It was one of the biggest– and most lopsided– rivalries of the 80s. Both Hasbro and Tonka decided to import toys from Japan that featured a unique innovation– they could transform from vehicles into robots. Hasbro’s line was dubbed ‘Transformers,’ while Tonka’s Hot Wheels-sized version were the ‘GoBots.’ At the end of the day, however, ‘Transformers’ which were much larger and more intricate, trounced ‘GoBots. ‘Transformers’ never really went away and is just as huge today as it was in the 80s, if not more so. ‘GoBots’ is essentially an 80s footnote.
But in 1991, Hasbro bought Tonka and thus inherited the ‘GoBots’ brand, which they decided to fold into ‘Transformers’ continuity, deeming the smaller vehicles to be from a parallel universe.
With the massive success of the ‘Transformers’ movies, which while reviled by many, making money hand over fist, Hasbro is eying ‘GoBots’ as another possible cash cow. The company has just filed for new trademarks on ‘GoBots’ that would allow for the “distribution of motion pictures, on-going television programs” as well as “toys, games and playthings, namely toy vehicles and accessories for use therewith.”
Like ‘Transformers,’ the GoBots were featured in both an animated series ‘Challenge of the GoBots’ and an animated cinematic movie ‘GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords’ (which introduced a new set of robots that excitingly transformed into rocks. Seriously, the ‘Transformers’ get dinosaurs and these guys get rocks?).
The cartoon and movie set up a continuity for the toys. The robots hailed from the planet GoBatron and were divided into two factions, the heroic Guardians and the villainous Renegades. Of course, their conflict eventually spilled over to Earth, where both factions found human allies. The main three Guardians were Leader-1, Turbo and the child-like Scooter, while the main three villains were Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher. (At least these six were the focus of the first several episodes. Over time many others were added.) The Hanna Barbera-produced show ran a fairly remarkable 65 episodes.
If adapted to live action, I’m not sure how much of the show’s continuity would be used, since it is much more obscure than ‘Transformers.’ And would this actually tie into the established ‘Transformers’ movie universe or will they be set up separately? Perhaps more importantly, will audiences really turn out to see another vehicle/robot franchise?
What do you think? Were you a fan of the toys/cartoon from the 80s? Would you like to see this property in live action? Comment below!
Source: Cinema Blend