Mighty Max


Chances are any males born between 1983 and 1990 will remember the Mighty Max toy line.  For those who might have a hazy memory it's a pretty basic concept.  Someone took what was primarily a girl's toy (Polly Pocket) and combined it with the likes of Monster Bash.  I'm sure someone out there will correct me on the dates and the fact that Monster Bash technically came out after Mighty Max, never-the-less they were two things that were not just very similar in character and tone, but also detrimental to an eight year old Chris.


Monster Bash is something that I'll definitely cover in the future...It was one of the very first PC games I ever remember playing as a kid thanks to my Grandpa's love of computers and his willingness to let a kid destroy his keyboards.  Today though will be centered around all things Mighty Max, one of the coolest toy lines of the 90's.

As a kid I was completely enthralled with horror movies and monsters, I guess most kids were.  In the 90's it seemed like every other toy line consisted of these two things whether it be Skeleton Warriors. Aahh Real Monsters, Battle Trolls, or the dozens of lines Mcfarlane Toys would create.  Sometime 1992 Mattel would team up with Blue Bird Toys to unleash Mighty Max unto unsuspecting children everywhere.  I can remember the first time I got my hands on one.  My mom had went to Target during her lunch hour and decided to surprise me with "Mighty Max Escapes From Skull Dungeon."  I'd never seen anything so cool.  Every kid loves playsets, but unless your parents managed The New Kids On The Block generally you would only get a Technodrome during the Christmas Season.  This was different though, while it was smaller and much more inexpensive, it was just as cool.  The set had so many features from a revolving bookshelf that led into a dungeon, mouth/opening entryway, the bottom of the set was entirely dedicated to Frankenstein's laboratory.  What the hell was not to love?  


This main sets were called "Doom Zones" which generally (if my memory serves me) cost anywhere from $8 to $10, easy chore money.  Mattel would release nearly 20 of these guys before the line ended.  Also available were smaller worlds known as "Horror Heads," even smaller "Dread Heads," along with the inevitable super playsets which ranged from giant Skulls to spaceships.  Of coarse there were all kinds of odds and ends in the line before all was said and done.   McDonald's premiums, board games, watches, the usual. 


The toys eventually ushered in a cartoon series which would air 40 episodes in the two seasons it ran.  Things were going great, but in the world of toys and Saturday morning cartoons all good things eventually made way to something more popular.  This was the case for Mighty Max and while many a kid were sad that it ended it certainly left us with tons of cool toys.


My favorite of the line was "Mighty Max Crushes the Hand." 
Picture courtesy of the Mighty Max wikia.

What can I say, I was zombie obsessed.  This took Mighty Max into a graveyard to battle the undead.  You had a finger that became a toothy mouth-slide, opening tombs and graves, there was even a friggin' tree demon.  While I sadly do not have the Hand to show in detail I do have a complete "Mighty Max Conquers the Palace of Poison" playset to show.


 The creature that was represented when the set was closed could generally give you an idea of what was waiting on the inside.  The rattlesnake would transform into an Egyptian Tomb.


This set was one of the first to feature multiple folding segments, the snake's head could be connected with the top of the opposite side via a plastic rope.



Stairs lead up to the snake's head where we can assume the Pharaoh hid most of the good shit.


The floor base is made up of dirt, snakes, bones and a small compartment which could be opened to reveal more human remains.


The main top compartment has more snakes and bones along with brick walls filled with hieroglyphics.


Completing the Wall is a small Sarcophagus... 


Which opens to reveal the mummy!


Each set always included a Max along with another small figure and a bigger creature.

What's not to love?  I found this set at a Vintage Stock for $4.99.  I'm always on the lookout for more, however I haven't had too much luck.  Generally your best bet for a complete Doom Zone is going to be eBay.

Mighty Max wasn't around for too long, but it left a lasting impression on me.  I'd rank some of these playsets up there with Mcfarlane's first line of Movie Maniacs in terms of childhood importance.  If I ever accidentally have any children they're going to be getting these for Christmas.

2 comments:

  1. Dude,I love MIGHTY MAX!!! could not stop playing with these toys!!! I would love to create movies in my mind as I would play and creae epic stories.I remember before I could even get my hands on some Mighty Max toys I created some out of paper.I would create dungeons and castles and swamps and haunted houses.Even all the classic Universal monsters were included in my paper made ''Mighty Max'' toys I even gave ol' Mighty Max A brother named ''LIghty Laxx''.Don't ask why on earth I gave him such a name,I just kinda went Super Mario Bros. on the whole concept.Thanks for this review,it took me back to some great and happy times!!! Thank you CANNIBAL REVIEWS,YOU GUYS KICK ASS!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading the article and responding! Keep your eyes peeled, I plan on reviewing some of the older toy lines in the future!

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