Javi Fuentes makes a return appearance to take on 1984's Transformers predecessor GoBots!
GoBots (1984) - "Battle for Gobotron"
Available: Amazon Video
Aired: October 29, 1984
Episode Run: 65
Created by: Hanna Barbera Productions
- Rene Auberjonois asDr. Zebediah Braxis (voice)
- Candy Ann Brown as A.J. Foster (voice)
- Arthur Burghardt as Turbo (voice)
- Peter Cullen as Tank (voice) (Optimus Prime in Transformers)
- Bernard Erhard as Cy-Kill (voice)
- Bob Holt as Cop-Tur (voice)
- Marilyn Lightstone as Crasher / Path Finder (voice)
- Sparky Marcus as Nick Burns (voice)
- Morgan Paull as Matt Hunter (voice)
- Brock Peters as General Newcastle (voice)
- Lou Richards as Leader-1 (voice)
- Robert Ridgely as Buggyman (voice)
- Kelly Ward as Fitor (voice)
- Frank Welker as Scooter / Rest-Q / Staks / Zeemon (voice) (Megatron and Soundwave in Transformers, Fred in Scooby Doo)
Amazon/IMDB User Reviews
Gobots were first, not Transformers
by spacemaster8318 September 2016
The Challenge of the Gobots debuted before (Sept, 8th 1984) the Transformers series (Sept, 17th 1984). Transformers is great, but give credit where credit is due. The Gobots series was presented on American television first, plain and simple. Haters should check their facts before they claim copyright infringement and all the other petty charges that have been leveled at Hanna-Barbera for the Gobots series over the last 30 years.
Transformers was not even anything like the Gobots and vice versa. Who ever said you can't have two, or five, or eighty shows about transforming robots? The fact that people still argue over who did what first is so pointless. Things do not happen in a vacuum, ideas, innovations, and inventions happen spontaneously within the cultural zeitgeist, few if any are ever planned.
Besides, both American cartoon series were based on a mega-popular line of Japanese toys from the 1970's and several Japanese anime series from the early 1980's. Tonka and Hasbro were simply adapting Japanese toy design, animation, and stylizing to American audiences. Bottom line, one is not better than the other, however, in America Gobots came first and in large part paved the way for Transformers to take American children by storm.
Big piece of trash as Hanna Barbera's usual
by haoumaru31 October 2003
This gotta be one of the saddest cartoons of all time. Even promotional animated characters are better than this. This was just a blatant attempt to cash in the popularity of Transformers, back at the time. Horrid animation, voices, character designs and plots, all obviously a poor attempt at re-create the Transformers' coolness. I would never recommend this,that just like 95% of Hanna Barbera's shows, is a total waste of time. Horrible.
- IMDB Score: 6.5/10
- Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
- Google: 91%
- Amazon: 4.25 / 5
- TV.com: 7.1/10
- Super Fun Robot Happy Time: The Gobots toyline of 1983 was based on the 1982 Japanese toy line from Bandai called Machine Robo. In Machine Robo, the mecha were actually piloted by humans. The robots were designed based on ideas submitted by children and they did not have the Gobot names. Leader-1 was Eagle Robo and Cy-kill was Bike Robo.
In the initial story, the robots were from the Romulus system which was collapsing in on itself and so the robots had to escape. The good robots were called Machine Robo and the bad guys were called Devil Invaders. Bandai actually tried to release the figures in the US in 1982, but because the packaging was all in Japanese they didn’t sell.
Bandai then revamped the story with the Japanese series Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos of which only 47 episodes were produced. This series was exported as the Gobots we know and love and Rock Lords to other countries.
- Mini: To promote the new toyline in other countries, Tonka recruited 4 executives away from Mattel who were responsible for He-Man, and Hanna-Barbera produced the 5 episode Challenge of the Go-Bots mini-series before launching the regular series, much like Hasbro did for GI Joe with its two mini series. In Europe and UK the show was known as Robo Machine, in Australia as Machine Men, in Brazil as Mutante, and in Arabic countries as A Tale of Giants.
