Are you ready for the return of ROM The Space Knight? Related: do you know who ROM The Space Knight is? Either way, read on, because MTV News is pleased to exclusively announce a new collectible from Hasbro commemorating the 35th anniversary of ROM!
First, a history lesson. In 1979, Parker Brothers created a new toy robot called ROM, named after the read-only memory in your computer. The toy barely moved, had an LED light (one of the first uses of electronics in a toy) and by all accounts kind of sucked just a little bit.
That didn't stop ROM from capturing the popular imagination, though, as many failures (it sold less than 300,000 units) often do. It was featured on the front cover of Time magazine, with an unflattering review. But it was really the tie-in comic from Marvel that guaranteed ROM's popularity beyond the toy shelves.
Created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema in order to spur sales for the Parker Brothers product, "ROM: SpaceKnight" far outlasted the toy's shelf life, eventually getting cancelled in 1986 after 75 issues.
In the book, ROM was a cyborg (not a robot), tasked with stopping a race of hideous magic-users from space called the Dire Wraiths. Along with fellow cyborgs, called Spaceknights, ROM battled the Dire Wraiths throughout the galaxy, even ending up on Earth to team up with the Avengers.
In 1986, though, Marvel's rights to ROM ran out. Even though the toy was (and is) out of production, most instances of ROM have been barred from reprint rights, meaning collections of the comic — and even appearances in other Marvel heroes' titles like "Power Man and Iron Fist" — are virtually nonexistent.
Only every other aspect of ROM is still usable by Marvel, with the exception of ROM himself. Even ROM's humanoid form has appeared in comics time and again. But the robot body? Not so much.
Enter Hasbro, who are returning ROM to his non-articulate origins for a limited time only. Their adorable Mighty Muggs line gets a ROM The Space Knight figurine available at San Diego Comic-Con, with a limited number available after the convention at HasbroToyShop.com.
The 5.5 inch, 100% recycled figure costs $22.99, and can be picked up at Booth #3329 at Comic-Con. Here's the official info, and if you manage to snag one of these bad boys, tell them MTV News sent you!
MIGHTY MUGGS ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT Special Edition Figure
(Ages: 6 & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $22.99/ Available through HasbroToyShop.com or Booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego)
Celebrate the 35th anniversary of the iconic ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT toy with this special edition MIGHTY MUGG! Since the release of the original Parker Brothers toy in 1979, ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT has built a devoted following, and now toy fans will be able to purchase the first MIGHTY MUGG ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT figure, featuring 5.5 inches of 100% recycled awesome! Following the convention, a limited number will be available on HasbroToyShop.com.