Thanks to Michael Bay’s massive and oftentimes monstrous live-action adaptations, the Transformers series has flourished over the years on both small and large screens. At the height of the Transformers phenomenon in the 1980s, the toys were once again flying off the shelves like hotcakes.
Although GoBots and Transformers had roughly the same ideas, the former appeared initially in 1983, approximately a year before the latter. Challenge of the GoBots: The Original Mini-Series is the name of the original five-part GoBots series.
In essence, the story follows the same course as the original Transformers miniseries, with good GoBots working to protect Earth after some evil GoBots, also known as the Renegades, hatch a plan to rule the planet. From that point on, it is all action, including teenage heroes, shape-shifting cars, and bizarre characters.
As part of Warner’s Archive Collection, Challenge of the Gobots is available on DVD as a single-layered, full-frame DVD5. There are not any other features. The packaging claims that this DVD was recreated from the original film materials as opposed to being reproduced from an old tape source. Fans of this overlooked makeover series who are nostalgia nerds can smile after watching Challenge of the GoBots.
What The Cartoon Television Series Is All About
It all began in Japan, at the time, they were known as Machine Robo. Did you also know that these morphing robots were designed to be human-piloted mechs? When the toys were introduced in the United States, they were reimagined as sentient robots, replete with a backstory that gave them nicer names and a background. There were the benevolent robot Guardians as well as the villainous Gobotron Renegades.
It’s unsettlingly similar to the Autobots or Decepticons from Cybertron, despite the fact that the two series were created independently. Furthermore, the GoBots had their own cartoon series that shared a few cast members with the Transformers animation. They even had their own theatrical animated picture, named GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords, starring the titular morphing rocks. The GoBots series, however, did not persist long in the wake of the more successful Transformers.
GoBots had to fight with two competing factions of Gobotron’s changing robots: the valiant Guardians and the malevolent Renegades. Leader-1 headed the Guardians, which also included Turbo and Scooter. All of the The Renegades were commanded by Cy-Kill, and their ranks included Crasher and Cop-Tur.
Instead of weaponry, the characters fired energy blasts from their fists. GoBots, unlike Transformers, had recurring female characters. The female robots, on the other hand, were built similarly to the males with only Crasher having any distinct female features. The occurrence of various genders among the GoBots was explained by their genesis as biological organisms.
The series centered on the “main” three robots from each party, Leader-1, Turbo, as well as Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Crasher and Cop-Tur, who were almost always present, with additional characters appearing to alternate in “guest-star” roles.
There was no evident division between both the two factions of GoBots. Although it was explicitly stated on the package, neither the figures nor the toys had any distinguishing insignias or marks to show their loyalty. Similarly, there was little design consistency across the factions. The sole ‘theme’ to a faction was that anything that transformed into a ‘grotesque’-looking robot or automobile was a Renegade.
A species of sentient beings called the GoBings existed on the world of GoBotron thousands of years ago. When the power seeking terrorist gang known also as the Renegades appeared, commanded by a maniac called the “Master Renegade,” and declared war against the benevolent Guardians, civil war occurred on the world. When a Renegade disruption mission unintentionally resulted in a massive asteroid crashing with GoBotron, the catastrophic events caused by the asteroid’s impact drove the GoBings to extinction.
Eventually, the genius who was known to be the “Last Engineer” rescued his people by pushing his research to the limit to replace sections of his own flesh with mechanical equivalents and transplanting the GoBings minds into huge robot forms known as “GoBots.” The GoBot forms have an extra power; after passing through a device that is called the Modifier, all of the GoBots’ bodies could convert into different vehicles.
After finishing his task, the Last Engineer planned to flee to a pre-planned workshop somewhere in the cosmos, but unfortunately, the Master Renegade hijacked his spacecraft and fled in his place. The Last Engineer put himself in a state of suspended animation under the ground of GoBotron, meanwhile above, the fight between the Guardians as well as the Renegades raged on, with all of them now enclosed in GoBot shells.
