The Fantastic Four (1978– )

TV Series  |  Animation, Sci-Fi
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The super-elastic Mr. Fantastic, the force field-wielding Invisible Girl, the orange rock-covered Thing and the data-crammed robot Herbie make up a team of superheroes dedicated to thwarting would-be world-dominating villains.


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Series cast summary:
Mike Road ...
 Mr. Fantastic / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
 Sue Richards / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
 Ben Grimm / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
 H.E.R.B.I.E. / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
(13 episodes, 1978)
John Stephenson ...
 Doctor Doom / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
 Opening Narrator (13 episodes, 1978)
 J.J. Colossal (13 episodes, 1978)
Gene Moss ...
 Trapster (13 episodes, 1978)
Nancy Wible
(13 episodes, 1978)
Joan Gerber
(13 episodes, 1978)
Vic Perrin
(13 episodes, 1978)


In an attempted spaceflight, the crew of a ship are bombarded by cosmic radiation. Barely managing to crashland alive, the crew find themselves changed forever by their experience. Team leader, Scientist Reed Richard aka Mr. Fantastic gains the ability to stretch and shape his body to any shape, Sue Storm can become invisible and project telekinetic force fields as the Invisible Girl, and Pilot Ben Grimm becomes a superstrong rock creature known as the Thing. Together with their advanced robot assistant, H.E.R.B., this quartet faces the threats to the world as the Fantastic Four. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

9 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The New Fantastic Four  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


It has been very widely reported that the character of H.E.R.B.I.E the robot was created because of concerns that The Human Torch might lead children to set themselves afire. Comics creator John Byrne did a story on the concept as writer/artist of the Fantastic Four comic book in the early 1980s, and Doug Wildey a frequent development artist and sometime producer for DFE claimed to have been part of the decision when interviewed for "Amazing Heroes" comics fan magazine. (Interestingly, as a longtime Hanna-Barbera contributor, he would have worked on Fantastic 4 (1967), which DID feature The Torch). The actual catalyst for Herbie's creation was the simple fact that the TV rights to The Human Torch had already been optioned as part of the development deal between Marvel Comics, Universal Studios and CBS-TV, which resulted in prime-time, live-action versions of The Amazing Spider-Man (1977), The Incredible Hulk (1978), Captain America (1979) and Dr. Strange (1978). The character was just not legally available for use in these cartoons. A live-action Torch proved an unfeasible project given the limits of the budget and special effects technology of the day, and never reached production. One other character also optioned under that deal was The Sub-Mariner, abandoned because Man from Atlantis (1977) was felt to have been too similar. See more »


During an episode featuring the villain Magneto, the character's voice changes completely between lines of dialog. This happens several times in the episode. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: It was the world's strangest accident. While testing a new rocket ship, our heroes were bombarded by mysterious cosmic rays from outer space. Though they crash-landed safely, the strange and powerful rays had changed each one of them. Transforming their leader, Reed Richards, into the plastic-skinned Mr. Fantastic; Sue Richards into the "now you see her, now you don't" Invisible Girl; and Ben Grimm into a mighty-muscled powerhouse called The Thing. Now together with ...
See more »


Referenced in Mad: Fantastic Four Christmases/Red & White Collar (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The series that gave us "Herbie the robot" (ugh)
3 August 2000 | by (Silicon Valley, California) – See all my reviews

This Saturday-morning adaptation of the Marvel Comics title was done at a time when parental fears of violence on TV were at their worst. As such, the Human Torch does not appear in it. Parents were afraid their kids would like the Human Torch so much, they might try to light themselves on fire. Or something. Of course, without the Human Torch, they would only be the "Fantastic Three," so the writers had to invent a new character to fill in for him. And whom did they invent to replace the Human Torch? Why none other than H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot, a robot so annoyingly cute that you want to throw your bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal at the TV every time he appears. The animation was on par with that of the animated Star Trek TV series -- in other words, it stank. And worst of all, I can't recall a single episode in which Doctor Doom made an appearance. What good are the Fantastic Four without Doctor Doom? That's like having an entire Silver Surfer TV series without Galactus, or a John Travolta movie without Scientology.

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