Thursday, August 9, 2007

Follow The Leader

[Challenge Of The Gobots: stand and fight]
Written by GL

Boy, was the Gobots a long time ago. I remember a time when there was nothing kids our age, growing up, would talk about but Gobots. It's hard to believe that they've already faded away to make room for other things such as, the Optimus Prime Leader Class action figure, or the Grimlock resin bust (going for US$100, retail). The Gobots were from a simple time.

And there was nothing like the top dog of the Gobots, Leader-1.

[Leader-1: he ain't such a bad guy]

Leader-1 was the leader of the Guardians. He was shown as everything that Optimus Prime was born to be, a brave leader who cared deeply about his people. And yet, Leader-1 believed in the ideal that not one single person should be in charge of all - applying the democratic system of the Guardians. However, this way leadership may sometimes be too loose. Cy-Kill, his former friend, broke away from the Guardians and formed the evil Renegades. Cy-Kill (as is Kal-El's recent post) became Leader-1's worst enemy.

Like all the other Gobots, Leader-1 could fly, send out energy blasts, and project a force field.

Leader-1 was by far the most famous Gobot there ever was, right next to Cy-Kill or course, and his action figure began in 1983 as MR-25 (production number), the Eagle Robo, released in Japan by Bandai as part of the Machine Robo line.

[The Original Leader-1: the early age of toys]

Later that year, Tonka purchased the rights to release the line in America, and decided to follow Hasbro's Transformers line. This Eagle Robo was chosen to be the leader of the hero team, the Guardians. I'm sure the fact that Leader-1 was USAF jet probably helped in the promotion of the character. Leader-1 was release three times between 1984 and 1986. Once to follow along the animation movie conception; the second was as part of the Super Gobot range in 1985, where Leader-1 was gray; and his last version, which was smaller version and given a brand new blue/white colour scheme in 1986.

[Original Packaging: the 80s age of packaging]

I have been reading online about some complaints about the fact that Leader-1, as an action figure, was pretty inadequate. For a character that was supposed to be the ultimate leader, he was dull, without flair or accessories, and frankly, his plane-nose was a little dangerous.

But it's been about 6 or 7 years since I last hurt myself with a toy, and I still say that Leader-1 was, as a character and an action figure, a landmark of the Gobots series. He would be a brilliant figure to own (in mint) partly out of childhood nostalgia and down-right bragging rights. Gobots live on!

[Leader-1 In Plane Form: pretty awesome]