Some might not consider today’s entry to be a “true” pilot since there was never a full episode made, all that exists is a four minute trailer. Still, I found the whole thing intriguing enough to make it the focus of today’s “Crashed Pilots” entry.
Back in 1991, Sunrise decided to try bringing the Gundam franchise to US TV in the form of a cartoon called ….wait for it…. “Doozy Bots”! Most people who’ve seen the trailer for this show rag on it like there’s no tomorrow. It can’t be denied that this wasn’t any high-quality, cerebral adventure, I think it looks like it would have been a fun, screwball kind of series. As long as it didn’t take itself seriously, it could have been very entertaining. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Not only are there no full episodes in existance, even the available copies of the trailer are all low quality & over-compressed.
Now, this series was not going to use the full-size Gundam designs, this was going to be based on the SD Gundams. Some of you might remember when some higher quality SD Gundam series aired on Cartoon Network, but those were vastly, VASTLY different from what this would have been.
While normal Gundam were mindless robots with human pilots, and SD Gundam were sentient robots, Doozy Bots actually had human minds teleported into them. Both the good robots & the evil robots were created by this mad scientist guy named Doozy (hence the name of the show), with the evil robots having been created first & then gone haywire, and the good robots created for the purpose of stopping them (shades of Mega Man, anyone?).
The kids who become the minds of the Doozy Bots consist of four stereotyped atheletes (cheerleader, football player, surfer dude, and hockey player), and a dude in a wheelchair. Considering that this last character is not just the only one in less than perfect health, but also the only black character, they should have saved time and just tattooed “token” on his forehead. (He even gets the only Gundam without legs. Adding insult to injury? You decide.)
…Now lets move on to the villains. While the heroe-bots all have big, cutesy eyes, the villain-bots just have sinister black holes in their faces.
…But the yolk’s on them, because these eggheads are totally shell-shocked:
Seriously… This is really how these guys spread themselves. This giant, fire-breathing, robot chicken sucks on powerlines, belches flames, then lays a bunch of eggs, which hatch into more evil bots.
This is actually a reference to Japanese pop culture. They have “gashapon” machines over there, which dispense toys in capsules. The difference between those, and the trinket machines in the entryway of any large store here in the states boils down to target audience. Gashapon toys typicallys cost around $1 (100 yen), are much higher quality than the cheap trinkets we’re used to, are collectible, and are generally intended for older consumers. Due to the squat design of the characters, SD Gundam got their first big break as gashapon toys.
The heroes compat the villains with some very screwy weapons, including bubblegum bombs to (very literally) gum up their guns, tars bombs to really stick it to them, footballs, lassos, and skateboards.
This show would have even had a couple annoying dweebnicks to spice things up:
Unfortunately, that’s about all there is to say about this show. Nobody liked the trailer, nobody picked up the series, and all we’re left with is four minutes of what might have been.