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Classic early nineties multi-format console gaming magazine. Published by EMAP. Staffed by Jaz Rignall, Rich Leadbetter, Radion Automatic, Oz Browne, Gus Swan, Paul Davies, Gary Harrod and countless other quality journos. Metamorphosed into a number of other mags over the course of the decade.

Notable for the letters column Mean Yob, the Q&A section which would actually offer decent opinions and comparisons between games (whereas most of games mags in those days had to use lots of hyperbole, especially for big name reviews and previews), and towards the end, a fantastic feature Cash for Photos where a lengthy list of dangerous and embarrassing activities were listed each month along with cash prizes. This was utterly hilarious, and probably caused rather a lot of complaints (some of the 'dares' being a bit extreme to say the least).

Mean Machines' humour was one of the main reasons to buy the mag: they regularly lampooned their rivals and ran obscure gags (such as Mind the Oranges Marlon, Some Robots Fighting, Yesterday and Game Action Ahoy In This Action Packed Screenshot!).

Also notable for a few other regular features:

Longtime editor Julian Rignall, who had a mullet of epic proportions. Staff were frequently seen huddling on the nape of his neck for warmth in the cold winter months.

Reviewer Radion Automatic, much slandered for his tres chic half-shaven head. Said to resemble the offspring of a werewolf and the Phantom of the Opera, subsequently interbred with one of the Lever brothers.

Tronk 9, a robot which the staff would ask readers to challenge. Constructed of some old joysticks they had lying around, a tripod and some string, Tronk 9 ruled the office with a polyurethane fist which was originally sold boxed with an obscure NES game.

Ed Lomas, who, since the magazine's formation, persisted in sending in high-quality cheats for the latest games every month without fail. Was well-known for his liking of Pink Floyd, and his nickname "Pinky". Later honoured by Sega and Novotrade themselves when his mighty name was discovered to be a cheat password for Ecco the Dolphin. Really! Eventually came to work for Mean Machines Sega, writing the tips page. Said to have spontaneously ejaculated at prospect.

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