Goldbug (Transformers)

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Goldbug is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers series He is usually depicted as the new form of the Autobot Bumblebee.

Transformers: Generation 1

Transformers character
Generation 1 Goldbug on card
Name Goldbug
Japanese name Gold Bug
Series Transformers: Generation 1
English voice actor Dan Gilvezan
Japanese voice actor Yoku Shioya (The Transformers), Michitaka Kobayashi (The Headmasters)
Alternate modes Cybertronian car, Volkswagen Beetle, Suzuki Swift
Function Espionage Director
Motto "To know others you must know yourself first."
Rank 7
Sub-group Throttlebots

Along with his other Throttlebot teammates, Goldbug is a proven courier officer, skilled at being able to evade the enemy to keep important data out of unauthorized hands and speed it where it needs to go.

Usually, Goldbug is a rebuilt version of Bumblebee, but sometimes, he's portrayed as a separate character.

Fictional biography

Has the mind of the Autobot Bumblebee, but new, improved body. More serious, assertive, mature than he was. Realizes what others think of him isn't nearly as important as what he thinks of himself. Excellent fuel efficiency; 2 1/2 times better than the next best Throttlebot. Adaptable to underwater, cold and hot environments. Can withstand temperatures from -150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Animated series

The Transformers

When the body of the deceased Optimus Prime is recovered from space by a pair of Transformer-hating human scientists who intend to use it to lure the Autobots into a trap, Bumblebee is part of the rescue team led by Rodimus Prime to recover it. Entering the lab, some of the Transformers are exposed to rage-inducing alien spores that cause them to run wild, and although Bumblebee avoids infection, he is seriously damaged by the rampaging Superion. A member of the alien race called the Quintessons subsequently repair and restore Optimus Prime to life, so he can stop the "Hate Plague" and repair Bumblebee. The little Autobot has been so severely damaged, however, that he requires an entire reconstruction. In his new, shiny body, he comments that he has gone beyond just being Bumblebee, and is now a "gold bug", prompting Optimus Prime to redub him Goldbug. Goldbug travels with Optimus Prime to the planet of Chaar in order to secure a heat resistant alloy that can protect him from the plague, only to be infected on the mission and later cured when Prime uses the power of the Matrix to purge the plague. Goldbug also makes a brief appearance in the fourth and final season of the series, defending Autobot City and Cybertron against a massive Decepticon attack.

Transformers: The Headmasters

Predaking fights the Throttlebots Freeway, Chase, Searchlight and Goldbug in Transformers: Headmasters

In Transformers: The Headmasters, Goldbug and the Throttlebots were on Cybertron when Vector Sigma began to destabilize as a consequence of Optimus Prime releasing the Matrix's energy to cure the Hate Plague the previous year. The Decepticons soon invaded the planet in an attempt to take control of the computer, and Goldbug and the Throttlebots joined Grimlock and Slag in holding the line against them. Unfortunately, they were knocked unconscious by the hypnotic power of the new Decepticon Headmaster Mindwipe, but they had managed to delay the Decepticons long enough for the Autobot Headmasters to arrive and take up the fight.

Later, when the Decepticon Headmasters unleashed the Madmachine upon Cybertron, Goldbug and the Throttlebots helped the Autobot Headmasters battle the villains. Hit by a blast of the evil device's electromagnetic beams, the Throttlebots were left in convlusions, opening them up to an attack by the Decepticons. Wideload and Rollbar were again affected by Mindwipe's hypnotism and were instructed to fight each other, but Goldbug was able to get between them and snap them out of it. Goldbug proceeded to get his team organized, and he and Rollbar took on Mindwipe, clinging on to him and preventing him from flying away as they beat him up.

Goldbug and the Throttlebots went up against the Decepticon Headmasters yet again in a later battle on Earth, but pretended to lose so that they would be left free to investigate the Decepticons' newest weapon: a metal-warping meteror currently on collision course with Athenia. Disregarding Rodimus Prime's instructions to keep their distance, the Throttlebots believed they would be heroes if they could stop the meteor, but no sooner had they got within range of the space-rock than its gravity boosters began twisting and warping their ship and their bodies.

