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Blackout is the name of six fictional robot supervillan characters from the Transformers robot superhero franchise. He is a Decepticon and is the predecessor of Grindor.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Transformers character
Blackout in Dreamwave comics

Warning: Display title "Blackout" overrides earlier display title "Blackout (<i>Transformers</i>)". Search Blackout (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Blackout (Transformers) on Amazon.

Blackout was one of a team of two Micromaster Combiners. They came with a Gepard air defense vehicle that could transform to a base. Because Blackout and his partner Spaceshot are regularly pictured together and that they are amongst the lesser-known Micromasters, the exact identity of each Transformer is regularly mistaken for the other.[1]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Blackout has never appeared in Transformers fiction, except for a profile in Dreamwave Productions' Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye series. His bio painted him as a brave Decepticon warrior, but liable to flee if the odds turned against him. Only Spaceshot's disapproval often keeps this from happening.


  • Generation 1 Micromaster Blackout and Spaceshot (1990)

Transformers: Armada[edit]

Transformers character

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Blackout is the Mini-Con partner of Demolishor.

Animated series[edit]

In the cartoon, Demolishor used him to find other Mini-Cons.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Blackout appeared among the Mini-Cons in issue #18 of the Transformers: Armada comic book who aided Over-Run using the Mini-Con Matrix in the defeat of Unicron.

Blackout's bio painted him as aggressive and independent—something which contrasts with Demolishor's blind loyalty to Megatron. He would voice his thoughts and feelings, even at the risk of a severe beating.


  • Armada Mini-Con Blackout (2002)
Blackout was one of the first-released Mini-Cons that were included with a larger Transformer. Blackout was able to attach to Demolishor to form the front section of the Decepticon's tank mode, or he was able to sit on the seat on Demolishor's back. When attached to a special Mini-Con port, he can fire Demolishor's shoulder missiles.[3]
  • Armada Mini-Con Powerlinx Blackout
He was later recolored when Demolishor received his Powerlinx upgrade.[4]
  • Armada Built to Rule Blackout (2003–2004)
Blackout was also part of the Built to Rule toy line, again as Demolishor's partner, and during 2004, he was recolored with a 'Night Attack' scheme which was not based on an existing Transformers toy. In the Japanese series, Blackout was named Search and later Spark Search when he was recolored.
  • Energon Mini-Con Blackout (2004)
Ten years after the events in Armada, Demolishor retained his original form, only with a new color scheme. Blackout also received a new color scheme to match Demolishor's. However, Blackout did not appear in the Energon animated series. Blackout did not reappear when the Armada Demolishor toy was repainted for Transformers: Cybertron.[5]

Transformers: Energon[edit]

Transformers character
Energon Blackout toy

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Blackout was a member of the Decepticon Destruction Team and transformed into a helicopter. He was able to combine with his team to form a limb of the giant robot, Bruticus Maximus.

Animated series[edit]

In the Energon animated series, Blackout was a seemingly non-sentient drone commanded by team leader, Barricade. As with all of the Energon combiner limbs, Blackout has a twin brother on his team—Stormcloud. Their energon weapons were a cannon and a pair of guns. In the Japanese series, each member had the name of a Generation 1 Combaticon—Blackout's name was Blast Off.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Although the Transformers: Energon comic book series by Dreamwave Productions was canceled before Blackout could appear in them, the Energon "More Than Meets The Eye" guide book was under development at the time. Pencil art by Guido Guidi was released later showing the art that would have been used with Blackout's profile.


  • Energon Basic Blackout (2005)
Shared a mold with Storm Cloud. Later redecoed into Timelines Topspin.[6]

Transformers Cinematic Universe[edit]

Transformers character
File:Blackout (1).png
Blackout in the 2007 Transformers movie

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Early leaked scripts of the 2007 live-action film had a Decepticon helicopter named Vortex, after the Generation 1 Combaticon. Possibly due to Hasbro's lack of a trademark on the name Vortex, they changed the name to Blackout. Blackout has had various names before being finalized—Soundwave, Vortex and Incinerator; all names have been used on a Transformers toy at some point before. Leaked concept art for the character had the name "Incinerator" on it.

