jets (red/black X-29), this knockoff from Taiwan is an exact reproduction of the original, right down to the Hasbro/Takara copyright stamp! The card also utilizes the original package art and the "robots in disguise" tagline.
The toy was also sold in a Predators knockoff gift set, recolored in white and grey.
The last of the small Predator jets (blue and black F-15), this is a perfect copy of the genuine toy (including the copyright stamp) in turquoise instead of blue.
Talon and the others were also bootlegged and sold in a Predators gift set.
These are knockoffs based on Transformers toys originally created by Takara for sale in the Japanese market. The knockoffs, of course, have been sold everywhere from China to Korea to the USA, enabling people to find versions of these toys that would otherwise have never made it to those countries.
The Transformers Juniors assortment consisted of smaller, simplified versions of a few of the more popular characters in Japan. The Juniors version of Fortress Maximus was originally sold in a three-pack with Optimus Prime and Chromedome. One bootlegged version is packaged under the name "Aircraft Fighter," and while it's a fairly faithful reproduction of the Juniors version, it's not nearly as complex as the knockoff based on the original Fortress Maximus. It comes with a transforming head and gun.
This is one of my favorite knockoffs. Measuring 4¾" tall, this is the same mold as the Transformers Juniors edition of Soundwave, and his name is actually given as "Sound Wave" on the package, but it's sold under the series name "Cassette Robot." The toy has die-cast metal legs as well as metal arm and leg connectors, and he comes with a working spring-powered missile launcher. Like the original Juniors toy, the transformation is somewhat simpler. What I really like about this bootleg is the beautiful purple, turquoise, and magenta color scheme, a bit reminiscent of the Seacon Overbite.
Blacker was one of the Brainmasters, Transformers who came with "energon operator" figurines that fit inside the robot's chest. When the chest panel closed, the robot's face was revealed, sliding up from inside the energon operator and into the robot's helmet. Blacker was sold in a three-pack with Braver and Laster as part of a knockoff Road Caesar set.
SEE ALSO: Super Ginrai.
When combining with the other two small Brainmasters, Braver becomes the left leg of Road Caesar. This knockoff is red/white instead of red/blue and has different stickers. This is actually a hybrid toy, as it uses the face and chest panel of Braver's fellow Brainmaster, Laster. It's actually sold under the "Transformers" name, as its card art was borrowed from the back of the box of one of the 1987 Decepticons.
Braver was also available in a bootleg Road Caesar gift set.
Dai Atlas was the new commander of the Cybertrons in the one-episode series, Transformers: Zone. The toy was a Powered Master, equipped with motorized treads that served as conveyor belts in base mode and propeled him in jet, drill tank, and robot mode. Dai Atlas could combine with the other Powered Masters, Sonic Bomber and Road Fire, to form a either a large base mode or super jet named Big Powered.
This bootleg is an almost exact duplicate of the genuine toy. It even uses some of the official Takara photos and art on the package. It comes with all the original weapons as well as stickers and a facsimile of the instruction booklet. The bootleg version even has a functioning motorized gimmick! The only significant color change is that Speeder, the Micromaster car that came with Dai Atlas, is dark grey instead of white.
This knockoff has been sold under the name "Sun Warriors Jupiter 3 Changes." Strictly speaking, this is a bootleg of the Red Geist toy from Takara's Legendary Brave robot toy line in which Deszaras was reused; like Red Geist, the bootleg is red and black and gold, and is missing his eagle Breastmaster component, but includes his gun and tiger Breastmaster component. What's really odd is that the bootleggers actually added wheels and a cockpit to the toy and created a brand-new vehicle mode for Deszaras!
Meijer's sold another version in 1996, packaged under the name "Star Warrior II." This version came with one of Sixshot's guns and a rather large axe.
