Challenge of the GoBots

Format Animated series
Runtime 30 mins
Starring Lou Richards
Arthur Burghardt
Frank Welker
Bernard Erhard
Bob Holt
Marilyn Lightstone
Sparky Marcus
Leslie Speights
Morgan Paull
Phil Hartman
B.J. Ward
Brock Peters
Peter Cullen
Country Template:USA
Network First-run syndication
First aired October 29, 1984 (miniseries)
September 16, 1985 (regular series)
No. of episodes 65

Challenge of the GoBots (also known as simply GoBots) is an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, based on the Gobots toy-line released from Tonka. Most of the toys were imported from the Japanese Machine Robo toy line .

The GoBots originally debuted in animated form as a five-part miniseries, which aired in syndication from October 29 - November 2, 1984. A regular series followed the next year, premiering on September 16, 1985. The series was later rerun on the USA Cartoon Express.


GoBots dealt with two opposing forces of transforming robots from the planet Gobotron: the heroic Guardians and the evil Renegades. The Guardians were led by Leader-1 with others including Turbo and Scooter. The Renegades were led by Cy-Kill, with Crasher and Cop-Tur among their ranks. The characters rarely had guns, instead shooting energy blasts out of their fists. Unlike Transformers, GoBots had regular female characters. However, the females were built like the males (only Crasher receiving any distinguishable female features). The GoBots' origin as organic beings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots. [1]

The series generally focused on the "lead" three robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher), who were virtually ever-present, with other characters seeming to rotate in "guest-star" roles.

GoBots had no clear divide between the two factions. The characters (as well as the toys) had no identifying insignias or markings to indicate their allegiance, although it was clearly indicated on the packaging. Likewise, there was no commonality of design within each faction.

The only 'theme' to a side was that anything that turned into a 'monstrous'-looking robot or vehicle was a Renegade.


Thousands of years ago on the planet GoBotron, there lived a race of human-like beings known as GoBings. Civil war erupted on the planet when the power-hungry terrorist group known as the Renegades arose, led by a madman dubbed the "Master Renegade", who waged war against the peaceful Guardians. When a Renegade sabotage operation inadvertently resulted in a gigantic asteroid colliding with GoBotron, the natural disasters that resulted from the asteroid's impact pushed the GoBings to the verge of extinction. However, the genius who became known as the "Last Engineer" saved his people, taking his experiments to replace parts of his own body with mechanical substitutes to the ultimate extent and transferring the GoBings brains into large robot bodies known as "GoBots". The GoBot forms possessed an additional ability; after being run through the device named the Modifier, the GoBots' bodies were able to transform into other vehicles. His work done, the Last Engineer intended to retreat to a pre-prepared workshop elsewhere in the galaxy, but the Master Renegade stole his ship and escaped in his stead. The Last Engineer placed himself into suspended animation beneath the surface of GoBotron, while above, the war continued to rage between the Guardians and the Renegades, now all encased in GoBot shells.

In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the planet Earth became involved in the conflict between Leader-1's Guardians and Cy-Kill's Renegades. During one of these battles, one of Leader-1's lieutenants, Turbo, became severely damaged. Unwilling to let his friend and teammate die, Leader-1 began his quest to find the legendary Last Engineer. Leader-1 found the person he believed to be the Last Engineer, but Leader-1 had unwittingly released the Master Renegade (though he did repair Turbo to gain the Guardians' trust). The Guardians later found the true Last Engineer, who was instrumental in frustrating the alliance between Cy-Kill's Renegades and the Master Renegade.

The Master Renegade later escaped the custody of the Renegades, and plagued both factions, notably attacking the UniCom colony of New Earth.






A few characters on the cartoon had incorrect names:

  • Herr Fiend is named Dr. Go.
  • Baron Von Joy is called Professor Von Joy
  • Tux is called Stretch
  • Night Fright is named Blades (Not to be confused with Bladez.)
  • Bugsie is called Klaws (Klaws was a different character.)
  • Sky Jack is sometimes called Spike
  • Jaw Bone is called The Fossil Lord


  1. Battle for Gobotron (Part 1 of 5)
  2. Target Earth (Part 2 of 5)
  3. Conquest of Earth (Part 3 of 5)
  4. Earth Bound (Part 4 of 5)
  5. The Final Conflict (Part 5 of 5)
  6. Cy-Kill's Escape (Part 1 of 5)
  7. Quest for the Creator (Part 2 of 5)
  8. The Fall Of Gobotron (Part 3 of 5)
  9. Flight To Earth (Part 4 of 5)
  10. Return To Gobotron (Part 5 of 5)
  11. Nova Beam
  12. Depth Charge
  13. Transfer Point
  14. The Quest for Roguestar
  15. Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray
  16. Renegade Rampage (Part 1)
  17. The Renegades' Rampage (Part 2)
  18. Lost on Gobotron
  19. Doppelganger
  20. Scooter Enhanced
  21. Auto Madic
  22. Crime Wave
  23. Cold Spell
  24. Ultra Zod
  25. Genius and Son
  26. Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap
  27. Renegade Alliance
  28. Sentinel
  29. Invasion from the 21st Level (Part 1)
  30. Invasion from the 21st Level (Part 2)
  31. Speed Is of the Essence
  32. Forced Alliance
  33. Dawn World
  34. Trident's Triple Threat
  35. It's the Thought that Counts
  36. Tarnished Image
  37. Time Wars
  38. Gameworld
  39. Wolf in the Fold
  40. In Search of Ancient Gobonauts
  41. Steamer's Defection
  42. The GoBot Who Cried Renegade
  43. The Seer
  44. Whiz Kid
  45. Ring of Fire
  46. Destroy All Guardians
  47. Pacific Overtures
  48. Escape from Elba
  49. Braxis Gone Bonkers
  50. Element of Danger
  51. The Last Magic Man
  52. Inside Job
  53. Renegade Carnival
  54. Fitor to the Finish
  55. Clutch of Doom
  56. The Third Column
  57. The Gift
  58. A New Suit for Leader-1
  59. The GoBots that Time Forgot
  60. Guardian Academy
  61. Quest for New Earth
  62. The Secret of Halley's Comet
  63. Terror In Atlantis
  64. Et Tu, Cy-Kill
  65. Mission GoBotron


