September 18, 2021



(Discovery Family, January 5, 2019-June 5, 2021)
Boulder Media Limited, Allspark Animation

Pierce CravensHot Shot
Courtney ShawWhirl
Alan TrincaHoist
Adam AndrianopoulousMedix
Mason HensleyWedge
Paul GuyetHeatwave, Doc Ezra Greene, Mayor Luskey
Todd PerlmutterTough Luck Chuck, Rachet, Jerry, Huxley Prescott

For the history of Transformers, check out the post here.

            Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy is the sequel spin-off of Transformers: Rescue Bots and an adaptation of the Hasbro toyline of the same name. The series picked up where its predecessor left off: a new academy had been built with the purpose of training new Rescue Bots to carry out the mission of protecting and rescuing humans from various emergencies; both natural and of their own making.

Optimus recruits Hot Shot.

            At the conclusion of Rescue Bots, the Rescue Bots team had been dispersed around the world on various assignments by Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen in that series). Rescue Bot leader Heatwave (Paul Guyet) was left in charge of the academy and training the new recruits. However, his teammates—police bot Chase (Frank Cwiklik), helicopter bot Blades (Michael Hansen) and construction bot Boulder (Keyon Williams)—would pop in from time to time to teach classes based on their particular interests or areas of expertise. Other faculty members would come to include headstrong and reckless Tyrannosaurus Rex dinobot Grimlock (Terrence Flint), sometimes joined by his friends and fellow dinobots Sludge (Billy Bob Thompson), an Apatosaurus, Snarl (Mark Ashton), a Stegosaurus, and Slash (Alex Hairston), a Velociraptor; ambulance bot Rachet (Todd Perlmutter), chief medical officer; science expedition vehicle/bot-sized microscope Perceptor (Jeremy Levy), a science and intelligence officer; and elite Autobot operative and sports car Bumblebee (Levy); as well as Optimus (Hiro Diaz in the pilot, Jake Tillman after reprising the role from Cyberverse) himself. Additionally, a robotic crash test dummy with a limited A.I., named Tough Luck Chuck (Perlmutter), served as a stand-in for human victims in holographic rescue simulations.

Wedge, Hoist, Hot Shot, Whirl and Medix with Bumblebee, Chase, Heatwave and Blades.

            Comprising the academy’s first class was Whirl (Courtney Shaw), a police helicopter with an enthusiastic love of learning and rules; Hoist (Alan Trinca), a tow truck that was an aspiring inventor and mechanic (he created new tool attachments for he and his teammates to use); Medix (Adam Adrianopolous), an emergency response car who dealt purely in logic; and Wedge (Mason Hensley), a payloader that was created as a Decepticon until he was recruited by Optimus, and who had a tendency to geek out over his idol, Bumblebee. Optimus would also go on to recruit Hot Shot (Pierce Cravens), an ATV who was primarily proficient at playing the game of Cube on Cybertron. Hot Shot, with an attitude to match his name, had a hard time fitting in with the other rescue recruits but gradually found his place among them. Optimus bestowed upon him an ancient Cybertronian artifact known as the Mul-T-Cog, which allowed him to assume the additional forms of a jet plane and a hovercraft, but initially restricted him to only being able to change into one vehicle form per day forcing him to choose which one wisely. These recruits were based on characters that had appeared previously, but received significant changes to their overall designs and personalities for the series.

Classic Heatwave (top) vs. his Academy design.

            Although set in the same continuity as Rescue Bots, Rescue Bots Academy had a number of changes made in its production. For starters, the series wasn’t produced by longtime Hasbro partner, DHX Media (now WildBrain). Instead, it was done by Boulder Media Limited, an animation studio Hasbro took over outright to work on all of their media projects. Rescue Bots Academy was the first Transformers series they began work on, but it ended up being released after the second: Cyberverse. While the designs on previously established characters were similar, there were notable differences in the proportions of their bodies, boot-like feet and designs of their optics (aka eyes, which went from being tiny orbs in a void to orbs more akin to human-like eyes). Other characters, like Bumblebee, were represented in their “evergreen” design: a unified design choice Hasbro implemented for the toyline that didn’t tie them into any particular iteration of the franchise, allowing them to remain on shelves for longer periods. The recruits were also rendered as being shorter than the senior Bots, although still bigger than an average person. The characters were designed by Keith Byrne.

