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After the Beast Machines toyline ended, Hasbro planned a follow-up series called Transtech with character designs commissioned from designer Draxhall Jump. The Transtech line was intended to take the Transformers toyline to its design limits with futuristic-looking bodies and vehicle modes instead of the animal modes used in Beast Wars and Beast Machines. The series was planned to include several surviving Beast Machines characters, one character who died in Beast Wars, and several Transformers: Generation 1 characters. Many concept sketches and several toy prototypes were created, but Hasbro abandoned the idea, importing Car Robots to their markets as a placeholder under the title Transformers: Robots in Disguise until the Transformers: Armada franchise was in production.
Despite this, the Transtech eventually made their way into the Transformers mythos through the Timelines comics associated with the annual BotCon convention. In this medium, the Transtech are the native inhabitants of a reality referred to as Axiom Nexus, which serves as a hub for travel between dimensions.
Releases and designs
Although the Transtech line never reached production, prototypes for Starscream and Cheetor were constructed, and eventually found their way into the hands of private collectors. Concept sketches have also been seen for Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Depth Charge, Megatron, Nightscream, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Shockwave, Silverbolt, Starscream and a new character called Immorticon. Below is a more descriptive guide to the designs:
- Blackarachnia: A returning character from Beast Machines, several designs were produced for Blackarachnia, one of which resembled her Beast Machines body. Her vehicle mode is unknown; in Timelines fiction she joins the Cybertronian Intelligence division as Vice-Director after being one of several Transtech to have her Spark removed by the Shattered Glass incarnation of Alpha Trion.
- Cheetor: A returning character from Beast Machines, Cheetor's body resembled his Beast Machines form, only much older. His vehicle mode is a F-1 racer. In Timelines fiction, Cheetor is a Transtech police officer and notably in charge of helping maintain order in the Offworlder Zone, where beings from other multiversal streams reside.
- Depth Charge: A returning character from Beast Wars, Depth Charge was killed in that series' finale. His vehicle mode is a submarine.
- Megatron: Megatron (unknown which one it is) transforms into a tank. In the Timelines fiction he and Optimus Prime share rule over Axiom Nexus, though Megatron is known for his more militaristic stance and is commander of Axiom Nexus' military forces. This includes his modification into a tank-alternate mode, and aggressive tactics in putting down troublemakers in the Axiom Nexus. After the Convoy were organized by Optimus Prime, Megatron demanded that he be allowed to create the Megatronus Squad in response, but was refused.
- Nightscream: A returning character from Beast Machines, several designs were produced for Nightscream which make him appear more bat-like but with no known vehicle mode. Nightscream was featured in Timelines as one of several Transtech to have his Spark stolen by an alternate Alpha Trion so that one of his minions could inhabit Nightscream's Transtech body.
- Optimus Prime: A returning character from Generation 1, Prime replaces Optimus Primal as leader of the Maximals. His body resembles his original Generation 1 incarnation, with the addition of two large power generators on his back. His vehicle mode is a truck. In Timelines fiction he and Megatron share rule over Axiom Nexus, though "High Chancellor" Optimus Prime of the Autobots is the more peaceable of the two; however, like Megatron he is vehement in his determination not to become involved in the affairs of other realities.
- Scavenger: A new character, several designs were produced for Scavenger. His vehicle mode is a bulldozer.
- Shockwave: A returning character from Generation 1, Shockwave is now an assassin. His vehicle mode is a six-wheeler low rider which emits shockwaves from its engine. In Timelines fiction he is one of the leading scientists of the Axion Nexus.
- Silverbolt: A returning character from Beast Machines, Silverbolt maintains his samurai-like look. His vehicle mode is a jet, although his final head design was never completed. Timelines Silverbolt is in charge of the facility where incoming travelers to Axiom Nexus are processed
- Starscream: A returning character from Generation 1, Starscream has a new form which is blue and bears no resemblance to his original form. His vehicle mode is a jet. This character eventually received a biography in the Transformers Collectors Club Magazine, and appeared in associated fiction. Originally the Directorate of Cybertronian Intelligence, he later steps up as Directorate-General of Cybertronian Security after Megatron departs the planet in an effort to reestablish the ability of the Transtech to travel to other multiversal streams.
- Immorticon: Immorticon is a new character although his head design was not completed. He, Nightscream, and Blackarachnia were among the Transtech who had their sparks removed from their bodies by Shattered Glass Alpha Trion for his own use.
Transtech has also been used in an exclusive 2008 comic produced for the official magazine. The comic and associated fiction have added the following to the ranks of the Transtech:
- Vector Prime: A character introduced in Transformers: Cybertron whose appearance mirrors that of his counterpart from that series, and who hosts the Axiom Nexus News segment "Ask Vector Prime." Previously he was one of the many facets of the omniversal singularity Vector Prime, a single being existing across multiple universes, and as such possessed his memories. However, after the actions of Nexus Prime in strengthening the barriers between dimensions, he has been reduced to the Axiom Nexus Vector Prime persona only, a former mentor of Rhinox, Shockwave, Apelinq, and other scientists. Vector Prime was also chosen to travel to Nebulos in order to monitor an alternate reality, one of the few abilities left to the Transtech due to Nexus Prime's actions.
- Cryotek: A Predacon crime boss who masquerades as the legitimate owner of a nightclub known as The Blue Deployer.
- Prowl: Starscream's former second-in-command over Cybertronian Intelligence, who was passed over for promotion in favor of Blackarachnia.
- Straxus: Megatron's subordinate as commander of Axiom Nexus' troops.
- Rook: An investigative journalist for Axiom Nexus News whom Vector Prime reports directly to, and one who is greatly concerned with the status of the multiverse.
- Demolisher: A former general in Cybertronian security, with the ability to transform into a monstrous tank. Demolisher became involved in an investigation involving the theft of several high access passes off of Axiom Nexus, but proved less-than content with operating under lawful parameters. This led him to a battle with several visiting Go-bots and Crystal Widow before he was arrested by the Offworlder Zone Security Administration for his actions.
- Andromeda: A female reporter for Axiom Nexus News who works closely with Rook.
- Rattrap: A Maximal who is apparently in charge of city maintenance projects in Axiom Nexus.
- Bulletbike: A Transtech CEO who through mysterious circumstances ended up with his Spark in the body of a counterpart from another dimension.
- Rhinox: The Axiom Nexus Minister of Science and a former student of Vector Prime.
- Ego: A competitor of Bulletbike's and a collector of interdimensional artifacts, whom Bulletbike murdered in his efforts to reclaim his empire.
- Stungun: Cheetor's direct subordinate in the OZSA.
- Ratbat: A Cybertronian Senator and Axiom Nexus' Speaker of the Senate, who condemns many of Megatron's actions and attempts to secure more power for himself.
- Sonar: Axiom Nexus News' weather reporter.
- Torca: An OZSA profiler.
- Liege Maximo: A member of the Thirteen Primes and brother to Vector Prime whose followers instigated the only real conflict to take place among the Transtech, which was ended by the efforts of Megatron and Optimus Prime.
- Sentinel Prime: A former leader among the Transtech.
- Jhiaxus: A follower of Liege Maximo's who led many of his followers in an uprising.
- Heinrad: A time traveler seeking to prevent a future catastrophe in the company of Thrustinator, a version of Waspinator.
- "The Official Transformers Collectors' Club". Transformersclub.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.