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Gobots Toys Become Saturday Morning Cartoons

Updated on August 23, 2019
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna has worked in the entertainment business for over 20 years, promoting special events with musicians, celebrities, and dignitaries.

Gobots Fans

Gobots fans are out there, and I am excited to share Challenge of the Gobots: The Original Mini-Series with fellow fans. The 1984 animated cartoon has stood the test of time by those who appreciate the cartoon-look of talking machines.

Challenge of the Gobots: The Original Mini-Series is the original five-episode mini-series. The 80s cartoon in the DVD package offers eternal life to the Gobots. Any Gobots enthusiast treasures the opportunity to watch the action cartoons.

The DVDs are few and far between but worth the find because the stories are entertaining when cartoon quality may get you down.

As you watch the Renegades follow Cy-kill when they embark on their mad quest to conquer the galaxy starting with Earth, only Leader-1 and his band of Guardians can stop the Renegades and Cy-Kill.

Leader-1 is the hero, and his band of Guardians is all set to the task of saving the universe.

Leader-1 is a Legend

Back in the 80s, the question all the kids asked every Saturday morning, while they played with their Gobots toys watching the Gobots cartoons, was "Can Leader-1 and the Guardians save the true last Engineer?"

Watching now, you see the poor quality of the cartoons. Somehow, the kids were fascinated by the stories and facial expressions, and they sat in front of the television every Saturday morning for one year watching 65 episodes at 22-minutes a clip.

It reminds me of the good old days on Saturday mornings when you could watch mediocre cartoons in your pajamas, and it was still a cool thing to do while the parents slept. Just think, kids, watching the Gobots never thought about how Leader-1 is a legend. But, he is because this mini-series launched him as a legend. He is far better than any Transformer.

The story of the Gobots portrayed in series "Challenge of the GoBots" and follow-up film "GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords" mentions the alternative universe.


For those who are not familiar with Gobots, they are not robots. They are aliens that need your support more than anything right now. Tonka brought them into existence in the 1980s, but now, they are non-existent. They are a collector's item and sell for a pretty penny on eBay.

Gobots are far superior to the Transformers because Hasbro bought Gobots in the early 1990s. Leader-1 and Bugbite are some of the Gobots names given to Transformers. That means the Gobots came before the Transformers. They saved Earth before the Transformers.

Seeing "Gobots" instead of "Transformers" in the movie marques is the only way they could have survived. I am sure it was a copyright issue. The two entities were so similar that they competed against each other for attention. Transformers won out in the long run.

The Gobots toys fashioned the robot phenomenon that grabbed the kids attention for a short time in 1984.


Intellectual Property

The Gobots and the Transformers looked a lot like each other. Both competed as franchises until Hasbro purchased the intellectual property - the invention or idea, not the toys - when they bought out Tonka in 1991. Gobots became part of the alternative universe of the Transformers franchise.

Hasbro never purchased the Gobot toys or likenesses. The company owned the fictional aspect of the property. The toys initial owned by Bandai (Japanese company,) and Tonka never acquired them.


"You're bluffing Cy-Kill. You wouldn't dare shoot with the Last Engineer and we won't give him to you."

Children's Books Illustrations

Two books about the Gobots arrived on the streets in 1984. Authored by Robin Snyder and illustrated by Steve Ditko War of the Gobots and Gobots on Earth told the backstory of the talking machines.

The first book tells the story of the Guardian battling with the Renegade GoBots. The war comes to Earth after the Renegades disturb a space shuttle mission. The story is comparable to the Transformers because they battle on Earth quite a bit. The second book is not as good, but kids found both books entertaining. Today, they are out of print and hard to find.

Hard to Find

The Gobot products sold well and phased out when the Transformers took over the scene. Hasbro created personalities for each Transformers with character profiles, unlike the Gobots.

Gobots came across as simple machines that looked like their names such as Tank and Dozer. Transformers arrived as complex machines with names like Megatron and Optimus Prime.

Even though the Gobot books are hard to find, Amazon offers DVDs, coloring books, and games. The collector items go fast, and it's a hit or miss on Amazon.

© 2011 Kenna McHugh


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    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      8 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks Steve! I guess, you know where I'll be this Saturday morning.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Glad to see that I'm not the only ex fan of this series, as it almost seems like you don't hear about the gobots these days. Great hub. Voted up and everything else. :)


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