Several of the screenshots on this blog entry are courtesy of Counter-X, which has an incredible wealth of Gobot information, and of TFU.info, which has a great database of both Transformers and Gobots toys. They’re both great sites, so go visit them!
You hear from all corners of the Internet and popular media nowadays how the Gobots were a pale comparison of the far superior Transformers. “The K-Mart Transformers,” declares the movie Clerks II. ” Herman’s Hermits to the Transformers’ Beatles,” says Lore Sjoberg. The Transformers got a huge advantage due to the close association with GI Joe, while the Gobots were hampered by its Hanna Barbera stablemates, like the Smurfs, Shirt Tales, and the friggin’ Mork & Mindy cartoon.
However, I remember being a fan of both series, watching both cartoons and collecting both toys. If the children of the 80’s are really, truly honest with themselves, then they would admit both shows had their own qualities. If the Transformers was the equivalent of a children’s space opera, then the Gobots was the equivalent of a goofy adventure serial, not unlike The Superfriends. I recently watched several old Gobots episodes on Youtube. TriTrak has several. And you know what? The show holds up remarkably well. Once you ignore Scooter’s voice, that is.
A couple of the Gobots have, in fact, made the leap to the Transformers continuum, albeit in completely different forms.
Leader-1, the Gobot Guardian: The fine upstanding leader of the Guardians. He transforms into a sleek F-15 Strike Eagle, and he speaks with such wisdom that his voice echoes. Also, you know he’s the leader because it’s right there in his name.
Leader-1, the Transformer Minicon: In an inglorious twist, Leader-1 is enslaved and is forced to lend his powers to Megatron. Homage or insult? You be the judge. Quite possibly Leader-1’s most embarassing moment. (His number one most embarassing moment? This.)
Bug Bite, Gobot Renegade: I haven’t seen the episode he’s in, but it’s some sort of story where he and another Renegade, Gunnyr, believe that they’re the only inhabitants on Gobotron. That is, until the Guardians kick their butts. Not his most glorious moment.
Bug Bite, Transformer Decepticon: Bug Bite gets a huge upgrade. He’s now sort of an evil Bumblebee, but now from an alternate dimension whose existence is threatened by events in the Transformers universe. He plots to take revenge, and at one point has the Decepticons under his control. Unfortunately, he gets his head blown off by Megatron. Still, that’s no small potatoes for a Gobot. Hooray, Bug Bite! (In this version, by the way, the Gobots are organic humans that had their bodies replaced by machinery. Nifty.)
So some Gobots have finally earned respectibility in the fast paced world of the Transformers. But are there other Gobots that would do well reintroduced as Transformers? But of course!
So let’s get in the mood. Everyone, please rise to the Gobot opening theme:
But first, a few explanations about some notable omissions. I thought about which Gobot characters would provide unique new characters to the Transformers universe. Thus, off the bat, Cy-Kill was out. Beside having a ridiculous name, he was basically a duplicate of Megatron. Same with Coptur, the stoic second-in-command who was basically Soundwave. Turbo of the Guardians recalled several Autobots: he had the appearance of Sideswipe and the personality of Ironhide. So naturally, he was out.
And do I have to explain why I omitted Scooter? Other than that high-pitched squeaky voice, it could be argued that Scooter already exists in the form of Wheelie. And that both were likely ancestors of Jar Jar Binks. At least in the area of speech patterns.
So are we good? Alright! Then let’s go on with
GOBOTS THAT SHOULD BE TRANSFORMERS
- #7- ZERO
I haven’t seen this guy int the cartoon yet, but I do appreciate that he can transform into a WWII era Mitsubishi Zero. Can’t you see this guy as a curmudgeony old veteran for the Decepticons? Or perhaps hanging out with Kup at the retirement home?
- #6 – PATH FINDER
The Guardian Path Finder has a very unique transformation: that of a flying saucer. Transformers easily need more Flying Saucer alt-modes. OK, I know that the Autobots already have Cosmos, but you’ve got to admit Path Finder looks cooler.
- #5 – SPARKY
OK, I’ll admit that Sparky was kinda bland, but I’m a sucker for female robots. And the other prominent female Guardian, Small Foot, looked kinda like a dude.
- #4 – TUX
It a limousine. That transforms into a robot. Wearing a top hat. Do I seriously have to explain myself any further?
- #3 – VAMP
This guy has a lot of things going for him. First off is his interesting robot mode, which makes him look like a giant cockroach that’s learned to walk on two legs. Second, he transforms into something that looks like the Batmobile. I assume, from his name, that this is some sort of vampire car. I don’t even know how a vampire car works. Maybe he sucks gas out of other cars? And third and most important, he’s voiced by Christopher Collins doing his Starscream/Cobra Commander voice. That is, he sounds like a flaming homosexual. What’s not to love here?
- #2 – BARON/PROFESSOR VON JOY
Oh my God! How can you possibly go wrong with that name? Gobots always had the market clamped down on jaunty names, from Hans-Cuff to Spay-C, but this one seriously had to take the cake. I mean, BARON VON JOY? Can’t you imagine him with a peppy high-pitched voice with a German accent? And chuckling a timely, “Ach Lieber!” to the amusement of the rest of the Autobots? Can’t you see him as a pleasant toymaker building dolls for the happy children of Cybertron? C’mon, Hasbro, this guy is MONEY IN THE BANK!
- #1 – CRASHER
Crasher gets tons of points just for being a female Gobot. But that’s not the reason why she’s sitting pretty at number one. Watch any single Gobot cartoon on YouTube right now, and you come to an inescapable conclusion: Crasher is possibly the most outstanding character in the series. She’s also unlike any Transformer that ever existed. Why?Because Crasher is a TOTAL PSYCHO. At any given moment, she is laughing her ass off. Tick her off, and she’s stomping on the ground, causing shockwaves. She is a crazy, crazy woman, and I love her. On of that, unlike other underlings, she was always loyal to the leader of her faction. How cool would it be if she because one of Megatron’s assistants? Hasbro, please make it so!