ROM (1978)

Rom-1Developed 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!





  • Nicely done. 🙂

    In all seriousness, Rom’s Marvel series was pretty great. I’d love to see a collected edition of it someday, but I don’t think the rights will ever allow for that.

  • The Rom comics were indeed amazing to read. They helped drive the sales of the toy line that rivaled GI Joe during the 80’s. Once Parker Brothers began producing the other Space Knight figures as well as the Dire Wraiths, the line was an enormous success at retail. The key element to the success of the line was the integration of the new technologies into the smaller 6″ scaled line. The state of the art articulation and the amazing new technology turned this line into something truly memorable. Finding these items on eBay is almost impossible due to the devotion of those who grew up with this line. No one wants to part with any piece of their collection and I can’t blame them. They were amazing.

    Don’t even get me started on the animated series or the animated film and the two sequels.

  • I can’t wait to see all the versions of ROM! As a kid, I had one ROM comic and I thought he was the coolest. Maybe I saw the toy in a catalog somewhere but never real life. He’s got a surprisingly large cult following these days; for a forgotten toy/character, ROM generates a lot of buzz.

  • I had a different ROM when i was 8. My ROM was a Z-KNIGHT from Tomy’s Zoids range. An oafish clot in my class smashed him to bits. Took me 20 years to track down a replacement. And oh yes, the expensive overseas shipping was well worth it.

  • It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out ROM was a Parker Bros toy/property and NOT just a Marvel Universe character!

    Loved the way Michael Golden drew ROM…then again, I like the way he draws everything. He’s also my favorite GI Joe comics artist!

  • Rom Rocks=I’m dying to see a 6-inch figure done Marvel Legends style!

  • Never new anything about rom….. I did know of him though…..

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