Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 5
On top of all that
, Hasbro even had plans for a fourth
(or third, depending on how one counts Optimus Prime and Megatron) wave of Go-Bots. This one would have finally
ditched the redecos of the wave 1 figures and introduced six entirely new
sculpts: A military SUV, a modified fourth generations Chevrolet Camaro, a first generation Dodge Viper, a Mercedes Benz SL500 sport coupé, a Porsche 962 Le Mans-style race car, and a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice police car. Unfortunately, these ultimately fell victim to the cancellation of the Generation 2
line. However, all six made it to the painted sample stage, and thanks to the decos, the intended characters for at least two of them could be identified: The SUV would have been Hound, and the Camaro would have been Rumble.
Oddly, there even appears to be a slight color variant for Rumble, with multiple samples of each version having ended up in the possession of collectors: One version has the words "Pizza" and "Jerry's" from the fictional sponsor decals painted yellow, and the other version has them in unpainted white. (And for the record, the sponsor decals are intended to read as "Vinny's Pizza", "Jerry's Motors" and "Pro Stock", not
"Vinny's Pro Stock" and "Motors Pro Stock". Supposedly, "Vinny" and "Jerry" refer to former Hasbro employees Vincent D'Alleva and Jerry Palmer, or possibly longtime Hasbro employee Jerry Jivoin.)
Proof card samples of all six figures also exist, with all of them using the cardback of the wave 1 figure High Beam:
On top of that, the 2014 book Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging
by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster even features unused package art for Rumble, Hound, the GTP racer aka "4X" and the police car aka "911".
Considering all the numerous test shots and samples for these six unreleased Go-Bots that have surfaced in the past two decades, I'd be willing to argue that any of the released
figures from the first three waves in bilingual Canadian
packaging might actually be rarer than any of the unreleased wave 4 figures! But that's because nobody really cares for Canadian packaging...
Hasbro later used four of these unreleased Go-Bots for their 2001-onwards Robots in Disguise
line: Rumble was redecoed into Side Swipe (now actually
spelled as two words), the Dodge Viper became Side Burn, the Porsche 962 racer became Daytonus, and the police car became "Prowl 2". Additionally, Side Swipe and Prowl 2 were later also available as part of the "Tiny Tins" line-up. (As I already mentioned in part 4, the packaging for the KB Toys/Target exclusive redecos of the original six RID Spy Changers was the first instance of those toys actually being identified as "Spy Changers". Thus, no versions of Side Swipe, Daytonus, Side Burn or Prowl 2 were ever referred to as such on their packaging.)
On top of that
, the police car was later also released under the 2003-onwards Universe
line as "Prowl" (but in a deco inspired by Generation 1
Red Alert), and all four of them were later redecoed again
for a KB Toys exclusive wave of Spy Changers (now actually called as such) simply branded "Transformers", with their decos based on Generation 1
characters: Side Swipe became "Silverstreak", Daytonus became Wheeljack (or "Autobot Wheeljack" on the back of the packaging), Side Burn became "Autobot Jazz", and Prowl 2 became Prowl again (this time in Prowl's actual colors). Those four figures were later also re-released in different packaging (but with unchanged toys) as part of the 2003-onwards Universe
line, this time available from Dollar General and Family Dollar stores.
For whatever reason, Hasbro never released the SUV and the Mercedes-Benz sculpts again. One common hypothesis among fans is that the toolings for those two figures got damaged; however, that is at least somewhat
questionable, since the gang-molded nature of these figures means they both share plastic colors with their wave-mates: Not only do the Mercedes's car shell and arms come from the same tooling as Hound's head, inner torso and lower legs, but so do the police car's lower legs, the section underneath the car's front and the weapon. Additionally, Hound's car shell, arms, lower legs and weapon come from the same tooling as the police car's head and upper legs, the Mercedes-Benz's head, inner torso and lower legs come from the same tooling as Rumble's car shell and arms and the GTP racer's lower legs and weapon, and the Mercedes's lower legs and weapon come from the same tooling as the Viper's car shell and arms and Rumble's head, inner torso and lower legs. It's possible
, of course, that specifically only the portions of the toolings that would have been used for Hound and the Mercedes got damaged, and the portions used for the other figures remained in a usable state.
Essentially, the Go-Bots assortment embodies everything
about the 1995 assortments in a nutshell: We have a first wave consisting of entirely new sculpts with all the characters sporting all-new names, a second wave featuring running change variants marketed as the same characters as their wave 1 selves (Gearhead and Motormouth), redecos originally intended as running change variants of the wave 1 figures but then changed into separate characters using the names of existing Generation 1
characters at the eleventh hour (Optimus Prime and Megatron), a third wave consisting entirely of redecos of the wave 1 figures, all of them marketed as separate characters that use the names of existing Generation 1
characters despite not resembling them at all
, and an unreleased fourth wave that would have featured entirely new sculpts again.Recommended additional reading:
- BWTF features a review of Hound >here<, of Rumble >here<, of the Dodge Viper >here<, of the Mercedes-Benz >here<, of the Porsche 962 >here<, and of the police car >here<.
- The book Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster is getting a paperback re-release leater this year. >Amazon link<
- Big thanks to Transformerland.com and Shmax.com for letting me use their photos, and to Jim Sorenson for letting me use the images from his book.
- I repeatedly tried to contact Ben Yee of BWTF through multiple channels and never got a response whatsoever. Ben, if you're reading this, please let me know if you have a problem with me using your images! It's all done in good faith.
Edited by Nevermore, 28 July 2019 - 02:56 PM.