Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Marvel UK launched THE TRANSFORMERS, initially on a fortnightly schedule, in September 1984, hot on the heels of the US limited series (which supplied the main strip for the first eight issues).  Bolstered by the buzz surrounding the toy line, and plugged in a series of TV spots bankrolled by Hasbro, the new title was an immediate success (and swiftly redefined Marvel UK's publishing strategy).

IPC and EAGLE were surprisingly quick-off-the-mark to get their own giant robots strip up-and-running.  The first instalment appeared in the issue cover-dated 10 November 1984 after several weeks of full-page previews.

ROBO MACHINES were the British incarnation of GOBOTS and herein lay a problem.  Hasbro were able to leverage a global marketing plan, incorporating an animated series and comic books, to support their giant robots whereas their rival was far more piecemeal.  

The (pretty dire) GOBOTS animated series did reach the UK courtesy of TV-am (which also aired The Transformers animated show) but, other than feature the same characters and toy designs, bore no resemblance to Eagle's interpretation of the franchise.

Followers of giant robot action seem to have overlooked this strip which is a shame... but hardly surprising.

The RM's actually made their IPC debut, more than a year earlier, on the front cover of 2000AD 329.  I posted it here.

I'll be posting more RM action in the near future.

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