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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mighty Max

Mighty Max was an animated action/sci-fi/horror series which aired from 1993 to 1994 to promote the British Mighty Max toys, an offshoot of the Polly Pocket line. It ran for two seasons; with a total of 40 episodes airing during the show's run. It starred the voice talents of Rob Paulsen as Max, Richard Moll as Norman, Tony Jay as Virgil, and Tim Curry as Skullmaster.

The storyline follows Max, a young boy who receives a red baseball cap with a yellow M embroidered on the face. He is told by Virgil, a Lemurian who's been turned into a talking, humanoid chicken (okay, fowl, actually!), that the cap grants Max the power to travel instantly through space. Max, Virgil, and Norman, a sword-wielding Viking, travel together around the world, defending the Earth against the minions of the evil Skullmaster (responsible for the downfall of both the Lemurians and the people of Atlantis), as well as fighting a variety of supernatural monsters on the side. The show's violence and descriptions of violent acts were considered graphic by some viewers, especially when its target audience was children.

The finale episode featured Max, Norman, and Virgil in a battle against Skullmaster and their previously defeated foes with both Norman and Virgil getting killed leaving Max as the only one to defeat Skullmaster who is about to gain ultimate power. Some fans have criticized the final episode's conclusion for "looping" the end of the series into the beginning. Regardless, fans of the show to this day are vocal in their requests for the entire series to be released on DVD.

A patent was taken by Film Roman for a Mighty Max animated film in 1995, but such a film was never created. The reasons for this are unclear, but the television show had retained low popularity and the toys were also losing ground. However the show generated other merchandise such as a comic book, board game, and several video games.

The merchandising was far more popular than the show itself. Mighty Max toys were sold as playsets of varying sizes with very small (usually non-articulated) figurines inside. Each playset contained a Mighty Max figure as well as one or more villains and sometimes Virgil, Norman or both. Any Mighty Max collector would quickly accumulate hundreds of different copies of Max in various poses.

There were a small series of larger more expensive playsets with various mechanical and electronic features such as opening jaws (on an island playset shaped as a dragon's head) and lights. In 1995, due to the popularity of the playsets at the time, the McDonald's Happy Meal offered a toy playset featuring Mighty Max. Also, Mighty Max was turned into a video game for the SNES and Sega Genesis and a handheld game for Tiger Electronics and Systema.

3:28 AM

4 Comments:

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    By Blogger Jim Naka, at 5:03 AM  

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    By Blogger Kevin, at 9:16 PM  

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