Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On the eleventh day of GoBots, Toy City gave to me...well, it's a Gong story

There exist limits to even my vast pool of roboplastic knowledge. For even though my pool is vast, nobody's changed the water in a while and it's not really one of those olympic sized kidney bean shaped pools but more like one of those plastic kiddie pools about four feet across and there's some old floaty toys partially deflated, yet still floating around in it. It is also rather shallow-everything I know about toy robots is pretty much what I learned from spending a tryptzillion hours at Super Toy Archive, plus the first page of results when I Google something, plus 25 year old K-Mart newspaper ads. So it is not surprising when I come across an old ad for GoBots that befuddles and amazes me.
Toy City 12/20/84
Case in point is this Toy City ad featuring at first what looks like a Kronoform robot watch or the many unlicensed knockoffs thereof, but what is labeled as a GoBots watch. At first I thought it was a mistake because I've seen and found ads for the more widely known GoBot watch named Tic Toc and that one looks nothing like this. But then it dawned on me that Tic Toc was only one half of the GoBot watch war-he had a Renegade counterpart named Gong. In all my travels I have never seen Gong before. I've never seen one at Botcon or any other robot swapmeet I've been to. I've never seen one on message boards or websites or even the first ten pages of Google image results when I type "Gobot watch Gong". And I know I've never seen one on It bothers me because Toy City usually knew what they were talking about. I look at this ad and I'm wondering if it could possibly be true that there was a GoBot that was in effect a knockoff of a Takara product or possibly licensed from them. So Gong exists somewhere beyond the reservoir from which my garden hose of GoBots information gets the water to fill my pool of toy robots knowledge. Which leaves me realizing the only thing more embarrassing than being a grown man wading around in one of those plastic kiddie pools is doing it without a lot of water.

UPDATE!: The mystery deepens! I think both this blue guy and this red guy at Super Toy Archive are Tic Toc while Gong really is a copy of the Takara robot watch. I later found an ad for both Gong and Tic Toc during Vintage Space Toast Tour Miami that shows a very blurry picture of both watches carded. What's crazy is that Gong does indeed look like a different toy than Tic Toc and not just a recolor. The picture is pretty rough but it's the best evidence I've come up with so far supporting this crazy notion that at some point both Takara's Kronoform and Impulse's GoBots watches used the same toy!


Anonymous said...


Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yeah I've figured it out since then and seen them in person at a couple toy shows.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.