Did Gobots fail because Transformers was better at lying to children?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by ClunkerSlim, May 19, 2016.

  1. EmceeDel

    EmceeDel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Franchises in the early 2000s weren't as strong. Ya had G.I.Joe and the Unicron Trilogy plus Star Wars, and maybe Spider-Man stuff, but it was pretty dry overall.

    Do you remember what those Matchbox ones were called?
     
  2. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    Gonna have to do some research. My son had one and it was crap, LOL! Tried looking up for ERTL and ran into a dead end there... Maisto?

    FOUND IT! RoboRods.
    MAISTO ROBO RODS POLICE 2006 DODGE CHARGER SRT8 URBAN ROBOTS *BRAND NEW & RARE* | eBay
     
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  3. EmceeDel

    EmceeDel Well-Known Member

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    LOL oh yeah! I remember those! Thank you for looking.

    That reminds me, I believe Hot Wheels also had something called Modifighters and there was a line called R.E.V.S. from 2007 I think.

    Always hated how alot of Transformers rip offs were too lazy to establish a basic fiction, even as simple as establishing good guys and bad guys.
     
  4. Robert Snoke

    Robert Snoke Well-Known Member

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    i heard of this story years ago floating online of when they tried to market Gobots in Japan by test screening the cartoon (which is probably even before the Machine Robo anime series was released), the test audience proceeds to laugh at the nature of how odd the way the titular robots were portrayed, as in well, them being based on their own country's repackaged Bandai & Popy Machine Robo figures that were meant to be gritty warrior alien robots (with some Space Adventure Cobra crossover for some reason) that even had commercials based on that concept aired in Japan long before Tonka 'borrowed' the toy molds,

    not sure that was just a rumor or sarcasm or joke or trolling made up story as there is still no clear evidence, if it were true & real then both Tonka & Hanna Barbera had the rights to not let anyone know about that embarrassing incident.
     
  5. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    You've never seen the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons then.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  6. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Maybe I've forgotten them because they were so bad. Still, I can't imagine they were worse or missed the mark further than 1970s H-B Tom and Jerry.
     
  7. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    I'll have to check out the 1970s T&J but 1950s Popeye is seriously bad. Really stilted animation and terrible timing. They look like when a cartoon makes fun of Soviet cartoons. Or think Rocko's "Wacky Deli" except presented as an actual professional product.
     
  8. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    At the lower price points GoBots were simply BETTER TOYS than Transformers with far more varied alt modes and usually better transformations (Heck I'd take Leader-1, Royal-T, Fi-Tor, Heatseaker, and SkyJack over the Seekers (which cost 4x as much) as better toys every day. Where GoBots failed was in marketing. Tonka had NEVER tried action figures and just assumed they could get by on the strength of their name like they always did with trucks...no need for ads or fancy packaging...then Hasbro hit them HARD with their rubsign "Only toys with these rubsigns are REAL Transformers" campaign and suddenly GoBots were the poor kids substitute on playgrounds everywhere. The cartoon was BAD, but kids are far more forgiving of a bad cartoon than they are having "uncool" toys...
     
  9. ClunkerSlim

    ClunkerSlim Well-Known Member

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    Damn, you guys bumped a thread that I started a year ago and I didn't even get a notification. What the hell?

    Anyway, Here's some interesting price comparisons...
    (Post #323 for more info)

    $2.60 - Zybots (extreme estimate)
    $3.96 - Brawn, Windcharger, Huffer
    $4.88 - Gobot (Turbo, Cop-Tur)
    $8.99 - Super Gobot
    $9.94 - G1 Cars (Jazz, Prowl)
    $11.94 - Starscream
    $11.99 - Kronoform Watch
    $12.99 - Kup, Hot Rod
    $15.00 - Soundwave
    $15.00 - Rodimus Prime
    $20.00 - Optimus Prime
    $20.99 - Gobot Command Center
    $20.99 - Megatron
    $34.99 - Metroplex
    $49.99 - Sky Lynx
    $57.99 - Trypticon

    (The above list is culled from several sources between the years of '84 to '86. So treat prices as estimates.)
    https://i.pinimg.com/564x/b9/e6/42/...9e3fc46f--transformers-jouet-toy-catalogs.jpg
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/98/3f/59/983f59ae5677df03ccd5fbe700d8d4a0--print-ads-transformers.jpg
    Transformers

    So it seems like Gobots were actually MORE expensive than their Transformers counterparts (the minicars.) Which makes sense since Gobots were slightly larger and contained die-cast. Gobots also were all in scale with each other, atleast in robot mode. That's something Transformers has never got right. It's not like Gobots were the super cheap option, even though that's how we remember them. It really was marketing. Gobots marketing and cartoon sucked. It's probably why we remember them as the crappier, cheaper option, even though they weren't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  10. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    Looking at the carded examples on eBay that still have stickers...the basic sized GoBots were between $2.97 (Walmart, TRU, Sears) and 3.99 with the Puzzler combiner pieces being the higher range of that. KayBee had a few with the $4.99 price marked down to $2.00...but that was the type of pricing shenanigans they were known for lol...
     
