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The Throttlebots are Transformers toys released in 1987. [1]


Transformers: Generation 1

The Throttlebots, a sub-group of the Autobots, consist of six toys that could transform between a car and a robot. As a special gimmick, they feature a pullback motor.


A gimmick is a novel device or idea designed primarily to attract attention or increase appeal, often with little intrinsic value. When applied to retail marketing, it is a unique or quirky feature designed to make a product or service "stand out" from its competitors. Product gimmicks are sometimes considered mere novelties, and tangential to the product's functioning. Gimmicks are occasionally viewed negatively, but some seemingly trivial gimmicks of the past have evolved into useful, permanent features.

A pullback motor is a simple clockwork motor used in toy cars. A patent for them was granted to Bertrand 'Fred' Francis in 1952 as a keyless clockwork motor.

The Throttlebot toys had limited poseability and simple transformations. Not even the arms move. To transform the car to a robot, what is needed is to lift the frame of the car to an upright position, flip out the side panels to reveal the arms and hands, flip back the rear of the car body to reveal heads, and optionally push the chassis in.

The Throttlebots include six toys:

Daniel "Danny" Mann is an American Canadian voice actor, writer, singer, musician and production manager best known for his voices of Hector in Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, Freeway, Cloudraker and Lightspeed in Transformers, Backwoods Beagle in DuckTales, Kaltag in Balto, Ferdinand in Babe and Serge in the Open Season franchise.

Bumblebee (<i>Transformers</i>) character from the Transformers franchise

Bumblebee, designation B-127, is a fictional robot superhero in the many continuities in the Transformers franchise. The character is a member of the Autobots, a group of sentient self-configuring modular extraterrestrial robotic lifeforms.

Daniel John Gilvezan is an American actor, known for playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the 1981 animated series, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and Autobot Bumblebee, among others, in the original 1984-1987 Transformers series.

The Throttlebots were among the first Transformers released in 1987 and featured pull-back motors that worked in both car and robot modes. [2]

Animated Series

The Throttlebots were introduced in the Transformers cartoon's third season finale, "The Return of Optimus Prime" as a team originally consisting of Chase, Freeway, Searchlight, and Wideload. In the second half of that two-part episode, the severely damaged Bumblebee is repaired and rebuilt by a Quintesson, and given the new name Goldbug by Optimus Prime after commenting that his new body made him a "Gold Bug". Rollbar did not appear until the first installment of "The Rebirth", the three-part episode that served as the fourth and final season of the series. In the Return of Optimus Prime saga the Throttlebots were one of the first Transformers to be infected by the hate disease and quickly spread it over to the Stunticons. In the fourth and final season of the Transformers they have a little major role of defending Autobot City against a full army of Decepticons.

Optimus Prime Fictional character from the Transformers franchise

Optimus Prime, known in Japan as Convoy, is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. He is a Cybertronian, an extraterrestrial species of sentient self-configuring modular robotic lifeforms, a synergistic blend of biological evolution and technological engineering. In almost every version of the mythos, Optimus is the leader of the Autobots, a faction of Transformers who are rivals of the Decepticons, another faction. He is defined by his strong moral character and is almost always portrayed as the primary hero of the story, opposing the evil Decepticon leader Megatron.

Marvel Comics

In the Marvel US Transformers comics, Goldbug is introduced in the 4th issue of the G.I. Joe and the Transformers mini-series. He was rebuilt by the efforts of G.I. Joe technicians and Autobot medic Ratchet after being destroyed by a G.I. Joe security detail (using Armadillo mini-tanks).

<i>G.I. Joe</i> US toy brand, launched in 1964

G.I. Joe is a line of action figures owned and produced by the toy company Hasbro. The initial product offering represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces with the Action Soldier, Action Sailor, Action Pilot, Action Marine and later on, the Action Nurse. The name derived from the usage of "G.I. Joe" for the generic U.S. soldier, itself derived from the more general term "G.I.". The development of G.I. Joe led to the coining of the term "action figure". G.I. Joe's appeal to children has made it an American icon among toys.

Autobot Faction of sentient robots from the Transformers universe

Autobots are a team of sentient mechanical self-configuring modular robotic lifeforms from the planet Cybertron led by Optimus Prime, and the main protagonists in the universe of the Transformers, a collection of various toys, cartoons, movies, graphic novels, and paperback books first introduced in 1984. The "Heroic Autobots" are opposed by the "Evil Decepticons". Both Autobots and Decepticons are humanoid robots that can transform into machines, vehicles and other familiar mechanical objects, as well as mimic organic lifeforms (Dinobots). Autobots typically transform into regular cars, trucks, or other road vehicles (automobiles) but some are aircraft, military vehicles, communication devices, weapons, and even robotic animals. These Autobots are often grouped into special "teams" that have the suffix "-bot" at the end, such as in Dinobot.

In the UK Marvel comic Goldbug is rebuilt by the time-travelling Junkion leader Wreck-Gar after his "death" at the hands of the notorious bounty hunter Death's Head as the events of the aforementioned crossover do not take place in the continuity of the UK comic. Goldbug goes on to join several other "future" Autobots in fighting the rogue Decepticon Galvatron before rejoining his present day companions and eventually the other Throttlebots.

In Transformers (Marvel Comics U.S.) issues #29-30, the Throttlebots were a rogue band of Autobot rebels whom Ratbat captured and forced to go to Earth to end a Scraplet infestation - tiny viral robots that turn into bolts and screws and eat metal upon contact - by exterminating the infected. Blaster, Goldbug and the Decepticon Triple Changers had already been infected, with Goldbug searching for a cure; the Throttlebots reluctantly attempted to kill him until they discovered the Scraplets could be killed with water. Curing the plague, the Throttlebots joined Blaster and Goldbug on the road, eventually being hunted down by the Autobots (under Grimlock's command), the Combaticons and R.A.A.T. forces. Rollbar having been injured earlier by an R.A.A.T. ambush, the Throttlebots were captured by R.A.A.T. and eventually executed as a show of disapproval against Decepticon attacks (R.A.A.T. and the American government believed all Transformers were allied despite statements by their captives and humans who learned the truth); they only survived by having their brain modules secretly removed by sympathetic government agent Walter Barnett. Their brains spent some time in toy cars before their bodies were rebuilt by Fortress Maximus' crew.

The Throttlebots were destroyed by the Underbase-powered Starscream. Goldbug was rebuilt (as Bumblebee) but the other Throttlebots were never shown rebuilt; Chase appeared as part of an Autobot task-force in the GI Joe/Generation 2 crossover but he was killed by Megatron.

IDW Publishing

The Throttlebots appeared as a whole team in IDW's Spotlight Metroplex. [3]

The leader of the Throttlebots, Goldbug, is not Bumblebee, but a separate character.

Searchlight was among the crew in Optimus Prime's ship in Stormbringer.

Searchlight was on the Autobot Orbital Command Hub in Spotlight: Blaster. He was present when Blaster was recovered and returned to the Autobots.

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  1. Lee's Guide to Loose 1987 Transformers: Autobots. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #205, December 2009
  2. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 54. ISBN   0-7643-1364-9.
  3. "Transformers Spotlight: Metroplex".