The planet Earth became embroiled in the fight among Leader-1’s Guardians and Cy-Renegades Kill’s in the final part of the twentieth century. One among Leader-1’s lieutenants, Turbo, was seriously injured during one of these encounters. Leader-1, reluctant to let his buddy and teammate perish, set out on a journey to discover the mythical Last Engineer. Leader-1 tracked down the person he thought was the Last Engineer, however Leader-1 had unintentionally unleashed the Master Renegade albeit he did restore Turbo to win the Guardians’ confidence. The Guardians later discovered the genuine Last Engineer, who played a key role in undermining the partnership between Cy-Renegades Kill’s as well as the Master Renegade.
The Master Renegade eventually escaped the Renegades’ imprisonment and harassed both groups, most notably invading the UniCom colony in New Earth.
Main Characters of the cartoon series
Leader-1 is the Guardians’ leader in the animated television show Challenge of the GoBots. He is a courageous leader who genuinely cares about all his people. He believes that no single individual should be in control. He believes in the Guardians’ democratic system. This prompted his erstwhile companion, Cy-Kill, to break off and leave from the Guardians. He became Leader-1’s fiercest opponent after taking command of the villainous Renegades. Leader-1 has the ability to fly, unleash energy blasts, and create a force field, which swiftly depletes his power reserves. He has been observed using Guardian power suits, which improve his strength and speed.
Turbo is a character from the Gobots toy line and the later Challenge of the Gobots animation. The character morphed into a concept vehicle. Turbo was one of the fiercest Guardians and Leader-1’s right hand Gobot. In his automobile form, he is one of the quickest Gobots, he is also both strong and powerful.
The Gobot Turbo is indeed one of the toughest Guardians, however he can be pretty dumb and stubborn at times, oftentimes injuring himself severely as a result of his heroism. He has been among Leader-1’s most devoted troops, and he and buddy Scooter have a friendly “brute strength versus brains.”’ competition. He also has an ongoing battle with the Renegade Crasher, who, being a fellow sports vehicle, is typically his preferred target during battles.
Scooter was the resident inventor of the Guardians. He was extremely bright and possessed a slew of tools that enabled him to break into computers. Scooter also was armed with a hologram generator, which allowed him to generate illusions to mislead attackers or offer shelter for himself. He was unarmed, but attempted having blasters installed in lieu of his hologram generator for a short while before realizing the latter is much more in touch with his personality and switching back. He has a friendly competition with his colleague Guardian Turbo, making fun of the more powerful Guardian’s lack of brains. Scooter has become excellent friends with the youthful human astronaut named Nick Burns since his stay on Earth, seeing him as a kindred soul.
Leader-1’s closest and greatly trusted soldier is Small Foot. A tracker, she makes up for her lack of stature with heart and persistence. Small Foot is frequently seen playing around with Scooter, but she admires Leader-1 and is frequently caught battling with him. Trouble follows her everywhere she goes. Small Foot’s drive causes her to be impetuous and happy to help the experienced and senior Guardian warriors at times. She can shoot energy blasts from the two bulbs on her chest while in robot mode. She transforms into a pick-up truck. She employs a tow-cable with a hook in both modes. One of the earliest Gobots advertisements featured Small Foot. The Gobots character of the same name inspired the Autobot Small Foot.
Another one of the Guardians is Zeemon. He is a well-known Guardian leader. He is one of the Guardians’ commanders that are plotting to defeat the Renegades. It must be noted that the Renegade Gobot Herr Fiend seems similar to Zeemon inside the pilot series owing to animation problems. He intends to give up the world to Cy-Kill in order to escape being annihilated by the Renegade. In “Nova Beam” segment #54, Zeemon is aboard Gobotron with Staks as well as Pathfinder when they receive word that the planet Nirolac’s sun has become unstable. Due to animation flaws, he is occasionally shown to be Renegade Herr Fiend.
