The Monsterbots (known as the Firebots in Japan) is the name for a sub-group of three fictional characters from the Transformers series in the Transformers franchise. Released in 1987, the unifying characteristic of the three Monsterbots - Doublecross, Grotusque and Repugnus - is evident from the group's name: they all transform into monstrous creatures of various types. This was particularly unusual for Autobots, and the commercial advertising the toys even went so far as to suggest that their monstrous natures had come about as the result of some accident during their creation. Additionally, all three figures could shoot streams of harmless sparks when a button on their bodies was pressed, simulating "fire breathing" abilities.
Restricted to small roles in their few fiction appearances, the Monsterbots received characterization from the profiles included with their Tech Specs and published in Marvel's Transformers comic, which were later re-written and expanded upon by Dreamwave Productions.
A Monsterbot that transforms into a Two-Headed Dragon. Despite the above-average skill Doublecross has for his job, in almost any other circumstance, other Autobots can't depend on Doublecross for anything... in fact, he can't even depend on himself. His twin-headed dragon mode is not just for show – designed to allow each of his heads to process their input individually, thereby maximizing his efficiency, an unanticipated side-effect resulted in the formation of a true split personality, which even carries over to Doublecross's robot mode. His two minds can never agree on anything, and as many Autobots have discovered, a deal made with one will not necessarily be upheld by the other. His problems, however, do not impede his ferocious and savage abilities as a warrior — in dragon mode, his razor-fanged jaws conceal a fusion-generated flamethrower, and he wields an armor-corroding rust-ray rifle in robot mode. Although highly fuel efficient and a fierce fighter, Doublecross is unfortunately not particularly strong.
The only thing that frightens Grotusque is looking at his own reflection. He hates his bizarre gargoyle-like creature mode (a bizarre blend of a saber-tooth tiger with reptilian hind-quarters and dragon-like wings), but he doesn't let it get him down—. Instead, he maintains a totally upbeat attitude and treats all aspects of life as a joke, including the Transformer war itself. After all, he reasons, if combat can't be fun, then he'd be loath to do it. Although his comrades sometimes wish he would take combat a bit more seriously, Grotusque is nowhere near as offhand about his duties as he might appear, possessing a sharp analytical mind that makes him an expert campaign planner. Slow in robot mode, Grotesque's creature mode has indestructible fangs and allows him to fly, although the process is fuel consumptive, meaning that he prefers to travel in three-mile leaps – when he decides to utilize his un-aesthetic alternate mode at all. He is armed with a vaporator weapon which evaporates enemy robots' fuel supplies right out of their bodies.
Other Autobots give the fittingly-named Repugnus a wide berth – visually unpleasant to look at, his temperament is even worse. He's foul-mouthed, foul-tempered, vicious, anti-social and insubordinate, and has actually been kicked out of the Autobot ranks several times, only to be invited back when his superiors have a mission that's simply too filthy for any other Autobot to carry out. Repugnus is the kind of soldier who is a necessary evil in war, but is left an embittered loner among the Autobots. When he's not ferreting out information on undercover missions in the Decepticon camp, Repugnus will spread malicious, morale-dampening gossip about his "comrades". Repugnus is armed with a paralyzing venom laser, but puts little faith in it or any gun – his insectoid creature mode's claws can rip through almost any material, and his x-ray and infrared vision is supplemented with the ability to project stroboscopic optical effects that dazzle and disorient his foes.
- Transformers: The Ark II, Volume 2 By Jim Sorenson, Nick Roche, William Forster, page 32-34
- YouTube - Transformers Monsterbots 1980s Commercial
- Monsterbots Attack!! Over 400 Images now Online!
- Cobra Island Toys - Transformer Archive Archived 2007-12-13 at the Wayback Machine