Sunday 4 December 2022

G1 Gobots (Collectors Edition, 2004)


84 Dimensional Exploration Experimental Team G1 Gobots
Function: Dimensional Exploration Experimental Team
● These are the first group of warriors on Seibertron to call themselves “Gobots”. Although they have the appearance and transformational ability like normal Transformers, they are in fact an alien race from another universe in disguise. They are a specialised team originally comprised of hostile factions but they have joined forces to save their race from a catastrophic crisis which has befallen their home world. They conduct covert operations on planet Seibertron such as espionage, diplomacy, space-time interference experiments. They have even imparted their own technologies on Seibertron such as transporter devices and bio-mechanical engineering. They are said to have contributed to the creation of the new generation of Transformers such as the future “Spychangers”.
Weapon(s): Various Built-In Firepower
STR…7, INT…9, SPD…7, END…6, TMW…2, CRG…8, FPR…7, SKL…9, TTL…55

Other Resources:

Much like the Hasbro's Transformers, Tonka's Gobots originated in Japan which were released by Popy, a company owned by Bandai. Popy released the Machine Robo line in 1982 which were all initially priced at 600 Yen.

The original 1982 MR-01 Bike Robo (aka Cy-Kill). Source

American toy company Tonka, known for producing metal toy trucks, saw promise in the Machine Robo line and licensed them from Bandai for release in America in 1983, a year before the Transformers debut. Bandai themselves released the Machine Robo line in Europe and renamed them Robo Machines; later releases did include Tonka's Gobots logo on the packaging.

In order to sell the toys, Tonka brought in animation company Hanna-Barbera to produce a cartoon which was named "Challenge of the Gobots". The cartoon was first broadcast on the 8th September 1984, 9 days before the Transformers was first broadcast. 

The cartoon created a very different backstory for the Gobots as they were originally humanoid beings called Gobeings. Following a catastrophic event where a large asteroid was intentionally crashed into their planet Gobotron, the Gobeings had to adapt to survive by replacing their body parts with robotic parts.

The asteroid heading towards Gobotron from the episode "Cy-Kill's Escape".

In 1991 Tonka was bought out by Hasbro and with the acquisition came all the Gobots intellectual property, apart from the actual toys which were owned by Bandai. Since the acquisition, the Gobots have had cameo features in Transformers media. We even had a Mini-Con named Leader-1 released in Transformers Armada which had the Gobots Leader-1 colour scheme.

In January 2004 Takara released the "Minibot Team" in the Transformers Collection Series. This set featured reissues of Bumble (Bumblebee), Drag (Huffer), Adams (Cosmos), Powerglide, Warpath & Gears. As was custom in the early 2000's, e-Hobby released a repaint of the set simply named "G1 Gobots". 

When initially advertised on their website, the 6 members had names from Tonka's Gobots, however the names were dropped. Apparently this had something to do with Bandai but given that the names were Tonka's and Hasbro have owned the copyright since 1991, I'm not sure why they couldn't have used the names. Slightly renamed "Bugbite", he was released in the 2007 Botcon box set "Games of Deception" as a repaint of the 2006 Classics Deluxe Bumblebee. Bug Bite was later released in the G1 Gobots colour scheme under the Generations Selects toy line in 2020 and was a repaint of Cliffjumper with Bumblebee's head.

The names were:-
  • Road Ranger (Black repaint of Drag/Huffer)
  • Small Foot (Orange & red repaint of Gears)
  • Path Finder (Blue repaint of Adams/Cosmos)
  • Bug Bite (White repaint of Bumble)
  • Treds (Dark green repaint of Warpath)
  • Bad Boy (Light grey & blue repaint of Powerglide)

Although they initially shared the names with the Gobots, they did not share the same colours. Pathfinder, Treds and Bad Boy featured colour schemes of the prototypes featured in a 1985 toy fair Takara catalogue. I'm not sure about the origin of Bug Bite, Small Foot and Road Ranger's colour schemes.

1985 Takara toy catalogue

The G1 Gobots also came with a single character card which is in a plastic bag taped to the window of the box. It retells the story of the Gobots and mentions the catastrophic crisis which was the asteroid that hit Gobotron.

Road Ranger

Source: eBay

The original Road Ranger transformed into a red and blue truck, very similar to an old fan favourite Transformer. For the Transformers version, Takara repainted Drag/Huffer into a black truck with red windows. The robot mode is a bit brighter as it includes orange with the colour scheme.

Small Foot

Source: eBay

The original Small Foot transformed into a Toyota Hilux and Gears is a very suitable alternative being a pick up truck. The transformers version is a bright orange and red and in robot mode features a bright pink face.

Path Finder

Source: eBay

Adams was a good choice to re-purpose as Path Finder considering they are both UFO's. The Transformer version is a blue repaint of Adams which was based on the early prototype of Adams.


Source: eBay

Although Treds was sold as a Guardian robot (good guy), the toy featured the Renegade (bad guy) faction logo. The Transformer version similarly has a Destron logo and rub symbol. Treds is a dark green repaint of Warpath based on the early prototype version seen in the Takara catalogue. The original Treds was only released by Tonka and did not see a release in Europe or Japan. 

Bug Bite

Source: eBay

The original Deluxe Gobot Bug Bite is an obvious choice for a Bumble repaint. As they are already the same colour, Takara took the decision to repaint Bumble an off white colour for this new character. As mentioned above, Bug Bite is the only member of the G1 Gobots set to see another mainline release.

Bad Boy

Source: eBay

Just like Bad Boy, Powerglide transforms into an A-10 Thunderbolt II. Bad Boy uses the prototype colours for Powerglide as seen in Takara's catalogue.

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