The Gobots have never had it easy. These transforming robot toy contemporaries of the Transformers were always seen as second-class... uh, transforming robot toys in the '80s; Tonka's cheap knock-offs to Hasbro's real deal, even though the Gobots came out slightly before the Transformers (...because Tonka rushed to import them from Japan after they heard Hasbro's Transformers plans, but still).
But you know what? This scorn, this prejuice, this hate — it is totally fine. Completely justified, in fact. The Gobots sucked, and they deserved all the scorn we heaped on them in the '80s, and then some. Here are 20 painful reminders of why the Gobots were so godawful.
If there was one reason why the Gobots were obviously inferior to Transformers, it's that their transformations were pitiful. While even the simplest Transformers had several steps and ended up looking like humanoid robots, Gobots like Bolt here only ended up looking like crashed versions of their vehicle forms with faces (and not all of them even had faces, sadly).
Beemer is one of the Happy Meal-toy-equivalents Wendy's put out in 1985. A cheaply produced fast food pize figure might make for an anemic target, but I'm just mean-spirited enough not to care. Anyways, I'm sure Beemer was a trusted warrior of the Gobots Guardians, assuming the mission didn't require the use of peripheral vision.
Hmm? what's this? A homely yellow robot that transforms into a yellow VW Bug? Named "Bugbite"? Much like the super-popular Transformers character Bumblebee? You'll note that Transformers never tried to rip off any Gobots. Advantage: Transformers.
4) Bubble Man
One thing Gobots did that Transformers did not was offer several other types of traditional toys that transformed (barely) into robots. So Bubble Man — whose sole transformation point allowed kids to blow him to produce bubbles — was technically a full-fledged member of the Gobots team. Who shot bubbles out of his chest. I bet that was super-useful in their war against the evil giant transforming robots with laser guns.
This is another Wendy's Gobot offering, but WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS THAT BETWEEN HIS LEGS. Is... is that a foot? Does Breez have just one giant foot in the middle of his lower torso? God, I hope so.
6) Cap Pistol
Here's another traditional toy turned into a silly-looking robot. If you look at the packaging, it appears that this toy's name is Rogun, who happens to be a cap pistol. But in all the Gobot research I did, it seems that the character's name is in fact Cap Pistol, who happens to be a rogun. The name's a touch on-the-nose, don't you think? That's like if I went around saying my name was "Fat Nerd."
You know, I can make fun of the Gobots all I want, but at least they had the open-mindedness to accept the world's first morbidly obese robot.
8) Guide Star
Yet another Wendy's toy. Look, I know these things were cheap, and supposed to be simple. But even a goddamn Happy Meal toy needs more than ONE FUCKING TRANSFOMATION POINT. He doesn't even have arms, for fucks sake. That's not a robot, it's a space shuttle with a pull-out extension.
9) Jeeper Creeper
"What? Huh? Did I what correctly? Oh, I see. You think that because I have a tire hanging precariously off the top of my head I must be caught in mid-transformation! In fact, no. I'm supposed to have a tire jutting out from my head. No, I don't have the slightest idea why I was made this way, because I do look moronic, but I've learned to look on the bright side. I just pretend it's a kicky beret!"
Transformers were robots that hid themselves on Earth by disguising themselves as popular vehicles and electronic devices, hence the phrase "robots in disguise." Meanwhile, in Gobots, Re-Volt was a robot who turns into a giant eagle riding some kind of giant flatbed truck. That... that is something that might be noticed if you passed it on the highway.
Pulverize is one of the Rock Lords, one of Tonka's Gobots spin-offs (because what do kids love more than robots who turn into vehicles? Robots who turn into rocks, obviously). Making fun of the Rock Lords could be a list unto itself, but I'll limit myself to Pulver-Eyes, the spider-rock-robot who looks for all the world like he's made of feces. I tell you, I make a Hong Kong bootleg of Pulver-Eyes in his rock mode in my toilet every morning after I eat Taco Bell for dinner.
12) Pow Wow
Pow Wow has one thing over his fellow Wendy's meal compatriot Guide Star: He has arms. Of course, those arms are coming directly out of his hips, but still, a limb's a limb. I also like to think of Pow Wow as the Washington Redskins of the Gobot world, in that all his fellow Guardians ask him once a week if he's going to change his borderline offensive name yet. "You're not even a Native American, man. You're a robot," they say. "Why are you making this so weird?"
Aw, isn't that cute? Tonka made a shitty Optimus Prime rip-off so their shitty Bumblebee rip-off Bugbite wouldn't be lonely! Or so he could have a pal to make a suicide pact with. Same difference, really.
14) Water Pistol
His handle is his penis. I mean... there's no other possibility. Kids have to grab the robot's dick in order to spray their friends with water. Awesome.
15) Wrong Way
Pity poor Wrong Way, who has turned to a life of evil because he can never know the soft caress of a lover. Because he has a giant honking helicopter blade coming out his chest. He also can't reach in front of him, which also has to be vastly irritating.
16) Mr. Moto
I'm sorry, did you think that this was a picture of Mr. Moto stuck in mid-transformation? I'm sorry to tell you no, this is what his actual robot form looks like. The only question is who was drunker: Mr. Moto or the poor bastard that designed him? Because no sober man would pretend this is a completed robot.
17) Rock Roller
Okay, one more Rock Lord. "The Traveler has come! Choose and perish! Choose! Choose the form of the Destructor!"
So this is a robot that turns into a Zero plane, best known for their use by the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II, especially by kamikaze pilots. Seeing as Gobots come from space and thus Zero isn't Japanese, I have to wonder what his reasoning was for choosing to transform into one of the most iconic vehicles of thw Axis powers. Is he just a Nipponophile? A WWII buff whose alien upbringing prevents him from understanding how transforming into a Zero fighter in '80s America might upset some veterans? Or does he know, and selected the Zero on purpose because he hates the troops? I think he hates the troops.
Like Re-Volt, Traitor was a Dread Launcher, which apparently means "a robot that turns into a giant flying thing on top of a flatbed truck used to transport giant flying things," but in this case, a wasp. But I'd like to focus on the fact his name is Traitor. Look, I know the Renegades are supposed to be evil, but isn't naming yourself Traitor just asking for trouble? "Hey, Traitor! So... you going to betray us? You understand why I ask every day, right?"
That's not a robot, that's a car with a giant fanged penis inside it.