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In the Transformers films the Autobots and Decepticons always change between their humanoid form and (with the exception of Bumblebee's upgrade) the same cars.

Assuming that they choose vehicles because they want to blend in on earth, they must be able to transform into a myriad of other mechanical objects (most likely with some size restrictions).

Why don't they transform from plane to car to ship and back again as required?

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I would bet only due to allow the audience the ability to recognize them. Seems from what I remember, they do have the ability to change into "other" things (disguises), but don't have any evidence. I'm sure someone will have an actual answer for you. –  Paulster2 Jan 30 at 13:46
    
Because this isn't as easily to do for a toy as it is in a CGI movie? –  Napoleon Wilson Jan 30 at 14:50
    
Duplicate of this question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/5916/… –  hmmmm Jan 30 at 15:15
    
Megatron can transform into 2 vehicles. –  Dredd Jan 30 at 23:50

2 Answers 2

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The Transformers aren't very well explored in the Michael Bay movies, so we'll have to judge according to the other (better explored) continuities.

While the process of switching alternate modes in the movie seemed effortless, it might not have been. In other continuities the switch is either energy consuming or a major physical operation. So just changing to another vehicle might be a very expensive step that one does not take lightly.

Also, the alt-mode seems to be a very personal aspect for each Transformer, which serve a similar function as clothes do to humans. They are a reflection of the owner, and once it is chosen it tends to stay the same. Transformers have been known to keep the same alt mode for thousands of years, which isn't really that long when you remember that their life span can stretch into the millions of years.

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First thing to remember that Transformers are the toy-line and for a toy multiple transformation are not possible. Films also used the same old transformation mode for the characters from the franchise.

In films their transformation are not well explained, but in animated series and related stuff, its explained that Autobots used to transform in public vehicle, so that they can mix with real vehicles but Decepticons used to be transform in fighting machines.

But their transformation is not that easy, I mean for becoming something else they have to do some upgrade to them. In one animated storyline Optimus Prime became jet by merging with an Autobots.

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Actually, there were several toys in the late 80s that offered two vehicle modes. Those were similar and with partially minor modifications, but they've been there, e.g. Astrotrain (shuttle and train). Of course, it would be far more complicated (or impossible) to do with the latest line of toys being based on the movie (and with far more small details/moving parts). –  Mario Jan 30 at 19:13
    
Yes, those were released as toys as well. They had alternative forms of their own. Later on they also released different playsets where you could merge up to 5 "standard size" transformers into significantly bigger ones. Although the latter "survived" and made it into the Bay movies (Constructicons). –  Mario Jan 31 at 9:41
    
@Mario but if in movie they allowed to transform in any form then it will give them ultimate power and fight scene will became more complex to handle. –  Ankit Sharma Jan 31 at 9:43
    
ops deleted comment by mistake. –  Ankit Sharma Jan 31 at 9:45

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