The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special sees Drax and Mantis travel to Earth to go find Peter a special gift for the Yuletide season. However, in a surprising turn of events, the one-time special confirmed that the Transformers exist in the MCU. Or, better yet, what eventually became part of the Transformers.
One particular scene sees Mantis and Drax outside the TCL Chinese Theater where the two of them blend in perfectly with the costumed crowd. Ever the simpleton, Drax confronts one person he sees dressed up as Cy-Kill, the leader of the GoBots. Mantis explains, “GoBots killed his cousin.”
Just like that, fans could barely contain their excitement.
Tonka’s GoBots were the OG Transformers. The toyline debuted in 1983 in the United States. Just like the more popular toy-originated multimedia franchise, GoBots are vehicles that can transform into robots. But, while GoBots were earlier to market, the product line was largely considered inferior compared to Transformers. Less than a decade later, Hasbro, the parent company of Transformers, bought Tonka and its subsidiaries in 1991. Also, before Hasbro bought Tonka, the Transformers also starred in their own Marvel Comics storylines for years in the 80s.
So, clearly, there’s some history between Transformers and Marvel Comics. Just don’t expect this connection to extend to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Keep in mind that Paramount Pictures owns the rights to live-action Transformers films.
Given that Paramount still hasn’t given Disney and Marvel Studios the greenlight to work on a Hulk or Namor movie, it’s highly unlikely that the two will work together to bring Optimus Prime and co to the MCU.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that highly intelligent robot vehicles couldn’t exist in the MCU. Kevin Feige could squeeze in something similar to GoBots and Transformers albeit under a new name in the future. After all, once the Multiverse Saga has ended and the X-Men have presumably taken over in the next phase of the MCU, Marvel Studios will need something different.
For now, we can chalk this passing namedrop up as nothing more than James Gunn being his usual cheeky self.
Speaking of Transformers, the next film in the rebooted cinematic universe has reportedly cast Pete Davidson and Michelle Yeoh in significant roles. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is expected to premiere in theaters on June 9.