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1988 was the seventh year of the Machine Robo franchise.

North America[edit | edit source]

The cancellation of Rock Lords brought Tonka's part in the transforming robot business to an end.

Japan[edit | edit source]

For the first time since 1985 there was no televised Machine Robo anime.

Machine Robo: Battle Hackers[edit | edit source]

After the larger Battle Hackers toys had sold poorly, Bandai tried to take the Machine Robo franchise back to basics with the Winner Robo.

Toys[edit | edit source]

The Winner Robo were figures around the same size as the Machine Robo Series toys that had been such strong sellers, and returned to being based on recognisable vehicles. They were equipped with spring-loaded transformations and Hot Wheels-style through-axle wheels designed to help them interact impressively with the new Roboshooter Gaiden playset.

Alas the range was not a success, and was cancelled after 8 figures were released - beginning a five-year hiatus for Machine Robo.

Machine Robo: Battle Hackers[edit | edit source]
Winner Robo[edit | edit source]
Main article: Winner Robo
Roboshooter Gaiden[edit | edit source]
Thunder Mission Present Campaign[edit | edit source]

Fiction[edit | edit source]

Main article: TV Land

After the cancellation of Machine Robo: Battle Hackers the franchise returned to the pages of TV Land, where new material largely focused on the Winner Robo.


Leina Stol in Wolf Sword Legend[edit | edit source]

While Machine Robo was floundering as a toyline the leads of Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos - Rom Stol, Leina Stol, Rod Drill, Blue Jet and Triple Jim - had proved popular enough for Ashi Productions to explore an OVA series based on the characters, distributed by Toshiba EMI. Following on from the Machine Robo series, these saw the protagonists changed into organic beings and featured only passing mentions to the toy-based nature of the franchise, and were again shaped by Hideki Sonoda. Bandai had nothing to do with the OVAs (beyond whatever rights they had to sign off on, if any) and no toys were released to support the series.

Fiction[edit | edit source]

Two 30-minute OVAs were released in 1988 - Leina Stol in Wolf Sword Legend I on February 5 and Leina Stol in Wolf Sword Legend II on September 4.

Calendar[edit | edit source]