Sold in the U.S. in 1989 as the Decepticon Pretender Monsters, who combined into Monstructor, Takara opted to replace the outer shells with dinosaurs, repaint them, and call them the Destron Dinoforce, who combined into Dinoking. Well, one knockoff company from Taiwan liked these guys enough to reproduce the toys in their entirety, selling them as a boxed set called "Biological Chemistry Dinosaur Corps." The toys are pretty much the same colors as the original Dinoforce toys, and the package even uses the same box art on the front, but has cheesy original art on the back.
There's also an oversized set that came with the inner robots and the parts to form Dinoking only. Apparently, some bootleggers from China based this set on the Taiwanese knockoff set (above). This one is sold on a gigantic card (16½" by 14") but uses the same cheesy original art and many of the same toy photos. These guys are twice the size of the originals; where the original inner robots were a little over 2" tall (about the size of Micromasters), the oversized knockoffs are between 3" and 3½" in their separate robot forms, and 8" tall as Dinoking. This set also comes with a normal sized Yokryû (Wildfly) that comes equipped with a sword. The molds on the toys were changed slightly (the oversized Yokryû has a different head than the regular one, for instance).
Both the boxed Dinosaur Corps set and the oversized carded version got new names. Birdbrain/Rairyû was renamed "Stegosaur" (because Rairyû's Pretender shell was an ankylosaurus, naturally) and is yellow/dark blue. The Bristleback/Gairyû bootleg is known as "Astrodon," and is white/red. Icepick/Gôryû is called "Tyrannosaur" (well, Gôryû does actually have a T. rex shell) and is yellow/white. Scowl/Doryû is known as "Dacentrurus" (I have no idea what that means) and is dark blue/white. Slog/Kakuryû is called "Polacanthus" (again, no idea) and is red/white with a black monster face. The large Wildfly/Yokrû is dark blue/white, and the additional normal-sized one is yellow/dark blue. There is also a color variation of this set in which the oversized Rairyû and the normal-sized Yokrû have their colors inverted.
Drillhorn is a member of the Breast Force team, Destrons whose chest plates transform into animals or wepaons. This is an oversized knockoff, sold under the name "Outer Spale Warrior" (in spale, no one can hear you sleam). He comes equipped with his Breast Gun accessory, transforms into a drill tank, and when combining with the other Breast Force knockoffs, he forms the left leg of Lio Caesar.
This Destron is a member of the Breast Force, and forms the right arm of Lio Caesar. The oversized bootleg version is packaged under the name "Outer Spale Warrior," and comes equipped with the Breast Hawk accessory that transforms into a gun. I've read that this entire Breast Force set is made of infernior plastic, even for a knockoff. One good whack, it breaks right in two.
This knockoff is from Taiwan, and is essentially identical to the licensed Transformers version.
This oversized knockoff Destron is sold under the name "Super Robot," and the phrase "Winner of the War" is printed on the package. (What is that? An historical footnote, or a fight prediction, or a pompous boast?) His card also features the original box art of all six Breast Force toys. Hellbat forms the left arm of Lio Caesar, and his transforming Breast Gun is included.
This oversized knockoff is called "Super Robot" on the packaging and features a picture of the genuine Lio Caesar on the card. This version is red and black, transforms into a dune buggy, and also forms the torso of Lio Caesar when combining with the other Breast Force Destrons. He comes with a transforming Breast Gun as well as two rockets and Lio Caesar's helmet.
Part of the "Super Robot" assortment, this oversized Killbison is brown and yellow, and transforms into a tank. He also forms the right leg of Lio Caesar when combined with the other oversized Breast Force toys. He comes with a transforming Breast Gun and removable anti-tank turret guns.
There is also a normal-sized bootleg version sold in the "Metamorphs" toy line, colored fluorescent green and red. (Apologies for the poor image quality.)
The last of the oversized Breast Force toys and packaged as "Outer Spale Warrior," Leozak transforms from robot to F-14 jet, and forms the chest of Lio Caesar when combining with the other knockoffs. Lime green and off-white, the toy includes Decepticon symbols on the wings, and is packaged with his transforming Breast Gun.