Cody returns to help part-time at the academy.

            A major difference was the diminished role of human characters in the series, with a greater focus placed on the Bots and their training at the academy. In Rescue Bots, the Bots operated on the small island of Griffin Rock, Maine in partnership with the Burns family--a family of rescuers tasked with keeping the citizenry safe before and since the Bots arrived--before building the academy on the mainland. Despite the Burnses being sent on the assignments with their Rescue Bot partners, only the youngest of the Burns family, Cody (Andy Zou), ever appeared on the show; depicted as older and studying to be a paramedic. His father, Chief Charlie Burns, was mentioned and represented as a bust in Heatwave’s office, and their ancestor in statue form. The academy itself was controlled by an A.I. named Elma (voiced by Kath Soucie), which took on a holographic form modeled after a noted scientist. It was completely absent from this series; the academy run with more typical sci-fi interfaces and controls. 

Wes and Wedge rescue some workers.

As the series progressed, however, other humans from Griffin Rock began to make appearances including Cody’s best friend Frankie Greene (Kaitlin Becker); her father and resident scientist Doc Greene (Guyet); accident-prone truck driver Jerry (Perlmutter); helicopter-helmeted Mr. Harrison (Levy); frequent citizen in distress Mrs. Rubio; reporter Huxley Prescott (Perlmutter); bumbling Mayor Luskey (Guyet); and reformed twin tech-thieves turned tech-inventors Evan (silent) and Myles (Perlmutter). A new human character, Wes (Xander Crowell), was introduced as a Teen Pioneer (the Griffin Rock version of Scouts) who idolized Wedge. As the production utilized a non-union New York-based voice cast, none of the returning characters could be voiced by their original actors.

Class is in session.

            Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy debuted on Discovery Family on January 5, 2019 after the first two episodes aired as a sneak peek on December 8. Originally, the series was set to debut in the fall of 2018, but a poster released that October indicated the push back. Unlike its predecessor, the series was comprised of 11-minute episodes, with two airing each half hour. It was aired in an hour-long block, with reruns of the previous week’s episodes making up the second half (after the initial debut, which aired four all-new episodes). The series was developed and written by Transformers veteran Nicole Dubuc, who also served as story editor, executive producer and wrote the theme song. Fellow veterans Brian Hohlfeld , Kevin Burke and Chris “Doc” Wyatt also wrote for the series, with Burke and Wyatt serving as executive producers. Additional writers included Jodi Reynolds, Ciarรกn Morrison, Mick O’Hara, Nathan Cockerill, Marc Seal, Danny Stack, Ben Ward, Fionn Boland and Peter A. Dowling, who was also a story editor. The theme was composed by Doug Califano and performed by Zach Allen. The rest of the series’ music was composed by Califano, Stuart Kollmorgen, Kieffer Infantino and Matt Mahaffey.

Hot Shot and his new combicannon.

            Renewed for a second season, the dynamic of the series was changed slightly by pairing up the recruits with teacher tutors: Whirl with Chase, Medix with Blades, Wedge with Bumblebee, Hot Shot with Heatwave, and Hoist with Grimlock (which did wonders for his fear of dinosaurs). Four additional Mul-T-Cogs were discovered and given to the recruits, allowing Whirl to become a squad car; Hoist to become a dinobot after Grimlock; Medix a rescue helicopter; and Wedge a sportscar after Bumblebee. Hot Shot gained a new firetruck form after Heatwave, and was able to master his Cog so that he could transform into any form without restriction. The recruits also received new tools chosen by their spark via the Sparksayer, an ancient Cybertronian relic: Hoist gained a plasma cutter, Medix a magnetic power projector, Whirl a polyvisor that allowed her to examine things more closely, Wedge an auger, and Hot Shot a combicannon used by mixing and projecting compounds.

Meet the new class: Snarl, Brushfire, Sludge, Laserbeak and Slash.

