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Sunday, July 15, 2012

#171 GOBOTS – DIVE-DIVE, NIGHT RANGER and BAD BOY (Nrs. 33, 37 and 47) (1983 and 1984)

I discovered this line recently, as I bought a mixed lot of transformers in which some Gobots and some knock-offs were included. These three Gobots, however, do not come from that lot, but from an exchange with Romain. Thanks!

I have to say, that I was quite surprised with the quality of these toys, which I always considered to be low quality, Transformers knock-offs, since I knew TFs first, and comparisons are unavoidable.

 DIVE-DIVE (Nr. 33)

The Gobots are transforming robots, originally created by Popy of Japan in 1982, and originally named “Machine Robo”. “Gobots” is the name given by the American toymaker Tonka, as they imported the line to the U.S.A. First they used the "Machine Men" name (in Europe it would be "Machine Robo"), but it was later changed to "Gobots".  Hasbro had done almost the same thing with the “Transformers” line one year before, named originally “Diaclone” by its creator Takara, and first sold under the "Diaclone" brand.

In both lines, the robots have their own personality and characteristics, but Transformers have deeper backgrounds and bios than Gobots. The Gobots had two TV series produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1984 and 1986 (the second one dedicated to the “Rock Lords”, which is a different toy line, a spin-off of the Gobots).  

BAD BOY (Nr. 47)

In the first years, the Gobots sold very well in the U.S., but later, they were overtaken by Transformers, because Hasbro was a bigger company and had more money to spend in promoting its toy-line. Hasbro Toys were also far more sophisticated toys, with more complex transformations, included accessories, and so on.

It is important to mention that there were bigger Gobots, with more complex transformations. Hasbro’s Transformers in this size neither have spectacular transformations, so the critics above do not always apply. About durability, my impression is that the articulations in Gobots tend to come loose and are not so durable, although plastic and metallic parts have great quality.

Anyway, Gobots are great toy robots, and even though the transformation is not always very good, I find them especially charming. As they came without accessories, they are most of the times complete, so that’s one thing less to worry about.


The three robots presented in this entry are three beautiful examples of this collection. Bad Boy doesn't have an specially beautiful robot-mode, but as a bomber is absolutely great. Night Ranger is very similar to a Transformers called Groove from 1986.

  • Name: DIVE-DIVE, NIGHT RANGER and BAD BOY (Nr. 33, 37 and 47)
  • Alternate Names: SUBMARINE ROBO, HARLEY ROBO and FAIRCHILD ROBO (Machine Robo names/ Japan)
  • Toy Line: Go-Bots
  • Year: 1983, 1983 and 1984
  • Company: Popy/ Bandai (Japan) / Tonka (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: Around 7 cm (between  2’’ and 3’’) in robot mode.


  1. Yo tengo a Dive-dive y Bad Boy y el primero es sencillamente excelente, de los mejores Gobots pequeños. Bad Boy tiene mal transformados los brazos por cierto, aun así sigue siendo feo en modo robot pero el modo A-10 me encanta. En la caja se incluye pegatinas de fauces para emular al A-10 real, detalle que hizo que quisiese hacerme con uno.

    Y sí, efectivamente las articulaciones de estos juguetes tendían a desgastarse muy pronto lo cual hace que sea difícil encontrar modelos usados con articulaciones en buen estado.

  2. Hey Speedy, ¡gracias por las puntualizaciones!

    Lo de Bad Boy lo he buscado ahora y efectivamente las turbinas se pueden girar un poco, pero por algún motivo en mi figura estaban bastante duras, por lo que pensé que serían fijas, lo miraré la próxima vez que abra la caja donde tengo esas figuras.

    Y lo de las articulaciones me lo sospechaba, casi todos mis gobots están un poco cascados (tengo 7).

    Espero aún la segunda parte de tu artículo de Gobots, que debe estar al caer.

  3. Los brazos no solo giran un poco sino que también se estiran ;)


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