GoBots aka Machine Robo Action Figure Toys

By | August 26, 2012

Cykill Gobot robot toyIf you grew up during the early '80s, you will probably remember this line of robot toys and its cartoon show. The GoBots were somewhat similar to Transformers in which the robot action figures could be transformed into different vehicles like cars, trucks, planes and helicopters. Go Bots initially started as Machine Robo, a puzzle toy line developed by Popy Pleasure in 1982. Katsushi Murakami designed the toys as small vehicles, which could be reconfigured into robots. The small figures sold well for the price of ¥600. Eventually, the small action figures from Machine Robo series were informally called as the “600 Series”.  Machine Robo Japanese GobotsSince the first release of the toy line was a success, Popy released larger robot figures with the ScaleRobo DX figures, which were now based on real life vehicles. In 1983, Popy was reabsorbed by Bandai which continued to expand the line and added a few improvements to the growing toy robot industry. Bandai eventually exported the line to Australia, America and Europe towards the end of 1983. Machine Robo was renamed as Machine Men in America and Australia and as Robo Machine in Europe.

Continue reading the rest of this article, or take a moment to shop for classic GoBot robot action toys for sale!

Vintage Tonka Go Bots GoBots 3 in One Communication System Robot Intercom NEW
Sale Ends Sunday Jan-22-2017 7:11:20 PST

VTG 1980s Gobots DOZER Go Bots MR 11 Bulldozer Robot Transformer Toy 1982 JAPAN
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OPENED 1985 GoBots Royal T 19 MR 19 Friendly Robot British Jet TONKA Broken Wing
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OPENED 1985 GoBots Pincher 48 Enemy Robot Monster TONKA Transformers MINT
Sale Ends Sunday Jan-22-2017 8:46:26 PST

OPENED 1984 GoBots Path Finder 29 MR 29 TONKA Transformers Broken Gun Tip
$9.99 (1 Bid)
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OPENED 1985 GoBots Bent Wing 72 Guardian Robot WWII Fighter TONKA Transformers
$22.50 (4 Bids)
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OPENED 1984 GoBots Small Foot 14 MR 35 Friendly Robot 4x4 Truck TONKA
$18.29 (3 Bids)
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OPENED 1985 GoBots Man O War 66 MR 54 Guardian Robot Battleship TONKA
$20.02 (3 Bids)
Sale Ends Sunday Jan-22-2017 9:17:46 PST

OPENED 1983 GoBots Spay C 06 MR 14 Friendly Robot Space Ship TONKA Transformers
$11.50 (4 Bids)
Sale Ends Sunday Jan-22-2017 9:24:26 PST

Diecast Bandai Go Bot US Army Helicopter transformer
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Vtg GOBOTS Super Rare PUZZLER Tonka Renegade Action Figure Go Bot Combiner 1984
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In order to boost sales, Bandai created a back-story for their robot action figures. The robots were refugees from the destroyed planet of Romulos. They are defending the planet Earth from the monster robots, Devil Invaders, from Casmozone. However, there was no cartoon series produced only a few animated commercials and manga strips. In America, Go Bots is suffering heavy losses from their competitor, Takara which licensed Hasbro to sell their robot action figure line, the Transformers. Hasbro also tied up with Marvel in order to create an animated series about the robot action figures. This boosted the sales of their action figures, which lead to the slow decline of Go Bots action figures in the American market.

Cy Kill Gobot motorcycle

However, Bandai failed to make an impression in the American market. They eventually chose to license the figures to Tonka. Tonka then renamed the toy series to Go Bots. In order to meet the competition, Tonka paired up with Hanna-Barbera to create an animated series. However, the cartoon show produced for the American television is different from Bandai’s original storyline for the action figures. The Gobots were divided into two factions the Guardians and the Renegades. The plot was pretty generic, with the Guardian defending the Earth against the evil Renegades. Among the memorable characters are Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter, and Small Foot from the Guardians and Cy-Kill, Crasher, Cop-Tur, and Fitor from the Renegades. Strangely though, not all Gobots action figures were featured in the show. Some only got minor roles and an occasional guest appearance. They only appear whenever their unique abilities are required, but they are never featured in the main storyline.

A series of Gobots magazine was also published between the winters of 1986 to 1987 by Telepictures Publishing. It was a quarterly magazine, rather than a comic series, featuring sci-fi articles, a five-page comic strip and an “Ask Leader-1” section. Fans who are nostalgic about this 80s toy line and animated series are collecting rare action figures. The beautifully painted box art is even a bonus treat for collectors.

bandai cykill gobot robot action figure

Classic Gobot action figure toy commercial from the '80s.

80s Super GoBots Action Figure Toys