Here’s an inordinate amount of words about a GoBots figure. I have my reasons!
Meet Creepy, one of the evil Renegades. As far as insectoid robot monsters go, he’s aces. Ghoulish purple claws, toxic green paint, and a name that would make me love him even without those things.
What makes Creepy so special — aside from the claws, paint and name — is that he was only available through a special mail-away offer back in 1985. The promotion even had its own dedicated commercial:
To obtain Creepy, you had to buy four GoBots figures and then mail the proofs-of-purchase to Tonka. (And by “you” I mean “your parents,” though I guess you would’ve gotten credit for line producing.)
This type of promotion was super common during the ‘80s, and it’s easy to see why. Whatever Tonka spent shipping out Creepy figures was more than made up for by the increased in-store sales — which also made the GoBots line seem more popular than it really was.
Mail-away figures almost never arrived in traditional packaging, and Creepy was no different. I’m not sure if he came in a plain box or a bubble mailer, but he certainly wasn’t on any card. (At least, this version of Creepy wasn’t, but I’ll get to that later.)
Tonka included an instruction sheet with the figure, which featured this insanely great character bio:
Based on that, Creepy was actually some sort of alien cyborg, capable of poisoning GoBots or even outright snapping them in half.
The bio suggested that he was perhaps too powerful to be a safe ally. If there’s one trope I will forever love, it’s when a team of villains is plagued by infighting. Now I’m picturing Cop-Tur as an Iago-like shit stirrer, subtly encouraging Creepy to bite Cy-Kill.
As for the figure, I’ll put it in Transformers terms: Creepy was like Tarantulas by way of Scorponok. (I love how I keep referencing these old spooky robots as if more than 5% of you have any idea who they are. Just deal with me today, okay?)
This was a major promotion from Tonka. It wasn’t exclusive to any chain, or even just to “big” chains. Virtually every store that carried GoBots got a package of order slips. Many even worked the promotion into their ad circulars!
Creepy was also promoted in the Sunday comics section of several newspapers, which was arguably the coolest way to find out about him. (I suspect that newspaper comics mean little to today’s kids, but back in the ‘80s, they were huge. We used to quote Far Side comics at the freakin’ schoolyard!)
I’d go so far to say that Creepy was the hardest-pushed of all GoBots toys, which is kinda weird, considering that some fans would have trouble remembering his name.
Creepy was also released as a regular retail figure in traditional packaging, but with a purple-and-black color scheme that wasn’t nearly as fetching.
I much prefer this mail-away version of Creepy, and not just because of his toxic green paint. While I missed this promotion as a kid, I took part in several similar offers. That 6-8 week stretch spent wondering when your new toy would arrive was the best kind of torture. We were like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, waiting on our secret decoder pins.
PS: If you missed it yesterday, there’s another new video this week. Go check out my Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes taste test!