There's also a normal-sized version that's colored yellow and turquoise with red stabilizer wings.
Landcross consisted of six members of the Multiforce team who each transformed from vehicle to robot, but could also combine in pairs like the Duocons to form a variety of robot combinations. The oversized knockoff from China is sold under the name "Transporter Robot 6 in 1," and Landcross now measures over 14" tall when completed. The set comes with the head, fists, feet, chest plate, and torso armor to form Landcross as well as individual weapons for the Multiforce team.
The toys also got new color schemes.
One of the Brainmasters who combines with Braver and Blacker to form Road Caesar. Made in Taiwan, the package refers to him as "Brainmaster 3 in 1" and uses the official Takara box art. The toy comes with the right leg armor and right fist of Road Caesar, as well as Laster's sword and Brainmaster figurine.
Parts from the original Laster toy were used in the Braver knockoff (above). The toy was also available in a Road Caesar knockoff gift set.
The toy we know as Nightbeat in the U.S. was sold as a red and white emergency vehicle in Japan, where she is known as Minerva. The bootleg version is sold under the name "Galaxy Rescueman" and is decorated similarly, but is white/red/green.
This is a three-member combiner formed by the small Brainmasters (Blacker, Braver, and Laster). There are bootleg editions that are sold in Taiwan as a gift set, and it's actually marketed as "Brainmaster Road Caeasar," using original Takara art on the box. The same names are used for the individual robots as well, except Laster's name is given as "Luster." The colors are basically the same, except Blacker is blue and red.
One oversized bootleg from China is sold under the name "Ultra Train Aggregate."
This was originally a team of six Micromasters who could combine into a super robot: Circuit (Indy car), Discharge (fire engine), Glide (motorcycle), Neo-Wheel (Lamborghini), Road Police (police car), and Sireen (ambulance with a weird name). The parts needed to make the combined form also connected together into a starship.
There are at least two knockoff versions, both of which are packaged under the name "King of Cars" and are both much larger than the original Micromasters set. Where the original Sixturbo is an estimated 6" in height, the knockoff sets exist in both 14" and 16" versions. These knockoffs are the same color as the original toys, and even have Autobot insignia labels.
Two members of the Sixwing team, Raker (space shuttle) and Missile Run (B-1 bomber plane) were produced as oversized bootlegs and sold on a card in vehicle mode along with Blast Master and Phaser of the Autobot Astro Squad. While both toys were scaled up, they may not have been made to scale with one another. Raker was originally black/white, but the knockoff is white/yellow, and stands at 3" tall. Missile Run was changed from black to red/yellow, and measures 3½" tall. (Not sure that this IS Missile Run. Must confirm this...)
This knockoff gets a new red and off-white color scheme. The toy still transforms to robot, jet, and base modes, but I don't believe it came with Micromaster Sonic.
Many of you probably know this toy as Powermaster Optimus Prime, but this knockoff was actually based on the Japanese version which had a slightly different mold.
There are at least two versions of the Super Ginrai knockoff; this one was sold under the name "Super Trans Saver." The cab section is predominantly white with red and green parts; it can be identified as a Super Ginrai knockoff because of the clear plastic windows, which the Powermaster Prime version lacked. The front grill is not molded to accept a Powermaster engine, however. The toy comes with the two black rifles and a flatbed trailer accessory. The toy looks different in the box art, so I'm guessing there's a color variant of this one.
The other version is called "Black Long Piston." No, I'm serious, it actually says that on the box. This toy actually comes with a proper truck trailer, though it's much smaller than Ginrai's trailer and actually looks a bit disproportionate compared to the cab. It also comes with a repainted version of one of the Brainmasters toys named Blacker.
There are two color variants of this toy. One Jinrai is the same color as the one pictured above, in white/red/green, and comes with a blue/white/red Blacker figure. The other version of Ginrai comes in white/purple/green, with Blacker in purple/blue/white.
One fairly accurate Star Saber bootleg, sold in Taiwan, is equipped with all the functionality of the original toy. The large jet comes with a detachable jet module named Saber, who combines with the Brainmaster Yukio figurine when transforming to robot mode. Saber in turn combines with the large jet to form Star Saber. This toy comes with the gun and a facsimile of the original instructions.
There is also another, more cheaply made version, produced in China. It's essentially the same as the above bootleg, but the Saber module is almost entirely red:
There is also a miniature version of Star Saber's small jet module sold under the name "Changeable Warrior." This version, which is white/black/yellow, transforms to jet mode and comes with a sword and a detachable jet nose/sword handle.
One version was called "Trans Formers 2 in 1 Robot Troop" and featured Gundam artwork on the package.
Here's one that was sold under the name "Transporter." The toy is light grey and blue with vacuum metalized parts.
Another bootleg was an oversized version, measuring 12½" tall. It features the actual Japanese box art for Sky Garry and is sold on a package that reads "Return of Convoy." He's marketed as a Triple Changer, and actually includes the name Sky Garry and the Autobot insignia on his stickers.
This one stands at about 7½" tall, and was sold under the name "Air Force Robot." Sky Garry's everywhere, man.
A later version was sold on the ubiquitous "Aircraft Warrior" card, and this time features some vacuum metalized gold missiles, and an additional robot head that mounts on the back of the original head when it's transformed. It didn't come with any accessories to form the base mode. This toy made its way into Easter baskets sold at K-Mart stores in 2001.
This knockoff was made in China and the toy was slightly recolored. It comes with two guns with missiles.
The original version of this toy in Japan was sold in a two-pack with Guiledart (known as Triceradon in America). Sold on a "Space Wars: Space Monsters" card, the toy is so tall (nearly 9" long) that the bubble almost covers the entire front of the card. The toy retains most of the same colors, but the knockoff has less paint deco on the robot head. Longrack's right-arm claw gimmick and missile launchers were gutted for this version, and he lacks a spark crystal.
It was probably inevitable that Takara's collectible PVC figurines were targeted by bootleggers. One of the fake PVCs was based on the chase figure (the rare metallic version with the axe weapon) of Optimus Prime from Act-1 (the first batch of figurines released).
There is also an immensely oversized version of the figurine that stands at 8" tall. It was manufactured in China and is similar to the genuine metallic PVC, but has yellow eyes instead of blue.
The Megatron PVC was reproduced for sale as a bootleg. Incidentally, Takara has taken an active role in locating illegal bootleg auctions on eBay and the like, and having them shut down. This bootleg is an accurate copy of the chase version of Megatron, equipped with his morning star weapon from "More Than Meets the Eye."
There's also an oversized version of the PVC from China. Like Optimus Prime, this one is 8" in height (the original PVC was only 3" tall) and lacks Takara's copyright stamp. Because of the larger scale, the paint jobs are actually better on these than they are on the genuine versions.
These are knockoff toys that are not based on Transformers toys at all, but still factor into the equation one way or another by borrowing Transformers-related elements.
Best Wars Transforment
I have no idea what the actual toy is, but this is clearly a knockoff version, sold under the "Best Wars: Transforment" name. According to the back of the card, this is "The Heroic Maximal Manaboss." Yeah, I said Manaboss.
The toy itself isn't a knockoff as far as I know, but check out the "Transmechanical II" logo on the bubble, obviously ripped off from the Beast Wars Transmetals II assortment.
Super Robot Jigsaw Puzzle
This 70-piece puzzle, made in Malaysia, features bootleg artwork of many familiar Transformers in bizarre colors, including Powermaster Optimus Prime, Skullcruncher, and Action Master Starscream. This is an amalgam based on four different battle scenes on the back of the Transformers boxes from both American and Japanese packaging. (You can spot other Transformers like Triggerhappy and Misfire, Darkwing, and Action Masters Over-Run and Blaster in the background, also badly miscolored.)
