As a child of the 1980s, I have long had a great, hidden shame: I preferred the Go-Bots to the Transformers…

…That sound you heard was all the other Gen-Xers gasping in shock and backing away.  Because of availability, the price-point and the more portable size, 12-year-old me was all about Leader-1 and the Tonka team.  Their cartoon was gawdawful, but to be honest, Transformers isn’t exactly Shakespeare, either.  In the year 2016, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with tweenage me on this point, but it does bring us to today’s second-place query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as all, “misquoted”) never liked that Scooter, though, that ‘bot had issues, asking: Which character knockoffs do you find as (or more) compelling than the characters they’re duplicating?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Loudmouth Takashi Miike on

    My favorite Superman knockoff is Invincible. Invincible, the comic book, is hard to stereotype. A given issue can range from gory battle to family drama to secret government agency to interdimensional saga.

    There are other Superman knockoffs but Invincible has been fighting the good fight since 2003 without too many vacations, shipping delays and whatever else influences a monthly schedule. For example, Supreme, Captain Marvel, Irredeemable, etc. just have not been consistently published.

  2. I’m still in shock that they integrated Go-Bots as part of the Transformers multiverse. It still seems weird to me.

    Although they didn’t really last more than a few issues (if they made it past one), I really enjoyed the TMNT knock-offs such as Pre-Teen Dirty Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos and Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters.

    I also like the Squadron Supreme. While I do enjoy the Justice League and their own versions of the JL as villains rather than heroes, there is just something unique about the Squadron Supreme’s characters that makes them more than simply twisted copies of the Justice League.

  3. Valuant comics. In the 90s, I always considered them a knockoff Marvel and DC, butthet ended up delivering better stories than them.

  4. Well, according to the all-powerful google-machine, Digimon is considered a pokemon knock-off. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Pokemon. I’m pretty sure I legitimately asked Santa for a gyarados when I but a wee nerdling. However, given any choice, I would’ve watched the original Digimon every time.

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