Unless you were alive and paying attention in the 1980s, you probably didn’t know that Transformers weren’t the first toys in America that changed into vehicles. “GoBots” were.
Transformers came from Rhode Island’s Hasbro, in 1984. GoBots came from Tonka, makers of fine metal toy trucks, in 1983. That may be why Hasbro did everything right, from the start- they saw what Tonka had already done wrong. And oh boy… Tonka did just about everything wrong.
There’s an entire genre of movies, TV shows and music, explicitly designed to mollify you in your time of emotional distress. Plus, there’s a contrived ending that tells you everything’s okay. Or not. It’s basically sadness porn, after all.
Feel like laughing? Same deal. Entire blocks of television programming are devoted to laughter, loaded with disparate commercials for unhealthy items and services. You can “binge-watch” every stand-up special a comedian has produced, and then argue about a decrease in their edge, on the Internet. Isn’t that fantastic?
In 1986, the greatest animated film based on a toyline in history premiered. It had celebrity voices, stunning visuals, and in the years following, it became an unstoppable cult classic.
A few months prior to that, Hanna-Barbera produced a cheap, ugly little movie, as is their wont, this time about warriors that turn into rocks. It had “celebrity voices” and the same discount animation they always used, and was quickly (and deservedly) forgotten. It was called GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords.
aka “Gaybots, Babble of the Cocklords” (Petey, 6th grade)