Challenge of the GoBots

Challenge of the GoBots
Challenge of the GoBots
Format Animated series
Starring Lou Richards
Arthur Burghardt
Frank Welker
Bernard Erhard
Bob Holt
Marilyn Lightstone
Sparky Marcus
Leslie Speights
Morgan Paull
Phil Hartman
B.J. Ward
Brock Peters
Peter Cullen
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 65
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 30 mins
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera
Original channel First-run syndication
Original airing October 29, 1984 (miniseries)
September 16, 1985 (regular series)

Challenge of the GoBots (also known as Mighty Machine Men) is an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, based on the Gobots toy-line released from Tonka.[1] [2] Most of the toys were imported from the Japanese Machine Robo toy line. The show originally debuted in animated form as a five-part miniseries, which aired in syndication from October 29 - November 2, 1984. A regular series followed the next year, premiering on September 16, 1985. The series was later rerun on the USA Cartoon Express.



GoBots dealt with two opposing forces of transforming robots from the planet Gobotron: the heroic Guardians and the evil Renegades. The Guardians were led by Leader-1 with others including Turbo and Scooter. The Renegades were led by Cy-Kill, with Crasher and Cop-Tur among their ranks. The characters rarely had guns, instead shooting energy blasts out of their fists. The female robots on the series were built like the males (only Crasher receiving any distinguishable female features). The GoBots' origin as organic beings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots.[3]

The series generally focused on the "lead" three robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher), who were virtually ever-present, with other characters seeming to rotate in "guest-star" roles. GoBots had no clear divide between the two factions. The characters (as well as the toys) had no identifying insignias or markings to indicate their allegiance, although it was clearly indicated on the packaging. Likewise, there was no commonality of design within each faction. The only 'theme' to a side was that anything that turned into a 'monstrous'-looking robot or vehicle was a Renegade. Clips from the show were used in Errol Morris's Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.[4]


In the series' backstory, set thousands of years ago on the planet GoBotron, there lived a race of human-like beings known as GoBings. Civil war erupted on the planet when the power-hungry terrorist group known as the Renegades arose, led by a madman dubbed the "Master Renegade", who waged war against the peaceful Guardians. When a Renegade sabotage operation inadvertently resulted in a gigantic asteroid colliding with GoBotron, the natural disasters that resulted from the asteroid's impact pushed the GoBings to the verge of extinction. However, the genius who became known as the "Last Engineer" saved his people, taking his experiments to replace parts of his own body with mechanical substitutes to the ultimate extent and transferring the GoBings brains into large robot bodies known as "GoBots". The GoBot forms possessed an additional ability; after being run through the device named the Modifier, the GoBots' bodies were able to transform into other vehicles. His work done, the Last Engineer intended to retreat to a pre-prepared workshop elsewhere in the galaxy, but the Master Renegade stole his ship and escaped in his stead. The Last Engineer placed himself into suspended animation beneath the surface of GoBotron, while above, the war continued to rage between the Guardians and the Renegades, now all encased in GoBot shells.

In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the planet Earth became involved in the conflict between Leader-1's Guardians and Cy-Kill's Renegades. During one of these battles, one of Leader-1's lieutenants, Turbo, became severely damaged. Unwilling to let his friend and teammate die, Leader-1 began his quest to find the legendary Last Engineer. Leader-1 found the person he believed to be the Last Engineer, but Leader-1 had unwittingly released the Master Renegade (though he did repair Turbo to gain the Guardians' trust). The Guardians later found the true Last Engineer, who was instrumental in frustrating the alliance between Cy-Kill's Renegades and the Master Renegade. The Master Renegade later escaped the custody of the Renegades, and plagued both factions, notably attacking the UniCom colony of New Earth.



