Countdown (Transformers)

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Countdown is the name fictional character in the Transformers series. He was introduced as a toy in the US 1989, but his first appearance in fiction was in the Japanese Transformers: Zone series where he was called Moon Raider. He didn't appear in US Transformers fiction until his role as a main character in the Dreamwave comics Micromaster title. Since then Hasbro has released a new toy of the character in 2009. He is sometimes called "Autobot Countdown" for trademark purposes. Fun Publications has made mention of another character named Countdown in its Transformers stories, who is the evil mirror-universe counterpart of the original character.

Transformers: Generation 1

Transformers character
Name Countdown
Japanese name Moon Raider (or Moon Radar)
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Universe
Alternate modes Moon Rover, Missile launcher truck similar to a BTR-80 APC
Function Aerospace Commander (Hasbro), Large Scale Space Port (Takara)
Motto "For a world without evil, you need a universe without evil."
Rank 9
Sub-group Micromasters, Ultra Vehicles

The Countdown toy is the largest Micromaster toy ever produced. It consists of three distinct parts: A mobile rocket launching base, a rocket, and the Countdown figure itself, which transforms to a lunar rover. Countdown is the only lunar rover in the entire Generation 1 toyline, although there have been more lunar rovers in later toylines.[1]

Countdown himself is characterised as adventurous and heroic, travelling the universe to protect the innocent. Countdown's arch-enemy is the sadistic Decepticon Skystalker, whose space shuttle is the second-largest Micromaster toy ever produced.[2]

According to Takara's biography for Moon Raider and his Rocket Base he is the large defensive headquarters of the Cybertron Zone. Can receive an SOS from the entire universe and send out soldiers accordingly.[3]

Animated series

Countdown appeared in the Japanese-exclusive Transformers: Zone series. This series only made one episode before it was canceled, "New Supreme Commander, Dai Atlas!" In this episode Countdown was the leader of the Autobot Micromasters on the Planet Zone. He and his second in command Rabbicrater gave the grand tour to Cain and his pet Emusa before the planet was attacked by the nine great Decepticon Generals: Devastator, Menasor, Bruticus, Trypticon, Predaking, Abominus, Piranacon, Overlord and Scorponok. The Decepticon took the Energon-Z from the Zone base, then went to Earth to steal the Zodiac. Countdown, the Micromasters and the Powered Masters followed the Decepticon to Earth and defeated them there.

Dreamwave Productions

Countdown appeared in as a major character in Dreamwave Productions Micromasters mini-series. In issue #1, "Destined For Nothing", Countdown and Groundshaker return from space to find the Autobot base largely abandoned. The first Autobots they encounter, Topspin and Twin Twist seem surprised to see them, and more surprised that Optimus Prime isn't with them. Countdown and Groundshaker are equally surprised that Optimus has not returned to Cybertron before they did. Countdown confronts Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus and informs them that Operation: Containment, an attempt to prevent the Decepticon threat from spreading beyond Cybertron, has failed. Countdown explains that the Decepticon Skystalker and his forces ravaged the peaceful planet, Paradron, and that the Autobots need to mount an intergalactic patrol force to prevent the same fate from befalling other worlds. Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus disagree, stating that Autobot forces are already underpowered and spread thin as it is. Groundshaker interrupts, belligerently demanding the Autobot command take action, before he is pulled from the room by Countdown. As Countdown and Groundshaker leave the command center, they overhear Big Daddy and his patrol griping about the day's events, which interests Countdown greatly. Big Daddy and company then confront Magnus and Maximus, upset that Crunch lost his life defending Roadbuster. The argument grows more heated, before Fortress Maximus orders the Hot Rod Patrol to turn in their weapons and dismisses them.[4]

The More Than Meets The Eye biography page for Groundshaker was written as a report by Countdown.


  • Generation 1 Countdown with Rocket Base (1989)
Countdown came with a rocket base. The rocket launching base transforms into a complete Micromaster headquarters, capable of hosting about a dozen Micromasters, and the rocket transforms into an outpost base, capable of hosting additional Micromasters. The bases can be connected together by a ramp.[5][6]
  • Universe Ultra Autobot Countdown (2009)
This version is a redeco of Cybertron Cybertron Defense Red Alert and is a Toys R Us store exclusive. He comes with a grey Earth Planet Cyber Key.[7]

Shattered Glass

Transformers character
Name Countdown
Series Transformers: Timelines

Presumably this character is the evil mirror universe counterpart of the Generation 1 character.

Fun Publications

Although not seen directly, Countdown has been mentioned as one of the evil Autobots in the Shattered Glass storyline.


  1. "Countdown (Autobot Micromaster Bases, Transformers G1)". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  2. Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc.. p. 61. ISBN 1-4053-0461-8. 
  3. [1]
  4. (2004-07-08). "Transformers: Micromasters #1: "Destined For Nothing"". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  5. "Countdown (1989) - Autobot Aerospace Commander". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  6. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 89. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  7. "Universe Countdown Now Revealed?!". Transformers News Movie Comics Animated. The Allspark. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2010-05-15.