- The Movie Spinoff: The show spawned an animated, feature-length film Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords which opened in theaters on March 21, 1986, a little over four months before The Transformers: The Movie (August 8). The movie had the voices of Margot Kidder, Telly Savalas and Roddy McDowall. Rock Lords were basically transformers, except they could transform into rocks. Wow.
In the movie, the Guardians are rebuilding Gobotron when an alien ship crashes containing Solitaire and Nugget, two Rock Lords who are asking the Guardians for help in saving their planet Quartex from the evii Rock Lord Magmar. The evil Rock Lord of course has an alliance with Cy-Kill and the Renegades.
- But, it Was a Bomb: Battle of the Rock Lords did poorly at the box office, making only $1,338,264. Michael Price of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram said in 1986 that “what the story lacks in depth, it makes up for with exciting combat scenes and with a tendency to make women characters more than stereotypes in need of rescuing.”
- It was a Franchise Killer: Battle of the Rock Lords put the franchise in remission.
- Ass kicked: The Gobots were a hit at first, being released in 1983, and when Transformers came out in 1984 both toy lines were responsible for over $300 million in sales along with He-Man’s $350 million, slam dunking on the Cabbage Patch Kids’ record of $65 million in 1983. The Gobots actually saved Tonka, who had been forced to lay off 500 employees in 1982.
But Hasbro launched Transformers with an $8 million ad buy and making the figures more complicated, bigger and more expensive, and their character backstories made them more distinct. They quickly overtook Gobots and 1987 was the last year that new figures were released.
Tonka followed up GoBots with Star Fairies, which we all know and love?
- Approval of God: Lou Richards (Leader 1's voice actor) stated he loved a College Humor video where a washed-up Leader 1 awkwardly interjects himself in a meeting between Optimus Prime and Megatron, and that he'd have gladly reprised his role had he been asked.
- Creator Backlash: Writer Michael Hill disliked the episode "Gameworld" due to its heavy rewrite done at the hand of the show's editors, Kelly Ward and Jeff Segal. The Transformers Generation One episode "The Gambler" is apparently close to the original script.
In Gameworld, the gobots are captured by an alien bounty hunger and sold into gladatorial slavery. In The Gambler, the Autobots are captured by an alien captain who sells them into gladatorial slavery.
- Dueling Shows: Challenge of the GoBots was infamous for competing against The Transformers, both shows being cartoons about Transforming Mecha based on a toyline and sharing a few voice actors (most notably Peter Cullen, Arthur Burghardt, and Frank Welker). Ironically, Transformers' owner Hasbro later bought Tonka, the owner of the GoBots toyline, in 1991, so Hasbro now owns the character names, bios and storyline rights to what was once a competitor to the Transformers franchise. However, the toys and likenesses were only licensed from Bandai in the 1980s and are not available for Hasbro to use.
- Gobots Transformed into Transformers: As of the Habro acquisition in 1991, the GoBots universe is now established in Transformers canon as an alternate Transformers universe. In 2002, Hasbro subsidiary Playskool began releasing figures called Transformers: Gobots that lasted through 2007, but they were all recolors of Transformers molds.
In 2018 IDW, publisher of Transformers comics, did a GoBots mini series by Tom Scioli who also did Transformers vs GI Joe.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes:
- The show featured a decent state of limbo over its legal status. In which case the rights to the TV show and likenesses of characters from the TV show are now Warner Brothers (by way of Hanna-Barbera), the general franchise as a whole is owned by Hasbro (by way of Tonka).
- The Warner Archive took over releases for the show and completed it in three sets. The first containing the original mini series and two more each containing 30 of the remaining episodes.
- The movie being the last piece missing which Warner Archive did confirm they own but that does contain clearance issues to be hammered out before making a release possible.
- The Other Darrin: Cop-Tur was originally voiced by Bob Holt, but ended up voiced by Arthur Burghardt in the show's final episodes as well as the movie GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords because of Holt's death from a heart attack.
- Out of Order: The "Gobotron Saga" five-parter was aired late in the series' run, even though it picks up from where the Five-Episode Pilot left off and introduces many recurring characters and concepts.
