Welcome back Heroes! The Satellite has been receiving transmissions from an obscure planet far off of our radar. Our research team has pulled a secret file from our command centers database. We have determined the transmission comes from a planet known as Gobotron! Home World Of The GoBots! Lets see what our research team has uncovered. Remember its full disclosure Heroes, the information contained comes from our Satellites Forgotten Files deep in our archives.
Transmission Date Aug. 25, 2013
Many know the names Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, and MegaTron! They were the long celebrated TRANSFORMERS!, Robots in disguise! Large robots from another planet who can alter their form to disguise themselves as human vehicles or weapons! Before these names became engrained into the collective minds of pop culture there was Leader1, Turbo, Scooter, and Cy-Kill! They were the Go-Bots and they brought the transforming robot craze to America long before their Auto Bot and Decepticon counterparts. They were the Go-Bots and they were awesome!
Created in Japan in 1983 by Popy , the Machine Robo line was launched. Tonka would strike first in the transforming robot war by grabbing the rights to bring the line to America ahead of their Transformers rivals. In 1984 America got its first taste of The Go-Bots! The small action figure sized robots transformed with two to three simple moves. This would far differ from the monsterously complex transformers line released later. The line gave the toys uniqueness by giving each Go-Bot a name and a group affiliation. Like The AutoBots and the Decepticons the Go-Bots had two unique factions. The good guys were the Guardians, led by the aptly named Leader 1 (A Jet Plane), The Guardian ranks also included Turbo (Red Sports Car), Scooter (A Scooter!) and many others.
The Bad Guys known as The Renegades consisted of evil leader Cy-Kill (Did anyone guess he was a Motorcycle?). Cop-Tur (A simple minded Helicopter), and Crasher (A Black Car to compete with Turbo!) These were your core group however the line itself was massive and produced hundreds of new Go-Bots to join the ranks. There were many variations on the toy as they had Super Go-Bots, Puzzler Go-Bots, Command Centers , Power Suits and even Rock Lords! More on that later! Go-Bots were every where you looked!
I was always a Go-Bot fan. When Transformers came to my market I cried RIP OFF!! My favorite was Leader 1 and to me Optimus Prime was a second rate rip off who just happened to be 9 times as expensive, 5 times the size, and far more complicated to transform! (Of course in recent times I have rethought my hypothesis on who was better but I digress.) I was a Go-Bots fan and even though my friends were introducing more and more Transformers into the play mix I was a staunch supported of The Guardians! I remember vividly having Leader One, CyKill, Fitor and Crasher, I even had the Giant editions which were far superior to their micro incarnations. They still featured the great transforming simplicity which I demanded!
The original GoBots toy commercial exploded on to TV screens and it was sure to draw eyes of kids all around America! Gobots merchandise was every where. Toys, Models, shirts, Lunch Boxes, posters..GoBots had arrived!!
The initial comercials showcased the various characters!> This one is my personal favorite of all the Go-Bots commercial! I wanted to be that kid!
The coolest Toy of mine in the Go-Bot collection was certainly my GoBot Command Center! One of my friends traded this one away to me and boy did I love that toy!!
Of course I fondly remember a 7th grade trip to NY city due to the massive toy haul I brought back including the GoBots Power Warrior!! The power suits attached to this toy was perfect for GI Joe figures as well! Loved it!
Power Warrior was incredible and was the crown jewel in my GoBots collection! It consisted of a huge robot and its limbs were called power suits which the GoBots could suit up in and all combine into Power Warrior!!
The large scale Go-Bots were often slightly more complex in its transforming abilities and were very cool streamlined versions of their mini counterparts! I had several of these my favorites being of course Leader 1 and Cy-Kill. The Super sized Cy-Kill in particular was amazing!
My Interest in Go-Bots would explode however in 1984 when local cable station ASN (Atlantic Satellite Network) debuted the newest animated cartoon by my favorite animation brand Hanna-Barbera! The show was called The Challenge Of The Go-Bots and it blew my 10 year old mind!
