Saturday, August 18, 2012

TRANS-MOBOTS! And the ADVENTURES OF LOTUS-EATER!

Your mom crossed off "Skeez" on the back, in an effort to keep track
of purchased Trans-Mobots, which meant that she would be looking
for the other Trans-Mobots, which means you'd be expecting more
Go-Bot knockoffs for Christmas or a good report card. And that's when
you purposely decided to flunk that math test.
I went to Quake Collectibles in Chicago today and Dave (the owner) showed me some of the figures he had gotten recently. A lot of boxed Transformers, some with the styrfoam, others loose in the box, and many minibots with their backing card.

That's a pretty good haul. I dig the box art but the cost is prohibitive, especially for something that is just going to sit on a shelf and I have another that ALSO sits on the shelf until I choose to pull them out for filming (Gears) purposes. If I can find the tech specs, that would be enough. I wouldn't mind the box art for some figures, but it's just way too much.

Anyway, The Transformer's mortal enemy was the Go-Bots. Yup, I'm pretty sure that's who they were fighting against. The Go-Bots were released in America first. I remember my 8 year old self arguing with a friend over which was better, and they reminded me that the Go-Bots were more original since they were first. I had a few. I'm not sure where they ended up in the battle between good & evil, Autobot & Decepticon, but I bet their popularity with their fellow TRANSFORMING robots went down quickly and I'm sure there were adventures where Autobots & Decepticons put their differences aside and kicked some Go-Bot ass, for no reason.

I ended up including the Go-Bots with the GI Joe vehicles I traded to Quake for some G1 Transformers I never had, which was part of my initial all-in Transformer plan without spending actual money. I'm not sure which ones I had, but I'm looking at Transformerland's site for a list of names and I recognize the following as ones I probably owned: Buggy Man, Geeper Creeper, Rest-Q, Road Ranger, Spay-C, Spoiler, and maybe Turbo (unless I'm confusing him with Spoiler). Spay-C's head revealed by rotating the cone around always creeped me out. I have no idea why. However, I think there's a good reason that I couldn't remember these names off the top of my head beyond not thinking about this toyline for decades. These names SUCK. I mean, jeez louise, Spay-C? REST-Q? Really? BUGGY MAN?!?!

Anyway, like Transformers, Go-Bots were just a toyline lifted (well, licensed) from another company in another country. And like Transformers, they too would have imitators and knock offs. So, today at Quake, looking at the coffee can holding these newly acquired Go-Bot figures, I noticed that some were of a different color than what I remembered; and upon seeing the card, I realized that duh, a few of these were knock offs.

TRANS-MOBOTS! I did you all a disservice in taking a pic of only 4/5ths of the back card with my phone, as what I cut off stated that these toys were distributed by Zayre. The defunct department store? Was this their brand of knockoffs? I wonder how that works; does someone call them up, "Hey, I got thousands of off-color and slightly funny smelling plastic versions of that Go-Bot line by Tonka! They can be exclusive to YOU, Zayre, if you just print on the back of the blister pack that you're distributing them!"

And then they agreed? And they came up with TRANS-MOBOTS? And I'm guessing one of them was your grandfather, about to retire from the retail marketing biz, and that was the best name he could think of, because "Mobots" is the term that Red Skelton might have used for robots? I don't know, I'm just speculating, and unfairly so. And none of you know who Red Skelton is.

But the best is that Go-Bot "Slicks" is named "Lotus Eater." Go-Bot names never seemed that...clever. Transformers fired the great Dennis O'Neil because the best he could do was name Optimus Prime. Can someone find out who is responsible on the Go-Bot end? I mean, the motorcycle bad guy is "Cy-Kill," but the Lockheed Martin SR-71 from this same toyline is "Scoop." What, you couldn't name it "Blackbird?" "Darkhawk" wasn't taken by Marvel Comics yet. Was the SR-71's function 'Go-Bot reporter?'

Knock-off "Gas Can" here seems more clever than "Geeper Creeper." But I'm amused greatly by "Lotus Eater." Is there a literary reference here that couldn't be fully explored because Zayre wasn't able to foot the bill for the Trans-Mobot cartoon? Unlike Transformers, Go-Bots did not have bios mentioning their respective robot's personality. Instead, they had pictures of other robot from line, and Trans-Mobots were no different. (And yes, someone's mom crossed off the acquired figure for future shopping purposes.) So what makes this race car "Lotus Eater?" What match am I supposed to make between formula-1 racing and ancient mariners hoping to fall into a drugged out state to avoid their harsh reality? Your grandfather needs to call Denny O'Neil and get this ball rolling, because I might actually watch this show.

Discuss the possible pilot. See you next time!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Lotus Eater is an apathetic, exotic fuel guzzling, Formula 1 racer who drives against Team Lotus.

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