A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens on Machines) is a French action animated television series produced by SIP Animation. The series focuses on the adventures of five teenagers in the fictional location Landmark City. The eponymous Alpha Teens, which consist of Axel Manning (the main character), Catalina Leone, Crey Kingston, Zack Hawkes, and Ollie Sharker, test prototype vehicles and weapons for Lee Industries, and use these prototypes to combat criminals, particularly the sadistic Alexander Paine.
The series debuted on August 26, 2005 on Jetix with its first season consisting of 26 episodes. It was renewed for a second season, also consisting of 26 episodes, which concluded on February 24, 2007. Following the second season finale, despite high viewership and toy sales, the series wasn't renewed for a third season.
In the United Kingdom, Australia, and Latin America, the series was called Action Man A.T.O.M. and had its own comic book from Panini Comics.
Set in the fictional town of Landmark City, Janus Lee who's the head of Lee Industries, holds a television contest as a front to recruit a group of talented teenagers. The winners of the contest, Axel, King, Lioness, Hawk and Shark are given prototype weapons, gadgets and vehicles and join forces to battle against the criminal mastermind, Alexander Paine who's also responsible for the death of Axel's father. In the end of the first season they manage to defeat him. However, after Paine's defeat, it is revealed that Lee's true purpose was to use the teens' DNA to create clones powered with animal genes. During the second season the Alpha Teens once again have to team up to stop Lee and his army of mutants.
The series was first announced by Jetix on 6 September 2004 with the working title of The Insiders. It was specifically designed to appeal to young boys ages 6 to 9 with an Autumn 2005 release. Originally, while the series was going to feature a team of rebellious teenagers, it was only going to focus on the main character who [has the task of tracking down and catching 100 of the worst villains and the mastermind who set them free from prison, the notorious Mr. Pain]. Hasbro was announced as the master toy licensee for The Insiders later the same month. Intermin CEO of Jetix Europe, Paul Taylor said that "The Insiders is a strong urban action-adventure series."
On 15 November 2007, Jetix Europe announced their Year End results and stated in their report that they were not planning a third series of A.T.O.M., effectively cancelling the series.
The first DVD of the series was released on August 28, 2007 titled "Vol. 1: Touch of Paine". Following that, the second DVD titled "Vol 2.: Enter the Dragon" was released on August 28, 2007.
The first season of the series was released on Amazon Prime in 2016.
The A.T.O.M. story line is an action figure replacement line of the Action Man franchise owned by Hasbro. Distinctly different from other Action Man story line variations, A.T.O.M's selling point is that the figures are the standard size of normal action figures and not of a doll format. Much like Action Man however, these figures are sold individually, usually with figure accessories, from the vehicles distributed to accompany them.
The franchise has vastly similar concepts to the 1980s' M.A.S.K. story line from Kenner (which Hasbro bought in 1991), even down to the code name lettering, as each vehicle for the A.T.O.M members changes from one ordinary looking terrain vehicle to anything that ranges from a jet car with unfolding door wings, to a bike that soon propels its driver into the air as a helicopter.
In 2007, Hasbro released a 12 inch version of A.T.O.M action figures, similar as the original Action Man action figures. The toy series was composed mostly of several versions of Axel Manning, the main character, and Paine, Flesh and Tilian as the villains. A plane, a sport car and several minor vehicles were included on this edition of A.T.O.M. toys. After 2007, the A.T.O.M figures returned to their habitual size.
A video game based on the show was published by Blast Games and developed by Brain in a Jar for the PlayStation 2.
The series has been referred to as a classic. Common Sense Media, in their review of the show said: "The animation here -- a blend of classic comic book and anime -- is pretty good." and that "because of its relatively high level of cartoon violence [...] A.T.O.M. is best for older grade schoolers." and awarded the series 2 out of 5 stars.