Poor poor Go-Bots. In the early 80s Tonka decided to import transforming robot toys from Japan, give them new names and personalities, create a cartoon and then unleash them upon the children of America. This would have been a great idea and a very profitable venture if only Hasbro hadn’t decided to do the same thing, and unfortunately for Tonka Hasbro did it way way better. The Go-Bots are like the red headed step child of toy lines who have been practically wiped from memory by the juggernaut that is Transformers. The Go-Bot toys and cartoon actually beat Transformers to the punch and I remember enjoying watching The Challenge of the Go-Bots in the early 80. I had a handful of Go-Bot toys growing up including the leader of the evil Renegades Cy-Kill. Cy-Kill provides a great example of one of the weakest points of the Go-Bots toy line, their names. Cy-Kill transformed into a motorcycle, Cop-ter transformed into a Helicopter, Scooter transformed into a scooter. Very unimaginative names like these sounded much less appealing to kids like me than Megatron, Optimus Prime, and Omega Supreme. Plus the transformations themselves were weak. Most Go-Bots consisted of two or three quick moves to completely change from robot to vehicle mode, this was the case for some Transformers too but Transformers also had much more complicated detailed characters. Transformers had a better cartoon and they also had an excellent comic book. I don’t recall if Go-Bots ever had a comic but if they did it was obviously forgettable.
Despite their simple designs and basic transformations I still quite like many of the Go-Bot toys. Cy-Kill here was one of my favorites as I find something very appealing about his design but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. He’s got a nice color scheme and I just think that he has a unique look. His piped arms and helmet like head just create an aesthetic that I like. I would love to see a Go-Bots resurgence one day but it seems unlikely. Hasbro has since bought the brand from Tonka and they don’t seem to interested in doing anything with it. I think it was more about acquiring the competition and shutting it down rather than adding these characters into the Transformers universe. A couple years ago there was a comic series that explored Megatron’s origin story that had a nice little easter egg in it. Megatron started out as a low-class gladiator before starting up his Decepticon army and in a scene showing Megatron walking away from the gladiator arena Cy-Kill can be seen laying defeated in the background. Kinda cool. 6 out of 10.