Cy-Kill was the wicked Renegades’ leader in Challenge of the Gobots. He was formerly a Guardian and a buddy of Leader-1. He desired to be the only ruler of Gobotron in order to better defend it because he believed he was the most powerful guardian, whereas Leader-1 advocated for democracy. As a result, Cy-Kill broke free from the Guardians to become the commander of the Renegades. He desired to capture the Gobot home planet and seize complete control. He was a threat to the existence of the Guardians because he was merciless. Cy-Kill sought to attack Earth with the aid of shady Unicom researcher Doctor Braxis, but the Guardians foiled his intentions. He was finally apprehended by the Guardians.
Despite her wild disposition, the female Crasher has been one of Cy-most Kill’s faithful Renegades. Engaging in demolition derbies is one of her favorite activities. During questioning, she acknowledged to having a fondness for Leader-1 prior to the Guardians as well as Renegades clashing.
Unlike other Gobots, she appears to rarely utilize her hand-mounted blasters, preferring to employ a distinctive assault in which she stamped her foot on the ground to generate a tremendous earthquake-style energy discharge capable of tracking its victim in much the same way as a heat-seeking missile. Crasher’s apparent insanity effectively leaves her brave, and she has a vengeance towards the Guardian Turbo, seldom avoiding an opportunity to combat him. She, unfortunately for her, tends to take any failure or challenge very personally.
Cop-Tur, like the majority of the Renegades, isn’t particularly bright. He has a wicked sense of humor and frequently lets out a cruel chuckle when he encounters a lesser adversary. He has the ability to unleash energy bursts from his hands and eyes. Cop-Tur may utilize his rotor blades to produce localized storms in either mode, or a sword or whirling hand-held blade weapon in robot mode.
He employed a tractor beam in vehicle mode to pull items as large as him while flying. In the premiere episode “The Battle for Gobotron,” Crasher and Cop-Tur assisted Cy-Kill in stealing the astrobeam and fleeing Gobotron to Earth. Cop-Tur was Cy-usual Kill’s henchman on the Renegades’ repeated expeditions to Earth, starting with their very first attempt in order to take over the planet.
Fitor can turn into a revolutionary jet fighter. Fitor can shoot laser beams through his fists when in robot form, in addition to his jet mode, which is equipped with two laser guns. He also has monitoring and communication devices and frequently gets intelligence for Cy-Kill from the Guardian HQ. Fitor was a Guardian at first, and a close buddy of Cy-Kill. Fitor switched to the Renegades after becoming dissatisfied with Guardian policies. His continuous allegiance means that he seldom travels to Earth with Cy-Kill, instead frequently being entrusted with control of Rogue-Star. When the Renegades’ stronghold on Gobotron is invaded, he is arrested by the Guardians but flees when an errant blast from Blaster unlocks his cell door.
Another of the Renegades is Herr Fiend. He is the Renegade Mad Scientist in residence, and he speaks with a heavy German accent. Doctor Go is another name for him. His alternative mode, a Porsche 928S, is the same as the Decepticon Transformer known as Dead End.
Herr Fiend is assigned the moniker “Doctor Go” in the cartoon Gobots series. Doctor Go features in the first episode of “Battle for Gobotron.” It should be mentioned that the Doctor Go Renegade seems similar to Zeemon inside the premiere series owing to animation problems. Cy-Kill orders Doctor Go to create robot replicas of the Guardians based on recordings he took of the actual Guardians.
GoBots Origin Story
The First Episode of this amazing series is named “Battle for GoBotron” and begins the exploration of the interesting premise of the series. In the pilot episode, The metallic world of GoBotron is now at strife in the remote depths of the Milky Way. The GoBots, its native population, are split into two divisions: the benevolent Guardians who control GoBotron and the malevolent Renegades who wish to overrun it. Renegade commander Cy-Kill and his subordinates Crasher, as well as Cop-Tur, seize the Guardians’
Astrobeam teleportation device and flee, leveraging their race’s ability to change their artificial bodies into vehicle forms in their newest attempt for control. Hans-Cuff, a Guardian security officer, tries to stop them but is killed by Crasher’s explosive shockwave powers. Having returned to the Renegade Stronghold, Cy-Kill explains his plan to his gathered troops: recognizing that the Renegades’ strong presence on GoBotron is stripping away, he intends to emigrate further to the planet Earth, in which a human ally he already has made contact with will assist them in establishing a new outpost from which they will be able to strike at their homeworld.
