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''Challenge of the [=GoBots=]'' dealt with two opposing forces of [[TransformingMecha transforming robots]] from the planet Gobotron: the heroic Guardians and the evil Renegades. The Guardians were led by Leader-1; others included Turbo and Scooter. The Renegades were led by Cy-Kill, with Crasher and Cop-Tur among their ranks.

The characters rarely had guns, instead shooting energy blasts out of their fists. Although RuleOfCool may state otherwise, ''built-in'' weaponry does make a lot more sense for a robot, when you think about it (and if you observed closely, the Transformers in the 2007 live-action movie seem to follow this rule, with all their weapons being "onboard").

The [=GoBots=]' origin as organic beings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots. Unlike ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'', '' Challenge of the [=GoBots=]'' had regular female characters (the Transformers eventually ''also'' added female castmembers, but it was never clear what gender could mean for an ''inorganic'' race). However, the females were built like the males. Only Crasher received any distinguishable feminine features.

Also, since they did have ''young'' [=GoBots=] who needed to be educated, and the characters did not make claims to [[TimeAbyss vast age]] like the {{Transformers}} did, it appears that [=GoBots=] do age, reproduce, and experience generational turnover like any other biological race (although exactly ''how'' their two genders reproduce would be [[{{Squick}} anybody's guess]]).

Notably, the Renegades do use ''nonsentient, inorganic'' robots as weapons, such as the [[HumongousMecha Zods]] and the [[CombiningMecha Puzzlers;]] while the Guardians use [[TransformingMecha piloted mecha]] called Command Centers and PoweredArmor called Power Suits. Only one episode features a ''sentient'' inorganic robot, and interestingly, it is human-built. The movie also introduced Nuggit, who is identified as a true robot.

Their race became cyborgs in order to survive after their long-standing civil war had decimated their planet's biosphere beyond repair. The Guardians then began converting the otherwise-dead world into a completely metal-sheathed CityPlanet, breaking up entire uninhabited worldlets for the necessary materials. At the time of the series, this massive construction effort is still ongoing, accounting for the metal world's peculiar "apple-core" shape.

The series generally focused on the "lead" three robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher), who were virtually ever-present. Other characters seemed to rotate in "guest-star" roles. [=GoBots=] had no clear divide between the two factions. The characters, as well as the toys, had no identifying insignias or markings to indicate their allegiance, although it was clearly indicated on the packaging. Likewise, there was no commonality of design within each faction. The only "theme" to a faction was that anything that turned into a monstrous-looking robot or vehicle was a Renegade.

''Challenge of the [=GoBots=]'' is considered to be a rip-off of ''Transformers''; this is only partially true. The [=GoBots=] toyline pre-dates the Transformers toyline (recycling a lot of MachineRobo toys). However, the cartoon was [[DuelingShows created as a response to]] the ''Transformers'' cartoon.

Despite addressing some valid and interesting science fiction tropes (as listed below), the series's biggest handicap, apart from its obvious similarity to the {{Transformers}}, was probably its "toony" character design, as compared to the comic book-realism of the {{Transformers}} art. (This may account for the show's popularity in Europe, where toony character designs in [[SpartakusAndTheSunBeneathTheSea adventure shows]] and [[Franchise/{{Tintin}} comics]] are more common.) In addition, the sheer number of characters who had their own spotlight episodes in the Transformers (generally the newest toys in the line) meant that kids would have a lot of choices for favourite characters, while the Gobots cartoon generally focused on the Guardian and Renegade PowerTrio, with most other characters being more like guest stars who made brief appearances.

The fact that the Transformers toys also had numerous accessories and clear delineations between the two factions also pushed the Transformers over the Gobots. For example, as mentioned above, the Gobots wore no faction symbols, nor was there a clear theme between factions the way the original 1984 Decepticons were generally war machines (Megatron the gun, Starscream the jet) or designed for infiltration (Soundwave the tape deck, Reflector the camera) while the Autobots were generally automobiles.

But more than this, it was the fact that virtually every Transformers toy released had a bio and techspecs that described the character, their abilities and personalities that pushed the Transformers brand over the Gobots (whose toys generally had no bio other than their name and allegiance). Even the toys of characters who made no appearances in the cartoon (e.g. the Deluxe Insecticons Barrage, Chop Shop and Venom, or the Wreckers Whirl and Roadbuster) gained a lot of personality from these bios, which were sometimes the only characterization they received.

