Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Taste Of Machine Robo & Gobots Comics.

I had a hope of doing a Machine Robo & Gobots fan guide many years ago. From about 2000 to 2004 I worked on it. When Machine Robo Wedge came out, I kinda figured there was no point in continuing. But here we are 10 years later and knowledge about Machine Robo and it's heritage hasn't progressed very much as far as English speaking resources go. I haven't even really did anything on this blog about Machine Robo. So I figured I'd throw a little something out there. One thing that gets little to no coverage is the comics that Machine Robo had, while there's bits here and there about it's off-shoots (easier to obtain being in English to begin with). So here is a very small, and in no means comprehensive look at some regional releases.

Machine Robo Comics (Japan)
マシンロボ バンダイ まんが おもちゃ 1984 1985 1986 Bandai Gobots Machine Robo comics
There's no official canon manga in Japan for Machine Robo. In a sense. Sure they are all official, but there's different formats being kids comics, or toy pack ins, story books or magazine promos. Some of the comics are no more than 2 pages. So quite a variety, and more than I can post here. Originally the comics featured the Machine Robos battling the Devil Invaders, helping Earthlings or just fighting common criminals. Of course when Revenge of Chronos hit in 1986, all media tie-ins were ten related to that show and its successors.

Robo Machines Comics (United Kingdom)
マシンロボ バンダイ まんが おもちゃ 1984 Robo Machnes Europe U.K. 1985 1986 Bandai Gobots Machine Robo comics
Somewhere in around and between or after the time America was getting Machine Men and Gobots, Europe saw the release of Robo Machines. Like many properties they had a comic promotion. The British Robo Machines comic was printed for a time in Eagle comics. I love the strong traditional comics art. The story has it's own life outside of the Tonka Gobots, but for what it is, I really like it.

Gobots Comics (North America)
マシンロボ バンダイ まんが おもちゃ 1984 1985 1986 Bandai Gobots Machine Robo comics
 I apologize, but this comic was originally printed in color, but I only had black & white scans on my computer at this time. Printed inside the Gobots Magazine, this comic mimicked the Hanna Barbara cartoon style of the Gobots. It's not great, it's not exactly bad, but perfect for a tie-in to the cartoon. It also featured a few Gobots that did not get much screen time (or any) in the t.v. show. The real prize of the Gobots Magazine issues for me however will always be the fold out posters.

The U.S. also saw a few other Gobots comics released as toy promo booklets, cereal pack-ins and the like.

Machine Men Comics (Australia)
マシンロボ バンダイ まんが おもちゃ 1984 Machine Men Australia 1985 1986 Bandai Gobots Machine Robo comics
Australia really got the short end of the stick when it came to Machine Robo based comics, these really are the worst. However comical in a "oh God these are bad" sort of way. Released inside toy promo catalogs these comic pages gave a brief story to the Machine Men and later Rock Lords toys. Only a few volumes of these catalogs were issued, but they are worth mentioning anyway. Machine Men also had some storybooks, but those I kind of don't count.

マシンロボ バンダイ まんが おもちゃ 1984 1985 1986 Bandai Gobots Machine Robo comics

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