Blackout in the 2007 movie
Early Blackout design

Blackout transforms into a Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low helicopter. According to screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, Blackout is the largest Decepticon. Blackout is armed with rotary machine guns and energon wave cannons. He is also able to detach and wield his tail rotor blades as a close-combat weapon. According to the book Transformers: The Movie Universe, Blackout's rotor weapon can spin at 6,000 rpm and is reinforced with toughened cobalt. When out of vehicle mode his main rotors fold into two sets of three onto his back, giving him the appearance of having wings. When in helicopter mode he can simulate the appearance of a human pilot, the same holographic model (referred to as "Mustache Man" on-set and in the credits) that "pilots" Starscream and "drives" Barricade. Blackout can carry Scorponok on his back, as seen in both the film and the game.[7]

According to his profile in the second issue of the U.K. Transformers magazine, Blackout stands 33 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 2.9 tons and has a maximum speed of 800 mph. The official guide to the Transformers video game says he's 33 feet tall. Both of these heights are much smaller than his alternate mode would suggest, and seem to contradict what Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman said about his size. However, in the video game's profile for him, it states that he is often seen "silently looming over Megatron's shoulder" indicating that he would have to be taller than Megatron, and therefore taller than 33 feet. His exact height seems to be a mystery. As size calculations from the Voyager class toy suggests, his height should be about 55 feet tall. Oddly the book Ghosts of Yesterday described him as being smaller than Optimus Prime, who is officially described as 28 feet tall.


Blackout appeared in the prequel novel, Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, where he was the most vocal critic of Starscream's leadership. When Starscream left to destroy Bumblebee, Blackout seized the initiative and led Bonecrusher, Scorponok and Frenzy in an assault on the Autobots, attacking Prime. He failed, and eventually challenged Starscream to a duel for leadership of the Decepticons, which he lost.

The book Transformers - Meet The Decepticons by Jennifer Frantz had a slightly different ending than the movie. This book had all six Decepticons leaving Earth together after being defeated by the Autobots, instead of having most of their numbers die.

The back cover to children's book "Transformers Prime Time" by Michael Teitelbaum called Blackout by his earlier name Vortex on the back cover, but used Blackout in the book.


IDW Publishing[edit]

Blackout appeared in Transformers: Defiance by IDW Publishing. In issue #2 he sided with Megatron in his decision to counter-attack Cybertron's invaders and was among the fleet that attacked their ships.

Blackout also appeared in IDW Publishing's movie prequel comic, where he, Starscream and Barricade smashed up the Mars Beagle 2 probe. In issue 4, he traveled to Earth, where he gained his MH-53 helicopter mode in Afghanistan and destroyed the scanned vehicle. The three Decepticons, detecting emissions similar to that of the Allspark, then stumbled onto Sector 7's trap for Bumblebee, wiping out their military backup. Blackout tried to access Sector 7's computers, but could only glean a few bits of information before they shut it down. After Barricade outlined his plan to follow Bumblebee and see what they could find out, Blackout and Starscream tailed him from the air.

In Transformers: Alliance #2 the bodies of Brawl, Blackout and Megatron are seen being loaded onto trucks at the Nevada desert for disposal in the ocean.

Titan Magazines[edit]

Information in italics occur in the alternate storyline where Megatron won the battle for the Allspark.

Blackout appeared in issue #7 if the Transformers Titan Magazine in a story called "Starscream's Militia". He was seemingly brought to life by Starscream using the sparks of Allspark mutations. He was immediately killed again by the Autobots.

Blackout appears in issue #22 of the Titan Transformers Magazine series in a story called "The Decepticon who Haunted Himself."

Blackout and Scorponok were killed by Stockade for rejecting his offer to defect to Stockade's side.


