Tempo Video will be well-known to anyone British who grew up in the 1980s as one of the main purveyors of American animated cartoons on VHS - including Transformers, Action Force, Inhumanoids, Robotix and the like. They didn't release Gobots on video (that was Vestron Video) but their sideline in audio cassettes did feature a Gobots release, named The Adventures of the Gobots.

The tapes were issued with the catalogue number TTC 7013 as part of the Tempo Twins double pack series. Beyond what can be gleaned from the inlays and from listening to the tapes I know nothing about them. However, I've never let that stop me before so I'll just randomly speculate. The tapes are copyrighted 1986, which was around the time Bandai were scrabbling to attach the Gobots name and cartoon to the by-then well-established Robo Machine toy range. Surprisingly though the inlays make no mention of Robo Machine.

The stories follow the Challenge of the Gobots cartoon for rough continuity - considering the show had minimal episode-to-episode consequences I'd suggest these could be slotted in pretty much anywhere. They do have massive errors in them, though - Baron Von Joy is assigned to the Renegades, BuggyMan is referred to as 'The BuggyMan' throughout, Psycho turns into a large yellow car, Hans-Cuff gets lines, et cetera.

Now some of these errors will remind people of the World Distributors Gobots Annuals, and there's a very good reason for that - all five stories on the cassettes are also present in World's 1986 Robo Machine featuring the Gobots Annual (got to love that catchy name). Quite what the process was I don't know. Option 1 - There were a lot of storybooks and audio recordings thereof floating around in America at the time, and World simply copied them for the annual with Tempo reusing the tapes for a separate release. Option 2 - World paid some hack to hammer out a few stories and then Tempo hired a washed-up actor to read them out.

The results are less than enthralling it must be said. All five stories are around 12 minutes long and just read by the same American actor. He does attempt different voices for different characters with hilarious results. The chap isn't credited - possibly at his insistence. I was briefly inspired to claim it was someone culty that would be vaguely plausible but pleasingly esoteric at the same time - Bruce Boa, Lee Majors, Kent Williams, George Roubicek, Tom Byron, something like that, but couldn't be bothered. If you recognise the voice drop me an email - I'll run pretty much anything that sounds like it might be true.

Warning: the following text, includes far too many, commas.

"In a spiralling arm of the Milky Way, the high tech planet of Gobotron is wracked by revolt. Renegade forces, commanded by the ruthless, ambitious Cy-Kill, fiercely battle to overthrow the Guardian Gobots and to rule the planet. The Guardians, led by the brave and wise Leader-1, prove formidable fighters, forcing Cy-Kill and his Renegades to feel to Earth, which they would rather destroy than be taken back to Gobotron as prisoners.

Relentless in his treacherous quest, Cy-Kill convinces Dr. Braxis, a brilliant but power-hungry earthling, to join the Renegade Gobots, including the reckless Crasher, the coldblooded Cop-Tur and the Godzilla of Gobots, Zod.

Leader-1, determined to thwart the Renegade plan, gathers his own team, the courageous though hot-headed Turbo, Scooter, the computer whiz and three human allies - the daring and headstrong Matt and his two young cohorts, Nick and A.J.

The two forces are evenly matched, and in the action-packed adventures that ensue, a heated battle between good and evil rages, known throughout the galaxy as 'the Challenge of the Gobots'."

Files are all around 12 minutes long, and around 30MB in size. Be warned, they are terrible. "The Rescue of Road Ranger" I've lost in transit somewhere, but I'll get sorted at some point.


Battle of the Beams
Braxis has invented a freezing beam to immobilise the Guardians. The Command Center comes up with a beam to counteract it. The thrilling scene is set.


By Astrobeam to Gobotron
The Renegades send Matt, Nick and A.J. to Gobotron to sabotage some Council of Guardians meeting or other. Features Psycho disguised as Bug Bite.


Melt Down in the Museum
Braxis has filled a museum full of historical bastard wax droids. Features the least amount of suspense in anything ever plus a basic intro (which mentions Anya) for the stories despite being on side 3.


The Aliens Steal a Scientist
It's called "The Aliens Steal a Scientist". See if you can guess what happens in it.
Go on, guess.