            In 2020, word came that production on Rescue Bots Academy had concluded, with series director Pete Slattery announcing on his Twitter that the series was ending with the second season. The series left with an open ending, seeing the recruits graduate their second year while Slash, Sludge, Snarl, bird-like reformed Decepticon Laserbeak (giving the series a larger presence of Decepticons than its predecessor), and Brushfire (Bimini Wright), an Autobot that had been operating independently in Australia, were invited to join the academy as new first year students. Additionally, the academy had received a recent expansion when Cybertronian Titan Citadel Secundus (Cwiklik), a city-sized transformer, ended his centuries-long exile in space and came to reside on Earth as a new wing to the school. Although it ran a shorter time, the series ended with 104 episodes just like its predecessor, tying it for the longest-running Transformers series. Its conclusion also marked the end of what was known as the “Aligned continuity family”, a short-lived attempt to create a singular continuity and direction for the brand by Hasbro.

The 16 blind bag mini figurines featuring the recruits, Bumblebee, Optimus and Chase.

            The Rescue Bots Academy toyline included many figures that were reworkings of earlier releases in the Rescue Bots series. The first two figures in 2018 were part of the smaller-sized Rescan toyline. VTOL Hot Shot and Snow-Plow Wedge were included as part of the original Rescue Bots line with Academy just being added to the packaging. They were reworked versions of previous Bumblebee and Boulder figures, respectively. The next two figures, hovercraft Hot Shot and Medix, received all-new packaging for Academy. This Hot Shot was a reworking of Heatwave’s fireboat mode. The official Academy line began in 2019 and featured 8 waves of figures; 3 of them featuring repeats of previous figures. A multi-pack without Medix was released in 2019, and a triple pack of Bumblebee in three forms was released in 2021. Three waves of large-sized features were released beginning in 2019, featuring only the new recruits across them. Hoist and Wedge received Command Center figures with light-up tools and command center trailers. As part of the Flip Racers line, Optimus was released as a launcher trailer with his own figure and as a jumbo jet with Bumblebee, and Bumblebee was released with Hot Shot. Only Whirl received her own separate figure in the line. 12” figures of Hot Shot, Bumblebee and Heatwave were also released. In 2019, a wave of blind bag figurines were released dedicated to the characters from the show.

Whirl, Wedge, Medix and Hoist in their primary vehicle modes.

            While there haven’t been any home video releases of Rescue Bots Academy to date, a number of episodes have been released to the official Transformers Kids channel on YouTube, with many edited together in compilations that omit the intro and end credits. Additionally, it has been made available for streaming on Netflix, DirectTV, and Spectrum OnDemand. Streaming rights could also be purchased on the iTunes store and Amazon Prime Video.

