Mighty Robots! Mighty Vehicles!
October 6, 2006 3:14 PM   Subscribe

GOBOTS! Remember Cy-Kill, Turbo, BuggyMan, the unfortunately named Dumper, the much-maligned Scooter, and the rest of the original GoBots? How about the Super Gobots? The commercials (1, 2)? The Challenge of the GoBots? And whatever this is? The last four links are videos, FYI.
posted by brain_drain (51 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Inspired by the derail I incited in this MetaTalk thread.

There’s a lot of other cool old stuff in the Super Toy Archive.

Special acknowledgement to my long-lost cousin crain_brain.
posted by brain_drain at 3:17 PM on October 6, 2006

you know, it's funny. Whenever I would play that "hey, I'll type in www.(the-first-word-that-pops-into-my-head).com" game, the word I'd almost always type in (for years) was "gobot."

It's too bad www.gobot.com isn't anything of note.

The other funny thing is that I never owned a gobot in my life. Now I finally know what they are!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:18 PM on October 6, 2006

Nope, wait, that was a lie:

I totally had Spoons.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:19 PM on October 6, 2006

AHHHH... so they're Gobots? I totally had Stinger. Come to think of it, maybe I still do...

I always felt that perhaps my transforming robots were not in fact Transformers, but somthing else entirely. I inherited them from my elder cousin, but never bothered to discover their origins. Poor Stinger... missing a wheel now and buried at the bottom of some cigar box along with his other Gobot compatriots.
posted by Mister Cheese at 3:20 PM on October 6, 2006

I had Courageous, too. Come to think of it, I never really knew that it was a Gobot. I didn't really know *what* the hell it was.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:22 PM on October 6, 2006

Huh. Come to think of it, the guy before me said "Come to think of it" as well.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:24 PM on October 6, 2006

Ah, and it turns out I had me a Flip Top as well. SmileyChewTrain, we could've totally had some Gobot battles.
posted by Mister Cheese at 3:25 PM on October 6, 2006

Cy-Kill sucked. He broke too easily. Scooter looked nothing like a scooter, and Turbo looked OK as a car but ridiculous as a robot. The only halfway decent toy was Leader-1 — although I probably wouldn't have turned down that poor man's AT-AT, if somebody had offered it to me.

I'd have rather had Jetfire, though...
posted by cribcage at 3:28 PM on October 6, 2006

Turns out the weird vampire plane thing i had was called "Vamp".
Which is a bit arse.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on October 6, 2006

Well, actually, they weren't GoBots. They were Machine Robo, which originally had a bit more cachet than Transformers née Diaclone, which had its roots in Microman, which sorta had its roots in the original G.I. Joe.

Machine Robo had some really sweet 70s/80s packaging design.
posted by Slothrop at 3:33 PM on October 6, 2006

I don't want any trouble with jonson, but the GoBots sucked. Sorry.
posted by SteveTheRed at 3:34 PM on October 6, 2006

Night Ranger was so cool!

posted by drezdn at 3:35 PM on October 6, 2006

Son of a bitch. So THAT'S what that is. I have Bug Bite sitting around somewhere that I let my young cousins play with when they're over, along wit ha bunch of other older stuff that I don't recall where I got it. Didn't know it was a super gobot, although I DID think that it seemed to be weird for a transformer.

At last, a mystery is solved. Even though it was one I never really put much thought into. Still. Woo.
posted by Stunt at 3:36 PM on October 6, 2006

Even though I was young, these transforming toys never appealed to me because the size scale was so out of whack. Ok, that 18 wheeler turns into robot, fine, but the casette player also turns into a robot, pretty much the same size robot as the 18-wheeler? meh.
posted by ernie at 3:38 PM on October 6, 2006

Wow, Mr Moto is quite awesomely crap.
posted by Artw at 3:39 PM on October 6, 2006

Remember them? I devoted an unfortunately large portion of my formative years to them! My dad, enabler that he was, made sure I had most of the official ones and a metric shitload of the cheap knockoffs. I think I was the last kid in my town to fail to recognize the innate superiority* of the Transformers.

