Monogram is a noted American manufacturer of scale model kits, founded in 1945. The company was merged with rival Revell in 1986. During the heyday of GoBots marketing, they licensed the brand from Tonka and produced several kits based on the characters in 1984 and 1985. However, as all seem to have been based on pre-existing model kits designed largely as something other than GoBots the resemblance to the characters named is... variable.
Convertible Model Kits
- Small Kits (1984)
- These featured friction motors, and were moulded in a single colour - needing paint to fully resemble the pictures on the front. No glue was required.
- Large Kits (1984)
- Moulded in multiple colours but still needing paint to fully resemble the picture on the front. Unlike the other kits these required glue, and were recommended for age 13+.
- Medium Kit (1985)
- Moulded in a single colour - needing paint to fully resemble the picture on the front. No glue was required.
- Trans Am was a retool of Monogram's licenced Turbo Teen kit with a new head; therefore it is likely the otherwise strange decision to originate a character was to offset the cost of the mould and maximise Monogram having stumped up for both licences.
- As any Robotech fan will tell you (whether you ask them or not), the larger kits are taken from Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, which came to the West as Robotech: The New Generation. Cy-Kill is an Armor Cycle/Veritech Cyclone (complete with rider); Leader-1 is a AFC-01 Legioss/VF-A-6 Alpha Veritech.
- The exact provenance of the smaller kits is unknown, as very similar looking non-model figures to the smaller versions were released around the same time as Dashbots by Upright Toys and - in one case - RoboTron by BuddyL. The only thing that's certain is that most of them weren't designed as GoBots characters and were likely the result of Monogram simply picking the character with the closest resemblance to the moulds they had acquired rights to.
- The one exception to this is the kit of Spay-C, which actually strongly resembles the conventional toy. This seems to have been produced by a company called Grand Model, though whether it was licenced from Bandai or just copied and then made its' way to being a GoBots kit by an improbable chain of events is unknown.
- Japanese manufacturers often sold on or leased the rights to their moulds after they felt they had no use to them. In the early-to-mid eighties with the internet barely existing and bilingualism less common the Pacific was a big ocean and deals were often carried out through intermediaries, often in China. Adding into this was the fly-by-night nature of some of said intermediaries, who would often vanish before anyone could aim at any legal action at them. In a way it's amazing this sort of thing didn't happen more often.
- TL;DR: the toy robot boom of 1984-1985 was like the Wild West.