1984 Tonka Catalog

From GoBots Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Tonka Catalogs
1984 Catalog
Publisher Tonka
Page count 54

The 1984 Catalog for Tonka Toys, sometimes known as Tonka Turns Towards Tomorrow from the blurb on the cover, was a dealer catalogue produced by the company, likely in late 1983. It was not intended for public consumption, but as promotion for the company's toys to retailers and the like. As such it contains considerable interesting information on the GoBots toyline if you're into geeky stuff like that. And if you've made it this far you probably are.

The catalogue features other Tonka toylines including the company's bread-and-butter Trucks and Mightys, ride-on Mighty Cycles, compressed air car-firing TNTs and Clutch Poppers, but the last ten pages are devoted to the then-brand new GoBots line.

Uniquely among the catalogues issued in the line the entries for each figure included a brief character biography, information that would be omitted from the toys themselves. This was done before Challenge of the GoBots was commissioned, and while some of them line up with the cartoon others don't. Conversely it features very few prototypes, as the first series of GoBots was nearly entirely unchanged imports of Machine Robo figures. As with the toyline, at this stage the factions were named "Friendly" and "Enemy" as opposed to Guardians and Renegades.


Pages 45-46[edit]


A very brief summary of the GoBots mythos with a selection of toys.

Pages 47-48 - GoBots Assortment 1[edit]


The first 12 figures from the GoBots range. Like the card art for the figure, Pumper is dual-wielding; the released toy would only include a single pistol. Most likely is that Tonka sent along two of the tiny accessory so the photographer wouldn't lose it. Spay-C's biography has the character as a male.

Pages 49-50 - GoBots Assortment 2[edit]


The second 12 figures from the GoBots range. The biographies notably have Crasher as male (but still having a rivalry with Turbo) and Spoiler as female and the rival of Path Finder (whose name is written as 'Pathfinder').

Pages 51-52 - Super GoBots & Zod[edit]


Page 51: The first 6 figures from the Super GoBots range. Defendor is pictured but not mentioned in the text, and would be advertised as 'New' in the 1985 Tonka Catalog, suggesting the figure was held over to the second series. The most likely explanation is simple logistics, as Saladin Mk. II had only recently been released in Japan, and because 6 figures fitted into the case size of 12 better than 7. Page 52: Featuring a prototype of Zod with red paint applications and smooth plastic tyres (unusually, the finished toy went the other way - likely for reasons of traction); as Zod was created by Tonka for the line.

Pages 53-54 - Command Center[edit]


Various toys arranged around the Command Center playset. The text seems to imply that several "imagination" features, such as the Enemy Detector, actually work. Tsk, tsk.