Leader-1, the military leader of the Guardians, recommends a last attack upon the Renegades’ stronghold to rid GoBotron of the bad guys once and for all. Zeemon as well as the Guardian Council reach an agreement, and the Guardians start an all-out assault on the stronghold.
Cy-Kill places his second in command Fitor in control of activities on GoBotron and delegates command of the Renegade army to him while he, Cop-Tur and Crasher board a Thruster for Earth. Fitor seeks permission to release the gigantic, savage monster Zod upon the Guardians before Cy-Kill departs, but Cy-Kill refuses since he will need Zod for his own purposes in the near future. Scooter, a timid Guardian engineer, deduces the direction of Cy-Thruster Kill’s as it flies away, and Leader-1 accompanies him as well as Turbo in chase of the villains onboard a Command Center.
In Orbit around earth, astronaut Matt Hunter leads new members Nick Burns as well as A.J. Foster on a quest to repair the Argos satellite system, which is monitored by irritable scientist Doctor Braxis from operations control on Earth. When the operation is over, they are prepared to return to Earth onboard their shuttle, the Intrepid, when they observe the Renegade Thruster emerge from hyperspace, destroying the Argos.
Braxis and General Newcastle, unable to detect the massive spacecraft on their scanners due to its stealth mechanism, do not trust Hunter’s assertions; as a result, Hunter refuses to obey orders to retreat to base and launches off in hunt of the Renegade vessel. Cop-Tur discovers the Intrepid, when Cy-Kill instructs him to land Thruster inside the wasteland so they may eliminate their human followers without being noticed. Cop-Tur guns down the Intrepid after Thruster lands, and then he and Crasher pursue the three humans through the desert.
Fortunately, the Guardians come quickly to save the humans, but this compels Cy-Kill to enter the fight, and a blast from the Renegade commander severely hurts Turbo. Leader-1 uses his own forcefield to protect both the Guardians as well as the humans against Renegade fire, but just as his strength is about to run out, Scooter senses the approach of a huge troop of humans: a team dispatched by General Newcastle in order to rescue Matt, Nick and A.J. Both the Renegades and the Guardians flee before they are spotted, leaving all the three humans who saw the battle powerless to inform their higher ups of what has happened.
Removed from duty, the three retire to Matt’s residence for the evening, when Leader-1 approaches them under cover of darkness with a plea for assistance. The Guardian commander doesn’t bother waiting for an answer, instead scooping up all of the three humans and transporting them straight to the Command Center, whereupon he explains that they need assistance obtaining the electronic components required to save the wounded Turbo’s life. A.J. as well as Nick are eager to assist, and Matt receives a vow from Leader-1 to assist in restoring their careers with NASA when it’s all said done.
Scooter goes with Nick to NASA’s electronics warehouse to get the essential components, but as they are ready to return to the Command Post, Scooter’s advanced and specialized senses sense Renegades in a neighboring building. With the help of a skylight, they come to witness Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher meeting with Cy-Kill’s human partner, Doctor Braxis! Braxis offers them the knowledge on the whereabouts of a powerful crystal identified as sorium in exchange for Cy-Kill’s vow that the Earth would be his to control after the Renegades have retreated. However, only as Braxis hands over the paperwork, the skylight collapses beneath Nick and Scooter, sending them plunging inside the lab! Cy-Kill orders Cop-Tur to strike, and the Renegade advances threateningly.
Scooter as well as Nick are powerless in the face of the storm winds that Cop-Tur creates with his rotors. The good guys finally manage to defeat the Renegades and escape, and in the next few episodes, when the Renegades raid an Arctic island named Stolbovoy in search of the energy source sorium, the Guardians must battle with the formidable monster Zod. Cy-Kill assaults Cheyenne Mountain, utilizing a sorium-powered gadget to gain control of every human mind on the planet. NORAD’s headquarters are located on Cheyenne Mountain which is located in Colorado, America.
