I have noticed that there is a lot of hate toward Robots in Disguise in the fan community. Personally I have a soft spot in my heart for this series. It was the first full line of Transformers that were available in stores when I started to collect ten years ago now! Thinking about how its been so long since I have looked at this series I decided to try to post a Pro-RID blog for those who are on the fence, or those who are open minded enough to continue to read the blog.
The first thing that deserves to be mentioned is that RID was the fist show to take us back to a primarily vehicle based Transformer line up as opposed to the Beast Era. This was the first thing that attracted me to the line. My cousin had always had Formers, and I was always fascinated by them. When he got me into the hobby, all that was available in stores was Beast Machines, and honestly they did not appeal. I did pick up the deluxe Primal, and the Deluxe Jetstorm, but those ended up being nothing more than filler for what was on the way. So reason RID was Rad #1- a return the Prime as a truck.
Hasbro had decided to return to the Prime as a truck model of doing things, and scrapped their idea for the Transtech which would have been a connection from the Beast era to Gen 1, and needed more time in order to completely write the story and get what would be the Unicron Trilogy developed and ready for stores. To make sure that Formers still had a shelf presence, Hasbro decided to take what was known as Transformers 2000, or Car Robots and release it state side. They redubbed the show in English and released the show onto Fox Kids. When it aired, the series was cut a little short because of the events of 9/11 though. There were a few shows that depicted the destruction of a few buildings and it was felt that they would not be a good PC idea after the tragic destruction of the twin towers.
The storyline of RID somewhat hearkened back to the original G1 story line in my mind. However, there was almost no talk of Cybertron, nor any extra-terrestrial action. This did not detract from the show however, although there are a few episodes that are a bit kiddy, the show was very much action packed, and full of awesome battles. The first few episodes, the battle was between the Autobots and the Predicons... WHAT?!?! In just a few episodes, Megatron hijacks some protoforms, and injects part of his spark and BAM! The Decepticons were once again born. Reason RID was Rad 2- Return of the Decepticons.
The story also added a huge group of Autobots. The good guys started with Optimus Prime, and the Autobot Brothers (Sideburn, Prowl, and X-Brawn) and within the next few episodes the Autobots ranks had skyrocketed. Not only did it include individual Autobots, the within the first five episodes, RailRacer was introduced, the first time that we had seen a Gestalt in a cartoon stateside since Computron and Abominus in G1. Reason RID was Rad #3- Gestalts come back to the silver screen.
On that same note, five of the Decepticons took a stroll down memory lane back to the eighties, and early nineties. The special five that I speak of are of course BRUTI..... ummm RUINATION. There were a total of six Decepts in all, five of which provided the evil doers with their own gestalt, who was no other than a repaint/reissue of the original Combaticons. so Reason RID was Rad #4- Scramble City Bots Came Home!
The sixth Decepticon was Scourge, no other than a straight black and white repaint of G2 Laser Rod Optimus Prime. Let me tell you... for a toy developed in the early nineties, it is an amazing figure. I know it is a hard one to come by, but if you only get a single figure from this line... I recommend the TRU Scourge. The black and white paint scheme was simple and beautifully captured on plastic. Reason RID was RAD #4- Back in Black, Scourge the Adam of Black Paints.
Also this line brought us a first. Ultra Magnus... with is OWN mold. Ulntra Magnus was introduced a kind of the Wolverine bad ass of the team. He was his own bot. Also i think that he gave us the only glimpse of Cybertron as he explained why he was doing what he was doing. This was one of my favorite figures of the line, and actually I got Ultra Magnus before I even got my Optimus Prime! Reason RID was Rad #5- Ultra Magnus got is Ball Bearings Back.
The major thing that this line brougt back (in a way) was BIG. I mean that in the most real meaning. RID brought back the biggest Transformer ever made... and one of my favorites... Fortress Maximus. Fort Max was actually the figure that got me into Transformers. When I saw my cousin's Brave Max I was like... Josh.. what is this... this is soo cool. Then he took off the head. Dude... you brok.... wait its a robot! Awesome. Dude... you pulled off his hea.... wait a third robot... that is a major bad ass sandwich! I had to have it, but $120 for a Japanese toy and a minimum wage job... it just wasn't in the cards... if only I knew then what I know now. I had to wait to get my Brave Max until the Korean issue, with upside down Bot symbol. but I have him.... totally awesome. Reason RID was Rad #6- Fort Maximus Is in the HOUSE!!!
I hope this gave a little bit of insight on why I really love this cartoon and line of toys. Hopefully some time soon I will be able to get my collection up on shelves and share it with everyone and I will be sure to include my complete RID line up.