Posts Tagged ‘Go-Bots’

SHS2ndXmasSpecial2

Hey there Satellite Subscribers, its Charlton Hero on the deck of the Super-Hero Satellite transmitting from deep space. All the crew have been sent home for the holidays so its just you and I and what better time of the year than to celebrate our second official Holiday Special. In the event you missed our first Holiday Special..take a minute and soak up the music that simply means Christmas to me personally…https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/the-1st-annual-superhero-satellite-christmas-special/

All done? Alright..This year..I thought no better way to celebrate than with Sears Wish Book Christmas Catalog Toy ads!. These were my absolute favorite toy pages as a kid and I can’t wait for you to see them..nestle in Heroes..pour yourself a glass of Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate..settle in around the holo-fireplace in the archive room of the mighty Super-Hero Satellite and enjoy.

Transmission Begin: Dec 25. 2014

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If you lived in my hometown there was one thing that every kid in town anxiously awaited..The arrival of the Sears Wish Book. A compendium of the best X-Mas presents and THE BEST toys that you could only get in the pages of this golden tome! My hometown did not offer a ton of choices in regards to shopping. We had the local Woolco, Dalfens, or The Chain Store (Actual Name..although not so sure it was actually a Chain Store..) Keep in mind in, the years from 1980-1989 we did not have the luxury of online shopping or large shopping malls in our area.  There was no formal internet..it was truly the dark ages when you look where we are today..but we didn’t care! We had the friggin Wish Book!! The book usually landed on your doorstep or in the mail in late October which gave you plenty of time to dig through the pages and order what you wanted before the big day December 25th!!! It was a tradition to break out the pen and circle the gifts you “wished” you had under the tree that year!! For my own personal memories and maybe my kids if they read this years from now..here are a few pages of the joys I looked at in awe in the days before every Christmas!!

Death Star

You have to know my first stop in the Wish Book was the Star Wars section..on the page above is my favorite toy of all time..The Death Star..yup I had that Bad Boy..and it retailed for only 19.99 back in the day!! A steal for all involved!! Now check out the bottom of the page and check out the classic Star Wars Play Doh set complete with Play Doh Style X-Wing!! You had molds to create Play Doh versions of your favorite Star Wars characters!! Loved making a great Green PlayDoh Luke!! Thats right!!

StarWars

This was my era..I pulled off the Millennium Falcon (I broke the bay door assembling it myself..ugghh)..I had the Ice Planet Hoth Playset pictured above complete with collapsible Ice cave and rebel bunker!! The Hoth versions of the characters were also amazing. Plus, you were not cool unless you had the Bounty Hunters! I was never a fan of those Star Wars Micro Toys though!!

 

Gi Joes

My second love was GI Joe!! Especially the originals!! Hawk, Grunt, Flash, Bazooka, Stalker, Scarlett, Rock and Roll, Breaker, Clutch, Zap and of course..Snake Eyes!! I had the V.A.M.P. Jeep..The Missile Launcher, Motor Cycle with side gun!! The Cobra Command Headquarters was a miss for me though. Even though it was a simple cardboard diorama..it had the elusive silver mask Cobra Commander and two Cobra scrubs!! There was no cooler figure than Cobra Commander!!  On closer inspection on the opposite page you have Haunted House toys which I loved as well!! I had the Creature, and The Wolfman! On a trip to a Florida Toys are Us I also grabbed the Lone Ranger, Tonto and Their horses!! Always wanted the Lone Ranger Playset on the back of all those comic ads. Any reader ever have that particular set?  At the bottom of the second page the Christmas debut of the legendary He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe Collection!! Check out that WindRaider in the corner!! Had every piece of that collection except Man At Arms!! Why do Toyline’s not feature as much awesome stuff these days?? What ever happened to the lost art of the Playset? Back in my day there was a Playset for everything!! Now some sets barely contain the action figures!!

 

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Mego…Nuff said. I loved my Mego Spider-Man Spider Car with Spider Net! How about the BEST Bat Mobile Toy ever invented!! These have been long missing from my collection as they went to the dump many years ago after many years of play and battle damage but there was nothing cooler than playing with my Dynamic Duo and Wall Crawler action figures!! I do not recommend popping the wheels off these cars over and over again as the only thing you get is the heart break of the chassis pin breaking and your toy rendered useless! Ugghh. These were Amazing though!! Oh had Superman too!! Loved that Fonz toy but only managed a Ritchie Cunningham figure!! Never had the Planet Of The Apes Megos..which boasted the best often heralded amazing Planet Of The Apes Ape Command Tree House Playset!! This one was recently featured on Season 3 of AMCs Comic Book Men. No, I am not forgetting that wicked Star Trek set..never had that bad-boy..I would kill for a Captain Kirk /William Shatner Mego!! I am taking donations people!!

