Revenge of the GoBots
The Revenge of the GoBots (La Revanche des GoBots) was a cartoon series based on the GoBots franchise broadcast in France from 8 April to 2 September 1987 on TF1. It was a dub of the Japanese series Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos.
While it is often described as a sequel to Challenge of the GoBots it's really more of a reboot.
The series is famous (or infamous) for being marketed as a sequel to Challenge of the GoBots, which was broadcast in France as Le Defi des GoBots to considerable success. Due to the series' near-total incompatibility with each other this meant some very odd changes had to be made. The dub for both series was carried out by Télétota (who retained most of the same voice actors), and the translation was performed by Patricia Angot and Alain Laiguillon. Reputedly the work was not of a good standard, exacerbating Revenge of Cronos' extant flaws by often struggling to keep the names of characters straight and even some of the basic meanings of events.
Rom Stol became Nick Burns, with Leina becoming A.J. Foster (or 'Agi', as the character was named in France); Kirai retained both his name and his position as their father. Baikanfu became Courageous ('Courageoux'), Blue Jet became Leader-1 ('Leader') and Triple Jim became Turbo ('Proto'). Rod Drill was presented as a new character called 'Drille'; Screw Head's name in the Challenge dub had been 'Dent Dure', a play on the idiom "sharp-tongued" that presumably didn't fit with a heroic character. Kenryū meanwhile seems to have been renamed Force of Good ('Force du Bien').
Meanwhile the Gyandlar became the Gader Clan, led by Gadess ('Gader'). However key underlings Grujios and Diondra became Fitor and Crasher ('Demo') respectively, while Devil Satan 6 became the Diablotrons (oddly, as the toys were sold in Europe as the Puzzler Fiends at around the time the series was broadcast). The Hyribead became the Vitalido. Garudi became 'Guardi' but was often referred to as Fitor ('Phytor'), especially after Grujios initially disappeared from the cast. As other characters showed up some had the same names as their Western equivalent, e.g. Bike Robo was referred to as Cy-Kill ('Cyclos') - except where the dub messed things up. Which was by most accounts more than occasionally.
No real attempt was made to explain the massive difference in appearance, characterisation and basic nature of the characters involved; Revenge of the GoBots seems to have been presented as a fresh show which simply used some familiar names and concepts, much like the initial relationship between the two different Voltron cartoons. In other words whether it was meant as an actual sequel or how much it was effectively a reboot featuring some familiar names and voices (like several Transformers series, such as Robots in Disguise or Animated) is open for debate. It's still crazy either way.
The series received new theme music - "La Revanche des GoBots" by Laurent Omont and Thierry David, which was then replaced by a composition from Bernard Minet, who had sang "Go GoBots" for the French version of Challenge of the GoBots. Both were aggressively generic euro-rock.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Several sources give it as having a length of 52 episodes - the reason for this number, 5 more than Revenge of Cronos itself, is currently unknown. It would seem the series was planned for 52 episodes but cancelled after only 35 were broadcast, meaning the "extra" episodes were never shown.
At least three VHS releases were made of the episodes, on the Billy Clap Video label, instead of Vestron. While the first two were issued under the title of Revenge of the GoBots, the third was branded as a Rock Lords tape to tie in with the figures then available as part of Robo Machine, and featured episodes in which the Rock People played a prominent part. It also featured cover art of second-series Rock Lords toys that did not appear in the cartoon, such as the Shock Rocks and the second attempt at a Stonehead playset.
Revenge of the GoBots seems to have made very little impression on the toyline, likely due to TF1 seemingly acting on their own initiative to import the series for ratings rather than Bandai asking them to show it. Beyond the happy accident of Rock Lords having a prominent role in several episodes there seems to have been no coordination between characters featuring in the show while being on the shelves.
Well, that didn't work.
This article requires a cleanup.