*This is actually debatable. Given that the GoBots were in a price-range that most kids could get one with a week or two's worth of allowance, GoBots made up in availability what they lacked in sheer coolness. The comprably-priced Transformers were really low quality.
posted by lekvar at 3:50 PM on October 6, 2006

Only the posh kids in town had Transformers...
posted by Artw at 3:53 PM on October 6, 2006

I still remember the first Gobots commercial I saw, during afternoon cartoons. It changed my life forever.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:56 PM on October 6, 2006

Ah, yes. The poor man's Transformers. My introduction to class war came during first-grade recess at Detroit's St. Scholastica when Andy's Optimus Prime kicked the crap out of my unfortunately-named Screw Head and left poor Screw irreparably broken.

To make matters worse, the Transformers movie is being filmed down the street from my place in the city as we speak. I'm tempted to orgainze a Gobot protest on the set, but deep down, I know it's just 'cause I want my own Omega Supreme:

Known for his great strength and greater courage, Omega Supreme is the Autobots’ last line of defense against the Decepticons. He will stand unwaveringly against overwhelming odds, and although outwardly grim, he is known by those with enough insight to actually relish the enormity of his task – Omega knows that if he falls, it is unlikely there will be any remaining Autobots to take his place, but he would not have it any other way.

On preview: what Artw said.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:57 PM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

riotgrrl69, that's damn funny. I also love that some of the commenters are correcting the grammar.
posted by brain_drain at 3:58 PM on October 6, 2006

I mean some of the commenters in the site you linked, not the commenters in this thread, who all rock.
posted by brain_drain at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2006

Night Ranger was never cool. Having said that, I don't recall ever seeing a GoBot that turned into either a stick or some kind of Ransom Eli Olds-type vehicle, so maybe I'm just wrong.
posted by TheDonF at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2006

I can't forget the Rock Lords.
posted by oraknabo at 4:23 PM on October 6, 2006

I guess I'll transformer into a truck now

It's too bad I already went with "You're the man now, dog."
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:31 PM on October 6, 2006

It makes me wonder if you can use Gobots and Transformers as indicators of socioeconomic status. Was there really that much a divide between people who could afford Tranformers and Gobots? What, I wonder, was the "Rich Man's Transformer?"

Macross figures? Robotech?

I love pseudointellectual blather
posted by Mister Cheese at 5:00 PM on October 6, 2006

Remember that thing from when we were kids? Awesome.
posted by Falconetti at 5:07 PM on October 6, 2006

This thread is like the MeTa thread, except it sucks. Where's the animated robot sodomy?
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:09 PM on October 6, 2006

One Christmas, I just knew that my parents had gotten me a bunch of Transformers, because I pried up the wrapping paper enough to see a plastic foot through the packaging. I couldn't wait until Christmas morning to open them. After a sleepless Christmas Eve, we opened our presents, one at a time, in order from youngest to oldest. I tore the hell out of that Transformers box, only to find that it wasn't Transformers. It wasn't even Gobots. It was some store-brand imitation that didn't transform right--they were fine as robots, but the parts didn't fit together right when you tried to fold them into cars and airplanes. A few months later, I shot them to pieces with my BB gun.
posted by I Am Not a Lobster at 5:38 PM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Where's the animated robot sodomy?

Ask and ye shall recieve:

BTW, it's the crowning animated gif on this page, which apparently details one of the best episodes of Gobots ever.
posted by Stauf at 5:50 PM on October 6, 2006

Sheeeeit, even the Centurions were better than GoBots. And Starriors rocked my 10 year old world.
posted by lovejones at 5:55 PM on October 6, 2006

Fact: Anyone who doesn't like Texas has Asperger's Syndrome.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:06 PM on October 6, 2006

I think I remember that, in the cartoon, when the Gobots transformed their, um, imperfections remained. Like the helicopter dude's face would still be visible. That was so .. frustrating to me. The cartoon was an opportunity to improve on the limitations of the toys, right?
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:22 PM on October 6, 2006

