Transformers: GoBots in demise?

Transformers are cool. Well, not cool, but awesome. It was inevitable that someone would try and copy them...


To say that Transformers is an all-encompassing toyfiction world with its myriad generations, wars and beliefs, Cybertron and Energon, outsourced Beast Wars and GI Joe tie-ins, would understate how robust it is. It’s therefore no surprise that it’s had a fair share of other people desperate to break into the ‘stuff that turns into other stuff’ cartoon and marketing wet dream market in its heyday. But no-one has ever measured up to the legend of GoBots.

The original and definitive Transformers rip-off, GoBots is reviled and hated in equal measure. Near enough identical in team styles and structures, broadly similar in plot, and everyone turned into vehicles, what it mimicked in content it forgot in quality and plain old common sense.

There were certainly plenty of common sense gaps in the shoddy rip-off. Why can a GoBot that starts off as a Mitsubishi Zero fly? Why is the animation on a par with the Star Wars Holiday Special cartoons? And what was the point of squeaky robot loser Scooter?

Plus there was evil leader’s Cy-Kill’s hands – doubtlessly considered by its creators to be an ingenious transforming point for wheels, they could self-evidently only be used for robowanking. That may be morally wrong, but it was certainly no MegaTron level of dastardliness.

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As a TV series, Transformers may have put on one heck of a show as a means to flog a load of toys, but at least they got it the right way round: GoBots was just a harsh, early lesson in marketing for unsuspecting toy buyers. (Or, for me, a lesson for the unsuspecting son of a parent toy buyer.)

So whilst Transformers is resurrected by Michael Bay (take that look off your face, it could be good), what future lay in wait for the GoBots? It was frequently remarked upon a couple of years ago that the burking Citroen dancing car was from the vein of Transformers. Untrue; even with an awesome soundtrack, the sucky car was just rubbish enough to be a direct descendant of the GoBots. Next time you see a Citroen, remember that.

And then key the bastard.