- Screwed by the Lawyers: The Renegade Rhetoric feature originally had a picture of Cy-Kill from the cartoon on the page, but Hasbro apparently warned the staff that Hanna-Barbera still owned the rights to the likenesses of the cartoon and so the picture was quickly replaced with an original piece of artwork.
- Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: Outside the six main characters who had their faces extensively redesigned to make them more expressive and less inhuman, the animated GoBots were very close to their plastic counterparts: extremely cheap.
1984 in pop culture:
- 1 gallon of gas $1.10 ($1.80 Today)
- Average Cost of new house $86,730 ($423,000 today)
- Average Monthly Rent $350.00 ($1,405 today)
- Average Salary $16,135.07 ($74,200 today)
- Minimum wage: $3.35 (7.25 today)
- Movie Ticket $2.50 ($9.26 today)
- Cost of a Super Bowl ad: $525,000; $6 million today
- Top Films: Bevelry Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Police Academy, Footloose, Romancing the Stone, Star Trek 3 Search for Spock, Splash
- Top Songs: When Doves Cry: Prince, Whats Love Got To Do With It: Tina Turner, Say Say Say: Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, Footloose: Kenny Loggins, Against All Odds: Phil Collins, Jump:Van Halen, Hello:Lionel Richie, Onwer of a Loney Heart:Yes, Ghostbusters Theme: Ray Parker Jr, Karma Chameleon: Culture Club
- The MTV Video Music Awards Started
- The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale
- Sony and Philips introduce the first commercial CD Players
- Sony makes the first 3 1/2" computer disk
- Michael Jackson wins unprecedented acclaim for his Album Thriller and sales over 37 million copies
- IRA Bomb goes off in Grand Hotel Brighton during Conservative Conference
- The Summer Olympic Games are held in Los Angeles
- USSR And soviet block boycotts the Olympic games in retaliation for Western Boycott in 1980
- The Space Shuttle Discovery launches for its maiden flight on August 30th, 1984
1984 in TV:
- Wendy's "Fluffy Bun" advertisement is first broadcast, which gains Clara Peller and her "Where's the beef?" catchphrase national fame.
- During CBS's broadcast of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple Computer Company heralds the introduction of its Apple Macintosh personal computer with the famous advertisement "1984", the only time it is broadcast on national television.
- Lifetime is launched from the merger of Hearst/ABC's Daytime and Viacom's Cable Health Network.
- American Movie Classics is initiated.
- Arts & Entertainment Network launches from the merger of ARTS and RCA's The Entertainment Channel. It originally broadcasts after kids' channel Nickelodeon signs off.
- Character Bobby Ewing finds himself in the crossfire as a rival tries to gun down his brother J.R. on the season finale of the CBS series Dallas.
- Happy Days airs its series finale, "Passages". However, five additional episodes would air from the end of June on through the end of September. The last episode to be aired on ABC, "Fonzie's Spots", is actually #251 in chronological order
- Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler host the first MTV Video Music Awards at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, an event which included Madonna's performance of the song "Like a Virgin".
- The game show Jeopardy! returns to television as a syndicated show with new host Alex Trebek.
- The series finale of Three's Company airs following a three-episode story arc that also sets up the spin-off Three's a Crowd.
- The Transformers debuts in syndication.
- The Cosby Show debuts on NBC.
Top rated shows of 1984
Dynasty, Dallas, The Cosby Show, 60 Minutes, Family Ties, The A-Team, Simon and Simon, Murder She Wrote, Knox Landing, Falcon Crest
Shows premiering in 1984
Riptide, Blue Thunder, Night Court, LIfestyles of the Rich and Famous, Danger Mouse, Voltron, Muppet Babies, Punky Brewster, Who’s the Boss, The Cosby Show, The Transformers, Miami Vice, Charles in Charge, the Three’s Company Spinoff Three’s a Crowd, and Dave Coulier’s Out of Control.
Shows ending in 1984: Automan, Three’s Company, Captain Kangarooo, After Mash, Fantasy Island and Blue Thunder.