- Tracks (Transformers)
Tracks (Le Sillage in
French Canada, Puma in Italy) is the name to a single character in the Transformers Universes. The name is now too generic to license in recent times; so the toys creator, Hasbrohad to add a 'modifier' - a prefix to the name in order to use it on their product, in this case the name became "Autobot Tracks".
Transformers: Generation 1
Tracks is somewhat of a rarity amongst the Autobots in that he prefers his new Earth car mode to his original Cybertronian form. His concern over his appearance has led to some friction with his fellow Autobots, as they think he should be less concerned with his looks and more on the battle with the Decepticons.
Tracks first appeared in the second season of the original animated series during the episode "Dinobot Island Part 2". He would go on to make regular appearances. He was the star of two connected episodes - "Make Tracks" and "Auto-Bop". In the former he was one of the Autobots assigned to
New Yorkto combat a spate of car-jackings. Tracks quickly fell in love with the city, but after chasing some car-jackers, ended up crashing and being stolen by a street youth named Raul. The two soon came to an understanding and helped each other discover what the stolen cars were really being used for - to make an army of drones for the Decepticons. The two stopped the scheme, and Tracks put his friend to work fixing the drone cars as a punishment for stealing him in the first place. In "Auto-Bop" he and Blaster encountered Raul again. Raul tipped them off that a local disco was being used to brainwash people. The Autobots investigated and soon found the culprits - Starscreamand Soundwave. While Blaster and Soundwave duelled with sonics, Tracks used his flying car mode to pursue and shoot down Starscream, ending the threat.
Tracks made a number of other notable appearances. When
Omega Supremeignored a giant space creature in order to pursue his vendetta against the Constructicons, Tracks was one of the airborne Autobots who valiantly attempted to stop the beast. He was one of those captured by big game hunter Lord Cholmondeley in order to lure in Optimus Prime. Later, Tracks was one of a team of Autobots sent to stop the newly created Stunticons. However, he underestimated their anti-gravity abilities and ended up being smashed out of the air.
Tracks had another prominent appearance in "Trans-Europe Express" a charity auto race from
Paris, Franceto Istanbul, Turkeywas held. The Autobots Bluestreak, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Smokescreen, Sunstreaker, Tracks and Wheeljackparticipated alongside several human racers including Augie Canay. However, the race was sabotaged by the Stunticons, who had been sent by Megatron to obtain one of the racers' cars in order to gain its metal to make a control device for a Cybertronian weather controller. Tracks was run off the road by the Stunticons again, but later managed to stop the Decepticons by destroying the Pearl itself, before escaping the vengeful Menasor.
Like many other season 2 Autobots, Tracks was gradually phased out for season 3. He appeared on a few scenes of during some operations on Earth.
Four million years ago, Tracks was one of five Autobots who agreed to have their sparks transferred to crystal storage in case the Autobots needed extra troops during the mission of clearing a path for Cybertron through an asteroid belt. In 1985, the Autobots were suffering heavy casualties and the five Autobots were activated in "Rock And Roll Out" (US #14). Skids and the others (except Grapple) were shown around Earth by Bumblebee, where Skids encountered music for the first time and proved unable to interact easily with humans. Despite orders not to engage with the enemy, they went on to battle Decepticons at a concert.
Tracks was likewise heard complaining about a surprise inspection, but quickly accompanied
Optimus Primein locating the inactive hulk of Megatron. They were fired upon by human authorities, and Prime ordered a withdrawal.
Tracks continued to appear sporadically after this, although he appeared less as more new characters were introduced. He was in the battle in the
Arctic, where he was damaged by the TerrorconBlot, and was subsequently amongst the scores of Transformers killed trying stop the Underbasepowered Starscream. However, he was resurrected in issue 281 of the Marvel UK Transformers comic, as Wheeljack attempted to revive him. His efforts were stopped by Grimlockhowever, who didn't believe Tracks to be an effective warrior. Wheeljack eventually managed to resurrect him anyway, and Prime would station him on Earth - much to Grimlock's fury. His only subsequent appearance was in issue 289, in the last of the UK-only stories, where he is among the Autobots sent to rescue journalist Irwin Spoon from the Stunticons. Aside from Bumblebee and possibly Wheeljack (who had stopped earlier to tend to Prowl), he is the only one left standing after a high speed chase leaves both groups incapacitated.