The Throttlebots disappeared after this encounter, suggesting they might have been destroyed, but they eventually resurfaced months later as the Decepticons were carrying out their final plan to destroy the Earth. Goldbug and the Throttlebots teamed up with Fastlane and Cloudraker to investigate the emergence of a "Death Tower" in Santiago, Chile, only to find Predaking there waiting for them. Naturally, the small 'bots were no match for the powerful combiner, but they fought bravely, clinging onto his limbs before being hurled aside. Luckily, the Autobot Targetmasters arrived in time to bail them out and take Predaking down.


Dreamwave Productions

The profile series, More Than Meets the Eye, featured entries for Bumblebee as both a Pretender and as Goldbug, but gave no in-story reason for his upgrades to these forms and they never appeared in the fiction of the series.

IDW Publishing

Goldbug, a separate character from Bumblebee, appears in the story Spotlight: Metroplex.

Goldbug and the Throttlebots were assigned to Orvus Base, orbiting Salvvatan VI, to safeguard top-secret Autobot research. Their purpose was to act as couriers in case the lab came under threat, taking the data and keeping it out of enemy hands. They had no idea what the research actually was, but that was not deemed essential to their job. And when an attack did come in the form of Sixshot, the Throttlebots were the only ones who made it out of the station alive, the information in their sole possession. They crashed on the planet below and quickly rushed for cover, Sixshot hot on their trail. What they found on the planet was a strangely unoccupied, Cybertronian-style city with energon reserves. But just as they were powering up, Sixshot caught up with them and demanded the information. Goldbug suggested that they might not have the information at all, then asked him if he would torture them in that case.

Sixshot said he would, so Goldbug ordered the Throttlebots to scatter. Sixshot quickly took down half the team, even as they tried to feint and counterattack. The remaining three bantered with Sixshot and then attacked him, the battle taking them into a strange chamber where an "intruder alert" alarm began to blare. There, Sixshot shot Goldbug point-blank in the chest, and his remaining two comrades fared little better. But just as Sixshot was about to execute Searchlight, the city around them awakened. A giant fist smashed Sixshot, followed by a similarly-proportioned foot. Goldbug and his two companions gaped in awe at the transformed Metroplex, who declared his own position compromised and announced that he was going to leave and hide again. He told them where to find a shuttle and supplies, but Goldbug was indignant, asking him what kind of Autobot would abandon the dying Throttlebots.

Metroplex replied that he wept for them, but his mission was more important, and with that, he left. Rollbar and Searchlight, the latter carrying Goldbug, began walking back to recover their teammates. This story takes place in the mainstream IDW continuity, which means he co-exists with Bumblebee. Goldbug turned into a Cybertronian vehicle resemble Bumblebee's seen in the animated series.

Marvel Comics

Note: Stories from the U.K. Transformers series are in italics.

When Bumblebee is assigned to watch over the launch of the mobile Power Station Alpha, also guarded by the daring special mission force G.I. Joe, a Decepticon attack prompts him to transform in order to save a civilian boy. The Joes mistake him for a Decepticon and destroy him. Learning of their mistake and allying with the Autobots, the Joes set about trying to rebuild Bumblebee. With the aid of Autobot medic Ratchet, Bumblebee is reconstructed as Goldbug.[1]

Charged with hunting down the petty criminal known as the Mechanic, who had stolen some Autobot equipment, Goldbug and Blaster opt instead to remove themselves from the tyrannical command of then-leader Grimlock. A run-in with the Decepticon Triple Changers leads to both robots becoming infected with the metal-eating disease known as the Scraplets, but with the help of human Charlie Fong and the Autobot Throttlebots, a cure is found in the form of water, and they are saved. Soon afterward, however, the group, low on fuel, is caught up to by the Protectobots, under Grimlock's command, and Blaster is captured. The abandoned, immobile Throttlebots, including Goldbug, are then captured by the government-sponsored Rapid Anti-robot Assault Team (RAAT), who intend their destruction. Sympathetic to their plight, RAAT operate Walter Barnett removes their brain components and installs them in toy cars while their bodies are destroyed.

After managing to escape the Predacons, Goldbug returns to the Autobots' volcano base, only to discover that the Ark had been restored and had blasted off. Blindsided by Decepticon leader Ratbat, Goldbug's toy body is blasted, but soon found by the Autobot Headmasters - freshly arrived from the planet Nebulos - who uses their technology to construct his body for him again. The group soon learns that the brain patterns of Optimus Prime (who died sometime before) have been preserved on computer disk by a human named Ethan Zachary. Goldbug takes the disk to Nebulos, where Prime is restored to life as a Powermaster.