  11. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    Wow, that got shut down fast :lol 
     
  12. ClunkerSlim

    ClunkerSlim Well-Known Member

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    That must have been towards the end of the run. Judging by the Christmas Catalogs of the time, Gobots was non-existent by Christmas '86. I'd say that they were probably heavily marked down by the end of '85. It seems likely that $2.97 was probably a %50 off price. I've seen multiple ads putting standard size Gobots around $4 to $5 at their popularity's height.
     
  13. ClunkerSlim

    ClunkerSlim Well-Known Member

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    Just some further evidence to back up the Gobot pricing...

    Tonka Go Bots Carded Lot Pumper and Dozer | eBay
    ^ These carded Gobots (Dozer and Pumper) have a retail sticker of 3.88 from Toys R Us.

    Vintage Gobots Sparky MOC Tonka Rare | eBay
    ^ This carded Gobot does have a $1.29 sticker, but that's from a Liquidation store. The ORIGINAL price for the toy is listed as $3.99.

    Gobots
    ^ This site lists the original price of a Gobot at $3.99. But he doesn't say what he's basing that information on. Clearly in the flyer in my post above we see Gobots selling at $4.88.

    ROBOPLASTIC APOCALYPSE-Incomprehensible Transmissions from the Nostrodomatron
    ^ Coincidentally, this site has Bumblebee, Huffer, and Cliffjumper selling as low as $1.89, while claiming elsewhere they sold for $4.99.


    So what does all this mean?


    When you start putting all these prices into context then it starts to paint a picture. It seems like Gobot pricing changed heavily between the time they debuted to the time when they finally disappeared off toy shelves. They probably debuted around $4.00 and the price generally climbed as they became more popular (probably as high as $5.) As Transformers started to eclipse the Gobots then their price was probably reduced to around $3.50 or lower to come in cheaper than the Autobot minicars. After Transformers completely destroyed the Gobots popularity the remaining Gobot stock was heavily discounted and sold off to Liquidation stores (like the $1.29 price sticker above.) In fact, that's probably why we remember Gobots as being so much cheaper. Our parents probably scooped these things up in bargain bins and liquidation stores like Big Lots after the line had failed. But in their prime, Gobots were priced fairly evenly with Transformers, and were more expensive than the Autobot minicars at least one point in their history.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  14. transmasterc

    transmasterc Well-Known Member

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    Also at the time in 1987 when Fort Max came out he was the most expensive Transformer at 99.99. Scorponok was like 59.99. According to some older wish book catalogs I have seen. Go-bots never got that high. Even the 2 playsets(mobile Command Center and Thruster)didn't retail for that much.


     
  15. ClunkerSlim

    ClunkerSlim Well-Known Member

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    It's important to keep in mind though that Gobots didn't have any comparable products to anything beyond the Transformers cars (Jazz, Prowl, Sunstreaker, etc) and the Transformers minicars (Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Huffer, etc.) I'd say that Gobots stomped the TF minicar products in terms of quality. Whether or not the Super Gobots are better/worse than the standard TF car line is up for debate. But if you look at the specific price segment that the standard Gobots were competing in then you can see they crapped all over the similar TF products.
     
  16. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Yeah, some of the GoBots are better toys even at the smaller size and even if they'd been at the same price point as TFs.

    I'd agree with this, too. It's not even close, imo.
     
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  17. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    Toy Liquidators, the one with the $4.99 price tag marked down to $1.29 was part of KayBee Toys...they got busted by the government MANY times for deceptive pricing, marking prices that the toys NEVER sold for so the 'markdown' on the price tags looked better.

    As for the Toys R Us stickers...Those actually have a retail sticker of $3.48..not $3.88 which considering Toys R Us is a specialty store and it's prices were generally just a tad higher is about right. I went through Google images and looked at LOTS of cards, $2.99 - $3.50 seems like the sweet spot, with the Puzzler combiner figures being more expensive (and they were a tad larger). Most Minibot cards I saw fell in the $3.99-$4.99 range. I also remember getting my allowance and having to base decisions on what I had to spend...I usually leaned towards GoBots because it was what I could afford as a kid ($10 every 2 weeks meant those $4.99 Minibots were too expensive after sales tax, I could get ONE...or maybe one and a GoBot...but I often left with 3 GoBots at a time :)  )
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  18. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    That's exactly what I ran into at the time as well. GoBots were the ideal price in which I could whine to my poor mother to buy me something and she typically would (remember that inflation means $4 actually is $9 in 2017). But when you got over $5, we're talking several loaves of bread, a jar of PB, a bag of ice, a couple boxes of mac and cheese and some meat...all wrapped up in that tiny plastic or diecast metal figurine, figuratively speaking.

    BTW, folks whine and complain about current pricing of Transformers. When you realize that a lone Gobot would cost nearly $10 in today's market, a $15 deluxe figure ain't half bad...and it's amazing they held the price to $10 as long as they did prior to a few years ago.
     
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  19. TFFan01

    TFFan01 Well-Known Member

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    But these aren't from the cartoon though, the cartoon is what most of the kids back then were exposed to.
     
  20. Robert Snoke

    Robert Snoke Well-Known Member

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    considering the Gobots & Machine Robo comparisons, i wonder how Rom Stol/Kenryu/Baikanfu would fit in the Gobots fiction if Tonka manages to brought his toy into the brand.
     

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