Big Little 'Bots
"The title 'Armada' refers to ancient Cybertronian legend that tells of a lost Mini-Con Armada that had so great a power that they were banished from Cybertron eons ago," says Hasbro's senior designer and the American Transformer guru Aaron Archer. "Thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago, there were three races on
Cybertron: the Autobots, the Decepticons, and the Mini-Cons. They're kind of like the worker race - while the Autobots and Decepticons fought, they did all the running of Cybertron."
But the Mini-Cons had a special property - when attached to another Transformer, that Transformer became more powerful - and the more Mini-Cons that were joined together, the more exponentially powerful they became. And so the Mini-Cons were dragged into the Autobot-Decepticon wars.
The Megatron of that era, trying to defeat the Autobots once and for all, created an entire spaceship out of Mini-Cons, nearly destroying all of Cybertron. In the aftermath, both Optimus Prime and Megatron decided that the Mini-Cons were too dangerous to use in their war or to leave on Cybertron, so they decided to banish the ship Megatron created into space, and the Mini-Cons fell into legend.
Of course, if history has taught us anything, it's that when Transformers are randomly shot off into the vast reaches of the galaxy, there's only one place they land: Earth. And so the Mini-Cons did, where they crashed,
shut down and were never found by humanity. Until 2010, that is...when they start waking up.
The current Megatron, a descendant of the original, learns that the legendary Mini-Cons are on Earth and are ripe for the taking, and he takes his Decepticons to find them, heedless of the ancient warnings. When the modern Optimus Prime learns of Megatron's plans, he and
his Autobots head to Earth to stop him. "The Mini-Cons are scattered all over the place, because the Mini-Con ship broke up entering the atmosphere," says Archer. "Many of them have no idea about their past."
When the Autobots and Decepticons arrive, they begin frantically looking for them, kicking off an escalating arms race.
Also interesting is a Hasbro statement that each Transformers series is a new and different story... strongly suggesting that G1 references in BW/BM/RiD are present as nods to fans rather than any official attempt to unify continuity.
I like the notion of mini-cons as somewhat semi-aware agents in Armada... possibly even AI rather than fully conscious personalities. ie, their labelling as a faction has more to do with marketing than anything else. It's curious that Bots/Cons are suggested as separate "races" by now rather than factions... of course, this IS Toyfare we're talking about... :rolleyes: