On January 20, 1984, South Korea unleashed Phoenix-bot Phoenix King (Korean: 불사조 로보트 피닉스킹 Bulsajo roboteu Pinikseu-King). It was one of South Korea's most popular robot animes, first in place being 1976's Robot Taekwon V, which was derivative of Japan's Mazinger Z. So far, I would call this the perfect Korean derivative of anything that could be close to the Transformers franchise, though it was also derivative of the Japanese Diaclone franchise (note that Diaclone also spawned the South Korean film Micro Commando Diatron 5).
The main protagonist robot is a transformable fire engine that seems to get its powers from a legendary phoenix, hence the name of the movie. It is also piloted by a young boy and girl. The robot in the movie was also released as a toy to accompany sales of tickets for the film, seeming to cash-in on Diaclone's popularity. Parts of the film's footage was re-used to recreate another popular South Korean anime known as Space Thunder Kids, and Phoenix-bot Phoenix King itself was distributed by Joseph Lai in the United States and Europe, dubbed into English and given the title Defenders of Space. I think that the movie also gained a small following in the country of Greece; YouTube videos showed parts of the Greek dub of the movie.
Many people were critical of Phoenix-bot Phoenix King, calling it a mish-mash that was criticized for stealing elements of Transformers, Diaclone, Mazinger Z, Mobile Suit Gundam, and many other famous Japanese animes (note that the South Korean government banned Japanese media because of what happened to them during World War II). Similarly, another South Korean anime, called Space Black Knight, was criticized for stealing character designs directly from Gundam. Space Gundam V was also criticized for being a rip-off of Macross, although it is not related to the Gundam franchise itself.
However, I would recommend this for Transformers fans who want to expand their horizons by watching something similar, including those who have an interest in South Korean robot animes. I think this one is pretty good, too. A must-have for nerds everywhere, at the least.