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Challenge of the Gobots: The Series: Volume 2

Score: 75%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 662 Mins.
Genre: Classic/Animated/TV Series
Audio: English Dolby Digital


  • Robo-Force: The Revenge of Nazgar TV Special

Challenge of the Gobots: The Series: Volume 2 is the second half of the 1980's cartoon series that competed with Transformers for kids' robot-changing attention. As history has shown, one of the two franchises was a clear winner, though I'm pretty sure most of us knew who would come out ahead at the time. That being said, this series does have some amusing episodes, and when you couldn't afford a Transformer as a kid, Gobots were always an acceptable, cheaper solution.

In the show's final 30 episodes, the Guardians and the Renegades continue to face off on both Earth and Gobotron. The Renegades will continue their various predictable ploys to get ahead of the arms race, and the goody two-shoes Guardians will fall for them at first, only to realize they are being tricked and pull victory out of defeat at the last minute. Prime examples of this includes an episode where Cy-Kill, the Renegade leader, wants to sue for peace, but of course, he is just trying to lure the Guardians into a false sense of security. Another is an episode where the Renegades send recruits to the Guardian Academy. The truth doesn't come out until graduation day itself, when the spies make their allegiances known.

For the most part, Challenge of the Gobots: The Series: Volume 2 contains a lot of one-off episodes. In these episodes, there are adventures like a psychic child being exploited by the Renegades, to Leader-1 (the Guardian's commander) having his personality flipped and turning evil. There is also an episode where a young mechanical genius learns how to hack into Gobots and starts controlling them. As you would expect from most shows of this nature, by the end of these one-off episodes, everything is back to normal and the events of that episode are, more or less, unimportant to the overall series. That being said, there is a five-part story early in this set that does shake things up quite a bit.

In this lengthy story, the Guardians attempt to find the Last Engineer. This cyborg was one of the men responsible for saving the Gobots by putting their organic brains into the machine bodies. At first, they think they've found this legendary figure, but they soon discover that he is actually the Master Renegade, the man responsible for starting the rebellious faction that Cy-Kill now leads. As the story plays out, the Renegades actually gain control over Gobotron, and while the Last Engineer is finally discovered, the combined forces of good might not be enough to retake control over the Gobots' home planet.

There were a few other one-off episodes that are worth mentioning. In one, we learn that Cy-Kill was once a Guardian and one of Leader-1's best friends. In a flashback told by Scooter, we see the events that lead up to Cy-Kill's defection. In another, a computer virus is affecting the base's systems. Several Guardians are sent into the computer to find out what is going on, only to discover the computer is infected with Renegades.

The series wraps up with a mission to bring human colonists to a new Earth-like planet. When they arrive, the Guardians and their human friends learn that the planet has been taken over by the Master Renegade. He and the Last Engineer must face off once more in order to regain control over New Earth. While not a climactic end to the series, it's a good enough one-off final episode that is a fun watch.

Challenge of the Gobots: The Series: Volume 2's only special feature is a TV special that was, I believe, an attempted pilot for another series that didn't get off the ground. Robo-Force: The Revenge of Nazgar follows a man and his team of robots who are looking for his long-lost dad. The father, a great scientist, was abducted years ago because of his knowledge of robotics.

As you might have guessed, unlike Transformers, Challenge of the Gobots isn't a classic series that is going to be in high demand, so like several other releases we've reviewed by Warner Archives, Challenge of the Gobots: The Series: Volume 2 is an on demand product. This means that Warner Brothers doesn't make the disc until you ask for it, so don't expect to see this particular DVD set in stores. Instead, use the link below to pick up your piece of 80's nostalgia. If you are one of those that has fond memories of this series, then it is probably worth the purchase, but those that don't have any personal experience with the show or toys probably won't want to give this particular release a second thought.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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