From March 1987: EAGLE gets a much needed makeover.
IPC really let their comics go in the early 1980s... the better formats enjoyed by some of the titles (notably TIGER and EAGLE) had been lost and - across the line - print and paper quality (mostly courtesy of Southern Print) had declined to not far from newsprint standards. And IPC's standard slighty-more-square page dimensions made the artwork ill-suited for international sales and - in the case of 2000AD - recycling in the States.
Meanwhile, competitors MARVEL UK and London Editions, bolstered by their strong relationships with toy and media properties, had romped ahead with glossy paper and colour interiors. The IPC line-up, shrinking fast, was beginning to look very tired just as the audience for all comics was declining.
The relaunch (better - but not glossy - paper, new page dimensions, the end of the hefty white page borders and better reproduction) roughly coincided with Robert Maxwell's purchase of IPC Youth Group and the creation of his new Fleetway business (reviving a pre-IPC brand that had continued to appear on the company's myriad of annuals). The move was probably not coincidental and almost certainly part of a plan (like moving the group out of King's Reach Tower and into neighbouring IPC premises) to prepare the titles for sale.
These format changes are a handy way for collectors to limit filling their home (a problem I really have at the moment) by only collecting and retaining select, format-dictated, sub-runs rather than every copy of long-runners.