In 2005, when Fun Publications took over the official Transformers convention and fanclub, they put most of their "Transformers" fiction under the Transformers Timelines label.
Storywise, the Timelines storylines are separate from each other, although the events of different stories do influence each other (sometimes across different continuities). Also, the stories are not even all in the same medium. Instead, the storylines are all told via serial installments spanning multiple mediums—mainly Comic Books and Web Original short prose stories—which are available for members at the official fan club website.
There's also the official fan club magazine. The magazine issues contain a main serial comic and minicomics which aren't part of the Timelines brand. Despite that, the stories within the magazine are interrelated with the Timelines stories. Events within a Timelines story would influence or lead to a story in the magazine, and vice versa. Thus, this page is for tropes regarding both Timelines and the fan club magazine. (Confused yet?)
Fun Publications lost the club and convention rights to Transformers at the end of 2016, which included the ability to produce original fiction. The last material to be produced, the Spatiotemporal Challengers finale, was posted on New Year's Eve along with a NYE-themed TransTech storyline on their Facebook pages.
Fun Publications Transformers fiction involves these continuities/universes that originated in previous fiction:
- The Transformers: Robots in Disguise continuity
- The Unicron Trilogy (at least the Transformers: Cybertron portion)
- The Beast Wars continuity
- The Challenge of the GoBots universe (no, really)
- The Transformers: Animated continuity
Continuities/universes original to the fanclub have also been introduced:
- Transformers Classics, a splinter timeline that ignores Transformers: Generation 2 to continue the US version of The Transformers (Marvel) in a different manner.
- Transformers: TransTech, a universe populated by highly advanced Cybertronians and a multidimensional hub city; apparently the only known universe where Cybertron never experienced a civil war.
- Transformers: Shattered Glass, a universe where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are heroic.
- Transformers: Wings of Honor, a continuity similar to the original The Transformers cartoon, but with various differences. Most notably, characters having different appearances, the existence of a Cybertron Elite Guard before the Great War, and after it a "second generation" of Earth-born kiddie Transformers with superpowers.
- Beast Wars: Uprising: A dark future, where the Autobots and Decepticons have become too decrepit to continue fighting, and have built the Maximals and Predacons to fight in their stead. However, some of their creations have their own ideas, and start a rebellion, and an all new war breaks out on Cybertron.
- Of Masters and Mayhem: A bleak universe where Cybertron has been utterly razed by the ultimate combiner and the Transformers are an endangered species scattered across the cosmos.
Tropes across continuities
- Alternate Continuity: A lot of them, as shown above.
- Apocalypse How: Class Z. The Unicron Singularity threatened to destroy the entire Transformers multiverse. According to the TransTechs, destruction of universes happen a lot. The Challenge of the GoBots universe (seriously) apparently is also under this threat.
- Arm Cannon: Landquake has one on each arm. Classicsverse Megatron has a large one. Megatron of Shattered Glass carries around a tank on his arm.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Shattered Glass Optimus Prime and TransTech Megatron.
- Badass Crew: The Elite Guard, which shows up in Shattered Glass and Wings Of Honor, albeit in two very different forms.
- Beard of Evil: There's Unicron and Shattered Glass Rodimus and Alpha Trion. Also Wings of Honor Scourge.
- Big Bad: Different stories and continuities have different ones. Some are from earlier series, including Unicron, Beast Wars Megatron, and even Deathsaurus. There's also Shattered Glass Optimus Prime.
- Combining Mecha: Skyfall, Landquake, Breakaway, Topspin, and Heatwave although they originally were one being.
- Of Masters and Mayhem features two, Thunder Mayhem and Wreckage, with the latter meant as a way of fighting the former.
- Crapsack World: The Beast Wars: Uprising universe kinda freaking sucks. The Autobots and Decepticons are still at war, but most of them are too decrepit to fight, and made the Maximals and Predacons to fight in their place. By the time we first see this universe, Silverbolt and Rhinox are already K.I.A. and Optimus Primal was murdered by Blackarachnia and Nightscream.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Vector Prime
- Healing Serpent: In the Transformers: The Wreckers series, the Maximal Night Viper transforms into a cobra and has the ability to heal himself by shedding his skin.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Alpha Bravo and Offroad's relationship in Of Masters and Mayhem has extremely strong romantic undertones, including some very flattering descripions in Alpha Bravo's narrative when they first meet, their respective pilots being a couple, and a tragic Murder-Suicide ending with heavy doses of Cradling Your Kill and Together in Death. Due to an official No Hugging, No Kissing policy, however, they are only ever referred to as friends in-text.
- I Am Who?: From the comic of the fan club magazine: Skyfall, Landquake, Breakaway, Topspin, and Heatwave turn out to be parts of Nexus Prime, one of the Thirteen Original Transformers. This was actually revealed before Topspin and Heatwave were introduced.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Quite a lot. As of 2010, every subseries of the fanclub magazine has done this in some form:
- Shattered Glass had Cliffjumper from the Classics universe.
- Pretty much every story related to the TransTechs.
- Nexus Prime and Aquarius travel from the Shattered Glass universe to briefly spend time in the present day of the Wings Of Honor universe.
- Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus invades the Classicverse.
- Kent Brockman News: The Show Within a Show minicomic "Around Cybertron", which involves the exploits of the journalists in a news program that so far spans three different universes.
- MacGuffin: The Dark Heart of Sandokan in a Unicron Trilogy story, Sari's key in "Bee in the City".
- Merchandise-Driven: Quite a bit of the fiction either was produced to promote, or sprang from said promotions for, the annual toysets made for BotCon. There was also fiction meant to tie in with the yearly Membership Incentive Figure, the Figure Subscription Service, and/or other club-exclusive figures.
- Prequel/Sequel: A lot of the Timelines fiction consists of either stand-alone stories intended to either predate or continue existing continuities, or entire new continuities that use existing continuities as branching-off points.
- Senseless Sacrifice: In Of Masters and Mayhem, Alpha Bravo kills himself and Offroad to keep the Wreckers from being able to Wreckage ever again, but replacements are found in the next story and Wreckage goes on its merry way.
- Time Abyss: Some of the more ancient Transformers.
- Transforming Mecha