Season 1:
“Recruits Part 1” (1/5/19) – Optimus Prime recruits Hot Shot for the Rescue Academy, but Hot Shot questions what he could possibly bring to the team.
“Recruits Part 2” (1/5/19) – Optimus gives Hot Shot the Mul-T-Cog and he’s able to finally prove he belongs while on a mission to rescue Cody.
“If at First…” (1/5/19) – Hoist is encouraged to invent new tools to improve his team’s rescue abilities but becomes dejected when they fail miserably.
“Tough Luck Chuck” (1/5/19) – Hot Shot finds himself babysitting Chuck when he becomes badly damaged.
“Whirl’d View” (1/12/19) – Whirl’s attention to procedure and detail save the recruits when they get caught in a snowstorm.
“Plan Bee” (1/12/19) – Gardening teaches the recruits that even the smallest rescue matters in an ecosystem.
“The Bot Who Cried Rescue” (1/19/19) – Wedge is put in charge of practicing the recruits’ response time to emergencies, but his desire for perfection leads to some problems.
“Mount Botmore” (1/19/19) – Hot Shot’s decision to add the recruits to a monument of the Rescue Bots may just provide the solution to a dam about to burst.
“Mission Inaudible” (1/26/19) – Hoist is put in charge of a mission but is too indecisive to make any decisions on his own.
“Glitch” (1/26/19) – Medix’s adherence to logic is put to the test when a real rescue continually goes wrong.
“Five into Four” (2/2/19) – Noticing that there are only 4 Rescue Bots, the recruits believe one of them will end up cut.
“Rescue Promo” (2/2/19) – Whirl takes on finishing the Rescue Bots recruitment video on her own, but finds her results keep being unusable.
“Blame Game” (2/9/19) – Forced to miss a Cube game due to a botched exercise he blames on his teammates, Hot Shot goes out on a solo rescue to show off his skills.
“Medix Surprise” (2/9/19) – The recruits try to change Medix’s dislike of surprises by finding him the right kind.
“The TX3000” (2/16/19) – Hot Shot is afraid to admit he never used a certain rescue tool before, causing him to almost botch a dangerous rescue.
“Little Bot Peep” (2/16/19) – Unwilling to miss out on the action, Hoist keeps leaving his stasis pod before he’s fully recuperated.
“Driving a Wedge” (2/23/19) – Thinking a construction bot doesn’t have much to offer, Wedge continually avoids a visiting Wes.
“The Big, Small Rescue” (2/23/19) – The recruits head into space to save a tiny planet.
“Battle of the Bots” (3/16/19) – Wedge worries he doesn’t have the skill to win the challenge he just made with Hot Shot.
“About a Rock” (3/2/19) – Hot Shot brings back a sample from an asteroid that ends up being an alien, now loose in the academy.
“Dog Stray Afternoon” (3/9/19) – The recruits decide to keep a dog that follows them back from a mission.
“Lucky Ducky” (3/9/19) – Cody loans Hot Shot his lucky rubber duck to help combat his string of bad luck.
“The Secret of Flight” (3/16/19) – Blades is called in to help Hot Shot master his flying abilities.
“Go Team, Go!” (3/2/19) – The recruits aren’t interested in Whirl’s attempts to teach them cheerleading routines to inspire them on rescues.
“Screen Time” (3/23/19) – Cellphones prove a distraction for the recruits at an inopportune time as Wes ends up trapped in a mine.
“Fright at the Museum” (3/23/19) – A visit to a museum has everyone thinking Whirl’s imagining a crime in progress.
“Space Case” (9/7/19) – The recruits are on their own as they head into space to find out what happened to the Rescue Bots on their last mission.
“All at Sea” (9/7/19) – An underwater clean-up mission turns into danger thanks to the recruits competing with each other.
“All Washed Up” (9/7/19) – Hoist invents a cleaning droid to keep the school clean, but everyone tinkers with it causing it to go haywire.
“Who’s Teaching Who?” (9/7/19) – The recruits are allowed to teach the Rescue Bots to prove learning can be fun, which ends up backfiring when a rescue occurs.
“Balloon Up a Tree” (9/14/19) – A simple removal of a balloon from a tree ends up not being so simple.
“The Mystery of Dragon Mountain” (9/14/19) – A simulation that pits the recruits against a dragon teaches them that the obvious answer isn’t always the right one.
“Hack Attack” (9/21/19) – Hot Shot causes his computer game to merge with Chase’s simulation, pitting the recruits against giant hedgehogs.
“Life of the Party” (9/21/19) – Medix attempts to develop a sense of humor which ends up causing a rescue to go wrong.
“Tyrannosaurus Wrecked” (9/28/19) – The recruits try to help Hoist overcome his fear of dinosaurs when Grimlock comes to teach.