GoBots: Pretty much exactly what meets the eye.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:32 PM on October 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

posted by riotgrrl69 at 7:17 PM on October 6, 2006

posted by riotgrrl69 at 7:17 PM on October 6, 2006

I had Gobots, Transformers, and a couple Robotech toys. I liked the Gobots best. In hindsight they were the most accessible. As you went up the scale, the toys got less and less fun to play with -- they didn't seem to do as much. Dammit, that Robotech Valkyrie looked like it could transform, but it seemed like it would break whenever I tried. The Gobots never let me down.
posted by zsazsa at 7:44 PM on October 6, 2006

posted by mendel at 8:00 PM on October 6, 2006


Actually, thanks for linking that riotgrrl69. That's one of the funniest comments I've read on MeFi in a while.
posted by Stauf at 8:20 PM on October 6, 2006

What do you expect from a state who's unofficial slogan is a threat?
posted by wfrgms at 10:22 PM on October 6, 2006


Eponysterical once you've clicked on it.

In the UK, Gobots used to be on during Wacaday, a Saturday morning and school holidays programme of the sort that they use to link together all the cartoons (you know, presented by manic slightly creepy adult introducing the various programmes). It was presented by Timmy Mallett, and so from this day forth I can never see Gobots without thinking of children being hit over the head with a foam hammer by a bespectacled loon...
posted by greycap at 10:28 PM on October 6, 2006

Y'know, this thread reminds me that, with my dilapidated and somewhat misunderstood upstanding conservative Christian upbringing, I wasn't allowed to own any Decepticons, evil Go-Bots, or members of Cobra.

It seems a bit odd that I was forced to pit the good guys against themselves for any sort of action. Maybe a little self-defeatingly so.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:22 PM on October 6, 2006

greycap - your knowledge of Wacaday is quite scary. I try to forget that it ever existed, although somehow his introduction to Mallet's Mallet has been stuck in my head for years. I can't believe it's on YouTube.
posted by TheDonF at 12:22 AM on October 7, 2006

The Great Big Mulp, your parents would have been doubly distraught to know that in Japan, the GoBot we called Monstrous was known as "Devil Satan 6", which is clearly the best robot name of all time (although when I started googling that for this thread I remembered it as "Hell Devil Satan" which I liked even better).

This site has a weird little blurb about the GoBots (they're okay "for girls"? What?!) explaining a bit of Machine Robo's status in Japan.

More cool box art

Satan's box
posted by Slothrop at 12:43 AM on October 7, 2006

Slothrop, that's awesome. In fact, I'm giving the devil sign right now, to show my support of the awesomeness of Devil Satan 6. But you can't see my hands.

And, yes, they would have shat proverbial bricks.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:16 AM on October 7, 2006

Yes, I remember them. I remember thinking, even at such a young age, that they were nothing but a cheap knock off of The Transformers. I also remember watching their show reguarly despite not liking them much.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:17 AM on October 7, 2006

I too, found Gobots to be a cheap knockoff.
Comparing them to my transformers, I noted that basically you turned the toy car over, flipped a hinge, and boom! robot (sort of). I was disgusted by this until Transformers came out with a knock off of a veritech fighter, and then I realized there's probably a limit to the creativity of the japanese transforming toys market. (and those dinosaur transformers only confirmed it).
posted by Busithoth at 10:53 AM on October 7, 2006

I liked the Gobots because they were pocket sized and more durable than the transformers. More metal, less plastic. Their mechanics were simpler, using only a few basic principles among all the toys, and they seemed to rely on personality. Transformers were also cool - more sophisticated, larger, more complex changing mechanics. But there was definitely something ergonomic about the Gobots.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on October 7, 2006

Upon re-watching the intro to that cartoon, something I never pondered: They can all fly.

Why bother transforming (or would it be 'gobotting' in their case?) if you can already fly? Especially if you transform into a jet or something redundant?

That seems a bit like being a super hero whose superpower is jumping into a phone booth and coming out a cross-country skiier.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:25 AM on October 7, 2006

Thank you! I completely forgot that I'd owned destroyer the Leopard tank knockoff. Awesome!
posted by furtive at 11:57 AM on October 7, 2006

My watch that transformed into Voltron was the most awesome transforming robot ever. I could wear it in class and play during down times.

I just felt Voltron needed mention in this thread (even if it was driven by humans).
posted by rfbjames at 1:33 PM on October 7, 2006

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