Friday, January 13, 2012


GOBOTS have always gotten a bad rap in the toy world. I loved them as a child because Transformers were crazy expensive. Sure, the GOBOTS cartoon was really lame and the whole cast looked like a 6 year old named them (Spay-C, Spoons, Royal-T, Cy-Kill, Leader-1) but you could get about 3 for the price of one Transformer. I've got a ton of them as a child and the Rock Lords were my favorite line they made. Say what you will, I will always be a GOBOTS fan.....but in my toy box the GOBOTS and Transformers fought side by side in glorious battles that even saw special guest appearances by He-Man. At the Yancy Street Comic Con I was able to not only further my collection of GOBOTS but also further my knowledge of the line.

GOBOTS just never got the due respect that should have been given to them. Always dubbed the "poor kids" Transformers, most people went for the more recognizable transforming robots of the 80's. Truth of the matter is GOBOTS predate Transformers by a couple of years in America and outlasted about 30 other 80's toy lines that had some serious marketing muscle behind them. But why? How'd they last so long and why does everyone think they sucked so bad?
                                  (the opening always made the show look so cool)

GOBOTS were made by the powerhouse behind all those great metal toys both you and your parents played with as a kid, TONKA. Tonka and their Japanese toy making friends at Bandai brought us some absolutely amazing robots that actually looked like the real cars they were trying to imitate. The transformations were simple though, sometimes 3 folds would get you from robot to vehicle and back again. Which is great if you have a very stupid kid but if you have a kid that needs tons of stimulation, they'd gravitate towards Transformers and their Rubik's cube-esque complex transformations. Another down side the figures had was lack of backstory on any of the characters. The figure packages were void of the TECH SPECS Transformers got us use to and the cartoon was really, really dumbed down. So you mainly bought a toy just because it looked good and not because you had an emotional attachment to the character. For kids, being emotionally attached to a main character is a big deal. How many of you remember crying like a little bitch when Optimus Prime died in front of your eyes.
                                  (relive the pain, care of your friends here at Raging Nerdgasm)

Fun Facts- 
1)Head writer for Challenge of the GOBOTS was none other than Kelly Ward. Ward, who was also an associate story editor for the series and the voice of a couple secondary characters went on to become a voice director for Legion of Superheroes and the Watchmen motion comic. Oh, he also played Putzie in the movie Grease (the only blonde member of the T-Birds).

2) GOBOTS were more than "mighty robots", they were cyborgs. Their story (from the cartoon series) said they were humanoid aliens from the planet Gobotron until an asteroid collided with their planet forcing the survivors to seek refuge in mechanical bodies (mainly their brains). What made them choose bodies that transformed into limos and motorcycles? Wouldn't you?

3) GOBOTS had reoccurring main female characters, not just one like Transformers. (Paradron medics don't count)

4) In Japan, GOBOTS was Machine Robo DX and in Europe it was known as Robo Machines. Robo Machines had a long-running cartoon strip in the UK magazine Eagle comics where in the first issue a scientist creates Cy-Kill, Cy-Kill attempts to assassinate the president of Robotron then flees to Earth and then starts slaughtering British civilians in the village of Cholkham. So Cy-Kill is actually a total badass, but only in Europe and Japan.
                                                          (suck my lazers bitch)

My wife spotted this gem at the Anime Fix booth, a GOBOTS model kit. I'm not only a collector of the GOBOTS but I'm also a registered member of the GOBOTS fan club out of France and this model kit was something I'd never seen or heard of before. I picked it up for $10, which I thought was steep but the model was still sealed in it's original cellophane and it really intrigued me. After getting it home I researched it further to find out Monogram made several GOBOTS models including Leader-1, Cy-Kill, Spay-C and Royal-T along with Buggyman here. Heck, I even found out that Monogram also produced a Turbo Teen. (Which I still say is the most disturbing 1980's cartoon next to Galaxy High and Punky Brewster.)

The box is bright and showy and boasts you can make a 3 inch tall robot with pull back motorized action when completed. Unfortunately the model is molded in red plastic instead of the blue that's pictured all over the front and sides (damn, small print will be the death of me.). Based on it being still sealed and being in great condition from 1984, I won't be opening this piece for the moment. It was well worth the money I spent on it and now I have a new local shop to check for mechas and other interesting toys. I'll be adding Anime Fix in St Pete, FL to my list of awesome shops to visit.

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