After Shout! Factory released the original cartoon version of The Transformers
on DVD in 2009-2010, to celebrate that show's 25th anniversary, fans of the GoBots began inquiring about whether or not they would see the similarly-themed cartoon series on home video. The general thinking was that Hasbro owned both the 1984 TV show Challenge of the GoBots
AND the 1986 theatrical film GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords
, after acquiring the GoBots brand in 1991 when they bought out the Tonka company. Since Hasbro also owns The Transformers brand, including home video rights, the popular opinion was that Hasbro wouldn't want to release GoBots on DVD, because they wanted to keep the focus on the Autobots and Decepticons, rather than possibly confuse the public with the Guardians and the Renegades.
Still, there was always the thought that perhaps the home video rights to the TV show and/or film might instead lie with Warner Brothers, through their ownership of Hanna-Barbera (which was responsible for the GoBots
animated productions). And the Warner Archive Collection (WAC) has been putting out lots of Hanna-Barbera TV shows
lately on DVD, as part of their manufacture-on-demand (MOD) program. So earlier this week, Nick Simmons reached out to the studio at WAC's fan page on Facebook
, asking them straight-out about ownership, and getting a concrete answer to this at last! Here's the exchange:
- Nick - Do you own the rights to Hanna-Barbera's Challenge of the GoBots cartoon series or its movie GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords? I'd really like to see both on DVD some day.
- WAC - The GoBots are heading your way soon!
- Nick - Sweet, both the series and the movie then?
- WAC - At this point, just the series.....
The folks at the Warner Archive confirmed for Nick on Twitter
that their GoBots plans are for the "TV series. Not the film.
" No word yet on when we'll see the show become available on their MOD program, nor what the configuration will be. Since Challenge of the GoBots
consisted of 65 half-hour episodes, it's likely that Warner will have to break this up into more than one multi-disc DVD "volume" sets. We're keeping an eye on this, and how it eventually becomes available (and when, etc.). Stay tuned for further updates!