“Dino Hard” (9/28/19) – Hoist stays behind when Grimlock takes the others to Dino Island, but the island ends up coming to him when a triceratops goes through and damages the Ground Bridge.
“Buddy Cop” (10/5/19) – Hot Shot finds himself partnered with the worst partner for their stealth exercise: Grimlock.
“Escape from Penguin Island” (10/5/19) – An electrical storm hampers the recruits’ ability to adequately rescue a colony of penguins.
“All that Glitters” (10/19/19) – Hoist cheats to get a chance to pick the location for their next sim: the Old West.
“Dig Fest” (10/19/19) – Wedge ends up ignoring their mission to find pieces of a crashed satellite to compete in a construction vehicle rally.
“Trick or Treat” (10/26/19) – Cody takes the Bots out for their first Halloween, but Wedge's desire to be like Bumblebee ends up putting humans at risk when a real emergency happens.
“Monster Savings” (10/26/19) – Believing the monster in a commercial to be real, Medix heads to Milford to save the city.
“Tune Out” (11/2/19) – Hoist can only remember an important code by humming a tune, and unfortunately it turns out to be catchy and puts their missions in jeopardy.
“Metal Munchers” (11/2/19) – A field trip puts the recruits in contact with a swarm of metal-eating Scraplets.
“Bee Prepared” (11/9/19) – Wedge flounders in his attempts to impress a visiting Bumblebee.
“Whirl’s Wise-Bot Quest” (11/9/19) – Blades turns Whirl onto a wise guru that could help her overcome her doubts when she struggles with a tricky maneuver.
“Flying Hunk-A-Junk” (11/16/19) – Improper disposal of their trash in space causes it to gather into a massive ball that could destroy the Earth.
“Into the Depths” (11/16/19) – The recruits head into the deep sea to rescue an unmanned submersible, but the dark waters make communicating difficult.
“Milford Goes to the Dogs” (11/23/19) – Hoist tries out his new communication system while they investigate why dogs act strangely near the school.
“The Ice Wave” (11/23/19) – The recruits try to come to terms with a sim they can’t beat.
“Best Bots Forever Part 1” (11/30/19) – Hot Shot decides to quit the team in order to help his old friend’s team in Cube.
“Best Bots Forever Part 2” (11/30/19) – Hot Shot discovers his new team isn’t very team-like, while his old team struggles to carry on without him.
Season 2:
“Back to School” (3/21/20) – For their second year the recruits are teamed-up with teacher tutors, and not everyone is happy about their pairings.
“Mission Dinobot” (3/21/20) – Hoist ends up having to go on a space ship retrieval mission with Grimlock and his dinobot pals.
“In Training” (3/28/20) – Hot Shot takes offense at being assigned chores by Heatwave rather than any kind of real training.
“Medix Steps Up to the Bat” (3/28/20) – Hot Shot gets blamed when a bat Medix brought to Cybertron gets loose and ends up causing trouble.
“Robo-Cody” (4/4/20) – The recruits mistakenly believe Cody wanted to be just like them and build him a faulty robo-suit.
“Heatwave’s Shiny Coat” (4/4/20) – To teach Medix that he can’t plan for everything, Blades has him watch an unpredictable dog.
“Acting Out” (4/18/20) – Everyone is excited to participate in Griffin Rock’s “Play in the Park” except for Wedge, who feels acting has nothing to do with rescue work.
“Need to Know” (4/18/20) – Wedge thinks learning math and science aren’t important until Bumblebee brings him on a mission that needs them.
“Trouble Cubed” (4/25/20) – Things get out of hand when Hot Shot “borrows” Grimlock’s cube, necessitating asking for Grimlock’s help.
“My Favorite Rescue” (4/25/20) – As a reward for doing well in training, the recruits are allowed to choose to engage in their favorite rescue sim.
“The Great Energon Rush” (5/2/20) – Hoist and the dinobots go prospecting for Energon and end up trapped in the ancient mine.
“The Vault of the Primes” (5/2/20) – The recruits must complete an ancient sim in order to gain access to a Cybertronian Vault.
“Wild Ghost Chase” (5/9/20) – Whirl is tasked with investigating the paranormal with her reluctant partner, Medix.
“Little Plot of Horrors” (5/9/20) – Medix decides to find a plant-like alien a new home, but Earth’s environment causes it to grow out of control.
“Museum Mystery” (5/16/20) – When a new exhibit goes missing, Chase believes supposedly-reformed crooks Evan and Myles are behind the theft.
“Partners” (5/16/20) – The recruits are called on to help in the rescue of Cody’s friend Frankie, who’s trapped with some kids inside of a dome that’s shrinking by the minute.
“Critical Condition (5/23/20) – Despite his best intentions in improving his teammates, the others find Medix’s observations to be overly harsh and critical.