Additional Voices

Adrienne Alexander, Jack Angel, Lewis Arquette, Bever-Leigh Banfield, Jered Barclay, Eddie Barth, Billy Barty, Steve Bulen, Howard Caine, Bill Callaway, Selette Cole, Henry Corden, Regis Cordic, Jennifer Darling, Jerry Dexter, George DiCenzo, Richard Dysart, Paul Frees, Dan Gilvezan, Jonathan Harris, Erv Immeman, David Jolliffe, Zale Kessler, Peter Leeds, Norma MacMillan, Ken Mars, Bill Martin, Walter Matthews, Amanda McBroom, Joe Medalis, Allan Melvin, Scott Menville, Sidney Miller, Noelle North, Soon-Teck Oh, Alan Oppenheimer, Laurel Page, Rob Paulsen, Josh Rodine, Shavar Ross, Marilyn Schreffler, Michael Sheehan, Andre Stojka, Steve Susskind, Mark Taylor, Brian Tochi, Les Tremayne, Manu Tupou, Jimmy Weldon, Eric Williams, Keone Young, Ted Zeigler

Production Credits

  • Executive Producers: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
  • Co-Executive Producer: Joe Taritero
  • Producer: Kay Wright
  • Associate Producer: Lew Saw
  • Creative Supervisor and Story Editor: Jeff Segal
  • Associate Story Editor: Kelly Ward
  • Supervising Director: Ray Patterson
  • Directors: Art Davis, Oscar Dufau, Volus Jones, Don Lusk, Rudy Zamora, Alan Zaslove
  • Assistant Directors: Robert Goe, Bill Hutton, Rick Leon, Tony Love, Don Patterson, Tim Walker
  • For the Tonka Corporation
    • Executive Producer: Patrick S. Feely
    • Producer: Lois Hanrahan
    • Co-Producer: Ray McDonald
  • Story Direction: Robert Taylor, Kent Butterworth, Roy Wilson, Rhoydon Shishido, Michael Swainigan, Peter Von Sholly, Rich Chidlaw, Larry Latham, Marijah Dial, Dale Barnhart, Tom Sito, George Scribner, Bill Kroyer
  • Recording Director: Gordon Hunt
  • Assistant Casting Director: Andrea Romano
  • Title: Bill Perez
  • Graphics: Iraj Peran, Tom Wogatzke
  • Music Arranged and Conducted By: Hoyt Curtin
  • Music Supervisor: Paul DeKorte
  • Design Supervisor: Davis Doi
  • Character Design: Michael McHugh & Tony Sgroi
  • Background Color Key: Eric Heschrong
  • Background Supervisor: Al Gmuer
  • Background Artists: Eric Heschrong, Mike Humphries, James Hegdus
  • Produced and Associated with Cuckoos Nest, Wang Film Productions Co., LTD
  • Production Supervisor: Lynn Hoag
  • Technical Advisor: Bob Marples
  • Animation Supervisors: Richard Bowman, Gary Hurst, William Kitchen, Mark Simon
  • Sound Directors: Alvy Dorman, Phil Flad
  • Supervising Film Editor: Larry C. Cowman
  • Dubbing Supervisor: Pat Foley
  • Supervising Music Editor: Joe Sandusky
  • Supervising Effects Editors: Michael Bradley, Kerry Williams
  • Music and Effects: Vitello and Associates
  • Show Editor: Gil Iverson
  • Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
  • Post-Production Supervisor: Joed Eaton
  • Executives in Charge of Production: Jayne Barbera and Jean MacCurdy
  • A Hanna-Barbera Production
  • ©1984 Hanna Barbera Productions Warner Bros Inc & Tonka Corporation

Comparisons to Transformers

The franchises of GoBots and Hasbro's Transformers have often been compared due to the obvious similarities between the products. Although GoBots were technically first to reach the market, Transformers became the clear leader in both the marketplace and in popular culture.

Examples of the similarities between the brands' backstories include:

  • Both are opposing forces of good and evil robots engaged in civil war.
  • Both transform between robot and vehicle-based forms.
  • GoBots hail from Gobotron while Transformers hail from Cybertron.
  • Both franchises introduced female robot characters. However, GoBots featured these characters in the premiere and maintained the characters as regular players. Transformers did not introduce female robots until the second season of the cartoon and used them only sparingly before the movie.
  • Both TV series featured veteran voice-actors Frank Welker and Peter Cullen.
  • While most likely coincidental, the Last Engineer is similar in concept to the Transformer 'god', Primus, whose consciousness also dwelt deep within their homeworld.


See also



External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.