This incarnation of the Robots in Disguise is a sequel series to the wildly popular Transformers Armada (Micron Legend in Japan) and seems to follow a pattern similar to that of how the original Transformers Movie took place later than the series. Energon takes place 10 years after Armada, and of course involves Unicron, a rebuilt Megatron, and lots of new characters as well as new additions to the storyline.
This time around, the idea of toys combining with other toys is taken to a higher level, and a higher price point with the Spark of Combination concept which has wormed its way into the TV show as well. Now, Autobots can combine with all other Autobots in the Deluxe and Mega sizes, with a few exceptions. As seen in the image on the left, you can even combine toys of different price points to grow your own large and freakish creations. Decepticons have Hyper Power which seems to mean some toys have multiple forms and hidden, flip-out weaponry.
Hasbro and Takara seem to take different directions with each of their incarnations of Transformers, and this one is no different. Both comapnies are incorporating older Armada toys into their respective releases. Also, the Japanese Super Link Destrons (or Decepticons in the USA) all seem to be colored only slightly differently from their American counterparts. As such, fans wanting all significant versions of the toys are going to have a heck of a time affording all of these.
The line itself capped out in the USA at over 80 uniquely packaged sets of figures, and since a lot of those were two-packs, that's a lot of figures! Of course, this is a little less impressive when you realize that over 50% of the range incorporated recolors from previous lines or this one, which is always a very disappointing thing. Regardless, the line included the first-ever Arcee transforming toy along with some excellent homages to a number of late-era G1 characters, so the end result was a good one.
The toys started showing up in America in early December of 2003 and the show began airing on Cartoon Network at the end of January 2004. The show was bumped around quite a bit before finding new episodes airing pretty much exclusively on Cartoon Network's web site, but the comics were cranked out with a minimal amount of delays and a healthy dose of cameos from Armada characters. (Which we really loved to see.)
New toy releases for Energon hit stores through about March 2005. The anime for SuperLink ended in Japan in 2004, but the final episode didn't air on Cartoon Network in the USA until June 2005. The comic was given a swift death when the license was revoked from Dreamwave, leaving a void in the world of these characters in print and a storyline that will most likely never be resolved. Next up in the mythos: Transformers Cybertron.
There are dozens of excellent sources for additional information on these robots in disguise on our link page. To find out the entire range of Energon product, please consult our checklist.
Pages last updated June 6 2005.