Overload is the name of four different fictional characters in the many continuities in the Transformers franchise. They are seemingly unrelated besides sharing a name.
Transformers: Generation 1
Overload box art
|Function||Troop Transport (Hasbro), Overland Commander (Takara)|
|Motto||"Know your enemy and he's yours"|
|Alternate modes||Tractor Trailer / Jet|
The original Overload (called Bomber in Italy) was the name of an Autobot Micromaster who turned into a semi-truck. His trailer turned into a jet.
His bio described him as the ideal soldier, brave, daring and a gifted battlefield tactician. However, he is described as working with the Autobot transport system on cargo hauling missions, while his impulsiveness usually leads to him disobeying orders and joining the battle himself.
According to Roadjet's Takara biography he is a chief of over land combat, and treats his subordinates like he is their father. It is his responsibility to transport the patrol teams and weapons to their destination.
Although the US animated series was canceled before Overload was created, he did appear briefly in animated form in the commercial for his toy. Groundshaker was seen flying over a Micromaster city which was held in the palm of the hand of Powermaster Optimus Prime. In the city you can clearly see the Micromaster Overload, Erector and Hot House's base.
In a story called "By their Blasters you shall know them ...!" from Transformers Comic-Magazin issue #12 by German comic publisher Condor Verlag Optimus Prime instructs Backstreet, Bumblebee and Ruckus on how to identify Autobots from Decepticons in battle using the Ark's computer. Overload is one of those he displays to the Autobots.
Although Overload did not appear in the Dreamwave storyline, he did get a biography in their More Than Meets The Eye title.
- Generation 1 Mircomaster Overload (1989)
- A Micromaster Transport.
Rhinox and Overload in Dreamwave's Armada comic.
|Japanese name||Ultra Magnus|
|Partner||Rollout, Optimus Prime|
|Motto||"I serve at the will of Optimus Prime."|
|Alternate modes||Tractor Trailer, TOS-1 rocket launcher|
The second Overload is an Autobot/Mini-Con Headmaster unit who combines with Optimus Prime.
Apparently a non-sentient weapons platform crafted by the Mini-Cons at the same time as they recreated Optimus Prime's body, Overload can convert from vehicle mode into a set of cannons and combine with Optimus Prime for added firepower. He is also shown to possess a robot mode, seen only once in a crowd scene, but shows no signs of any intelligence or life. Overload's toy is packaged with the Mini-Con, Rollout (Magnus in Japan), who appears in the show in his role of Overload's cab and head, but in a capacity even more minimal that his larger partner's. Although the character was called Overload in English, there is one instance in "Union" where Optimus Prime wrongly refers to Overload as Ultra Magnus.
Overload and Rollout were given more personality in the Dreamwave Armada comic book series. He first appears in issue #16 as part of Jetfire's team investigating anomalies at the Decepticon base - unaware it had been taken over by the Heralds of Unicron. Bludgeon is still present and stalks the team from the shadows, killing and wounding several. Eventually destroying Bludgeon's Pretender shell, Overload and the others set charges to destroy the base - as the other Heralds arrived. Jetfire orders them to flee, destroying the base himself. He is seen in the subsequent battle against Unicron.
In the follow-up Energon comic, Overload appears as part of the crew of Base Site One alongside Ironhide and Dropshot. Attacked by Scorponok, Overload is easily defeated. Scorponok is then defeated by Megatron. As this is the final issue of Energon published by Dreamwave, it is unclear whether Overload would have appeared again.
"Ask Vector Prime" would later expand on Overload's history: his use of the Powerlinxing technique turned into an addiction that led him to attack Mini-Cons when they were unwilling to join forces with him. His self-imposed banishment led him to Nebulos, where his condition began to deteriorate due to his previous dependence on combining with Mini-Cons. Hi-Q and Arcana, Nebulan doctors who took him into their care, came across a possible solution involving Rollout, a Mini-Con patient of theirs who had become addicted to Nucleon and was losing his ability to transform. The two were soon combined into a Headmaster robot, but it was an imperfect arrangement that soon forced them to call upon Cybertronian scientist Rhinox for aid. Rhinox rebuilt Overload using the same technology employed to give Jetfire the ability to merge with Optimus Prime, but was unable to finish the process before Overload was needed to battle Nemesis Prime. Rhinox was abducted by Unicron before he could complete Overload's rebuild, and Overload subsequently rebuilt himself into his original form (the Cybertron variant) and eventually returned to Nebulos, where he rediscovered his origins. His Headmaster blueprints were also used to rebuild Ultra Magnus.