In the 2007 live-action film, Blackout is the first active Decepticon (and first Transformer) to be seen. Blackout serves as the right hand of Megatron in the movie. He is Third-in-Command after Megatron and Starscream. Early in the film, he, along with his minion Scorponok, attacks the SOCCENT Forward Operations Center in Qatar, disguised as a MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter, tail number 4500X, that was apparently shot down over Afghanistan three months earlier. Blackout is escorted to the base by two F-22 Raptors, where he transforms and single-handedly destroys the whole base. During his attack, he attempts to hack into the base's system to download data on the location of the Allspark and Megatron, only to have the hardline to the system cut off by a military officer. He then deploys Scorponok and send him to after a fleeing Captain William Lennox and his team. Later, Blackout is seen rallying with the other Decepticons to Starscream's call, after Frenzy discovers the Allspark in the Hoover Dam, saying "All hail Megatron" as if to remind Starscream who his master is. Arriving in Mission City during the final battle, Blackout attacks Sam, who is saved by the timely intervention of Ironhide, who throws a car at Blackout, which the Decepticon blasts out of the way and then he shoots down Ironhide. Later he attempts to kill Sam with his rotor weapon, but misses him by a few feet. Towards the end of the battle he attempts to help Megatron finish off Optimus Prime; however, he is attacked by Captain Lennox and his team, the former racing underneath him on a motorcycle and firing at him with a sabot round, along with human pilots in F-22 Raptors firing a barrage of missiles from the air, eventually killing him. (The events of "Starscream's Militia" and Alliance issue #2 occur next.) His corpse is disposed of in the Laurentian Abyss, along with Megatron and the other fallen Decepticons. In Revenge of the Fallen a similar looking but much larger Decepticon named Grindor appears assisting Megatron and the Doctor in taking the All Spark fragment from Sam. Grindor is later killed by Optimus Prime during an attempt to rescue Sam.


In Transformers: The Game, Blackout appears as a playable character in the Decepticon campaign. He stands very tall over the other Transformers and is very powerful. In the Autobot campaign, he appeared in Jazz's battle with Starscream but was killed. Starscream betrays Blackout and flies away. In the Decepticon campaign, Blackout is used in many missions, including the First Mission and Fourth Mission. He also killed Ironhide. During Megatron's battle with Optimus Prime, Blackout attempted to assist his master by charging Prime. Prime punched the massive Decepticon, sending him flying. He was knocked out by Optimus Prime but was not killed. After that, Blackout went back to the new Decepticon base with other Decepticons to destroy the planet and execute the Autobots and humans. It should also be noted that it can be argued that Blackout is the best playable Transformer in the game, being able to kill almost every drone type in one melee strike, and can kill many at a time in multiple directions. Also, his heavy ranged weapon can get through the red drone's shield, making him the only playable Transformer who can do that, and the strike actually deals considerable damage on a foe, unlike with most of the other playable characters.


All toys of this character are officially licensed from Sikorsky Aircraft.

  • Transformers Legends Blackout (2007)
A 3-inch micro-sized Legends version of Blackout features a simple transformation and two free-spinning blades.
  • Transformers Fast Action Battlers Gyro Blade Blackout (2007)
A Deluxe-sized toy with simplified transformation for younger children.[8]
  • Transformers Voyager Blackout (2007)
Features a spinning set of blades, whose mount can be removed to form a spinning-blade weapon for the robot mode. It also includes a small, non-transforming Scorponok figure with a spring-tail that can be dropped from a basket in Blackout's helicopter mode. In vehicle mode, Blackout can combine with the Deluxe Class movie Scorponok figure (sold separately) in a combined gimmick: rotating Blackout's rotors will cause Scorponok's claws to spin. Blackout lacks the arm-mounted weapons seen in the film, but his robot mode does have sculpted missiles detailed on its shoulders. It is the smallest Voyager-class sized figure, despite his actual size in the movie being larger than the others. The figure has features based on a concept art image rather than the actual character from the movie.
This toy's fuselage is 25 centimeters long, while an actual Pavelow helicopter is 2235 centimeters long. This gives it a scale of about 1/89. With a robot toy height of 19 centimeters, Blackout should stand about 55 feet tall.
This toy was later remolded into the Autobot Evac.
A 2-pack called "Desert Attack" was released in 2007 at Toys "R" Us with both Voyager Blackout and Deluxe Scorponok.[9][10]
  • Transformers Legends Desert Blackout (2008)
A redeco of Movie Legends Blackout.[11]
  • Transformers Premium Voyager Blackout (2008)
A redeco of the Voyager Blackout with more movie-accurate detailing in vehicle mode.[12]
  • Revenge of the Fallen Titanium 3 inch Blackout (2009)
A repackage of the same toy from the 2007 movie toy line. He squares off against Ratchet.[13]
  • Revenge of the Fallen Robot Heroes Optimus Prime vs. Blackout (2009)
Small non-transforming figures which are targeted for smaller children. Optimus Prime vs Blackout.[14]
  • Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Commander Blackout with Scorponok (2011)
A new Commander Class mold. He may not be size accurate, but he does come with a tiny Scorponok.[15]
  • Transformers: Studios Series Leader Class Blackout with Scorponok (2018)[16]