To me Challenge of The GoBots was my favorite show at the time! the plot was fairly simple. Satellite computers engage Wikipedia Plot Summary!
“In the series’ backstory, set thousands of years ago on the planet GoBotron, there lived a race of human-like beings known as GoBings. Civil war erupted on the planet when the power-hungry terrorist group known as the Renegades arose, led by a madman dubbed the “Master Renegade“, who waged war against the peaceful Guardians. When a Renegade sabotage operation inadvertently resulted in a gigantic asteroid colliding with GoBotron, the natural disasters that resulted from the asteroid’s impact pushed the GoBings to the verge of extinction. However, the genius who became known as the “Last Engineer” saved his people, taking his experiments to replace parts of his own body with mechanical substitutes to the ultimate extent and transferring the GoBings brains into large robot bodies known as “GoBots“. The GoBot forms possessed an additional ability; after being run through the device named the Modifier, the GoBots‘ bodies were able to transform into other vehicles. His work done, the Last Engineer intended to retreat to a pre-prepared workshop elsewhere in the galaxy, but the Master Renegade stole his ship and escaped in his stead. The Last Engineer placed himself into suspended animation beneath the surface of GoBotron, while above, the war continued to rage between the Guardians and the Renegades, now all encased in GoBot shells. Credit Wikipedia
In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the planet Earth became involved in the conflict between Leader-1’s Guardians and Cy-Kill’s Renegades. During one of these battles, one of Leader-1’s lieutenants, Turbo, became severely damaged. Unwilling to let his friend and teammate die, Leader-1 began his quest to find the legendary Last Engineer. Leader-1 found the person he believed to be the Last Engineer, but Leader-1 had unwittingly released the Master Renegade (though he did repair Turbo to gain the Guardians’ trust). The Guardians later found the true Last Engineer, who was instrumental in frustrating the alliance between Cy-Kill’s Renegades and the Master Renegade. The Master Renegade later escaped the custody of the Renegades, and plagued both factions, notably attacking the UniCom colony of New Earth.” Thx Wikipedia..couldnt have said it better myself!
This show ran daily Monday to Friday after school in ASN’s cartoon block which was always amazing! Their line up boasted shows like Robotech, Jemm and The Holograms, Transformers, BraveStarr, Snorks, Turbo Teen, and plenty more! GoBots however was one of my all time favorites! The GoBots came to earth and defended it bravely all the while making human friends who were your overly generic Hanna Barbera cast offs Nick, AJ and Matt. They were classic 80s stereotypes with the bright colored high collared jackets and very basic attire. Of course the humans were a constant source of concern for the Guardians who spent much of their time saving their friends and their home world.
Cy-Kill would also make friends with the humans namely the diabolical and not so trust worthy Dr. Braxis! The evil Doctor would willingly assist the Renegades. Braxis however could only be trusted when he was not in jeopardy himself. Braxis often foiled the Renegades plots to protect himself much to Cy-Kills dismay. Braxis level of evil brilliance kept the renegades coming back to him in times of need despite his short comings.
Surprisingly the series had a decent sense of continuity and often did multipart story arcs, my most fondly remembered storyline was the iconic 5 part`GOBOTRON SAGA! It is the best of the best in regards to the franchise and rather than me telling you all about it lets fire up the Satellite Theater deck and receive the transmissions of this epic storyline right to screens. Enjoy!
The GoBots popularity was huge especially in Canada! Tonka had a certified hit in the toy market and Challenge of the GoBots was a big win on the small screen. There was only one more step to take..The Big Screen. GoBots went Hollywood in what is both a big deal for the franchise and its final death knell all at once. GoBots : Battle Of The Rock Lords . This was released prior to the very good Transformers The Movie, but unlike their AutoBot bretheren, The GoBots movie was a flop. It pulled in a meager 1.5 million in America. Lets let the fine folks of Wikipedia tell us all about its plot!
“The Guardian Gobots are continuing their work on rebuilding their home planet of Gobotron when a mysterious ship crashes on the planet. Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter investigate, and find it to be occupied by a pair of transforming rocks – Solitaire and her valet Nugget. They have come seeking the Guardians’ help to save their planet from the evil Rock Lord Magmar, who is killing the other Rock Lords in order to take their power sceptres. He places these in a machine designed to channel all their power into his own sceptre. The Guardians agree to help, but the conversation is spied upon by the Renegade Fitor. Gobotron is soon attacked by the Renegade fleet, and Cy-Kill and a team of Renegades capture Solitaire, Small Foot, Nick and A.J. With Nugget as their guide, Leader-1, Turbo and Matt set off on a rescue mission. Back on Quartex, the only obstacle facing Magmar is Boulder’s group of Rock Lords, who set off to draw Magmar into battle.” Credit: Wikipedia
“Meanwhile, Cy-Kill attempts to get information out of Solitaire, and despite her best efforts manages to link up with Magmar and strike an alliance, turning the battle against Boulder. The good Rock Lords flee, and after their defeat at the hands of the Renegades are initially very skeptical about the Guardians’ intentions when they land on Quartex. However, they too form an alliance, and march on Magmar’s headquarters. However, when they get there Magmar is able to take Boulder’s sceptre from him, and activate the machine. Cy-Kill betrays Magmar, taking the weapon for himself, but is defeated by Leader-1, and the power is dissipated. The Renegade prisoners are released, and the Gobots return to Gobotron.” Credit: Wikipedia
I watched this movie in theaters upon its release and I do have to say it was abysmal. i was let down and the Rock Lord characters introduced were soulless creations and were the final straw for the toy line as well. The Rock Lords toy were duds to go along with the movie. I unfortunately had these toys but these were NOT my GoBots. Transformers had made their move into the expanding toy market as well their TV show was a huge smash with kids. The Transformers found a larger audience and had an essence of cool. Transformers The Movie also sparked controversy and fan interest as their main character Optimus Prime was killed off in the film. The film performed far better than Rock Lords but still did not have a great time at the box office just falling short of its production budget. Transformers:The Movie has gone on to cult status among fan boys while GoBots: Battle Of The Rock Lords lives in practical historical obscurity..and maybe rightfully so. See for yourself below!
With interest waning and the popularity of The Transformers now in clear dominance of the toy and TV industry race Challenge Of The GoBots ended its run after an impressive 65 episode run with its final episode “Quest For New Earth”. Challenge Of The GoBots lives on online, and is readily available on YouTube, as well on the Torrenting black market. There are several VHS format video tapes in the secondary markets and on EBay as well Hanna-Barbera released a Challenge Of The GoBots DVD which contains the original GoBots miniseries, the first 5 episodes of the series.
The Toy line had hit its cresendo as well, pushed out of the toy market, Tonka aborted the GoBots line in 1987 and was sold to Hasbro in 1991 who did nothing with the property. In the late 2000’s the Transformers line included a “GoBots” line which had nothing to do with the original GoBots line of toys or characters but were rather smaller versions of Transformers aimed a a younger audience.
As we place the Lost File back into our database it is interesting to look back at the ORIGINAL “Robots In Disguise” Robot Toy line. GoBots toys and the cartoon show is a fond memory I will always have. I am in the minority on this but I got much more enjoyment from GoBots over their popular rivals the Transfomers! That may be sacrilege in many fans eyes but I would rather be a Guardian than an Autobot anyday! Go GoBots!
Recalculating position, back to the command deck heroes, I have an idea of where we are going next..till then Subscribers!
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Satellite Extra: Here’s some very cool GoBots related obscure merchandise. Did you have any of this great stuff as a kid? How about this mega cool GoBots T shirt!
Transformers also had a mini line to offset their Go-Bot competitors that were extremely easy to transform and were geared to the younger audience! I had the UFO and Tank Transformers They were crazy cool! However I remember my Tank being red? Hmmm.
Nothing cooler than coloring GoBots! Check out the cool Cop-Tur and Turbo on the cover! GoBots coloring books!
Rare GoBots magazines are to this day very hard to come by!
Finally a rare pic of the Challenge Of The GoBots cast! Love this one!
Take Care Satellite Subscribers..hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did making it!