Subsequently, Goldbug is part of a combined Autobot-Decepticon force who are deactivated while defending the Earth against the Underbase-powered Starscream. He falls along with other Autobots in defense of New York City. Goldbug is seen among the Autobots being repaired on the Ark when Optimus Prime sends Landmine and Cloudburst on their mission to obtain computer chips to repair fellow Autobots in issue #52, "Guess Who The Mechannibals Are Having For Dinner?"

Goldbug's body is seen among the deactivated Autobots Ratchet is trying to revive in Transformers #56, "Back from the Dead". While Ratchet works to restore the deactivated Autobots to life, his attempts consistently meet with failure. In the midst of his work, he is captured by believed-dead Decepticon leader Megatron, who demands that he rebuild Starscream as a Pretender. Ratchet succeeds in this task, but while Megatron leaves him unattended to observe Starscream's attack on Earth, he is able to use other prototype Pretender shells to restore to life Grimlock, Jazz, and Goldbug, who he restores to being Bumblebee out of personal preference.

As the U.K. series did not reprint G.I. Joe and the Transformers (in which the above account of Bumblebee's transformation into Goldbug occurred) until much later, a new story was penned that re-imagined the change in a very different way, as part of the U.K.'s larger running time travel storyline. When the deranged future Decepticon leader Galvatron travels back in time to 1987, the bounty hunter Death's Head pursues him. The mass-shifting inherent in the time-travel process causes the Autobot First Aid to be displaced to limbo when Death's Head arrives, which alerts Bumblebee to his presence. Wanting to keep the fact that he was in the past a secret, Death's Head destroys Bumblebee, but his remains are soon happened upon by the Junkion, Wreck-Gar, also from the future. Putting his advanced mechanical skills to work, Wreck-Gar soon rebuilds Bumblebee as Goldbug and the upgraded Autobot joins in the battle against Galvatron, at one point facing him one-on-one (and losing) before Ultra Magnus intervenes. Goldbug has a few additional adventures dealing with Galvatron's threat in other U.K.-exclusive stories.


Both Generation 1 and Shattered Glass Goldbug had cards in the Magic: The Gathering Brothers' War card game in 2022.


  • Generation 1 Goldbug (1987)
Released as part of the Throttlebots sub-group, Goldbug had a pullback motor and simplistic transformation, but was proportioned more like an actual Volkswagen Beetle. Goldbug's head was directly based on the head of the original Bumblebee toy, making Bumblebee the second Transformer to be given a second toy, after Hot Rod. The Throttlebots were among the first Transformers released in 1987 and featured pull-back motors that worked in both car and robot modes.[2]
  • Alternity A-03 Susuki Swift Sport Gold Bug (2011/2012)
A recolor of the Alternity Bumblebee figure in metallic gold pieces.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise

Goldback, the Japanese name for Bumbleebee/Goldbug, is re-used as the Japanese name for the deceased human race car driver Auggie Cahnay.

Shattered Glass

Transformers character
Timelines Deluxe Goldbug in robot mode
Name Bumblebee/Goldbug
Series Transformers: Timelines
Alternate modes Chrysler ME Four-Twelve
Function Espionage
Motto "The least likely is always the most dangerous."
Partner Grimlock, Jazz and Optimus Prime
Rank 8
Sub-group Convention Exclusives, Deluxe Vehicles

In the Transformers: Timelines series, Goldbug is an evil alternate reality version of Bumblebee.[3]


The first Goldbug toy was sold at BotCon 2008.

The second Goldbug toy went up for preorder on the Hasbro Pulse web sire in June 2021.

Fictional biography

Goldbug was once a young Cybertronian drifter known as Bumblebee. He survived on the streets of Polyhex with no real purpose. Over time, he became skilled at sneaking around, stealing, eavesdropping and blackmailing. When he heard of a new cause being led by Optimus Prime, he eagerly joined the Autobots n hopes of finding a place to belong and where his unsavory activities would be tolerated. When the war began, Bumblebee showed extreme bravery in battle and often sought ways to be noticed by command. In time, he worked his way up the ranks of the Autobots and when the Autobot Seeker Drench was destroyed, Bumblebee was offered an upgraded form and a new identity as Goldbug, to take his place. Although he holds a high position in the Autobot hierarchy, he is paranoid that someone will one day try to betray him and take his place as he has done to so many others in the past.
Goldbug sees himself as an Autobot warlord. At the right hand of Optimus Prime, he’s calculated, vicious and feared by all Cybertronians. But he’s haunted by ghosts of his former life as Bumblebee. Cycles ago, Megatron shot Bumblebee with a near-fatal blast that left him completely wrecked. Ratchet upgraded him with a new, more superior protoform, and the bot once known as Bumblebee was born anew as Goldbug. Constantly plagued by the memory of his past failures, Goldbug lives every moment as an opportunity to prove his power to Decepticons and Autobots alike, but especially to Optimus Prime. His greatest fear is not being good enough in the Autobot leader’s eyes. If Optimus can’t see how powerful he is, Goldbug will just have to show him. By any means.


