In their first appearance in the Generation One series, the Dinobots were dispatched to Earth to discover what had happened to the missing Ark . They encountered the Decepticons, who would become the Insecticons , and both sides blasted each other into stasis lock. The Dinobots killed Octane and stole his ship, but they ran into trouble when the local Autobot forces believed them to be traitors and fired on them. Repaired by the Autobots, who were by now convinced of their intentions, they participated in the final assault on Shockwave, where Grimlock rescued Magnus and Optimus Prime.
After the launch of the show Forward and DiTillio stumbled across active conversations about the G1 toy line on internet newsgroups and suddenly realize the depths of fan following G1 had. While they originally intended to shy away from G1 continuity, the internet chatter generated casual mention of a Great War sometime in the past of the Beast Wars story inspired them to connect their new series to the old. When one of the two moons of the Beast Wars planet was destroyed and the world was revealed to be Earth after all. DiTillio and Forward surprised and hooked audiences. Piece by piece they revealed Beast Wars took place in the ancient past, and the beloved G1 Autobots and Decepticons were currently in stasis underneath a volcano. 
The Basic toys dropped the spring-loaded autotransformation in favor of more complex manual conversions. The "Mutant Heads" feature was dropped from the larger size classes (save for the old-mod redecos/ retools , of course). Instead of hidden mini-animal partners, this year the Mega class toys had extra "attack modes" that revealed new play gimmicks. The Ultra class toys are not super-huge robots, but teams of three smaller robots who combine into a super-huge robot. (These were also the first new-mold combiner toys (in the US at least) since 1989 .)