Triple Changer

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Triple Changers (Triplebots for Autobots and Tripletrons for Decepticons in Japan) are Transformers that can transform from robot into two different alternative modes.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Triple Changers were introduced into the Transformers toy line in 1985. They were named among the top selling toys in 1985 by Playthings magazine.[1]

No particular origin was given to the Triple Changers in most storylines. According to the Dreamwave Productions comic, The Triple Changers were the result of experiments by Shockwave to produce a robot with more than one alternate mode. Failed attempts resulted in the Duocons. The first successful Triple Changer was Springer, followed by Blitzwing. Later, they were joined by Astrotrain, Broadside, Sandstorm and Octane. Triple Changers can change between their multiple alternate modes twice as fast as most Transformers.

The original commercial for Scorponok described him as a Triple Changer, despite it not being mentioned on the box. Dreamwave's More Than Meets The Eye series additionally described the Headmaster Horrorcons Apeface and Snapdragon as Triple Changers. In 2005, an E-hobby repaint of Blitzwing named Overcharge was released, making him another Triple Changer by default.

The Generation 1 Triple Changers' alternate modes consist of the following:

Scorponok in scorpion mode

Although there are many examples of other Transformers with 2 alternate modes, the group mentioned above are the only ones that possess the official designation. Some other G1 Transformers with three modes include:

  • Doubledealer
    Missile Truck / Decepticon falcon
  • Galvatron
    Cannon / laser pistol
  • Metroplex
    City / battle station
  • Trypticon
    Battle station / city / robot dinosaur
  • Scattershot
    Cybertronian plane / cannon
  • Punch-Counterpunch
    Autobot robot / Decepticon robot / Pontiac Fiero car
  • Fortress Maximus
    City / battle station
  • Seacons
    With the exception of Snaptrap (tortoise), the other 5 Seacons - Nautilator, Overbite, Seawing, Skalor and Tentakill - could transform into both their sea creature modes (lobster, shark, manta ray, coelacanth and octopus, respectively) and a weapon mode for use by their combined form, Piranacon (Piranaking or King Poseidon in some fiction).
  • Cerebros
    Human base, Fortress Maximus head.
  • Tracks
    Car / flying car.

Technically, all Transformers that are parts of a gestalt could also be called triple changers, as they have a robot mode, a vehicle mode and a body part mode, however, most fans only consider forms that a robot can form all by itself for being a Triple Changer.

The Decepticon Sixshot and the Autobot Quickswitch have a robot mode and 5 alternate modes. So technically, they are not Triple Changers because they have more than 3 modes.

The commercial for Generation 2 Dreadwing actually had him say "No one can escape Triple Changing Dreadwing!" In a second shorter commercial the announcer actually says "Dreadwing is a Triple Changer."

In Beast Wars, the term Triple Changer was replaced with Three Mode Conversion. Oddly though, the commercial for Rampage and Depth Charge mentioned that they had "Triple changing action."

When IDW Publishing printed it's Transformers: Beast Wars Sourcebook it specifically mentioned the Maximals B'Boom and Bigmos as Triple Changers, but most of the other Transformers with a third mode were given names like "Mode 3" and "third form".

Transformers: Robots In Disguise[edit]

In Robots In Disguise, there were only a few known examples of a Triple Changers.

The Decepticon Mega-Octane (possibly a homage to Generation 1 Octane, who was also a Triple Changer) who leads the Commandos (a gestalt that can form Ruination), transforms into either a missile trailer or a battle station.

The Autobot Fortress Maximus was also a triple changer like his G1 counterpart, however he only turns into a spacecraft once at the end of the series instead mostly appearing in city or robot mode.

The Predacons' leader, Megatron, had the unique ability to transform into 6 forms, and upon his conversion into Galvatron he acquired 4 additional forms. (Being a six/ten-changer doesn't officially make him a triple changer because, as with Six Shot, he has three to seven additional modes.)

Optimus Prime was not a triple changer himself, however his trailer had the ability to transform into a super mode for Optimus or a battle station. Optimus had three robot modes, which doesn't technically make him a triple changer, but it could still count depending on the fan: regular Optimus, Optimus Super Mode (when combined with his trailer), and Omega Prime (when regular Optimus is combined with his brother, Ultra Magnus).

