Monday 27 March 2017


From January 1992: The end of an era... the last edition of MARVEL UK'S TRANSFORMERS after 332 issues.

All good things must come to an end... especially in the media.  And so, after a successful run by pretty much any measure, the British edition of the TF comic finally shuttered.  There was definately the sense the title was living on borrowed time for a while with a cut in frequency back to fortnightly, the loss of some of the colour interiors and the end of originally commissioned British content.

The toyline was also winding down, at least in the States (Europe and elsewhere was a slightly different story) and was no longer a Marketing or sales priority for Hasbro.  That had a knock-on effect on the comics license which was also inevitably seen as a diminishing priority.  The toys and the comics were starved of the essential TV advertising that kept fickle consumers interested.  The animated series, once a fixture of TV-am's schedules had also been banished to satellite tv... and may well have vanished entirely.

Sales of British adventure comics, hard hit in the previous decade, were also continuing to decline.  Marvel's attempts at finding companions and successors to the Robots in Disguise had - with the exception of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS - largely tanked.  

The final nail in the coffin was Marvel NY ending the US edition after 80 issues (76 more than they originally planned to publish) and putting the license (briefly as it turned out) on ice.  That cut off the supply of new content to the British edition... and put Marvel's association with the toys in doubt.

As it turned out, Marvel US did revisit the franchise by jumping onto the G2 franchise, at least for another twelve issues.  Oddly however, the British branch of the Bullpen let that ship sale and it fell to Fleetway to have a brief stab at their own version.  The short-lived title (and tie-in annual) mixed new content with Marvel reprints.

The British Bullpen had hoped that they would be able to reboot this title as a monthly.  Indeed, they had strongly hinted at the plan in previous weeks.  However, in the end, it fell victime to Marvel's traditional first quarter purge of underperforming publications.

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