  • Leader-1 - The leader of the Guardians. He is a brave leader who cares deeply about his people. He believes not one person should be in charge. He supports the democratic system of the Guardians. This led his former friend, Cy-Kill, to break away from the Guardians. He took command of the evil Renegades and became Leader-1's worst enemy. Turns into an F-15 fighter jet.
  • Turbo
  • Scooter
  • Small Foot - One of Leader-1's most trusted soldiers. A tracker, what she lacks in size she more than makes up for in heart and determination. Small Foot can often be seen kicking around with Scooter but she idolizes Leader-1 and is often found fighting by his side. Trouble often finds her wherever she is. Sometimes with all of her determination Small Foot becomes impulsive and eager to please the older and more experienced Guardian soldiers. Turns into a pickup truck. Voiced by B. J. Ward.
  • Van Guard
  • Blaster
  • Rest-Q
  • Path Finder
  • Sparky
  • Heat Seeker
  • Road Ranger
  • Night Ranger
  • Hans-Cuff
  • Bolt
  • Ace
  • Mr. Moto
  • Dive-Dive
  • Flip Top
  • Zeemon
  • Treds
  • Major-Mo
  • Twister



  • Matt Hunter
  • Nick Burns
  • Allison Janmoria, aka "A.J." Foster
  • Dr. Anya Turgenova
  • General Newcastle
  • The Last Engineer
  • Master Renegade
  • Dr. Zebidiah Braxis


  1. Battle for Gobotron
  2. Target Earth
  3. Conquest of Earth
  4. Earth Bound
  5. The Final Conflict
  6. It's the Thought that Counts
  7. Renegade Alliance
  8. Time Wars
  9. Terror In Atlantis
  10. Trident's Triple Threat
  11. Lost on Gobotron
  12. Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray
  13. The Quest for Rogue-Star
  14. Ultra Zod
  15. Sentinel
  16. Speed Is of the Essence
  17. Genius and Son
  18. Dawn World
  19. Pacific Overtures
  20. Forced Alliance
  21. Invasion from the 21st Level (Part 1)
  22. Invasion from the 21st Level (Part 2)
  23. Doppelganger
  24. Scooter Enhanced
  25. Tarnished Image
  26. Cold Spell
  27. Crime Wave
  28. Auto-madic
  29. Renegade Rampage (Part 1)
  30. Renegade Rampage (Part 2)
  31. Search for the Ancient Gobonauts
  32. Gameworld
  33. Wolf in the Fold
  34. Depth Charge
  35. Transfer Point
  36. Steamer's Defection
  37. The GoBot Who Cried Renegade
  38. The Seer
  39. Whiz Kid
  40. Ring of Fire
  41. Cy-Kills Escape (Part 1 of 5)
  42. Quest for the Creator (Part 2 of 5)
  43. The Fall Of Gobotron (Part 3 of 5)
  44. Flight To Earth (Part 4 of 5)
  45. Return To Gobotron (Part 5 of 5)
  46. Destroy All Guardians
  47. Escape from Elba
  48. Fitor to the Finish
  49. Clutch of Doom
  50. The Third Column
  51. A New Suit for Leader-1
  52. Renegade Carnival
  53. The Gift
  54. Nova Beam
  55. The Last Magic
  56. Braxis Gone Bonkers
  57. Inside Job
  58. Element of Danger
  59. Mission GoBotron
  60. Et Tu Cy-Kill?
  61. The GoBots that Time Forgot
  62. The Secret of Halley's Comet
  63. Guardian Academy
  64. Quest for New Earth
  65. Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap


Production credits

DVD Release

On February 3, 2011, Warner Archive Collection announced on their twitter account, that the series will be getting released on DVD. The release is just for the series and not the movie at this time. On May 17, 2011, the remastered, five part mini-series was released by the Warner Archive Collection.


  • The show was based on the Machine Robo franchise in Japan.
  • They were called "Machine Men" in Australia.
  • The Japan-made cartoon Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos was released in France as a sequel to the American series. The show was dubbed to take place in the future and Cy-Kill has reformed.
  • A big-screen version of the series Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords was released in 1986, one month before Transformers: The Movie.

See also


  1. ^ "3 Animated Films: Good, Bad, Ugly". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  2. ^ Robots take control of boys' market; manufacturers, retailers look for ways to keep category on right track. Playthings; November 1, 1985; by Gilligan, Eugene
  3. ^ "Living: Hot Toys with a Special Twist". Time.,9171,954424,00.html. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  4. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2010). Totally Tubular '80s. Krause Publications. p. 90=93. ISBN 1440212821. 

External links

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