Robo Machine featuring the Challenge of the GoBots Annual

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The Robo Machine featuring Challenge of the GoBots Annuals, usually referred to as the "GoBots annuals" to save on oxygen, were a pair of books published by World Distributors in the UK from 1985 to 1986.


For those unaware a British annual was - and just about still is - a hardback A4 book based on a popular show, comic or character, released in the autumn to cash in on the run up to Christmas, where grandparents and aunts would buy them in industrial quantities as redoubtable gifts - they even had a price tag that could be easily snipped with scissors to keep British decency in order. The best Annuals were those published by Fleetway, DC Thomson or Grandreams, which featured comic strips, informative articles on the subject and more - the Transformers Annuals are a good example of the gold standard. At the other end of the scale you had the likes of World Distributors, who would snap up as many licences as they could, buy as little reference material as possible, pad the books out with dubious semi-related factual articles and just churn out material with all the professional pride of a Buzzfeed journalist.

See if you can guess who got the GoBots licence.

Creative team[edit | edit source]

As was the norm for World Distributors books of the period, none of the creative team were credited.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The books' mouthy title was a result of Bandai's attempts to cash in on the arrival of the Challenge of the GoBots cartoon on British TV from 1985 without losing what they had built up with the Robo Machine brand since 1983.
  • The text stories roughly follow the continuity of the Challenge of the GoBots cartoon, albeit with some changes - Zod is not created until the second book, long after contact with Earth, while the Battle Suit is an invention of Professor Von Joy rather than the Last Engineer. Other changes are noted on the individual pages.