Country of origin
First episode date
8 September 1984
Number of episodes
No. of episodes
Final episode date
16 September 1985
Number of seasons
Ray Patterson (Supervising) Arthur Davis (season 1) Oscar Dufau Volus Jones (season 2) Don Lusk (season 2) Carl Urbano (season 1) Rudy Zamora (season 2) Alan Zaslove (season 2)
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
William Hanna Joseph Barbera Joe Taritero Patrick S. Feely
Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Marilyn Lightstone, Bernard Erhard, Lou Richards
The Biskitts, Machine Robo: Revenge, Clue Club, Pac‑Man, Goober and the Ghost Ch
Challenge of the GoBots (or simply GoBots) is an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, based on the Gobots toy-line released from Tonka. The show was first broadcast in syndication on September 8, 1984, then the show join the weekday/weekend programming block "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" in September 15 of 1985. It was later rerun on the USA Cartoon Express.
Challenge of the gobots cultkidstv intro
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 while the Renegades were led by Cy-Kill. The characters rarely had guns, instead shooting energy blasts out of their fists. The female robots on the series, such as Crasher, were built like the males, but with some distinguishing female features. The GoBots' origin as organic beings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots.
The series generally focused on a small number of robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo, Small Foot and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Fitor, 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 had no identifying insignias or markings to indicate their allegiance, although it was indicated on the toy 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.
In the series' backstory, 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.
- Battle for Gobotron Part 1 Battle for Gobotron
- Battle for Gobotron Part 2 Target Earth
- Battle for Gobotron Part 3 Conquest of Earth
- Battle For Gobotron Part 4 Earth Bound
- Battle For Gobotron Part 5 The Final Conflict
- It's the Thought That Counts
- Renegade Alliance
- Time Wars
- Terror in Atlantis
- Trident's Triple Threat
- Lost on Gobotron
- Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray
- The Quest for Roguestar
- Ultra Zod
- Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap
- Speed is of the Essence
- Genius and Son
- Dawn World
- Pacific Overtures
- Forced Alliance
- Invasion from the 21st Level Pt. 1
- Invasion from the 21st Level Pt. 2
- Scooter Enhanced
- Tarnished Image
- Cold Spell
- Crime Wave
- Auto Madic
- Renegade Rampage Pt. 1
- Renegade Rampage Pt. 2
- In Search of Ancient Gobonauts
- Wolf in the Fold
- Depth Charge
- Transfer Point
- Steamer's Defection
- The GoBot Who Cried Renegade
- The Seer
- Whiz Kid
- Ring of Fire
- The Gobotron Saga Part 1 Cy-Kill's Escape
- The Gobotron Saga Part 2 Quest for the Creator
- The Gobotron Saga Part 3 The Fall of Gobotron
- The Gobotron Saga Part 4 Flight to Earth
- The Gobotron Saga Part 5 Return to Gobotron
- Destroy All Guardians
- Escape from Elba
- Fitor to the Finish
- Clutch of Doom
- The Third Column
- A New Suit for Leader-1
- Renegade Carnival
- The Gift
- Nova Beam
- The Last Magic Man
- Braxis Gone Bonkers
- Inside Job
- Element of Danger
- Mission: Gobotron
- Et Tu, Cy-Kill?
- The GoBots That Time Forgot
- The Secret of Halley's Comet
- Guardian Academy
- Quest for New Earth
Home media releases
Various episodes of the show had been released on VHS by Vestron Video under its Children's Video Library label in the 1980s.
On May 17, 2011, Warner Archive released Challenge of the GoBots - The Original Mini-Series on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com. On May 6, 2014, Warner Archive released Challenge of the GoBots- The Series, Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1. The three-disc set features the first 30 episodes of the series. The final volume Challenge of the GoBots- The Series, Volume 2, which contains the last remaining 30 episodes of the show, was released on March 10, 2015. The 1984 Ruby-Spears television film, Robo Force: The Revenge of Nazgar, is included as a special feature.
The show spawned an animated, feature-length film Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords which opened in theaters on March 21, 1986, a little over four months before The Transformers: The Movie (August 8). Clips from the show were also used in Errol Morris's Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. Additional GoBots storyline was later released on the Transformers Facebook pages "Ask Vector Prime" and "Renegade Rhetoric," with GoBots characters also appearing in storyline from Fun Publications.