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.
NIGHT RANGER (Nr. 37)
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.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- 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.