“Fun Droids” (5/23/20) – Malfunctioning droids turn an amusement park into a death trap.
“Power Up and Energize” (5/30/20) – Hot Shot is unhappy with the new tool his spark supposedly chose for him and convinces Wedge to swap.
“Shall We Dance?” (5/30/20) – Cody helps the recruits work on their grace and balance with ballet lessons.
“Mul-T-Change of Pace” (6/6/20) – Hot Shot sets out to learn how to unlock the full potential of his Mul-T-Cog.
“Five Little Rescue Bots” (6/6/20) – Whirl relies on her powers of observation as her teammates disappear one-by-one on a training mission.
“Good Advice” (6/20/20) – Medix learns that his good advice is sometimes hard to take himself.
“Campfire Fright” (6/20/20) – A spooky camp story has Hot Shot believing the noises in the school are from the creature in the tale.
“Small Cogs” (6/27/20) – Hot Shot convinces the recruits to don their new Mul-T-Cogs before they’re ready to handle them.
“Big Wheels” (6/27/20) – The recruits think hard on what their new alternate forms should be, particularly Hot Shot.
“The Empty City” (6/13/20) – The recruits think a distress signal came from Hot Shot’s old teammates when they ended up trapped in an old space city, but it was coming from the city itself!
“First Responder” (6/13/20) – Wedge must choose between going to Wes’ first responder test or to a rescue-a-thon with Bumblebee.
“How to Train Your Scraplet” (6/13/20) – The recruits are assigned to train five Scraplets.
“Helicopter Heroes” (6/13/20) – Whirl gets distracted by how much attention Medix receives in his helicopter mode.
“Brushfire” (6/1/20) – The recruits meet up with Australian Autobot Brushfire as wildfires rage out of control and send kangaroos on stampedes in fear.
“The Ties that Bind” (6/1/20) – Whirl rescues a powered-down Scorch and ends up spending all day towing him back to the school.
“Bot Blog” (6/2/20) – Whirl posts an embarrassing video of Hot Shot to the new bot blog, but before she can take it down it goes viral.
“The Icebot Cometh” (6/2/20) – Wedge refuses to use anything other than his sportscar form to deal with a runaway train.
“More Than Meets the Eye” (6/3/20) – Figuring out how to deal with a Decepticon they’ve rescued causes Wedge to reveal a big secret.
“Things That Go Bot in the Night” (6/3/20) – Hoist investigates mysterious damages around the school, and all the clues point to a dinobot culprit.
“Medix Gets Schooled” (6/4/20) – When Perceptor seems more interested in the other recruits, Medix tries to get himself noticed.
“Rescue Teens” (6/4/20) – The recruits find themselves jealous over some teens who become famous rescue heroes.
“Enter the Flood” (6/5/20) – Dealing with a flood on a distant planet causes the recruits to constantly interfere with the local wildlife.
“Wizard of Botz” (6/5/20) – Believing her streak of good student reviews might end, Whirl tries to avoid hers by any means.
“The Tracker” (6/8/20) – Whirl enlists the help of Slash to track down Huxley Prescott when he goes missing.
“One of Our Dragons is Missing” (6/8/20) – Failing to deal with a small problem in Hero Hall gives Hoist and Hot Shot the larger problem of a dragon attacking Milford.
“Dino-mite Duo” (6/9/20) – Sludge and Snarl find themselves having to deal with a rescue when all of the Rescue Bots are away.
“The Lonely Titan” (6/9/20) – Wanting some alone time Wedge volunteers for a solo mission on Citadel Secundus, which ends up being companionship for the lonely Titan.
“X Marks the Bot” (6/10/20) – Hot Shot gains an appreciation for humans when he discovers a Cybertronian treasure is really a Cybertronian peril.
“Making Tracks” (6/10/20) – Hot Shot learns teaching can be difficult when Bumblebee makes him Wedge’s speed coach.
“Don’t Be Alarmed” (6/11/20) – The recruits learn their new homemade sires can affect some alien creatures.
“Powerless” (6/11/20) – The recruits are challenged to complete a rescue without relying on their Power-Up tools.
“Griffin Rock Rocks!” (6/12/20) – The recruits must stay out of sight from the visiting crowds while attempting to rescue Medix’s favorite DJ during his performance.
“Bot Battle” (6/12/20) – It takes a bot battle to make Hot Shot realize he may have underestimated Chuck.
“Space Party” (6/15/20) – While the Bots all celebrate the end of year two on Secundus, an anti-energon field knocks them all out leaving just Hot Shot and Whirl to stop Secundus from crashing into Earth.
“Crash of the Titan” (6/15/20) – Working together with their allies, the recruits get Secundus safely to Earth and Optimus welcomes a new class of recruits to begin their training at the school.