Non-transforming merchandise[edit]

  • Transformers Blackout RC Helicopter (2007)
A RadioShack exclusive, this radio-controlled helicopter flies up to a range of 25 feet and is rechargeable using the supplied helipad. link

Transformers Animated[edit]

Transformers character

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Animated Blackout is a character who appeared in season 3 of the Transformers Animated series. He is a homage to the 2007 movie version of the character and incorporates the insect-like style of the movie Decepticons into his robot mode.[17]

Blackout is a living legend who has destroyed Omega Sentinels. He is also the largest Decepticon ever seen. He can emit shockwaves from his feet that can shut down (and reactivate) machinery.

Animated series[edit]

He was seen in the season three episode "Transwarped" where he is a member of Strika's Team Chaar. He was shown to be powerful, but also somewhat dimwitted as unintentionally shut down the Space Bridge his group took for a few seconds.

Fun Publications[edit]

Blackout's biography was printed in issue #24 of the Transformers Collectors Club magazine.


  • Animated Voyager Blackout (unreleased)
A new Voyager sized mold, which transforms into an Earth helicopter. The tail rotor becomes a spinning disc launcher in robot mode. Like Lugnut, Blackout is among the shortest in robot height among all the Voyager Class figures in the Animated line.[18]
  • Animated TA-20 Voyager Blackout (Takara Tomy) (2010)
While the figure was never sold in the U.S, it was released in Japan in 2010 by Takara Tomy.[19] This version sports darker shades of colors and is more detailed than the unreleased Hasbro version.[20][21]

Transformers: Prime[edit]

Transformers character

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In the "aligned" universe, Blackout was a battle-hardened gladiator who joined Megatron's Decepticons in the war against the Autobots. His loyalty to Megatron and defiance of Starscream mirror his live-action film incarnation.


Blackout appears in the novel Transformers: Exodus.[22] Blackout was from the Badlands and fought in the pits of Kaon. His body was riddled with scars. He accompanied Megatron to steal the Plasma Energy Chamber from Teletraan-1 and witnessed his battle with Sentinel Prime. When Sentinel Prime fell, exposing the Code Key of Justice within his chest, Starscream attempted to take the Key for himself but Blackout tried to stop him, taking a blow that would've killed any other Transformer but one that only managed to fell him.

After Megatron subdued Starscream, Megatron asked for Blackout's name and told him he had a great future. He asked him to take Sentinel's body back to Kaon. He was presumably successful for Optimus Prime later found Sentinel chained to a pillar in the Underworld, having suffered burns from Omega Supreme's takeoff and subjected to even more torture.


  1. Brereton, Erin (2006). Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future. Triumph Books. p. 12. ISBN 1572439831. Search this book on
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2006-08-22. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-08-24. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-08-24. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. Blackout - Transformers: Energon - Toy Gallery - Photos 1 - 24
  6. Blast Off (Blackout) - Superlink - Toy Gallery - Photos 1 - 25
  7. transformers-fr_FR - default Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. transformers-fr_FR - default Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. GameAxis Unwired Jul 2007, p. 110
  10. "Profiles". Movie Toy Explosion!. Fun Publications. June–July 2007. pp. 4–5.
  11. Movie Legends Battle Packs - Ironhide Vs. Desert Blackout - Transformers Movie 2007 Movie Legends at BigBadToyStore Archived 2007-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
  12. transformers-fr_FR - default Archived April 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  13. - ROTF Titanium Rescue Ratchet vs. Blackout[permanent dead link]
  14. Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  15. - Blackout with Scorponok
  16. [1]
  17. Transformers Animated - First Images of Animated Rodimus, Strika, Blackout and Spittor
  18. SDCC 2009 - Hasbro Revenge of the Fallen, Animated, Exclusives Panel!
  19. - Takara Tomy Animated Voyager Blackout Image Gallery
  20. - Animated Blackout Hasbro and Takara Comparison Gallery
  22. Alexander C. Irvine (2010). Transformers: Exodus - The Official History of the War for Cybertron. Del Rey Books. ISBN 978-0345522528. Search this book on

External links[edit]

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