The robot cartoons of the 80s have been an iconic part of childhood for generations. Whether you grew up in that decade or not, robot cartoons from this era still have a place in your heart. From “Transformers” to “Gobots,” robot cartoons were everywhere!
“The Transformers” (1984 – 1987)
Featuring robot vehicles called Transfomers, the show followed the heroic Autobots as they battled their evil Decepticon enemies. The series is one of the best known examples on robot cartoons and it’s still going strong today in various forms. Maybe most famously, Michael Bay resurrected the concept as a series of mixed live action and animation “Transformers” films beginning in 2007.
“Challenge of the Gobots” (1984 – 1985)
Invented by Tonka Toys, the show followed robot vehicles called Gobots that fought in a simulated game world against their evil robot foes. The show was created to help sell products for Tonka and as competition for The Transformers and others on this list. It lasted just one season.
“Bionic Six” (1987 – 1988)
Originally set as a direct spinoff of The Six Million Dollar Man, this robot show followed a family of six (surprise!) humans, each of whom had been enhanced with robot parts for one reason or another. The family (who weren’t the Austins as had been planned from the beginning) set about fighting crime and battling their nemesis as only a bionic troupe could do.
“Fantastic Max” (1988- 1990)
Maxwell Young is a boy hurtling through space seeking and finding plenty of adventure, along with his toy sidekicks — FX, a doll from the planet Twinkle Twinkle; and A.B. Sitter, an android built from blocks. As it turned out, FX had used his alien powers to endow baby Max with super-smarts and full-on speech right from the get-go.
“Voltron: Defender of the Universe” (1984- 1985)
The robot Voltron, which is made up of five robot lions, defends the Earth from King Zarkon and his evil forces. The show features an ensemble cast consisting primarily of humans with a full team of robots that can form into various vehicles or weaponry. Each robot is piloted by a human who can go it alone when necessary, but whose real strength lies in joining with other robot pilots and combining their robot into a single robot that is more powerful than the sum of its parts.
The robot M.A.S.K is a special task force that fights against the criminal organization VENOM, otherwise known as “Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem.” The robots are piloted by humans – Matt Trakker and his team of expert drivers who use their skills to stop any dangerous plots before they happen. The vehicles also have some limited transforming capabilities, which probably sounds a bit familiar if you’ve read the other entries on this list.
The Silverhawks were a group of would-be heroes recruited by a bionic cop named Commander Stargazer to save the galaxy from an evil force called Mon*Star, basically a bionic mobster. The robot Silverhawks were humanoid and made of partly of metal, which naturally gavethem some advantages in battle. The main Silverhawk was Quicksilver, who rode into battle with sidekick Tally-Hawk — a robotic bird — at the ready and at his side.
“Robocop: The Animated Series” (1988)
Robocop: The Animated Series was a one-season series that followed the adventures of Alex Murphy, now known as Robocop. As in the famous movie, the formerly-dead cop has been resurrected as a cyborg thing by Omni Consumer Products and he’s back in animated form to take names and kick butt.
(Like Robot Cartoons of the 80s? Then you might like our article on Female Cartoon Characters from the 1980s, click here.)
(affiliate links Or how about Robot Cartoons from the 90s, click here.)
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