Friday, December 24, 2010

From Comics to Toons: Richie Rich (1980)

A year after Casper & the Angels bombed out on NBC, Harvey Comics & Hanna-Barbera tried again, this time adapting another of Harvey's stars, Richie Rich, the world's richest boy.

One big difference between the comics and the TV series was how they used Irona, the robot maid of the Rich family. While Irona did her fair share of protecting Richie in the books, here she was rebooted as a shapeshifter, usually to rescue Richie and either faithful butler/sidekick Cadbury or any of Richie's pals from a villain. Irona turned into a rocket on at least one or two occasions, something that was never done in the books. And, remember, this predated the Transformers by a good 4 years!

Here's a sample episode:

Richie was included in a block with the returning Scooby & Scrappy Doo, largely because ABC figured more kids would tune in if they were led to believe there would be some interaction between the two series. There wasn't. Richie lasted 4 seasons before fading out, and would return, 12 years later, with Harvey producing the new show themselves, this time in a syndicated series that few actually saw, because it wasn't available in some parts of the country.

Today, with Harvey Comics a distant memory, you can't find Richie on the comics shelves anymore. However, that's about to change. An independent publisher plans to revive Richie next year.

Rating: B.

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