Interestingly, it is now [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/GoBots_(franchise) actually considered part]] of the ''Transformers'' multiverse. [[note]]Creator/{{Hasbro}} purchased Tonka, the manufactures of [=GoBots=], with Kenner in 1991.[[/note]] Though it's emphasized that it's a ''distant'' part of said multiverse.

There are at least two other {{Alternate Continuit|y}}ies for the franchise (apart from the modern Transformers version). A British [[NewspaperComics comic strip]] called ''Robo Machines'' appeared in the periodical ''Eagle'' from November of '84 to July of '85, featuring a radically different storyline ([[{{Wikipedia}} the other wiki]] has information [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robo_Machines_(comic) here.)]] And in France, where the American show had been quite popular, the Japanese ''MachineRobo'' series was used as a second season, despite the drastic ArtShift between the series.

In 2015, Cy-Kill began hosting ''Renegade Rhetoric'', a Facebook feature endorsed by Hasbro. The in-story explanation being the Cy-Kill from the cartoon wound up in the dimensional hub-world of Axiom Nexus and was gathering power to return to Gobotron in triumph. The feature is decidedly tongue-in-cheek, as Cy-Kill is more than happy to take potshots at the Transformers universe. He argues, for example, that ''Renegades'' is a lot more ambiguous and potentially trustworthy than naming your group ''Decepticons''.

!!''Challenge of the [=GoBots=]'' provides examples of the folllowing tropes:

* AfterTheEnd: The planet Gobotron, whose biosphere was destroyed in a war.
* AncientAstronauts: The Evil One in "Search for the Ancient Gobonauts" was a [=GoBot=] who was exiled to Earth for his transgressions and inspired the construction of the pyramids and the Great Sphinx in Egypt.
* AntiVillain: Fi-Tor at times, especially when he is captured.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: Subverted. The Guardians ''attempt'' to abide by this in the first few episodes (hence the Earth vehicle disguises), but once it becomes clear that the Renegades have completely blown their cover, the Guardians from then on share their technology with the humans and help to establish them in the interstellar community.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Done [[ForTheLulz for fun.]] Anya Turgonova once curses ''"Ish Kabibble!"'' Certainly none of the kids watching would have caught that Ish Kabibble was a famous Vaudeville comedian. Or [[NamesTheSame the '40s coronet player for Kay Keyser's big band who went by the same stage name]]
* AxCrazy: Crasher really loves it when she gets a chance to blast the Guardians.
* BarrierWarrior: Leader-1 could generate a protective force field. However, it took a lot of energy and was exhausting for him, so he could only maintain it for a couple of minutes at a time.
* BenevolentBoss: Leader 1 and (by EvilOverlord standards) Cy-Kill. While he could be abusive (in the pilot episodes he blasted Fi-tor for referring to the Renegades defending their fortress as "my forces"), compared to his contemporaries Megatron or Cobra Commander Cy-Kill complimented his soldiers on a job well done and freely acknowledged being glad to see missing comrades again ("Welcome back, Crasher. I missed your charming laugh.")
* BigBad: Cy-Kill serves as the main villain of the series, being leader of the Renegades.
* BigBrotherMentor: Matt to Nick and A.J.
* BizarroUniverse: "Transfer Point" has Leader-1 and Scooter end up in an alternate dimension where the Guardians are evil and the Renegades are good.
* BoisterousBruiser: Turbo is the strongest of the Guardians and very upbeat.
* BrainInAJar: The [=GoBots=] are actually organic brains in robotic bodies.
* TheBrigadier: General Newcastle is a military officer and serves as the highest human authority that the Guardians are allied with.
* TheCape: Leader-1 is in charge of the Guardians and wants to do what is right.
* CaptainObvious: Humorously lampshaded by Turbo in TheMovie.
-->'''Leader-1:''' ''(after seeing a meteor he's following crash into a building)'' THERE IT IS!\\
'''Turbo:''' ''(gives him a weary look)'' Yeah, I noticed.
* CerebusSyndrome: Though difficult to really notice, around the start of the Last Engineer/Master Renegade storyline the series gets a tad more serious and starts delving into the divine origins of the Gobots. This is best shown in that the storyline is kicked off after Turbo is horribly wounded by the Renegades and it is explicitly stated that if he is not healed soon he will '''DIE'''.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: The initial wave of toys had [[http://tformers.com/transformers-the-original-gobots-biographies-uncovered/20584/news.html short bios]] written for them, some of which differs quite noticeably from their portrayal in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. For example, Crasher is said to be male and Cop-Tur is written as an intelligent [[TheStarScream schemer]] rather than the dull and not particularly disloyal brute he is in the show.
* CoDragons: Cop-Tur and Crasher are both the most prominent minions of Cy-Kill.
** That said, the actual second in command of the Renegades was Fi-tor.
* CombiningMecha: The Puzzlers. Also Courageous, which was formed from a starship and four suits of PoweredArmor.
* CowardlySidekick: Scooter often complains about getting involved in dangerous situations, even when he begrudgingly does so at Leader-1's request.
* CyberCyclops: Destroyer
* {{Cyborg}}: The [=GoBots=] in general; but also the Last Engineer, who still looks human but with bionic bits.
* DarkActionGirl: Crasher is the most notable female Renegade and she loves to fight.
* DirtyCommunists: Averted. Dr. Turgonova is one of the good guys. Double points because this show was made in the early ''[[UsefulNotes/ColdWar Eighties.]]''
* DumbMuscle: Cop-Tur is very strong, but not too bright.
* EnemyMine: In the two-part episode "Invasion from the 21st Level", the Guardians and Renegades are forced to work together to fight back an invasion of insect creatures from another dimension.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The "Astro-Beam" used for ultra-long-range teleportation reverses itself after a certain period, and the bad guys are simply not there any more.
** That said, the Astro-Beam's effects would sometime wear off at the worst possible time, such as the time a Guardian summoned was trying to hold a door shut against attacking intruders. When he realised the Astro-Beam was wearing off, he only had time to apologise before he was sent back to Gobotron and the invaders broke through.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When it looks like the Guardians are going to get the information they need out of the captured Fi-Tor, Cy-Kill believes he has to kill him, but is ''deeply'' reluctant. Fi-Tor is a fellow defector from the Guardians, and arguably Cy-Kill's only real friend. As he's about to do it, he mutters, "Farewell, Fi-Tor..." and is then relieved when he realizes there's an alternative.
** Unlike Megatron or Cobra Commander, Cy-Kill is at least hesitant to abandon his troops. Even among the rank-and-file Renegades there is rather less selfish backstabbing going on than among their contemporaries the Decepticons or Cobra (both of which encourage a KlingonPromotion method of advancement that really doesn't encourage teamwork).
* EvilFormerFriend: Cy-Kill to Leader-1.
