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Payload is the name of three fictional characters from the Transformers series. The first Payload is a Mini-Con introduced in the Transformers: Armada story. The second Payload was a Mini-Con from the Transformers: Cybertron toy line. The third Payload is a Decepticon from the 2007 Transformers film.
Payload is the muscle of the Space Mini-Con Team, but people often forget that he's considerably smarter than most other robots out there. He doesn't really let this get to him, however. In fact, it seems one of the few things that can wear down Payload's temper is his teammate Sky Blast. He considers the youth a close friend, but one whose impulsive, act-before-thinking nature can really grind his gears.
In Transformers: Armada #9-11 by Dreamwave Productions the Space Team were among the Mini-Cons survived crashing on Earth's moon. Under the leadership of Dualor they built a fortress there and defended it from an attack by Megatron, Starscream, Thrust and Cyclonus. Once Megatron overpowered the base the Mini-Cons escaped to Earth.
According to the author of Space Teams's bios in the More Than Meets the Eye series Payload is based on the Marvel Comics hero The Thing, Skyblast on the Human Torch and Astroscope on Mister Fantastic.
- Armada Payload (2002)
- Came packaged with Astroscope and Skyblast.
- A special Target store exclusive bonus pack of Armada Jetfire with Commetor came with the Space Team Mini-Cons Payload, Skyblast and Astroscope.
- A repackage of the Energon Space team with 3 more Mini-Cons in a discount package.
- Energon Payload redeco (2004)
- A redeco of the space team came packaged with Ultra Magnus and Knockout.
- Universe Payload (unreleased)
- Redecos of the Space Team was to be partnered with the unreleased Universe Decepticons Spacewarp.
The second Payload, like his fellow Lunar Assault Team members, spends his time attacking the normally-serene Exploration Mini-Con Team. Though he is physically one of the strongest Mini-Cons, Payload doesn't like to use his strength in combat; he'd rather outwit an opponent. As such, rather than engage his foe in a one-on-one brawl like Kobushi, Payload battles his "rival" Ascentor with brains, setting traps in the hopes of one day ensnaring the brilliant Mini-Con.
Like all the members of his Mini-Con wave, the molds of the Autobots and Decepticons seem to have been swapped some time during their design. Payload is described as large and strong, but his rival Ascentor is the larger tank mold. Additionally, the colors and design of Ascentor make a perfect addition to Cybertron Buzzsaw, who is a Decepticon.
- Cybertron Mini-Cons Payload vs. Ascentor (2006)
- A blue rerecolor of Armada Ransack that came packaged with Ascentor. Payload features a painted silver Decepticon logo.
Transforming into an armored truck, Payload is the one the Decepticons who they rely on to procure the money they need to best function on Earth and can plow through or destroy any Autobot that get in his way, and fast enough to outrun almost anything on the road.
According to the biography printed in the Reign of Starscream compilation, the Payload-style drones are called Class Beta Drone Units. They are considered strong but unreliable units.
The other Payload has a Generation 2 homage of Long Haul. His body is similar to Revenge of the Fallen Long Haul and the Constructicon warriors drones from the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game.
Payload appeared among the troops of Megatron on Cybertron on the first issue of Transformers: Movie Prequel. Dreadwing, Swindle and him were the Decepticons that tortured Bumblebee's squad before Megatron comes.
In Transformers: Reign of Starscream #4 Arcee returned to Cybertron from Mars by hiding in the landing gear of Starscream's ship. Once on the planet she was discovered by a Dreadwing and Payload drone, who she deactivated.
Events occurring in the alternate universe where Megatron won the battle of Mission City are in italics.
In "Twilight's Last Greaming" part 3 Ironhide and Ratchet sneak into the Decepticon Allspark Power Distribution Hub in Savannah, Georgia disguised as Payload style drones. Although they believe the stolen code they used got them inside safely, once there they are ambushed by Bonecrusher, who says that the code didn't work and he let them in so he could fight them.
Payload appears among the Decepticon forces of Starscream in the book Transformers: The Veiled Threat by Alan Dean Foster. Lured into a Decepticon trap Dropkick, Macerator, and Payload battle Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Salvage, Ratchet and Beachbreak in the Zambezi River, hoping to trick them over a waterfall. The Autobots figure out what is happening and avoid the trap, but Starscream kills Beachbreak. In this novel Payload is described as an anti-aircraft tank similar to the character of Gunbarrel, and it is not known if he was simply misnamed.
In Transformers: The Game, Payload appears as tackling-class drones for the Autobot & Decepticon armies. Autobot versions have eyes with a mask, & their primary color is silver/white. Decepticon versions have a lens-head & their color is a dark blue.
In the Nintendo DS games Transformers: Autobots and Transformers: Decepticons Payload appears as a playable character, going by the name "Armored Truck". Payload's body frame appears in vehicles that are buses, armored trucks, civilian vans, and a few helicopters.
- Transformers Deluxe Payload (2007)
- Payload is a deluxe-sized toy, transforming into a dark blue armored truck, with a logo of 'Armored Services'(with a Decepticon symbol in it, similar to that of Barricade). Payload has an Automorph claw that moves when the brushguard is pressed. Several pieces on Payload tend to pop off easily: his brushguard, midriff-plate/claw-center, and even his upper shoulder/head assembly. His design is closer to that of the movie prequel comic than that of the video game.
- The real Bulldog II armored truck is 792 centimeters long, while this toy is 12.5 centimeters long, giving it a scale of about 1:63. With the toy standing 14.5 centimeters tall as a robot the real world robot would stand about 828 centimeters (30.4 feet) tall.
- Transformers 3D Battle Card Game Payload (2007)
- Payload is among the characters which appeared in the 1st wave of Transformers 3D Battle Card Game by Wizards of the Coast. He is a redeco of movie Autobot Ratchet.
- Transformers Voyager Payload (2010)
- Transformers Legends Payload
- A yellow recolor of the 2010 Legends Long Haul figure.
- YouTube - Transformers Payload review
- Transformers: The Veiled Threat, Page 92, Alan Dean Foster, 2009
- Transformers the game: official strategy guide, by Greg Sepelak, 2007
- "Lee's Guide To: Transformers Movie Toys". Lee's Action Figure News & Toy Review 1 (188): 44–54. June 2008.
- TFW2005.com - Payload