Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001)

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For the 2015 series, see Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015).

Name: Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Car Robots in Japan)
Abbreviation(s): RID, Robots in Disguise
Creator: Hasbro
Date(s): Japan: April 5, 2000 - December 27, 2000
United States: September 8, 2001 - March 30, 2002
Medium: anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Transformers: Robots in Disguise 2001 at Wikipedia
Robots in Disguise 2001 at Transformers Wiki
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Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an anime series from the Transformers franchise. It aired in Japan in 2000, and aired dubbed in the US in 2001 and 2002. Its plot deviates slightly from the usual Transformers plot: Optimus Prime and the Autobots battle Megatron and the Predacons, instead of the Decepticons, although the Decepticons do enter the series partway through. It is notable among Transformers animated series because it was the first series to reboot the continuity (except in Japan; see Car Robots below under Continuity for more). Its original Japanese name was Car Robots, but it is very rarely referred to by that name outside Japan. It was imported to replace a canceled series meant to air between Beast Machines and Armada, as Hasbro wanted to avoid a two-year gap where no Transformers series was airing.


While Robots in Disguise was apparently extremely popular among its target demographic of preteen boys when it aired, this does not translate into much of a fandom in the present day. AO3 has six works under its fandom tag, and FanFiction.Net has seventy-six in its World filter. Part of the reason for this is probably that the series aired before many fanfiction websites had been created; any fanworks that exist are likely to be on old fandom-specific websites. However, bits and pieces of it remain popular among the Transformers fandom to this day. Most notably, Sky-Byte the haiku-writing robot shark was an immediate and sustained hit with the fandom. He was nearly voted into the Transformers Hall of Fame by the fans in 2012, ten years after the show aired, and has made appearances in the Generation One IDW comics.


Robots in Disguise is in a unique position in the Transformers franchise of having essentially no other material in its universe. Its continuity's only material is the cartoon, the toys, and a single-issue comic which came out years after the show finished airing in the US. This is presumably a consequence of its filler status. Interestingly, this also means that the Optimus Prime featured in Robots in Disguise is the only one in any Transformers continuity to never die.

Car Robots, however, is part of the Generation One continuity, although this was only revealed several years later in an entirely different series.[1] This applies only to Japan.


RID Forever, a fansite for the series.


  1. ^ A flowchart explaining the Generation One continuity in Japan. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to make much sense unless you're already familiar with what it's explaining.