The BotCon 2008 set was chosen as the "Action Figure Digest Hot Pick."[4]

Fun Publications

Goldbug appears in the 2008 April Fool's comic Shattered Expectations by Fun Publications.

Goldbug appears as a member of Optimus Prime's forces in the Transformers: Timelines story "Shattered Glass." Goldbug and Blurr report to Optimus Prime the rumors that Megatron is planning an attack. When the Decepticons attack the Ark launch site Blurr, Goldbug and Rodimus compete for who could destroy the most Decepticons, but thanks to Cliffjumper the Decepticon attack is successful.[5]

Goldbug appears in the fiction Dungeons & Dinobots, a text based story. He is among the Autobots who attack the Decepticons at the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. He is later sent to capture rogue Dinobots for the Autobots. He is part of the group that captures Swoop.[6]

In Do Over Goldbug conspires with Rodimus to take over the Autobots. Together they steal the Ark, evicting any crew members who are loyal to Optimus Prime before blasting off to Earth. The Ark then crashes on Earth.[7]

Goldbug is among the Autobots brought back online. He initially commands a small group of Autobots who find Rodimus. After losing a fight with Rodimus for leadership Goldbug participates in the attack on Burpleson Air Force Base.[8]

Goldbug appeared in Another Light. With the Autobots captured by the Knights of Cybertron, Rodimus Prime returned to challenge Nova Prime. When Cybertron started to transform into Primus, Rodimus ordered the Autobots to abandon the planet.[9]


Shattered Glass Goldbug in Transformers Legends

The Shattered Glass storyline was highlighted in a November 2014 event for the 2012 mobile game Transformers Legends. The event featured Megatron, Ravage and Soundwave confronting Goldbug, Grimlock, Ricochet and Rodimus.[10]

Shattered Glass Goldbug appeared in the 2016 mobile game Transformers Earth Wars.

Both Generation 1 and Shattered Glass Goldbug had cards in the Magic: The Gathering Brothers' War card game in 2022.


  • Hasbro Transformers: Timelines Shattered Glass (2008)
Goldbug is a remold of Cybertron Deluxe Hot Shot. He is redecoed yellow-and-black, and has a blue head remolded to look like the Generation 1 Goldbug toy.[11] This toy is 14 centimeters long, while a real Chrysler ME 412 is 454 centimeters. This gives the toy a scale of 1:32. The robot mode would stand about 14 feet.
  • Hasbro Transformers Generations Selects Bug Bite (2020)
A remold of Generations Cliffjumper.
This toy was repurposed as Shattered Glass Bumblebee.
  • Hasbro Transformers Generations Shattered Glass Collection Deluxe Autobot Goldbug (2021)
A recolor and remold of Generations Deluxe Cliffjumper.


  1. G.I. Joe and the Transformers #1-4 (1987)
  2. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 54. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  3. - Goldbug
  4. "Botcon 2008 Transformers... Unite". Tomart's Action Figure Digest (Tomart Publications) 1 (164): 32–35. 2008. 
  5. Pete Sinclair & Benson Yee (w), Don Figueroa (p), Don Figueroa (i), Espen Grundetjern (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair & Brian Savage (ed). "Shattered Glass" Transformers Timelines v2, 3 (Botcon 2008), Fun Publications
  6. S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2008). Dungeons & Dinobots. Illustrator Evan Gauntt. Fun Publications. 
  7. S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2009). Do Over. Illustrator Yuki Oshima. Fun Publications. 
  8. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (May 1, 2009). Eye in the Sky. Fun Publications. 
  9. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Eryck Webb (p), Eryck Webb (i), Evan Gauntt (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "Another Light Part 6 - The Future Buried" The Transformers Collectors Club 66 (December/January 2016), Fun Publications
  11. BotCon - 2008 Figures

External links