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Grapple is the name of a fictional character in the various Transformers series. He was a regular character in the original The Transformers animated series, voiced by Pete Renaday. Due to trademark issues, newer toys of this character are named Autobot Grapple or spelled Grappel by Hasbro.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Transformers character
Voiced by (English) Pete Renaday
Voiced by (Japanese) Kenyu Horiuchi
Affiliation Autobot
Japanese name Grap
Sub-group Autobot Cars
Function Architect
Rank 7
Motto "Beauty is in everything except war."
Alternate modes Crane

On Cybertron, his buildings are considered works of art. On Earth, his ideas are limited by war. Takes pride in his work, prone to severe depression if they're destroyed in battle. As crane, can lift up a 35-ton object and position it with precision and grace. As robot, has high-temperature arc-welder rifle... can launch rockets 4.5 miles from wrist sockets. Prone to breakdown in vehicle mode.[1]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Four million years ago, Grapple was one of five Autobots who agreed to have their sparks transferred to crystal storage in case the Autobots needed extra troops during the mission of clearing a path for Cybertron through an asteroid belt. In 1985, the Autobots were suffering heavy casualties and the five Autobots were activated in the issue "Rock and Roll Out" (U.S. #14). However, while the others ended up battling Decepticons at a rock concert, Grapple was tasked to stay at the Ark to employ his building talents. Optimus Prime had a very special job for him — the creation of Omega Supreme. After this, Grapple began to appear less with the influx of new characters. He appeared as one of the spectators to the duel between Grimlock and Blaster on the moon. He was not shown among the casualties from Starscream's Underbase powered rampage, albeit he did not appear again after this.

Animated series[edit]

A character resembling Grapple that was referred to as "Hauler" appeared in the three-part pilot episode. He assisted Cliffjumper and the Autobots in recovering Hound, who fell off a cliff after being shot by Laserbeak.

Grapple's first appearance, like many other 1985 Autobots, was "Dinobot Island pt 1". Grapple (known as Granite in Russian version) would receive a turn in the spotlight in the later season 2 episode "The Master Builders". Here, he teamed up with his friend Hoist to design a solar tower that would provide unlimited energy. However, he was denied by Optimus Prime in case the Decepticons obtained the technology. Grapple and Hoist were then approached by a surprising source — the Constructicons. They told the two Autobots they wanted to leave the Decepticons and were willing to help Grapple and Hoist build their tower to prove it. Grapple and Hoist accepted the offer, and the tower was built — just as Megatron arrived and took them prisoner. The Autobots arrived and eventually rescued the two. Prime put them to work clearing up the mess as punishment for their mistake. [2]

In the episode "Prime Target" the big game hunter Lord Cholmondeley captured a secret Soviet jet, leading to panic of possibly war. Cholmondeley then set his sights on the ultimate trophy, the head of Optimus Prime. In order to lure Optimus in, Cholmondeley captured the Autobots Tracks, Bumblebee, Jazz, Beachcomber, Grapple, Blaster and Inferno. Windcharger and Huffer were able to avoid being trapped. When Cosmos learned of the location Cholmondeley was keeping the captured Autobots, Optimus Prime accepted Cholmondeley's challenge to meet him alone. Although interrupted by the Decepticons Astrotrain and Blitzwing's attempt to ally the Decepticons with Cholmondeley, Optimus defeated the big game hunter and freed the Autobots. Cholmondeley and the stolen jet were handed over to the Soviets by the Autobots as punishment for his actions.

Grapple could be seen fighting in the background in The Transformers: The Movie during the battle of Autobot City(most notobly seen fighting alongside Preceptor), but he didn't have any lines. His fate is unknown at the end of the movie, and is not seen at all in Season 3.


Grapple appeared in the 1985 Marvel Books story Battle for Earth by Max Z. Baum.[3]

Grapple appeared in the 1986 Ladybird Books story Decepticon Hideout by John Grant.[4]

Grapple appeared in the Marvel Books 1986 story and coloring book The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp by Pat Brigandi.[5]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Grapple participated in the preparations to evacuate the Autobots to leave Cybertron shortly after Optimus Prime was given the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.

Grapple was not among the Autobots on board the Ark in this series, but remained on Cybertron until the return of Optimus Prime and his crew, who led the overthrow of Shockwave.

Grapple was among the Autobots brought back to Earth under the command of Prowl who started construction of Autobot City in Alaska.


  • Generation 1 Grapple (1985)
Grapple (Grappin in France, Gancio in Italy) was remolded from the Inferno toy; itself originally a Diaclone mold. He was later recolored as the eHobby exclusive toy named "Road Hauler". [6]
  • Generation 1 Commerative Series Grapple
A rerelease. [7]
  • Reveal the Shield Voyager Solar Storm Grappel (2011)
A remold of Universe Generation 2 Series Inferno.[8] This is the first toy of the character to use the new spelling of his name.[9]

Transformers: Armada[edit]

Although no character named Grapple appeared in the Armada line, the Japanese name for the Autobot Smokescreen was Grap, an obvious homage to Generation 1 Grapple, as his alternate mode was an orange crane. It is believed that Hasbro didn't use the name Grapple because of their inability to trademark the name, as seen when they re-released the original toy as "Autobot Grapple".

Transformers: Energon[edit]

The character of Energon Roadblock seem to be a direct homage to Generation 1 Grapple.


  1. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 26. ISBN 0764313649. 
  2. ^ Transformers Season Two Box Set, Part 1 by Brian Cirulnick, February 2003
  3. ^ Baum, Max (1985). Battle for Earth. Marvel Books. ISBN 0871350629. 
  4. ^ Decepticon Hideout. Ladybird Books. 1986. ISBN 072140989X. 
  5. ^ Brigandi, Pat (1986). The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp. Marvel Books. ISBN 0871351021. 
  6. ^ Gallery
  7. ^
  8. ^ - 2010 Grapple
  9. ^ - Naming Rights to Be Damned - Images of Solar Storm Grappel

External links[edit]

Category:Autobots Category:Fictional architects Category:Fictional characters introduced in 1985 Category:Fictional construction workers