Ford GT Gets the Transformer Treatment

While many of us may sit in our pens at the cubicle farm and daydream of motoring into the office carpark in a Ford GT or Dodge SRT-10, we can at least have a replica of one on our desks. One of the more memorable car toy concepts to hit the shelves over the last few years has been Hasbro’s Transformer Alternator product line, which features models of real-world vehicles that can transform into popular characters from the Transformers universe, like Mirage (Ford GT, above) and Optimus Prime (Dodge SRT-10, below).

More than two-dozen Alternators have been released over the past few years, based on such notable vehicles as the Subaru Impreza WRC 2004, Mazda RX-8, 2005 Ford Mustang GT, Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, the new Honda Civic Si and others. Most are available for under $20, although some models have achieved collector status and may be a bit hard to locate.

For more info, check out the excellent Transformers: Alternators resource page maintained by Torsten Abel. This site has the scoop on un-released new models (such as the Hummer H2 and Citroen C4) as well as some insight as to why some companies turned down Hasbro’s request for licensed vehicles. According to Torsten’s site, rumor has it that the VW Beetle, Porsche Boxster and Mini Cooper were reportedly denied their place in the Transformer Alternators pantheon by the belief among those automakers that the Alternators were “war machines” and came equipped with guns.

Want to see one of your favorite vehicles as a Transformer? Make your opinion known in our forums. (Many thanks to Daniel Lipkowitz at ASM Zine for the links and tips!) – [Jeff James]

 

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. ASMDaniel says:

    Takara (now Takaratomy) in Japan has its own versions of the Alternators line, called Binaltech. It’s largely (though not entirely) the same molds, with a few new color schemes. The major difference is that the BT versions have some die-cast metal content, usually the bumpers, doors and hood, and because the car shells are painted instead of bare plastic, they tend to have more realistic finishes. While the WRC 2003 was released in both the US and Japan, the retooled 2004 version is Binaltech-only.

    The downside is that they’re also about 2 1/2 times more expensive, and that’s before international shipping.

    Binaltech doesn’t seem to have performed as well as Alternators, although it has a loyal collector base. Late last year, it was rebooted as Binaltech Asterisk, which included a “pretty girl” driver figurine with each car in the hopes of courting the Japanese girl-figure market. The line was put on hiatus after three releases, and is now being reborn again as “Transformers Kiss-Play,” linked to a weekly radio show. Kiss-Play caters even more to the figurine market by having a popular character designer create the sidekick figurines. Only the Dodge Ram has been announced for the line so far, and it’s generally seen by collectors on both sides of the ocean as a last gasp for the series in Japan.

  2. jeff says:

    Thanks for the extra info — very interesting.

    How popular are the Alternators/Binaltech models among the larger Transformers fan community?

  3. ASMDaniel says:

    Quite popular among the adult fans. Not sure about the kids.

  4. ASMDaniel says:

    Actually, I should add to that – I’m pretty sure that Alternators are not doing so well among kids. They’re more complicated than the playline toys and lack any kind of play functionalities. They were apparently developed to capture the “tween” market, but seem to have ended up skewing more to older collectors than to casual fans. There was talk some time back of advertising them to car enthusiasts, etc., but I haven’t heard of that actually happening so far.

    They’re likely doing much better than Binaltech, but they’re definitely not flying off the shelves. If they were, I’d be having a much easier time finding the Dodge Ram.

  5. amos clark says:

    Make my black Trailblazer SS a TRANSFORMER BLACKTAMUS PRIME!!!

  6. blactamus prime says:

    Hello Checkout this Transformer! Blacktamus Prime
    at http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3862977/2007-chevrolet-trailblazer-ss-sport-utility-4d

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