NORAD, also known as the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is a binational aerospace command stationed at Cheyenne Mountain that provides early warning and air defense for North America. General Lindley was in command of NORAD when the Gobots first made direct contact with Earth.
Leader-1 instructs Turbo as well as Scooter to escape while he shields their departure.The duo are reluctant to give up their commander, but he insists; nevertheless, as soon as they have departed an explosion by the Command Center blasts Leader-1 out from the sky, and he is captured by Crasher.
With the planet against them and Leader-1 imprisoned by the Renegades, Scooter and Turbo set off on the run, but the Guardians are reunited and must break Cy-Kill’s grasp on the Earth in order to preserve GoBotron from a large and dangerous fleet of Zods. Leader-1 devises a plan to utilize the Astrobeam to transport the sorium off-Earth and into the route of the Zod armada. The resulting explosion decimates the whole fleet, and Cy-Kill’s thruster gets caught in the blast and is flung spinning across space.
Braxis is carried off to jail, intending to plead “temporary insanity” as the Guardians get ready to return home carrying Crasher and Cop-Tur as their hostages. If their minds weren’t already made up, Turbo invites Nick and A.J. to join them in tracking down Cy-Kill, and General Lindley notifies all of them that NASA seems to have “a few thousand questions” for them, and all ends well as the GoBots as well as their human friends blast off for GoBotron.
No animated series is complete without its wonderful cast, and the same can be said about Challenge of the Gobots too.
Lou Richards, the voice of Leader 1
Lou Richards, who was born into a military family, went to Scotch Plains Fanwood High School School located in New Jersey as well as Brunswick High School in Maine. Lou became interested in university radio at KTXT while a teenager at Texas Tech University. His first professional job was working all night at Lubbock, Texas for KLBK.
Arthur Burghardt, the voice of Turbo
Arthur Burghardt had been born in New York, USA on January 1, 1947. He is well recognized for his work on Network in 1976, Action Force in 1985 and The Transformers: The Movie in 1986.
Frank Welker, the voice of Scooter
Frank Welker grew up in the state of Colorado. He moved to California to pursue his passion and began a career in voice acting that has lasted five decades including hundreds of credits. Frank has voiced Fred Jones in Hanna-legendary Barbera’s Scooby Doo, Where Are You! in 1969, among other Scooby credits.
B.J. Ward, the voice of Small Foot
B.J. Ward was born in Wilmington in Delaware in the US on September 16, 1944. She is well-known for her roles in The Scooby-Doo Project in 1999, The Pagemaster in 1994 and Action Force in 1985 She used to be a Playboy Bunny before she began doing voice work.
Bernard Erhard, the voice of Cy-Kill
On February 6, 1934, Bernard Erhard was born. He was an actor, best known for his roles in Firefox in 1982, Little Nemo in 1989, and Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light in 1987. He was often cast as a villain due to his deep voice, which was suited to depict passionate personalities.
Marilyn Lightstone, the voice of Crasher
Marilyn Lightstone born and brought up in Montréal, Québec, Canada and her birthdate is June 28, 1940. She is an actress as well as writer best known for her roles in Heavy Metal in 1981, Road to Avonlea in 1990 and In Praise of Older Women in 1978.
Bob Holt, the voice of Cop-Tur
Bob Holt began his acting career in 1950, portraying Octavius Caesar throughout Julius Caesar. All through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Bob performed voices for primary and secondary characters in a variety of animated television shows and films, many of which were based on Dr. Seuss’s books.
Kelly Ward, the voice of Fitor
Kelly Ward is a multi-talented actor, author, director, and producer. In Grease, he co-starred alongside John Travolta as well as Olivia Newton-John in 1978. He’s worked as a showrunner on many animated programs and as a dialogue director in dozens more. His diverse career has included administrative positions at two major studios as well as a long connection as an adjunct assistant professor with the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts.
