Transformers: Generation 1
The Throttlebot toys had limited poseability and simple transformations. Not even the arms move. To transform the car to a robot, what is needed is to lift the frame of the car to an upright position, flip out the side panels to reveal the arms and hands, flip back the rear of the car body to reveal heads, and optionally push the chassis in.
The Throttlebots include six toys:
- Chase - A restless spirit who is always on the go. Voiced by Danny Mann.
- Goldbug - A reincarnation of Bumblebee. Voiced by Dan Gilvezan.
- Freeway - A practical joker. Voiced by Danny Mann.
- Rollbar - An adventurer who likes driving off-road; known more for his use of corny phrases and slogans. Voiced by Dan Gilvezan.
- Searchlight - A paranoid who wants to always watch what's going on. Voiced by Steve Bulen.
- Wideload - A large dump truck obsessed with keeping himself clean. Voiced by Corey Burton.
The Throttlebots were among the first Transformers released in 1987 and featured pull-back motors that worked in both car and robot modes.
The Throttlebots were introduced in the Transformers cartoon's third season finale, "The Return of Optimus Prime" as a team originally consisting of Chase, Freeway, Searchlight and Wideload. In the second half of that two-part episode, the severely damaged Bumblebee is repaired and rebuilt by a Quintesson, and given the new name Goldbug by Optimus Prime after commenting that his new body made him a "Gold Bug". Rollbar did not appear until the first installment of "The Rebirth", the three-part episode that served as the fourth and final season of the series. In the Return of Optimus Prime saga the Throttlebots were one of the first Transformers to be infected by the hate disease and quickly spread it over to the Stunticons. In the fourth and final season of the Transformers they have a little major role of defending Autobot City against a full army of Decepticons.
In the Marvel US Transformers comics, Goldbug is introduced the 4th issue of the G.I. Joe and the Transformers mini-series. He was rebuilt by the efforts of G.I. Joe technicians and Autobot medic Ratchet after being destroyed by a G.I. Joe security detail (using Armadillo mini-tanks).
In the UK Marvel comic Goldbug is rebuilt by the time-travelling Junkion leader Wreck-Gar after his "death" at the hands of the notorious bounty hunter Death's Head as the events of the aforementioned crossover do not take place in the continuity of the UK comic. Goldbug goes on to join several other "future" Autobots in fighting the rogue Decepticon Galvatron before rejoining his present day companions and eventually the other Throttlebots.
In Transformers (Marvel Comics U.S.) issues #29-30, the Throttlebots were a rogue band of Autobot rebels whom Ratbat captured and forced to go to Earth to end a Scraplet infestation - tiny viral robots that turn into bolts and screws and eat metal upon contact - by exterminating the infected. Blaster, Goldbug and the Decepticon Triple Changers had already been infected, with Goldbug searching for a cure; the Throttlebots reluctantly attempted to kill him until they discovered the Scraplets could be killed with water. Curing the plague, the Throttlebots joined Blaster and Goldbug on the road, eventually being hunted down by the Autobots (under Grimlock's command), the Combaticons and R.A.A.T. forces. Rollbar having been injured earlier by an R.A.A.T. ambush, the Throttlebots were captured by R.A.A.T. and eventually executed as a show of disapproval against Decepticon attacks (R.A.A.T. and the American government believed all Transformers were allied despite statements by their captives and humans who learned the truth); they only survived by having their brain modules secretly removed by sympathetic government agent Walter Barnett. Their brains spent some time in toy cars before their bodies were rebuilt by Fortress Maximus' crew.
The Throttlebots were destroyed by the Underbase-powered Starscream. Goldbug was rebuilt (as Bumblebee) but the other Throttlebots were never shown rebuilt; Chase appeared as part of an Autobot task-force in the GI Joe/Generation 2 crossover but he was killed by Megatron.
The Throttlebots appeared as a whole team in IDW's Spotlight Metroplex.
The leader of the Throttlebots, Goldbug, is not Bumblebee, but a separate character.
Searchlight was among the crew in Optimus Prime's ship in Stormbringer.
Searchlight was on the Autobot Orbital Command Hub in Spotlight: Blaster. He was present when Blaster was recovered and returned to the Autobots.
- Lee's Guide to Loose 1987 Transformers: Autobots. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #205, December 2009
- Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 54. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9.