ROM the Spaceknight
Synopsis of Toy
When doll-size action figures like G.I. Joe and The Six Million Dollar Man became hits in the 1970’s, toy companies scrambled to find worthy subjects for their own action figures. One of the best sources for inspiration was comic books, and this led to wave of superhero action figures covering everything from Superman to Spider-Man. Once this trend became established, comic book and toy companies began working together to create toys that would inspire comic books (instead of vice versa). ROM The Spaceknight provided a great example of this trend, becoming famous on comic book racks and toy shelves simultaneously.
Like The Micronauts, ROM The Space Knight had his own Marvel Comic. In the comic, ROM was a young inhabitant of the planet Galador. This brave lad surrendered his own humanity to become a cyborg Spaceknight so he could protect his planet from their enemies, the cruel Dire Wraiths. His battles eventually led him to the planet Earth, where he was forced to confront Dire Wraiths that were disguised as human beings. As this exciting space saga hit the comic book racks in 1979, Parker Brothers fashioned an impressive electronic action figure for the toy shelves that brought Rom to life in a convincing 3-D form.
ROM The Spaceknight stood an imposing 13 inches high and was made of metallic-looking plastic. This robotic creature had no nose or mouth but made up for this with a pair of red-LED eyes that lit up at the flick of an on/off switch. He could also make strange breathing sounds through the “electronic respirator” encased in his chest. He drew the electronic power to do these things from a 9-volt battery that was concealed in the Rocket Pack on his back. This Rocket Pack could also make blast-off noises and make its blaster lights flicker at the press of a button.
ROM also came with three accessories to help him in his search for the Dire Wraiths. The Energy Analyser detected the presence of good and evil in an area. In the process, it lit up and made nifty synthesized sound effects. The Translator allowed ROM to communicate with beings that spoke different languages. It made plenty of cool space noises as it pulled off this feat. Finally, there was the Neutralizer, a powerful weapon to eliminate any and all threats. It let out a light blast accompanied by the appropriate light-blast sounds. Each of these devices was made of the same metallic-colored plastic used for ROM and each drew power from a wire that plugged into ROM’s Rocket Pack.
ROM enjoyed a few years of popularity but disappeared from toy shelves within a few years of its release. Surprisingly, the ROM comic book outlived the toy that inspired it, enjoying a successful run that continued through 1986. Although the ROM action figure has not been reissued or remade since its initial run, it continues to be a favorite amongst the members of Generation X for the nostalgia-induced happiness that its lo-fi electronic frills provide. This enduring popularity proves that ROM lived up to his comic-book slogan by being “The Greatest of All Space Knights.”
Release History of Toy1979 - ROM The Spaceknight
Sub Categories of Toyselectronic toys