Transformers Binaltech Are Back

18/06/2008 0 By Administratus Prime

 There has easily been a dozen different series of Transformers toys produced over the last 25 years, from Armada to Beast Wars.  Some were good and some well…not so good.  I particularly have distaste for the kid friendly lines like Armada and not because of the terrible animated series.

I’m talking toys only folks, and the toys made for the Armada series were flat out ugly and the transformations were way too easy.  Nevertheless, I’m not here to talk about the lines I didn’t like, I want to discuss what I believe to be the best Transformers series of toys ever made, Binaltech.

In America we also received these toys but they were dumb down to meet child safety laws.  The line was called Alternators and even though they were still superior to all other Transformers series of the past, they did not contain the same detailed paint applications and most importantly, die-cast metal as Binaltech!


Die-cast metal is integral when it comes to robot toys.  It provides a grand weight. That cold feeling of the metal in your hand let’s you know you are holding a quality item.

Besides the die-cast metal and excellent paint applications, the Binaltech toys had the most sophisticated and complex transformations of any Transformers series ever before and after.  There is no question that there was some true engineering genius and passion involved when designing them.  What also appealed to me was each action figure transformed into a real automobile, not some made up futuristic plane but cars that you might see pass you by on the express way.  Binaltech’s were certainly my obsession when it came to Transformers toys and then it all went away.

Somewhere in the midst of the merger of Japanese toy company Takara (makers of Transformers toys) and Tomy (another leading Japanese toy manufacturer), Binaltech’s just stopped being made.  There was of course plenty of speculation that the line wasn’t bringing in the profits needed to continue on both ends of the Pacific because it was important that Binaltech’s American counterpart, Alternators also sold well.

Alternators released a few more figures in America that did not get released in Japan under the Binaltech banner. At Botcon 2007, Hasbro representatives sadly confirmed that Alternators were being put on the back burner.  Their reasoning was that the cost to make each figure was not providing the return profits needed to continue making them while other Transformers toy lines such as the movie toys were bringing in much more money for a smaller investment.  Naturally, I was rather upset but as one who is well versed in business, I understood.

Then one day, out of the blue there was an announcement that Takara Tomy was going to release Binaltech versions of Jazz as a grey Mazda RX-8 reminiscent of how he looked in the Transformers film. The other figure is an all blue Subaru Impreza (Bluestreak).  Even though these are just repaints of molds we’ve seen quite a bit, I was more than excited just knowing there may be a future for Binaltech’s after all.  If anything, I would be happy to get the remaining Alternators as Binaltech’s in all their die-cast beauty.  This would include such Alternators as: Mirage, Optimus Prime, Ravage and Rumble and maybe just maybe perhaps some additional repaints or retools to add to the line.

Shortly after Takara Tomy announced the two new additions to the Binaltech series, they announced two more, a Binaltech version of the large Dodge Ram that turned into the imposing Optimus Prime (Convoy in Japan) and a repaint of Overdrive (Honda S2000) into Arcee.  That’s right, the infamous female Transformer!  The car used, a Honda S2000 is the perfect model for a female character as it is small and slender.

However, the head is the same used as the American Alternators repaint, Decepticharge.  This head is rather evil looking and looks very much like a male.  The first pictures shown were certainly test shots and I was greatly hoping that Takara Tomy would provide a new head sculpt.  Unfortunately, they have not.  However, I will credit them with an extraordinary paint job which somewhat makes up for not providing a new head to better fit her character.

If Takara Tomy has success with the re-launch of Binaltech, perhaps we will see die-cast metal versions of Mirage, Rodimus, Ravage, Rumble and maybe some obvious repaints such as Rumble into Frenzy and Ravage into Steeljaw.  And, just maybe this will help encourage the American market to revisit Alternators and give the public all new molds to some of today’s coolest cars with the expected complexity of transforming into the most detailed robots ever produced for the Transformers brand.

Source: Comic Book Bin