Developed by noted board game manufacturer Parker Brothers and licensed to Marvel comics as a method of cross-selling the toy, ROM was a marvel (pardon the pun) of toy features in the late 70s. While other toy companies had produced figures that stretched, pulsed and lit up, few integrated electronic effects as intricately as ROM.
With flashing lights, and a variety of sounds that included breathing effects (wonder where that came from?) ROM was ahead of its time in terms of electronic action figures. Unfortunately, I never had the figure as a kid, and have only checked him out at comic and toy shows over the years. Still, he’s a pretty impressive and fun toy.
As an 80s kid, my most prominent memory of ROM is probably his Marvel comic. Lasting 75 issues, ROM crossed over with many Marvel Universe heroes and villains over his long run. I remember picking up one of those multi-comic bagged packs at a grocery store in the early 80s and finding a ROM issue inside.
There’s even a tangential relationship with GI Joe. ROM was licensed to Palitoy and made an appearance in the Action Man line, which was itself venturing into space-oriented figures.
Stay tuned as ROM A Day brings you daily updates on Galador’s most famous Spaceknight. Long live ROM!