This knockoff was based on a figure from a non-Transformers toy line called The Brave of Legend, Da-Garn, created by Takara. This particular robot is named Mach Lander, who combines with other robots to form Land Bison. What's significant about this knockoff is that it's packaged with a gun for Sideswipe/Red Alert, but I'm not sure if this is the result of Takara or the bootlegger recycling the weapon.
Transformer Combat Troop (bootlegtoys.com)
This is a farily unremarkable knockoff that borrows its appearance from the Voltron lion force for its robot mode. The mold and transformation don't appear to borrow any elements from existing Transformers, but it does have Decepticon symbols on the wings.
I'm firmly convinced that there are still hundreds of Transformers knockoffs out there whose existence I haven't discovered or confirmed yet. If you know of a knockoff that isn't yet listed on this page, feel free to send me an e-mail, and I'll keep your information on file until I have a chance to add it here. (Note: I know about the Broadside/Blitzwing/Flattop set and the Ruination/Abominus/assorted Scramble City gestalts. I just haven't written up entries for them yet.)
Please note that I have already researched most of the other knockoff web sites online, so if you find one documented on another web site, please check here first to make sure I haven't already listed it. Furthermore, if you aren't able to produce an image of the toy, I will need as detailed a description as possible (which toy the bootleg was based on, changes made including differences in size/colors/weapons, and the name of the toy given on the packaging, if available).
It's common for people to collectively refer to other transforming robot toy lines as knockoffs, particularly the more obscure ones. Transformers was easily the most heavily-advertised and thus most well-known toy line of the time period, but there were a number of other legimtimate toy lines that had unique designs and transformations. There were also a few toys that shared the same mold as Transformers, but were legitimate, licensed toys. Please don't submit these, either.
Some of the images on this page were shamelessly stolen from eBay auctions. While I am usually strongly against using others' images without permission, even in the event that the sellers are in all likelihood only using these photos for the duration of their auctions, I felt it was a necessary evil. I've tried to secure permission for every single one of them, but I have found that some sellers will not acknowledge my e-mails (because, I suspect, I'm not participating in their auctions). Furthermore, the fact that multiple sellers occasionally borrow images from other sources makes it difficult to track down the original owners. I finally realized that I was spending more time pursuing permission for the images than I was putting together the page on which the images would actually be used.
So, in the interest of sharing information, I decided it was more important to catalog this information than it was for this page to remain paralyzed. If you do see an image of yours on this page that you'd like me to remove, please notify me and I'll take it down immediately. In the meantime, thanks go to the many kind collectors who allowed me to use their images for this archive.
I've also ransacked some old posts on Google.com for some of this information. Thanks go to Philip Ayres, crazysteve, DeadPhrog, Freds Workshop, Gordon Ho, Jarodimus, Brian Kilby, David Kolodny-Nagy, BW Ratbat, M Sipher, A. Patyk, Ramna 1449, Trixter, ViceGripX, Daniel "Devvi" Vink, and especially Trent Troop and Dave Van Domelen for posting their finds to ATT over the years.
Additionally, I've visited many of the fine web sites that document some of the knockoffs out there in order to confirm their existence and color schemes (or identites, in the case of the European and Japanese toys I wasn't familiar with), and discovered a few new ones in the process. This page would not be nearly as complete with the following resources, and I'm eternally grateful to the webmasters for allowing me to use some of their images for this page. Please visit their sites, which all feature images I've not archived here.
Baron Zemo's Transformers Museum
Bootleg Toys: the Undiscovered Playthings
Devvi's Transformers, Robotix, and Diaclone Page
KIDkoRRuPt's Custom G1 Car Transformers
A Selection of Bootleg, Custom and Just Plain Weird Toys
Super Toy Archive
Prime Saber's Home Page
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This Page Created 5/9/2001
Last Update: 2/12/2002
This page does not endorse the production or distribution of illegal knockoff toys. We encourage you to show your support by purchasing genuine Transformers brand toys from Hasbro. This page is meant to serve as a reference guide and is intended for informational and/or entertainment only.