Challenge of the GoBots (also known as Mighty Machine Men) 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.
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.
Clips from the show were used in Errol Morris’ Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.