- Armada Overload with Rollout
- Armada Overload was recolored blue and released in the Energon line as Ultra Magnus.
- Energon Overload with Rollout
- Packaged with a redeco of Armada Optimus Prime and his Mini-Con. A Costco store exclusive.
- Universe Cybertron Series Voyager Overload
- A Voyager class toy, a redeco of Cybertron Cybertron Defense Scattorshot.
Universe Overload toy
|Japanese name||San Diego|
|Alternate modes||Steam Locomotive|
The third Overload was a Micromaster who turns into a train, a member of the Railbots. He is the first U.S. release of the Japanese Generation 1 Micromaster named San Diego. He combines with the other Railbots to form Universe Rail Racer (Sixtrain in Japan).
According to San Diego's biography: "An engineer by nature, he busies himself daily with the maintenance of their metro base headquarters. With the help of the build team, he endeavours to power up the Autobots with the new items he produces in rapid succession. Deeply impressed by Earth culture, he's had an episode in which he was going to hold a wedding ceremony with Discharge."
According to the story with Sixtrain Red Mode, the Sixtrain turns red and becomes more powerful when empowered by a piece of the Maxtix.
- Generation 1 San Diego (1992)
- This toy was a redeco of Alan. A Takara exclusive.
- Generation 1 San Diego reissue (2003)
- Came with the head and gun of Sixtrain.
- Generation 1 San Diego red mode (2003)
- A red redeco of the toy. Came with the head and gun of Sixtrain Red Mode.
- Universe Micromaster Overload (2005)
- Swindle came with the thighs to Rail Racer.
- The Micromaster Railbots were released in Cybertron packaging in European countries, as they didn't have the Transformers: Universe line.
Transformers Cinematic Universe
|Sub-group||Constructicons, Micro Vehicles|
|Partner||Hightower, Long Haul, Mixmaster, Rampage, Scavenger, Scrapper, Bonecrusher and Hook|
|Alternate modes||KW Dart D4661 Articulated dump truck|
The fourth Overload appears in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and is one of the Constructicon models and part of Devastator. He transforms into an articulated dump truck and forms the torso of Devastator, along with Scavenger. He stands about 30 feet tall, not counting the arm on his back.
Overload is seen when the Constructicons merge into Devastator. He never transforms into his robot mode and is seemingly killed when Devastator is destroyed by a rail gun round.
- Revenge of the Fallen Legends Overload (2009)
- A new mold. Can form robot or vehicle modes or combine into Devastator.
- This toy was initially sold individually in Japan, then sold as a 7-pack of all the Constructicons in the U.S.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
|Voiced by (English)||Dave Fennoy|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Bin Shimada|
|Alternate modes||Cybertronian Tank|
Overload is the name of a character from the 2015 animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. This version is a Shakespearean-mannered Deception who transforms into a Cybertronian tank and was a spy during the War for Cybertron. His efforts greatly damaged Autobot installations until he was discovered by Optimus Prime himself which led getting incarcerated aboard the Alchemor Prison ship. During the battle, he also severely damaged Optimus Prime's top scout and that scout lost his voice as a result. He is later freed during the crash where he would be partnered with a pair of Cyclone Mini-cons, Backtrack & Ransack.
Overload debuted in the two-part episode "Overloaded" where he demanded the Autobots for turn over Optimus Prime, during the battle at the scrapyard, Overload accidentally knocked over two stasis pods holding Backtrack & Ransack. During his escape, he encountered the pair and earned their trust to wreak havoc on Crown City in order get Optimus's attention until Bumblebee found him & the mini-cons where he convinced Backtrack & Ransack to turned on their master, rendering him unconscious with a punch and returning to Stasis. He is later freed by Steeljaw and brought to Glowstrike in "Misdirection", but is recaptured in the two-part episode "Decepticon Island."
- Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 87. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. Search this book on
- Robert Mann (w). "By their Blasters you shall know them ...!" Transformers Comic-Magazin 12 (December 1990), Condor Verlag
- https://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2009-04-01-transformers-first-look_N.htm First look: Robo-brawlers big, small in new 'Transformers' By Anthony Breznican, USA TODAY
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