Friday, March 19, 2010


The seventh seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse crumbles like a scooter getting run over by an eighteen wheeler in the conclusion to my GoBotastic two part trilogy taking a retrospective look at the super successful first year of Tonka's mighty robots and mighty vehicles!

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21 October 1984
It always trips me out when I hear people say the Transformers beat/outsold/embarrassed/destroyed/had non-consentual intercourse with/ the GoBots. Why is this relationship never implied between Transformers and the other well known robot themed toylines of the day like Voltron, Robotech and RoboForce? The GoBots actually raked in very decent money and it could be said they in turn far eclipsed/totally had their way with Chargertron, Convertors and RoboTrons but you never hear that! All you hear is how fantasticly popular Transformers were in 1984 and how GoBots sucked. Well in the conclusion to my podcastalyptical look at the first year of GoBots I examine the hard numbers relating to how well the GoBots sold, including not only how much money they made in 1984 but how many made it into the hands of toy robot lovers all over the country. You'll be surprised, amazed, puzzled even! And my analysis of the numbers just might give you a Go-Boner!

Toy City 12/03/84

  • Opening poem-"The Roboplastic Podcastalypse" (Cy-Killer version)
  • Recap of last episode
  • I would put Frank Welker in the dunk tank at GoBotCon
  • Two dozen ways to spend your allowance in 1984
  • Hitting the Targets-robot demand exceeded supply
  • Believe in Zod-why Tonka original molds disprove the theory they imitated Hasbro
  • Did simultaneous development of two major toy robot lines split the market?
  • Second class Cybertronians-early perceptions of the GoBot line
  • People who hate GoBots hate themselves
  • GoBots gone wild-The marketing and various promotions
  • Early perceptions of Gobots vs. Transformers by retailers
  • The Robert Malone GoBot publicity tour
  • Conspiracy theory of why GoBots cartoon sucked on purpose
  • Toy & Hobby World's top 10 toy hit parade
  • Charting Gobots popularity in 1984 against other toylines
  • Going, going, gone-Tonka ran out of GoBots by December 1984
  • Challenge of quantifying the GoBots popularity
  • What is success?-Number of robots sold or how much their toy companies made?
  • Why retail sales are not a good measure of toy success
  • The Transformers/GoBots race to make cole slaw of the Cabbage Patch Kids
  • Bandai vs. Takara-who would deliver more?
  • Tonka's total GoBots wholesale orders delivered vs. Hasbro's total Transformers orders delivered
  • Tonka's total GoBots units delivered vs. Hasbro's total Transformers units delivered
  • Original GoBot art on eBay went for 23 bucks!
  • Closing poem


Jack said...

All gobots will be cosmosmashed by: THE CARNIVAL MACHINDER ARMY

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Oh, yeah, definitely. Carnival Junior Machinders were so superior to GoBots. Carnival Junior Machinders were bigger and had more articulation and looked more awesome. GoBots sucked anyways. Compared to Carnival
Junior Machinders Gobots were shitty, poorly animated knock-offs. They were rubbery.

Jack said...

Actually, I have been perusing the Gobonomicon, and have discovered many more treasures among the halls of robo machine.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Oh, yeah, definitely. Robo Machine were definitely superior to GoBots. Robo Machine were bigger and had more articulation and looked more awesome. GoBots sucked anyways. Compared to Robo Machine, Gobots were shitty, poorly animated knock-offs. They were rubbery.

Zebong Scandonga said...

Ah, my beloved ChargerTron. Im surprised anyone remember's that one.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Oh, yeah, definitely. Chargertron was way superior to GoBots. Chargertron was bigger and had more articulation and looked more awesome. GoBots sucked anyways. Compared to Chargertron, Gobots were shitty, poorly animated knock-offs. They were rubbery.

Heavyarms said...

FACT: Young Heavyarms had way more Go-Bots than Transformers.

Well...not WAY more. I only had 4 or 5 Transformers and at least 10 Go-Bots.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

That makes total sense and it's as I expect most people's collections were like. The ratio that first year is 3 GoBots sold for every 2 Transformers. The toys were phenomenally popular before the cartoon went daily in '85. I think Tonka's biggest mistake behind shooting for a younger audience was not introducing larger more expensive robots from the start.

Oh well, it's not like GoBots needs me to feel bad for it. It's still remembered and has rock star status compared to tons of other robots lines that are long forgotten.

Captain Rufus said...

I had more TFs than Gobots but I made up for it in quality. Puzzler, Defendor, and Super Leader 1 were all in my selection of Gobots. And they fought and bled robot fluids alongside the Transformers.

Hell, my Robotech models joined the fight in spite of being fragile plastic that even someone who takes good care of things couldn't save.

(And my first memory of genuinely watching Robotech had me playing with a Gobot. Zero no less. Incredibly appropriate even though I wouldn't understand why till Robotech Art 1 4 years later.)

Anonymous said...

The Houston Chronicle website has a picture of a kid in a store talking to a giant Leader-1, and it seems to match your description of the 3½-foot-tall GoBot used on the Robert Malone publicity tour.

If that is the one, then you just so happened to post a mysterious photo of it a few months later.


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