Triple Changers (Tripletrons in Japan) are Transformers that can transform from robot into two different alternate modes.
Transformers: Generation 1
Triple Changers were introduced into the Transformers toy line in 1985. They were named among the top selling toys in 1985 by Playthings magazine.
No particular origin was given to the Triple Changers in most storylines. According to the Dreamwave Productions comic, The Triple Changers were the result of experiments by Shockwave to produce a robot with more than one alternate mode. Failed attempts resulted in the Duocons. The first successful Triple Changer was Springer, followed by Blitzwing. Later, they were joined by Astrotrain, Broadside, Sandstorm and Octane. Triple Changers can change between their multiple alternate modes twice as fast as most Transformers.
The original commercial for Scorponok described him as a Triple Changer, despite it not being mentioned on the box. Dreamwave's More Than Meets The Eye series additionally described the Headmaster Horrorcons Apeface and Snapdragon as Triple Changers. In 2005, an E-hobby repaint of Blitzwing named Overcharge was released, making him another Triple Changer by default.
The Generation 1 Triple Changers' alternate modes consist of the following:
Cybertronian jet / transmetal gorilla
D-62 (Japanese) 2-8-4 steam locomotive / space shuttle
Mitsubishi Type 74 main battle tank / (Soviet) MiG-25 "Foxbat" jet fighter
F/A-18 Hornet / aircraft carrier
Tanker truck / Boeing KC-767 jumbo jet
Dune buggy / transport helicopter
City / robot scorpion
Cybertronian jet / transmetal dinosaur
Cybertronian car / helicopter
Although there are many examples of other Transformers with 2 alternate modes, the group mentioned above are the only ones that possess the official designation. Some other G1 Transformers with three modes include:
Missile Truck / Decepticon falcon
Cannon / laser pistol
City / battle station
Battle station / city / robot dinosaur
Cybertronian plane / cannon
Autobot robot / Decepticon robot / Pontiac Fiero car
- Fortress Maximus
City / battle station
With the exception of Snaptrap (tortoise), the other 5 Seacons - Nautilator, Overbite, Seawing, Skalor and Tentakill - could transform into both their sea creature modes (lobster, shark, manta ray, coelacanth and octopus, respectively) and a weapon mode for use by their combined form, Piranacon (Piranaking in some fiction).
Human base, Fortress Maximus head.
Car / flying car.
Technically, all Transformers that are parts of a gestalt could also be called triple changers, as they have a robot mode, a vehicle mode and a body part mode, however, most fans only consider forms that a robot can form all by itself for being a Triple Changer.
Transformers: Generation 2
The commercial for Generation 2 Dreadwing actually had him say "No one can escape Triple Changing Dreadwing!" In a second shorter commercial the announcer actually says "Dreadwing is a Triple Changer."
When IDW Publishing printed it's Transformers: Beast Wars Sourcebook it specifically mentioned the Maximals B'Boom and Bigmos as Triple Changers, but most of the other Transformers with a third mode were given names like "Mode 3" and "third form".
In the Transformers: Armada series, Laserbeak is described as a Triple Changer on the packaging. The Transformers: Armada More Than Meets The Eye profile series from Dreamwave Comics also lists Overrun as a Triple Changer, but states that he, like many Mini-Cons are "Triple Changers" with a weapon mode. This would imply that any Mini-Con with a weapon mode is a Triple Changer.
Video Camera / Gun / Bird
Jet / Gun
police car / gun
Osprey / Dual Gatling guns
fire truck/missile launcher pod
Futuristic versions of SR-71 / gauntlet
cargo plane / machine gun
jet / Shuriken
In Transformers: Energon, Scorponok is described is a Triple Changer on his packaging. When Hasbro/Takara first envisioned the concept for Energon, the Autobots were to be combiners with a "Powerlinx" feature, while Decepticons were to be Triple Changers, but this was abandoned for most of the Decepticons having a "hyper-power" mode, which usually just revealed more weapons.
transmetal scorpion-like construction vehicle/Cybertronian jet.
The following Transformers: Cybertron toys are described as Triple Changers on their packaging:
Fire truck / Gun
Police Car / Gun
- Megatron / Galvatron
Race Car / Jet
- Dark Scorponok
remolded Energon Scorponok
Helicopter / Gun
- Cryo Scourge
Despite being a mere recolor of Scourge who was not described as a Triple Changer, Cryo Scourge is described as a Triple Changer for being able to turn into a single-headed or a three-headed dragon.
- Optimus Prime
fire truck / "jet"
Some Mini-Cons have a third mode, but are not labeled as Triple Changers.
The Transformers Classics toy line so far has two Triple Changers.
2007 Transformers film
Tank / Jet Fighter
Note: Shockwave (who turns into a tank) can disguise himself as an Autobot whose alternate mode is a crane. He technically has four modes, and he is now listed as a Triple Changer on his box.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Soundwave - The package for Deluxe Soundwave states he is a Triple Changer. He turns from Cybertronian jet to satellite.
- Mixmaster - Turns from concrete mixer to "battle mode".
- Megatron - Described in supporting fiction as being a Triple Changer with a jet and tank mode. None of the toy boxes describe him as a Triple Changer, and only the Voyager class toy is capable of jet and tank modes, all other molds are only capable of either jet or tank mode. Not both!
Although the Deluxe Rampage toy has a "Jackhammer Mode" the packaging does not list him as a Triple Changer.
- ↑ Transformers named top toy of '85; buyers representing 3,500 stores cast votes for best-sellers in Playthings survey, Playthings, December 1, 1985
- ↑ http://action-figure.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=ImageBank&file=index&id=90913
- McDonough J. & Patyk A., 2004,"Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Official Guidebook, volume 2" Dreamwave Productions. ISBN 0-9733817-7-9
Transformers Generations, 2001. ISBN 4-7669-3800-3