The toy of “Rom the Space Knight” came first, and then the comic book series and cartoon that was even more popular. “ROM! Lord of the Solar star order!”
The toy itself was really magical to me – maybe that was because the advert for it was so mysterious (the toy rose out of the clouds to save the universe!). ROM had red eyes too, which were quite scary in the dark (okay, very scary). He had weapons that could alter your molecular structure (!), and tell if you were an evil doer, and a rocket pack, a translator to talk to any race! How cool was that?
He was by far the coolest most mind-blowing, imagination-exploding, toy I ever came across! Really!
Though not everyone thought so – At one point, Rom appeared in the corner of the cover of Time magazine (December 10, 1979). For an article "Those Beeping, Thinking Toys", which predicted it would "end up among the dust balls under the playroom sofa.". Pah! What did they know?
Okay, so you could say that he was just an action man with flashing lights, but the awesomeness of the way ROM looked and his brilliant back story really made him special to my young mind.
ROM was sold to Parker Brothers after being created by Bing McCoy, Scott Dankman, and Richard Levyin 1979, and that’s when it became a comic book. It was the first toy that Parker Brothers released, up until then they had just made board games.
Here’s a computing fact for the geek in all of us: The toy was originally called COBOL (after the programming language), which was later changed to "Rom" (after ROM, read-only memory).