Tracks reappeared in the Generation 2 comic during the final battle against
Jhiaxus's forces. He was pursued by one of Jhiaxus' jets - only to lure it to its destruction by Leadfoot and Manta Ray. It is unclear if he survived the final battle after this.
When Prowl and his team of Autobots confronted
Trypticonthe Autobots Hound, Tracks, Trailbreaker and others showed up as reinforcements (Transformers: The War Within - The Dark Ages #4).
Devil's Due Publishing
Tracks reappeared in the third G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers crossover series from
Devil's Due Publishingas part of the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe force trying to rescue Optimus Prime.
Voice actor plays
Although no Tracks toy was made for the line, Generation 1 Tracks appeared in the 2004 Botcon voice actor play. Here, he was part of the crew of a timelost shuttle (alongside Bumblebee and Cosmos) that had been pulled through time by a mysterious vortex. They quickly encountered a group of later era Transformers - Silverbolt, Rattrap and
Waspinator- and helped them rescue two groups of Transformers dimensionally displaced from the universe by one of Rhinox' devices. Despite interference from the Decepticons (servants of Unicron), they succeeded, rescued the other Transformers, and were sent back to their own time.
Tracks appeared in the 2006
TransformersConvoice actor play. Voices in the play were performed by a variety of volunteers and the actual voice actors attending the convention. In this play various Transformers from different timelines and realities were swept up in a repeat wave and transported along with Unicronto Earth. The Transformers included Generation 1 Tracks, Ariel, Cosmos and Megatron, "Beast Wars" Tarantulas, "Robots in Disguise" Sky-Byteand "Beast Machines" Tankor. Tracks was played by his actual Generation 1 animated series voice actor. Eventually the Transformers were able to learn that the death of Unicron in 2005 was what created the repeat wave. They defeated Unicron by tricking him into Transforming and using up his power, then using the Key to Vector Sigma program (which Tankor had brought with him) to tap into the power of Vector Sigmaitself, and through it the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. With Unicron severely drained the various Transformers faded back to their original timelines.
Alternators Tracks was a minor background character appearing in
Fun Publicationsfiction "Gone to Far", a text-based story set on Transtech Cybertron.
*Generation 1 Tracks (1985):The toy for Tracks was originally part of the Takara Diaclone line, where it was red. :The toy of Tracks was repainted red into the ehobby exclusive Autobot Road Rage.
*Action Master Tracks (1991):As part of Europe's continuing exclusive Transformer toys, Tracks returned as an Action Master, along with his new partner - the battle droid Basher. Basher transformed into a backpack for Tracks to wear which came equipped with a protective helmet armed with missile-launchers.:A super-cool cruiser with a knack for more flashy maneuvering. He loves looking good. Always washing and waxing his armor for a dazzling shine. Often feels the battle hasn't really started until he gets out there. Does everything with a flair that seems to attract attention. A bit self-absorbed, but extremely powerful and well equipped in battle. Armed with a devastating black beam gun that fires concussion bursts of billowing, black gas that momentarily blind enemy forces. Armored vehicle Basher is equipped with infra-red scanners, remote controlled surveillance cameras, heat seeking missiles and laser beam trip wires for short-range covert operations. Basher combines with Tracks to form the interactive bodysuit with intelligent weapon system.
*Alternators/Binaltech Tracks:Tracks' recent revival was as a
Binaltechtoy in Japan. This first appeared in yellow at a request from Chevrolet. However, when the toy was to be released in America in the Alternators line, the difference in materials used to create the toy caused the yellow plastic to show the toy parts in certain lights. The Alternators version was released in Tracks' classic blue colors, which later became the colors for a second release of the toy in Japan.
* [http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=504&size=0&start=0 Gallery] of Generation One Tracks (Reissue)
* [http://www.bwtf.com/binaltech/tracks/ Review] of Binaltech Tracks
* [http://www.bwtf.com/alternators/tracks/ Review] of Alternators Tracks
* [http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=506&size=0&start=0 Gallery] of Binaltech Tracks (Blue)
* [http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=217&size=0&start=0 Gallery] of Binaltech Tracks (Yellow)
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