?The GoBots get a bad rap. Sure, their toy line lacked the variety and complexity of the Transformers, and their cartoon was generally a lot sillier than even the most ridiculous TF episode (we won’t even mention the infamous sex tape), but they were simple, straightforward, affordable and had some of the most entertainingly awful names in the history of robots. While Hasbro tended to go with a lot of simple nouns and verbs for the Transformers (which would later defy any attempts at trademarking them), Tonka’s crack naming team came up with enough bizarre spellings and obscure puns to choke a Rock Lord. Some of them were straightforward (Tank), some were clever (Fly Trap, the garbage truck), and some were just plain bad-ass (Cy-Kill), but a lot of them just make us shake our heads in disbelief. If anyone who worked on the line has any funny stories to share, please leave them in the comments.
20) Crain Brain
?The name leads us to believe that Crain Brain had cranes on the brain, but didn’t he have them everywhere else on his body, as well, since he actually turned into one? In fact, we’d question their presence on his brain at all, given the completely unnecessary misspelling.
?We get it, it sounds like “handcuff,” and he’s a police car. Still, giving a heroic law-enforcement vehicle a Germanic name confuses us. Was he from Gobotron by way of Dusseldorf?
18) Good Knight
?Aside from the obscure connection to the car model it’s based on, the Excalibur, we have no objections to the idea of this heroic Defender being either good or knightly. But when you put it together, it sounds like he’s going to sleep. You might as well call him “Snoozer.”
?We may very well be missing some reasoning behind this forklift being named “Spoons” and not “Forks,” but for now we’ll just assume the product manager was trying to be clever. Maybe it’s a reverse nickname?
?Another codename that implies sleepiness. Even SisQo would have trouble understanding how this spelling is superior to “Rescue” in any way, shape or form.
15) Screw Head
?All right, you primitive screwheads, listen up! …Did the Renegades get to choose their codenames at all, or did they just accept the names Cy-Kill came up with off the top of his head, out of fear he might cy-kill them?
?Granted, this Rolls-Royce GoBot is wearing a top hat, and that is totally awesome, but he’s not exactly wearing a tuxedo, is he? Seems like false advertising. And even if he’s conveniently known for wearing tuxedos back on Gobotron, it’s not exactly a wardrobe choice that strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies.
?All of the Puzzler combiners have really unfortunate puzzle-oriented code-names — Zig Zag? Tic Tac? Rube? Pocket? — but it’s Crossword we can’t get over. His codename is an innocuous hobby, making him the Will Shortz of the Renegades. At least if he’d been called “Sudoku” he could have passed for a ninja.
12) Dive Dive
?We’ll assume Tonka was trying to capture all the drama of a submarine captain shouting “DIVE! DIVE!” to his crew. But without the pause and intensity that come with punctuation, it just sounds like baby talk. “Diddums make a dive-dive?”
?Was it copyrightability or lawsuit avoidance that led this toy — which clearly transforms into a Jeep — to be given a soft “G”? The world may never know.
10) Night Ranger
?Since there’s nothing about this blue police motorcycle that specifically calls for nocturnal specialization, we can only assume that somebody at Tonka was a big fan of the band that wrote “Sister Christian.”
?To be fair, this is apparently what they call certain kinds of dump trucks. But it’s also what they call certain kinds of asses.
?See above, but replace “dump trucks” with “fire engines” and “asses” with… well pretty much anything that will result in an NSFW Google image search.
7) Bad Boy
?Was it Kierkegaard or Leader-1 who said, “If you label me a bad boy, you negate my badness”? This may be an easy way of telling us that this Renegade is not to be trusted with our hearts, or it may be a reference to the 1985 hit by Miami Sound Machine. Either way, it must have made somebody at Tonka feel so good.
6) Water Walk
?This pontoon plane was also known by his nickname, “GoBot Jesus.”
?Torque: noun, the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis. Tork: proper noun, the fourth Monkee.
4) Small Foot
?It’s amazing how at one point in your life you can look at a name and say, “Oh, that’s a play on ‘Bigfoot’,” and at another point you can say, “What idiot came up with such a terrible play on ‘Bigfoot’?”
?I… don’t think they meant “Grungy.” I think they meant “Shiny,” or “Deadly,” or “Giant Robot Who’s Quite Clean, Thanks, And Do You SEE A Flannel Shirt?”
2) Herr Fiend
?By combining the German “mister” and the synonym for “monster,” Tonka inadvertently created the most preposterously evil name ever. Unfortunately, it must have been too evil for the cartoon’s producers, who changed his name to the James Bond-referencing “Doctor Go.” Way to neuter the character, guys.
1) Baron Von Joy
?Apparently, Tonka must have been hung up on the whole Porsches-are-made-in-Germany thing, because they made this guy a Baron. But… he’s a good guy! Can good guys be Barons? Baron Von Strucker was a Nazi, Baron Samedi ruled the dead… I guess the only way they could justify a heroic baron was if they put the word “joy” right in his name. Mission accomplished!