Ladybird's heyday for books was in th 1960s through to the 70s. In the 1980s however, Ladybird turned to publishing books based on popular children's cartoons
Decepticon Hideout was the final book released in the 1986 series. It was written by John Grant and illustrated by Graham Potts. It's set in a micro-continuity, based on Target:2006. The book was released single and as a "Tell-A-Tale" version, that had a cassette tape, narrated by Peter Marinker.
The plot for the book is As Hot Rod and Spike relax with an automotive magazine, and Hot Rod wishes that he had a set of bronze-chrome wheel trims, the city of Metroplex suddenly comes under Decepticon attack. The enemy force is only a small one, and is easily fought off, but Ultra Magnus grows concerned over the ease with which the Decepticons were able to penetrate their defences, suspecting a base of operations within the immediate vicinity. When Onslaught arrives to transport his wounded comrades away, Bumblebee is assigned to tail the Combaticon in hopes of discovering where the Decepticons are operating from.
The trail leads Bumblebee and Spike to an industrial estate on the outskirts of a nearby town, where the Decepticons are discovered holed up in a newly constructed factory. Bumblebee is about to report back with this information, only to wind up bumping into a pile of oil drums and drawing attention to himself. Chased by Swindle, he hides amongst the wrecks in a nearby scrap yard, and gives his Decepticon pursuer the slip.
Spike, meanwhile, has gone looked for wheel trims for Hot Rod, and heads into the scrap yard in hopes of finding them amongst the spare parts. The manager, Mr. McNulty, helps Spike look, and when Spike saves him from being buried under a collapsing pile of junk, he hands the wheel trims over free of charge. Heading back out into the yard, Spike has to search a while before he finds Bumblebee, but the little Autobot is so busy running systems checks that he fail to realise he’s next in line for the car crusher! Spike attracts the crane operator’s attention, claiming that there’s a phone call for him, and he and the oblivious Bumblebee head back to Metroplex.
Now aware that the Decepticons have a base within striking range of their own headquarters, Ultra Magnus calls upon Spike’s father for advice in dealing with the situation, given the large human presence. Sparkplug recommends giving the Decepticons a taste of their own medicine, by having the Autobots slowly sneak one-by-one into the industrial estate over a period of weeks, establishing their own base within an abandoned factory there, to strike back at the Decepticons when the complex is closed for the summer.
When the time for the attack comes, the Autobots successfully take their enemies by complete surprise, and Grapple smashes down the doors of their hideout to allow the fight to continue. Spike watches from afar, but when, in the shadows of the factory, he mistakes a large heating unit for a Decepticon, his father gets another idea. Hooking the heater to a chain, the two humans send it speeding into the middle of the Transformers’ battle, drawing all of the Decepticons’ fire to this seemingly unstoppable new “Autobot.” Blasting their way out of the back of the factory, the rattled Decepticons scatter, allowing Spike to nab a few of them with the scrap yard’s electromagnet, while Galvatron and Ultra Magnus engage in a one-on-one battle. As Galvatron gets the upper hand, Spike comes to the rescue by activating a nearby crane, striking down Galvatron and most of the Decepticons with its wrecking ball, before turning it on a damaged warehouse and collapsing the structure on top of the villains. Battered and beaten, the Decepticons retreat to their main base, and the Autobots head back for Metroplex – except for Hot Rod, who stops halfway and returns to free the Decepticons still hanging from the magnet, before rejoining his comrades and being presented with his new wheel trims by Spike.
As the adventure winds down, Ultra Magnus laments the property damage their battle caused and Huffer and puts the Autobots to work rebuilding the factory that was destroyed. Huffer is overzealous in his work, however, and restores the formerly-damaged factory to pristine condition, meaning that the Autobots have to knock part of it down again!
Thank to RetroRobotRadio for uploading this audio book, along with scans. This book is an interesting one to say the least. There's some great moments, but it's not the best.