From the Winter of 1987: the first ever (annuals and occasional poster mags not withstanding) special spun off from STARBURST MAGAZINE.
Marvel UK never quite "got" Starburst when they owned the title... their attempts at brand extension were limited and uncoordinated and they didn't seem to do much to leverage the parent company's distribution to make it a serious rival to STARLOG in the States. It just sat awkwardly alongside their move into licensed kids titles and offered little in the way of synergy.
When Marvel offloaded the title to Visual Imagination the new owners used it as a launch pad for various other even more niche ongoing titles like TV ZONE and SHIVERS. And those in turn launched subsidiary magazines like CULT TIMES. And their acquisition of long-runner FILM REVIEW begat more opportunities.
This WINTER SPECIAL was the first of 85 (!) specials published on a quarterly basis. The release pattern formed the template for similar schedules for spin-offs from TV ZONE, XPOSE, CULT TIMES and FILM REVIEW. The spin-off, along with the monthly, ground to a halt in 2008 when the company hit financial difficulties.
The main magazine has returned but, to date, it has not spawned any spin-offs.
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