I grew up as a Gobots kid.
At the time I honestly didn’t really think much of Transformers – I think Gobots were just what I ended up with because that’s what they had on the shelves in the toy aisle of our local grocery store, so that’s where my allowance and whatnot went when I had money to spend. In hindsight, it’s clear that one is pretty much a direct rip-off of the other … even though technically my beloved Gobots actually came out a few months before the stupid Transformers did! 😛
Anyways, I bring this up tonight because whenever these alien robots wander back into my head from my childhood, I’m always reminded of one particular series of episodes that I’ve never been able to find online … until tonight. It’s a five-episode arc called The Gobotron Saga that featured the original creator of the Gobots, The Last Engineer, being sought out to save the Guardians from an evil Renegade invasion. The very last part in the series (5 of 5) features him showing off the new power suits that he created to give the Guardians the upper hand against their enemies which were totally awesome … and yes, I absolutely had every last one of them to complete the set…
…although it’s really hard not to look at the final “Power Warrior” that is formed and not think that it’s just a blatant rip-off of Voltron… 🙄
I also found it somewhat intriguing to look through the actual cast of the show and come to realize that several of the voice actors were actually involved in a lot of the cartoons that I used to watch growing up!
- B.J. Ward, who was the voice of Small Foot on Gobots, was also Princess Allura and Haggar on Voltron as well as did voices on The Chipmunks and Darkwing Duck.
- Frank Welker, who was the voice of Scooter, also did Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget, ironically Megatron and others on The Transformers, and all sorts of voices from Muppet Babies, Tiny Toon Adventures, not to mention Nibbler on Futurama today!
- Arthur Burghardt, who was Turbo on Gobots, also appeared on The Transformers, The Chipmunks, and G.I. Joe (a lot of these folks did G.I. Joe – I just never watched that one).
- And probably most notable of all, Optimus Prime himself, Peter Cullen, also appeared on Gobots as several of the Renegades in addition to narrating Voltron and doing voices for The Chipmunks, Ghostbusters, DuckTales, BraveStarr, Winnie the Pooh, Rescue Rangers, Gummi Bears … the list goes on!
Anyways, here’s the full miniseries – all 100 minutes of it across five parts! I tried to track down another one that I liked as well – it was actually a miniseries of the first five episodes of the show, but the only copy I could find was on some really crappy video site that literally played commercials every five minutes and was nearly unwatchable. Rumor has it you can still get that one as a print-on-demand DVD from Hanna-Barbera, so if anyone needs an awesome nostalgic Christmas gift for me this year… 😉