Archive for the 'GoBots' Category

Christmas Morning, 1984: GoBots Command Center

Christmas Gobots 1985

You can also see a Cobra Rattler in the background. There’s another G.I. Joe box on the left. Can’t make it out.

All I wanted for Christmas in 1984 were Transformers, and I got GoBots instead. My bitterness has faded with time. The truth is, both Hasbro and Tonka made imaginative toys based on superior Japanese productions.

The Command Center commercial is great (“Your parents put it together”), and the toy is actually pretty neat.

(Photo via Miles Smith)

Gobots on Earth and War of the Gobots Super Adventure Books (Golden, 1984)

Gobots Ditko 1984-1

Gobots Ditko 1984-2

Gobots Ditko 1984-3

Gobots Ditko 1984-4

Gobots Ditko 1984-5

Gobots Ditko 1984-6

Gobots Ditko 1984-7

Gobots Ditko 1984-8

What’s interesting about these books is that they were illustrated by comics legend Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and creator of Doctor Strange. It’s hard to believe now that someone like him would do art for a kid’s book about a second-rate transforming robot franchise, but comics artists and writers at the time held no rights to their work, and worship at the altar of pop culture was not a mainstream pursuit. Illustrators had to knock out an endless amount of pages to make a living. From a New York Post article from 2012:

To this day, Ditko has probably made very little off his billion-dollar co-creation [Spider-Man]. He has no ownership of the character and was paid a modest per-page rate at the time. He does collect royalties each time the comics are reprinted, but he says he has not earned anything off the films, despite his name appearing in the credits.

The covers of both books are illustrated by Jeffrey Oh and written by longtime Ditko collaborator and champion Robin Snyder.

(Images via eBay, Beer and Robots, and Life with Fandom)

Halloween, Circa 1985: GoBots

GoBots 1985-1

GoBots 1985-2

GoBots 1985-3

Cop-Turd, to be exact. Nobody’s first choice, since Collegeville also made Transformers costumes.

The “flame retarded” joke is old, and yet still kind of funny.

(Images via USA Today and eBay)

Imperial Toy Corporation: Microbots (1988)

Microbots 1988

Microbots 1988-2

Microbots 1988-3

Microbots 1988-4

A little late to the game, aren’t we, Imperial?

The jet plane is named Wind-Cutter. Wind-Breaker and Cheese-Cutter were already taken, I guess.

UPDATE: Friend J. reminded me of a popular Galoob line called Micro Machines, so that’s got to be where Imperial got the first part of the name/idea. Here’s the commercial, which features the fastest talker in the world (according to the Guinness Book) at the time, John Moschitta, Jr.

(Images via eBay; video via SpacedCobraTV)


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