Challenge of the GoBots
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|Challenge of the GoBots|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||First-run syndication|
|Original airing||October 29, 1984
September 16, 1985
Challenge of the GoBots is an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, based on the Gobots toy-line released from Tonka. 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 as part of the new weekday/weekend morning programming block called The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. 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 his assistants, Turbo, Small Foot and Scooter. The Renegades were led by Zero, but later, he was replaced by Cy-Kill, with his henchpeople, Crasher, Fitor 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, such as Crasher, were built like the males, but with some distinguishing female features. The GoBots' origin as organic beings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots.
The series generally focused on the "lead" three robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo, Small Foot and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Fitor, 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.
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.
- Battle for GoBotron (1)-
- Target Earth (2)-
- Conquest of Earth (3)-
- Earth Bound (4)-
- The Final Conflict (5)-
- It's the Thought That Counts -
- Renegade Alliance -
- Time Wars -
- Terror in Atlantis -
- Trident's Triple Threat -
- Lost on GoBotron -
- Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray -
- The Quest for Roguestar -
- Ultra Zod -
- Sentinel -
- Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap -
- Speed is of the Essence -
- Genius and Son -
- Dawn World -
- Pacific Overtures -
- Forced Alliance -
- Invasion from the 21st Level Pt. 1 -
- Invasion from the 21st Level Pt. 2 -
- Doppelganger -
- Scooter Enhanced -
- Tarnished Image -
- Cold Spell -
- Crime Wave -
- Auto-madic -
- Renegade Rampage Pt. 1 -
- Renegade Rampage Pt. 2 -
- Search for the Ancient Gobonauts -
- Gameworld -
- Wolf in the Fold -
- Depth Charge -
- Transfer Point -
- Steamer's Defection -
- The GoBot Who Cried Renegade -
- The Seer -
- Whiz Kid -
- Ring of Fire -
- Cy-Kills Escape (1)-
- Quest for the Creator (2)-
- The Fall of GoBotron (3)-
- Flight to Earth (4)-
- Return to GoBotron (5)-
- Destroy All Guardians -
- Escape from Elba -
- Fitor to the Finish -
- Clutch of Doom -
- The Third Column -
- A New Suit for Leader-1 -
- Renegade Carnival -
- The Gift -
- Nova Beam -
- The Last Magic Man -
- Braxis Gone Bonkers -
- Inside Job -
- Element of Danger -
- Mission: GoBotron -
- Et Tu Cy-Kill? -
- The GoBots That Time Forgot -
- The Secret of Halley's Comet -
- Guardian Academy -
- Quest for New Earth -
- René Auberjonois - Dr. Braxis
- Arthur Burghardt - Cop-Tur, Klaws, Turbo
- Ken Campbell - Van Guard
- Philip L. Clarke - Herr Fiend (Dr. Go), Last Engineer
- Peter Cullen - Pincher, Spoiler, Tank
- Bernard Erhard - Cy-Kill
- Richard Gautier - Bugsie
- Bob Holt - Tork
- Marilyn Lightstone - Crasher, Path Finder
- Sparky Marcus - Nick Burns
- Brock Peters - General Newcastle
- Peter Renaday - Master Renegade
- Lou Richards, Jr. - Leader-1
- Leslie Speights - A.J.
