There was no cartoon that influenced me more as a kid than Robotech, The Macross Saga in particular. I originally discoverd Robotech through Revell models. They had an amazing line of model robots called Robotech Defenders, that used up a lot of my holiday and allowance money. Now the Revell models actually weren't related to the T.V. series, most of the mecha were based on an anime called Dougram. DC Comics would later release a 2 comic mini-series based on the models. The story left much to be desired but it was fun seeing my favorite mecha in action.
A year later I discovered that there was a television series called Robotech. Harmony Gold owned the U.S. rights to Robotech, and basically they took 3 unrelated Japanese series and put them tied them together as one series. Macross, Robotech Masters (Southern Cross), and Robotech The Next Generation (Mospeda). There were rumors that HG was going to try to add Dougram, Megazone 23 and Orguss to the series but that never came into fruition.
I tried to find any local stations that carried the show but didn't find any. Then in 1985 I moved from North Dakota to De Kalb, IL and I became friends with a guy in class who had all of the episodes on video (beta max even). I remember spending the night at his place staying up through the night and the next morning watching Robotech. Later that year, Palladium Books released Robotech the RPG, and Fasa would release a wargame called Battletech, by then there was no turning back for me.
If you get the chance, Youtube has an official Robotech Channel where you can watch every episode of the series. It holds up very well even for today!