Philip L. Clarke, the voice of Dr. Go
Philip L. Clarke, born in Atlanta, Georgia in the US on September 8, 1938 was an actor and producer who worked on films such as Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil in 2005 as well as Aladdin in 1992, and The Little Mermaid in 1989. He passed away on 23rd April in 2013.
Interesting Facts About the Cartoon
The Gobots Challenge was based on Japanese “machine robo” toys and was dubbed “Machine Men” inside Australia. The Japanese animation Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos was distributed in France as a followup to the American series. The show is set in the future, and Cy-Kill has been reunited.
GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords, a big-screen movie, was also launched in 1986, a month prior to Transformers The Movie. The series also has a few animation goofs. During vehicle mode, the face of Scooter is positioned between his handlebars, while Cy-Kill always raises his head when he is a motorcycle. The latter gives the impression that he has only partially transformed.
What Happened To GoBots?
The GoBots series isn’t the most well-known fandom today. It’s not even the most successful franchise featuring machine entities that can transition from things like automobiles into conscious robots, and if you’re in the younger generations, you might not have heard of such shape-shifting robots until lately. There’s a good explanation behind this. According to SyFy Wire, GoBots were first presented in the United States in the year 1983. Bandai, the original producers, teamed up with Tonka, and suddenly, GoBots were flooding toy stores throughout. Then came the competition.
As per Game Informer, Hasbro debuted Transformers in the United States a year later, and the GoBots series had its first severe setback. Transformers’ marketing and quality were light years ahead of GoBots. GoBots had a mythology that could only be discovered by reading the box of their toys, but Transformers had one that could be seen on TV.
With the “Transformers” animated show imprinting a decades-long picture in the minds of ’80s youth all through the United States the GoBots needed to do something to stay on top. Tonka collaborated with Hanna-Barbera to develop their own animation, “Challenge of the GoBots,” through Newsbreak in 1984. For a brief moment, it appeared like they may contend with the Transformers series, but the GoBots animation only lasted one season, albeit a 65-episode season. According to IMDb, the animated series “Transformers” series went for four seasons and generated a variety of spinoffs, including numerous additional cartoons, those great CGI flicks, and even comic books, but GoBots just couldn’t compete.
According to a Washington Post report at the time, Hasbro as well as Tonka made a simultaneous statement in 1991 that now the two firms will “merge.” Because Transformers acquired Gobots, they did not have to compete with them any more. The Transformers Wiki references GoBots multiple times, and it’s stated as general knowledge in entries regarding the franchise that the GoBots universe is regarded as a parallel realm of the Transformers universe.
We may never see another GoBots toy. For a long period of time, it appeared that there would be no new GoBots media outside the occasional reference in Transformers films or episodes. In the 2010s, Warner Bros. published the classic “Challenge of the GoBots” onto DVD. In 2019, IDW released a five-issue GoBots comic book series. It was the first significant new GoBots content since the mid-late 1980s. The comic is still available on Good Reads as well as other sites, but it is a very limited edition. Even yet, it’s more than anybody could have predicted when the GoBots brand went bust a quarter-century ago.
The recent revival of GoBots media is most likely not a coincidence. Styles ebb and flow, and nostalgia arrives in nearly predictable waves. In the ’00s, we witnessed flared jeans that seemed like modern adaptations of bellbottoms of the ’70s, for example, and it appears that the ’80s are making a comeback as we speak. Programs like Stranger Things, Ash vs. The Evil Dead, and Cobra Kai as well as remakes of legendary ’80s movies like “Dune,” show that everything with a cult fandom from the ’80s has a good chance of obtaining a modern recreation.
As per Movieweb, Hasbro filed a trademark application for the GoBots brand in 2015. This was not only a renewal of their previous trademark, but two different ones for a future television series as well as toys or goods. Other than when the firm originally filed for the patent, there hasn’t been much discussion about a new program, but it does provide for the potential of one to happen in the future, particularly with ’80s nostalgia still prevalent. Will there be a new animation or film? Time will only tell.