- B.J. Ward - Small Foot
- Kelly Ward - Fitor
- Kirby Ward - Heat Seeker
- Frank Welker - Blaster, Rest-Q, Scooter, Zeemon
Production credits 
- Executive Producers: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
- Co-Executive Producer: Joe Taritero
- Producer: Kay Wright
- Associate Producer: Lew Saw
- Creative Supervisor and Story Editor: Jeff Segal
- Associate Story Editor: Kelly Ward
- Supervising Director: Ray Patterson
- Directors: Art Davis, Oscar Dufau, Volus Jones, Don Lusk, Rudy Zamora, Alan Zaslove
- Assistant Directors: Robert Goe, Bill Hutton, Rick Leon, Tony Love, Don Patterson, Tim Walker
- For the Tonka Corporation
- Executive Producer: Patrick S. Feely
- Producer: Lois Hanrahan
- Co-Producer: Ray McDonald
- Story Direction: Robert Taylor, Kent Butterworth, Roy Wilson, Rhoydon Shishido, Michael Swainigan, Peter Von Sholly, Rich Chidlaw, Larry Latham, Marijah Dial, Dale Barnhart, Tom Sito, George Scribner, Bill Kroyer
- Recording Director: Gordon Hunt
- Assistant Casting Director: Andrea Romano
- Voices: Adrienne Alexander, Lewis Arquette, Rene Auberjonois, Bever-Leigh Banfield, Jared Barclay, Eddie Barth, Steve Bulen, Arthur Burghardt, Howard Caine, Bill Callaway, Ken Campbell, Philip Lewis Clarke, Selette Cole, Henry Corden, Regis Cordic, Peter Cullen, Jennifer Darling, Jerry Dexter, George DiCenzo, Richard Dysart, Paul Eiding, Richard Gautier, Phillip Hartmann, Darryl Hickman, Bob Holt, Erv Immeman, David Jolliffe, Zale Kessler, Peter Leeds, Marilyn Lightstone, Norma MacMillan, Tress MacNeille, Sparky Marcus, Ken Mars, Gail Matthius, Bill Martin, Walter Matthews, Amanda McBroom, Joe Medalis, Allan Melvin, Scott Menville, Sidney Miller, Noelle North, Soon-Teck Oh, Alan Oppenheimer, Laurel Page, Morgan Paull, Rob Paulson, Brock Peters, Peter Renaday, Lou Richards, Bob Ridgely, Josh Rodine, Shavar Ross, Marilyn Schreffler, Michael Sheehan, Leslie Speights, Andre Stojka, Steve Susskind, Mark Taylor, Brian Tochi, Les Tremayne, Manu Tupou, B.J. Ward, Kelly Ward, Kirby Ward, Jimmy Weldon, Frank Welker, Eric Williams, Keone Young, Ted Zeigler
- Title: Bill Perez
- Graphics: Iraj Peran, Tom Wogatzke
- Music Arranged and Conducted By: Hoyt Curtin
- Music Supervisor: Paul DeKorte
- Design Supervisor: Davis Doi
- Character Design: Michael McHugh & Tony Sgroi
- Background Color Key: Eric Heschrong
- Background Supervisor: Al Gmuer
- Background Artists: Eric Heschrong, Mike Humphries, James Hegdus
- Produced and Associated with Cuckoos Nest, Wang Film Productions Co., LTD
- Production Supervisor: Lynn Hoag
- Technical Advisor: Bob Marples
- Animation Supervisors: Richard Bowman, Gary Hurst, William Kitchen, Mark Simon
- Sound Directors: Alvy Dorman, Phil Flad
- Supervising Film Editor: Larry C. Cowman
- Dubbing Supervisor: Pat Foley
- Supervising Music Editor: Joe Sandusky
- Supervising Effects Editors: Michael Bradley, Kerry Williams
- Music and Effects: Vitello and Associates
- Show Editor: Gil Iverson
- Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
- Post-Production Supervisor: Joed Eaton
- Executives in Charge of Production: Jayne Barbera and Jean MacCurdy
- A Hanna-Barbera Production
- This Picture Made Under the Jurisdiction of IATSE-IA Affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O.
- (c)1984 Hanna Barbera Productions and Tonka Corporation
- Go-Bots are a trademark of Hasbro Inc.
DVD Release 
On February 3, 2011, Warner Archive released Challenge of the GoBots - The Original Mini-Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
- The show was based on the Machine Robo franchise in Japan.
- The show was called "Challenge of the 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 Fitor, Screwhead, and Cy-Kill have 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 
- Solomon, Charles (March 21, 1986). "3 Animated Films: Good, Bad, Ugly". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- Robots take control of boys' market; manufacturers, retailers look for ways to keep category on right track. Playthings; November 1, 1985; by Gilligan, Eugene
- "Living: Hot Toys with a Special Twist". Time. October 1, 1984. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- Bellomo, Mark (2010). Totally Tubular '80s. Krause Publications. p. 90=93. ISBN 1-4402-1282-1.
- "Challenge Of The Gobots: The Original Miniseries : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Challenge of the GoBots DVD Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Challenge of the GoBots - Date, Cost and More for WAC's DVD of 'The Original Mini-Series'".
- Challenge of The Gobots: The Original Miniseries at WBshop.com
- Challenge of the GoBots at the Internet Movie Database
- Challenge of the GoBots at TV.com