* EvilGenius: Doctor Go is a Renegade scientist. TheQuisling Doctor Braxis as well, since he's a scientist who offers to help the Renegades in exchange for power.
* EvilLaugh: Cy-Kill has one as part of his EvilOverlord repertoire. The most famous, however is easily Crasher, maniacal and joyous. Ha ha ha HAAAAAAA ha hah hah!
* {{Expy}}: Dr. Zebediah Braxis is pretty clearly based on Dr. Zachary Smith from ''Series/LostInSpace''.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: When Fi-Tor is captured in "Fi-Tor to the Finish", he sabotages the ship he's in. When the panicked Guardians realise they're all trapped inside, Fi-Tor fearlessly laughs and simply enjoys the fact that he'll at least take the Guardians with him.
* FaceHeelTurn: Cy-Kill and Fi-Tor.
* FantasticNuke: Sorium.
* TheFederation: The Guardians are democratic, and they are the dominant government on Gobotron. The Renegades are a rebellion.
* FemBot: Averted. Except for their faces, both sexes' prosthetic robot bodies appear genderless. Except Crasher, sort of.
* [[FingerGun Fist Gun]]: [=GoBots=] tend to fight each other by firing lasers from their fists.
* FiveEpisodePilot: The series began with a five-part episode.
* FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome: Scooter tries replacing his hologram projector with a standard [[FrickinLaserBeams blaster.]] He discovers he isn't nearly as effective without his [[MasterOfIllusion illusion-casting powers,]] and quickly switches back.
** In the meantime, he gets out of a jam by remembering he still has his RequiredSecondaryPower as a VoiceChangeling.
* FlyingBrick: All [=GoBots=] can fly, and are superhumanly strong giant robots. They are also all armed with internal weapons, including eye beams.
* FlyingSaucer: Pathfinder's alt mode.
* FullyAbsorbedFinale:
** Decades after the show's end, the actual [=GoBots=] from the show travelled to various ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' universe (mainly the ''Franchise/TransformersClassics'' one, with a quick stop by the ''TransformersTransTech'' universe first).
** Cy-Kill himself would wind up on the TransTech homeworld of Axiom Nexus, and quickly set about trying to take advantage of it. He successfully recruits several Transformers into his Renegades (coincidentally toys that never made an appearance on the cartoon) before fleeing back to his own universe with his new troops in tow.
* FuumaShuriken: Cop-Tur's rotor blades, used as a weapon in robot mode.
* GalacticConqueror: Cy-Kill. Although he views Gobotron itself as his necessary first step.
* GiantFootOfStomping: Crasher's main attack is to stomp the ground, sending a crackling streak of energy along the ground toward her target.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: Yes, the Cold War is still going on in this near future. Nobody in the '80s expected it to end as it did, so this is totally forgivable.
* GroundPunch: Crasher, one of the main Renegades, frequently used this attack. She'd stomp the ground and send a bolt of energy at her Guardian opponents. The same goes for her GoodTwin in ''ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass'' and her other alternate universe counterpart Fracture in the ''Franchise/TransformersFilmSeries''.
* HigherTechSpecies: The [=GoBots=] have had their technology for centuries.
* HotScientist: Anya Turgonova is a scientist and is very attractive.
* HumanAliens: The original form of the inhabitants of Gobotron. The only two surviving humanoids are the Last Engineer and the Master Renegade, who spent the intervening ages in SuspendedAnimation.
* HumongousMecha: Zod is a gigantic mechanical beast.
* InvisibilityCloak: The Stealth Device, described as a hologram that works across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
* TheJuggernaut: Zod is usually treated as this. In the FiveEpisodePilot, Scooter opts to get the Command Center to flee rather than face Zod, declaring, "Zod'll tear us apart!"
* KibblesAndBits: The [=GoBots=] seemed generally more willing to make use of their kibble than Transformers were. A Guardian with a cockpit in his chest might allow a human to ride around in it; or a Renegade might forcibly shove a human into his cockpit to hold him prisoner. And they would frequently pop their heads up out of their vehicle modes to emphasize a point when speaking, particularly Cy-Kill. Scooter pretty much always left his face visible when transformed. Cop-Tur's favored attack was to use his spinning helicopter blades as a ''[[FuumaShuriken hand weapon.]]''
** Scooter was a subversion, since his head actually became his front wheel, and where his face appeared in vehicle mode corresponded approximately to the yellow mark on his waist (or groin?) in robot form. Possibly justified by Scooter's ability to project holograms.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar "Et Tu, Cy-Kill?"]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: With most being little more then background characters; often the same character would be seen as both good guy and bad guy -- even in the same episode.
* MasterOfIllusion: Scooter's hologram projector can be used to disguise himself, other people, or to simply make an illusion of something that isn't there.
* MechanicalMonster: Zod and Scales are both much less sapient than the rest of the Renegades.
* MerchandiseDriven: Well, this ''was'' a cartoon based on a toyline.
* MindControl: Used by the Renegades in the FiveEpisodePilot.
* MonochromeCasting: Averted. AJ and General Newcastle are both black, and Anya is Russo-Chinese.
* TheMothership: ''Roguestar'', the Renegades' [[InvisibilityCloak cloaked]] base ship.
