The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has just debuted on Disney Plus. It delivers on its promise of a touching and humorous story revolving around Marvel‘s foremost interstellar heroes. There isn’t much more to it, although some beautiful holiday needle drops, and Kevin Bacon is having a great time portraying himself.
James Gunn subtly incorporates a truly obscure IP into the MCU canon. Drax and Mantis travel to Earth early in the episode in quest of Mr. Bacon, making their way along Hollywood Boulevard. This is an explanation for many cameos by performers dressed as Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) favorites, except one robot. Drax sees him and becomes enraged, while Mantis holds him back and apologizes. GoBots assassinated his cousin!
What, then, are GoBots? They were Tonka’s response to Hasbro’s Transformers in the 1980s. The GoBots, often regarded as the inferior brand of shape-changing robots, had their animated series, Challenge of the GoBots, in which they unsuccessfully attempted to dethrone Optimus Prime. Hasbro purchased the rights to Tonka and the GoBots in the early 1990s, and they have made occasional cameo cameos in the Transformers franchise.
What this signifies for their status as MCU canon is still being determined. The UK branch of Marvel was responsible for a popular series of comic books that brought a great deal of richness to the Transformers universe. A multiyear agreement between Disney and Hasbro covers the Star Wars, Marvel, and Indiana Jones toy licenses.
Notably, Hasbro and the GoBots IP are not acknowledged in the film’s credits, leading us to believe that James Gunn is only a fan. Nevertheless, as of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, GoBots exist someplace in the MCU, although it’s highly doubtful we’ll ever see them.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special can stream on Disney Plus.