Unicron Trilogy[edit]

Transformers: Armada[edit]

In the Transformers: Armada series, Laserbeak is described as a Triple Changer on the packaging. The Transformers: Armada More Than Meets The Eye profile series from Dreamwave Comics also lists Overrun as a Triple Changer, but states that he, like many Mini-Cons are "Triple Changers" with a weapon mode. This would imply that any Mini-Con with a weapon mode is a Triple Changer.

Transformers: Energon[edit]

In Transformers: Energon, Scorponok is described is a Triple Changer on his packaging. When Hasbro/Takara first envisioned the concept for Energon, the Autobots were to be combiners with a "Powerlinx" feature, while Decepticons were to be Triple Changers, but this was abandoned for most of the Decepticons having a "hyper-power" mode, which usually just revealed more weapons.

  • Scorponok
    transmetal scorpion-like construction vehicle/Cybertronian jet.

Transformers: Cybertron[edit]

The following Transformers: Cybertron toys are described as Triple Changers on their packaging:

  • Anti-Blaze
    Fire truck / Gun
  • Checkpoint
    Police Car / Gun
  • Megatron / Galvatron
    Race Car / Jet
  • Dark Scorponok
    remolded Energon Scorponok
  • Scythe
    Helicopter / Gun
  • Cryo Scourge
    Despite being a mere recolor of Scourge who was not described as a Triple Changer, Cryo Scourge is described as a Triple Changer for being able to turn into a single-headed or a three-headed dragon.
  • Optimus Prime
    fire truck / "flying fire engine"

Some Mini-Cons have a third mode, but are not labeled as Triple Changers.

Transformers: Universe[edit]

In the Transformers: Universe toy line, Armada Overrun was repainted and released as the Mini-Con partner to Ultra Magnus.

Transformers Classics[edit]

The Transformers Classics toy line so far has two Triple Changers.

  • Astrotrain
    bullet train / space shuttle
  • Tankor/Octane (actually a Generation 1 universe character)
    tanker truck / cargo Jet

Transformers film series[edit]

AH-64 Apache helicopter / Artillery Gun (Video game only).
The package for Deluxe Soundwave states he is a Triple Changer. He turns from Cybertronian jet to satellite.[2]
Turns from concrete mixer to "battle mode".
Described in supporting fiction as being a Triple Changer with a jet and tank mode. None of the toy boxes describe him as a Triple Changer, and only the Voyager class toy is capable of jet and tank modes, all other molds are only capable of either jet or tank mode. Not both!
Although the Deluxe Rampage toy has a "Jackhammer Mode" the packaging does not list him as a Triple Changer.
  • Drift
2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse/Helicopter

Transformers Animated[edit]

Transformers: Prime[edit]

  • Soundwave
Cybertronian Car, Cassette Player (only in War for Cybertron) and later Reaper drone.
  • Trypticon
Space station/Nemesis-class ship
Spider-legged robot/Helicopter
  • Wlidcharge
Cybertronian Car/Cybertronian Helicopter
  • Powerglide
Cybertronian Aircraft Bomber/Cybertronian

In the Transformers: Rescue Bots episode "Changes," Optimus Prime trains Heatwave into harnessing energy for a vehicle rescan. Upon managing to scan a fireboat when it comes to handling a prototype weather machine that was activating by Dr. Thaddeus Morocco. With a fireboat as his second vehicle form, this makes Heatwave a Triple Changer Rescue Bot.

In the upcoming third season, all the Rescue Bots, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime will become triple changers by acquiring Dinosaur forms to coincide with the release Transformers: Age of Extinction. They are shown retaining their vehicle forms, revealing they will have the ability to change between the threee forms (in Heatwave's case he will presumably become a "four changer").

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transformers named top toy of '85; buyers representing 3,500 stores cast votes for best-sellers in Playthings survey, Playthings, December 1, 1985
  2. ^ http://action-figure.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=ImageBank&file=index&id=90913

Bibliography[edit]

  • McDonough J. & Patyk A., 2004,"Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Official Guidebook, volume 2" Dreamwave Productions. ISBN 0-9733817-7-9

Transformers Generations, 2001. ISBN 4-7669-3800-3