* TheMovie: After the series ended, there was an animated film called ''[=GoBots=]: Battle of the Rock Lords''.
* NoTranshumanismAllowed: Completely averted. Most characters are cyborgs.
* OmnicidalManiac: Cy-Kill and Crasher both have no qualms with killing anyone who opposes them.
* OutOfOrder: The "Gobotron Saga" five-parter was aired late in the series' run, even though it picks up from where the FiveEpisodePilot left off and introduce many recurring characters and concepts.
* {{Pastiche}}: The episode "Destroy All Guardians" is one big love letter to {{Kaiju}} films, right down to [[Film/DestroyAllMonsters the name]].
* PlanetOfHats: Averted. The Guardians are the planet's dominant society, and they have noncombatant civilians. Zeemon is a politician. Scooter laments that he'd rather be working as a ''librarian''.
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: The ''Gobots: Battle Of the Rock Lords'' movie was one for the Rock Lords. While the movie does a good job at keeping the plot focus on the Gobots, the opening credits list all of the actors for the Rock Lords prominently and even give them fancy little animation intros while the Gobots and humans get relegated to a single screen listing their actors. Hell, the end credits doesn't feature the Gobots theme, it has the Rock Lords theme instead, making them look like a total SpotlightStealingSquad.
* PornStache: Matt Hunter has a thick mustache.
* PowerArmor: The Power Suits make the Guardians stronger.
* TheQuisling: Dr. Braxis swears allegiance to the Renegades once he finds out they exist. Braxis eventually becomes such a pitiful [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain loser shmoe]] because of his repeated failed misdeeds that it finally drives him crazy, turning him into a certified MadScientist.
* TheRival: Zero was the Renegades' leader before Cy-Kill defected and stole the job from him. Zero has never stopped resenting him for it.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Cy-Kill was once Leader-1's friend, but he betrayed him out of envy over his successes.
* RobotGirl: As [[BrainInAJar cyborgs,]] the [=GoBots=] have gender, at least on a neurological level.
* SiliconBasedLife: The Rock Lords.
* SingleBiomePlanet: Justified. The war left Gobotron a biologically dead world long ago. Its current status as a city planet is an attempt to make the world comfortable again for its cyborg inhabitants.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Averted. The show had quite a few female characters, Small Foot and Pathfinder being the two most prominent female Guardians, and Crasher being one of the lead villains. The humans had AJ and Anya (although Anya didn't show up very often after the FiveEpisodePilot).
* SurroundedByIdiots: And poor Cy-Kill knows it. No wonder he values Fi-Tor so highly, since Fi-Tor is loyal, intelligent, ''and'' competent, when hardly anyone else in the Renegade army is all three. In fairness, Cy-Kill ''didn't'' hire these shnooks; the Renegades were a pre-existing army, and he seized command of them when he left the Guardians, booting Zero out of the boss position.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: The Astrobeam.
* {{Terraforming}}: The humans are preparing a massive terraforming project for a planet they want to colonize, near the end of the series.
* ThemeNaming
** VehicularThemeNaming: Go ahead, just ''guess'' what kind of vehicles Cy-Kill, Scooter, Cop-Tor, Dumper, Super Couper, Throttle, Tail-Pipe, Zero, Buggy Man, and Loco turn into...
* TooDumbToLive: Nick and AJ are only still alive because this is a kids' show.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Even at the series's outset, it is clear that human technology is advanced a bit beyond the present day. With the [=GoBots'=] assistance, it quickly advances far beyond that, allowing humanity to start colonizing other planets.
* UndyingLoyalty: Fi-Tor towards Cy-Kill. When he's captured by the Guardians, he deliberately damages the ship taking him to interrogation rather than risk even the possibility he might betray Cy-Kill. When he realises he's possibly doomed himself and two of the top Guardians (Leader-1 and Turbo), he laughs at the thought.
** He also assures the Guardians that Cy-Kill would see him dead before he'd allow the Guardians to carry out a proper interrogation, and Fi-Tor is totally fine with it.
** Cy-Kill reciprocates this loyalty, and is absolutely certain Fi-Tor won't talk when he is captured. Crasher suggests making sure (implying that they should kill Fi-Tor themselves), and a furious Cy-Kill declares that would be a last resort. He dispatches his troops on a rescue mission, taking the time to warn both CopTur and Crasher that he wants Fi-Tor back in one piece. When he realises he has no choice but to destroy the Guardian ship (and Fi-Tor with it), he takes the time to whisper a goodbye just before an alternative idea comes to him. He pretty much goes to a lot of trouble to save Fi-Tor, a huge contrast with other villains from the 80s like Mumm-Ra, Megatron or Cobra Commander.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Matt Hunter and Anya Turgonova. They do kiss in the FiveEpisodePilot, though.
* TheVoiceless: Zod. He did roar a lot, but never spoke.
* WorthyOpponent: While he rarely admitted it, Cy-Kill acknowledged and even respected Leader-1's leadership and combat skills.
* WrongSideOfTheTracks: Whatever parts of Old Gobotron are still habitable have become a terrible slum, inhabited mostly by off-worlders.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: Fi-Tor is captured, and tries to destroy the ship carrying him to interrogation. The horrified Guardian Turbo tackles him and calls him a lunatic. Fi-Tor retorts, "The word is patriot. wimp!"