I name thee…
GoBots, Machine Men and Robo Machine(s) are some of the international names given to Japanese toy company Bandai’s transforming vehicle/robot toy line first sold in 1982.
In Japan, the original line was called Machine Robo and was initially made by Popy, thereafter by parent company Bandai. In Europe the line was known as Robo Machine or Robo Machines by Bandai UK Limited. In North America the line was adapted into GoBots by Tonka. In Australia the line was Machine Men by Bandai Australia PTY Ltd, and in Brazil – Mutante by Glasslite. In 1986, Tonka released Rock Lords – a short-lived toy line based on characters in the movie GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords.
The Robos VS Transformers
The toyline, in its numerous guises, was always in competition with Hasbro’s Transformers. In both the transforming toy craze of the 1980s and its TV, video and film stakes, it’s probably fair to say that Transformers won out as the most popular. Interestingly though, and in a manner truly representative of ‘transforming’, in 1991 Hasbro bought out the Tonka company (who owned the rights to GoBots) and became its new intellectual property owners, later incorporating the two franchises by making GoBots a part of the Transformers universe.
Robo Machines today
The line continued in various toy and media formats throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, with numerous reappearances thereafter, including a Bandai/Production Reed/Action Toys revival toy line in 2015.
TVTA is pleased to present a selection of adverts and catalogue pages bringing together this multi-faceted robot family from Bandai.
Comic book serialisation
British comic Eagle ran a serialisation of Robo Machines between 1984 and 1985 written by Tom Tully and with initial artwork by Mario Capaldi then Kim Raymond. Eagle comic issues from this period often contained toy giveaways and prize competitions to promote the Robo Machines toy line as well as the serialisation.
Thank you for transforming with us!