SearsWishbook.1985EC.P446

Next is a cautionary tale of Christmas past. NEVER..and I mean NEVER trade or sell one of your old Christmas toys..you WILL one day live in the waters of regret! My story occurred during an ill advised toy trade with a friend (That’s YOU John Stacey!) I lost one of my all time favorite Toys, The Star wars Rancor. I sold out my beast for a pile of vintage G.I. Joe’s..in mint condition. I think I still got the better deal but cant help but miss my Rancor!! The Jabba The Hut Playset was gifted to me at the height of the Return Of The Jedi hysteria and remains in my sons collection to this day!! One of the lost gems and the real center piece to this page was the very cool M.A.S.K. collection!! I had the Boulder Hill Playset, Transport Truck (The Rhino) and flying Sports car (The Thunder Hawk)!! For those of you not familiar with M.A.S.K. it was one of the most unique toy lines out there with a group of Super Agents equipped with transformable vehicles that they used to battle the evil terrorist regime V.E.N.O.M.!! Sound familiar? If it sounds too close to G.I. Joe… it was!! That’s why it ruled!! The M.A.S.K. collection were more or less a micro version of the Joe’s but the Vehicles and TV show left you thinking these may be the best Toys of all time..almost.

 

Dukes

Boba Fetts Slave-1 was the boss of Star Wars vehicles and came complete with Frozen Han and is probably one of my favorite Star Wars toys ever made..that is until you factor in the AT-AT! I had both of these toys and I will tell you these are the standard by which all toys are to be judged!! These days if You see a vintage AT-AT Walker in a kids room and you know he has great friggin taste in toys!! One dark horse on the second page was The Duke Boys and Car Set!! Love my Dukes!! The TV series The Dukes of Hazard was a family favorite and having a wicked Bo and Luke set of figures complete with The General Lee was amazing!! The Toy line itself was very cool and I miss this set badly. The figures didnt much look like the Dukes outside of their clothes and broke pretty quickly but my time with the Dukes was a great time Yeeee Haaaa!!

 

HeManVideo games

Before The Game Boy or The 3DS there were Coleco Table Top Video Games!! If There were ever a cooler game system at the time..I dont know what it was! The Coleco Table Top games featured crude LCD graphics and were like having an arcade in your living room!! I had Galaxian (Which broke sadly..but was replaced with..) Frogger! I had Donkey Kong as well. Kong was the best of the bunch and was responsible for hours of gaming fun that Christmas..The sad reality was these things ate batteries like nobodies business!! You HAD to use the (Sold Separately) adapter or you had to mortgage your house to play these things!! They were also great due to the waaayyy cool side cabinet stickers and graphics these things still stand out in any retro collection!! Thanks Sears!!

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I cannot go out without giving a shout out to my personal favorites the Go-Bots!! Got only three items on this page from actual X-Mas gifts and those being the very cool Super Go-Bot versions of Cy-Kill and Leader-1!! They were huge..simple and great!! The other was the shameful “Go-Bots Rogun Cap Rifle” I am pretty certain this was not official Go-Bots merchandise but Sears claimed it was so I received it one fateful December 25th!! I did however own three other huge pieces of Go-Bot lore..The Go-Bots Command Center (Won in a Trade…thanks Leslie Card!!!), The Renegade Thruster (Christmas Gift!!) and the fantastic Go-Bots Power Warrior set!!! (Got this on a trip to NY City baby!!!)

SearsWishbook.1985Sectaurs

 

Countless big name franchises were just mentioned..Star Wars, GI Joe, Marvel, DC but the DarkHorse franchise was SECTAURS!! Warriors of The Symbion!! If you didnt have these figures you really missed a unique Toyline that passed by many people..but old Charlton Hero here is gonna tell ya that these figures absolutely kicked ass!! A toy based on a race of inset /human hybrids who rode massive insects and battled in the World of Symbion!! The figures themselves were a little taller than the Masters Of The Universe figures of their day but were more articulated. They had a flashy faux metal design for Armor and their “Vehicles” were large very detailed insects with real fur that you fit on your hand like a glove. The trick was that your fingers acted as their legs to add another level of creep factor to the beasts!! Prince Dargon was always my favorite but my X-Mas gift collection one great year consisted of Skulk and Trancula, Pinsor and Battle Beetle, Zak, Mantor, Skito and Commander Waxpax, the latter Four figures came with mini insects that feature a button activated feature that was unique to its owner! Then of course there was the elusive Hyve..a Battle set of Battle sets!! Sadly I never had this masterpiece in my collection. A real showcase gem of any figure collection are these toys!

Although the Wish Book still exists to this day I still get that little trickle of excitement that my kids may never truly get when it arrives at our house. If you ever were a kid of the 70s and 80s you knew what you had and appreciated this wonderful part of X-Mas! many Christmas memories were generated by these rich pages and a big part of my childhood was from the fine folks at Sears. If you worked at Sears or had anything to do with the creation of this book this guys says thanks for the memories!

So..as it is ..it is Christmas day and I urge you all to go spend time with family and friends and thank all my readers for simply coming to visit this humble little blog on ocassion. It truly means a lot that I can write this little snapshot for myself and family for years to come. Ill dim the lights in the Satellite and beam you all back home. Be good to each other and goodnight, To my friends at the Super-Blog Team Up a huge thank you for entertaining this Blogger and hang with the Heavyweights for a while. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays..or what ever it is you celebrate and see you again in 2015!

Hero…OUT!

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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 Core Go-Bots

 

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!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH GO-BOTS: BATTLE OF THE ROCK LORDS

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!

Transmission End:

If you have enjoyed this post feel free to leave a comment. If you would like to talk with me directly contact me on twitter @charlton_hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite

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!

Go Bots main

Take Care Satellite Subscribers..hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did making it!