The Transformers Alternators line was primary targeted at the older collector and featured the use of 1:24 scale, real-world vehicle modes that were officially licensed from the car manufacturers with unparallel points of articulation.
Each vehicle also had two models to go with it to match the real world vehicles, the base model and the sport model.
The Transformers Alternators line made its debut in September, 2003and brought back the feel of the original G1 line for many collectors.
Despite the lines popularity, excellent designs, innovative sculpts and outstanding transformation modes the line became a production nightmare for Hasbro.
One of the biggest problems they came across was that many of the car manufacturers didn’t want to be associated with war machines, e.g. Porsche and Volkswage. Although a prototype of the Porsche 986 Boxster does excist.
Also a re-mold of the Bumblebee character was made but never licensed from Volkswagen for the same reason.
It also meant that each time Hasbro wanted to make any changes to any of the figures or update their mold they had to seek the approval of the car manufacturers which proved to be virtually unworkable creating long delays with new releases, and many prototypes and pre-production concepts, designs and toys to be cancelled.
Also many of the character only had a limited release, e.g. Prowl wasn’t released in the UK because Hasbro believed that children wouldn’t recognize it as a real police car.
Others had their names changed to more recognizable names depending on where they were being released.
Alternator / Binaltech story
Although there has never been an official storyline for Alternators from Hasbro, the Binaltech has generally been adopted for this line.
In this storyline the Autobots on Earth are infected by a disease that destroys their Cybertronian bodies leaving them vulnerable to attack from the Decpticons, and so they team up with car manufacturers on Earth to create new bodies for them.
With these new bodies, the Autobots chase the Decepticons out of the solar system but the evil scientist Dr. Arkeville, is determined to break the Earth/Autobot alliance and so he brainwashes the Binaltech scientist to make Decepticons versions.
And so the fight continues…
Although the Kiss Players figures were not officially part of the Alternator/Binaltech line and since they utilize the Alternators molds they are frequently grouped twith them.
However there is no mention of the Alternator/Binaltech line on any of the Kiss Players packaging or promotional material. Also the storyline took place in a different continuity making it incompatible with the Binaltech timeline.
Binaltech figures are the Japanese version of Alternators. Unlike Alternators, the Binaltech line features fully painted car bodies and die-cast metal parts.