The year was 1986 and a popular cartoon series based on a toyline of transforming robots made the leap to the big screen. You know the robots I’m talking about. That’s right, The Gobots.
The Gobots, a toyline by Tonka which was based on toys made by the Japanese toymaker, Popy, was introduced in 1983, a year before Hasbro created The Transformers.
In 1984, Hanna Barbera produced the cartoon, Challenge of the Gobots. That cartoon ran for 65 episodes, before ending in 1985. In March 1986 Hanna Barbera released the animated feature film, Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords . It hit theaters a few months before the Transformers movie was released.
In Battle of the Rock Lords, the heroic Guardians (the good Gobots), are contacted by Solitaire, a good Rock Lord. She explains the trouble happening on her planet, caused by the evil Rock Lord Magmar. A member of the Renegades (the bad Gobots) is spying, and hears Solitaire talk of a powerful weapon that Magmar wants to claim control of. This sets both factions of the Gobots off on a quest to the Rock Lords home planet.
This whole movie was just an attempt to promote the Rock Lords toys that were coming out. The Gobots had already run their course and I guess Tonka thought people would love creatures that transformed into awesome rocks.
The movie was a huge flop and basically sealed the fate of the Gobots. Hasbro would later by the rights to the names and histories of the Gobots characters and incorporate them into the Transformers universe.
The movie isn’t the worse cartoon movie I have seen, but it’s a pretty paint-by-numbers story. The individual Gobots just don’t have the personalities that the Transformers have for the most part. It’s only a little over an hour long, so give it a watch one day. Telly Savalas voices the evil Rock Lord Magmar, while Margot Kidder voices Solitaire. Not quite the names that the Transformers movie brought with Nimoy and Welles.
Check out the trailer out here.
Gobots: Not Much More Than Meets the Eye.