Challenge of the 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; 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 Rule of Cool 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 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 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 anybody's guess).Notably, the Renegades do use nonsentient, inorganic robots as weapons, such as the Zods and the Puzzlers; while the Guardians use piloted mecha called Command Centers and Powered Armor 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 City Planet, 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 Machine Robo toys). However, the cartoon was 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 adventure shows and comics are more common.)Interestingly, it is now actually considered part of the Transformers multiverse. note Though it's emphasized that it's a distant part of said multiverse.There are at least two other Alternate Continuities for the franchise, (apart from the modern Transformers version). A British comic strip called Robo Machines appeared in the periodical Eagle from November of '84 to July of '85, featuring a radically different storyline (the other wiki has information here.) And in France, where the American show had been quite popular, the Japanese Machine Robo series was used as a second season, despite the drastic Art Shift between the series.
Challenge of the GoBots provides examples of the folllowing tropes: