|Pictured: Concept artwork for the cancelled Mighty Max and the Giant Logo Playset|
I was 11 back in 1992 when the Mighty Max toy line launched. I can remember coming across them on a trip to Kmart and falling in love. I've always had a special place for minifigures, having had LEGO, M.U.S.C.L.E, and Monsters in my Pocket figures previously. But Mighty Max upped the ante. Ultra-miniature figures, some even had a point of articulation, and entire playsets that could fit in your pocket! This was action figure aisle's answer to your sister's Polly Pocket sets.
|A small portion of the various sets and figures included in the Mighty Max line|
But where Polly Pocket featured blondes and brunettes living it up in palm-sized dream houses and shopping malls, Mighty Max placed the titular hero in the "Horror Zone". Transported via a magic ball cap (so sayeth the official backstory, because why not?) to a world filled with evil monsters and mad scientists, the world of Might Max allowed for a huge variety of playsets and figures. I personally had the Skull Dungeon playset which came with Max, an Igor-esque mad scientist and a Frankenstein's monster lookalike.
|Might Max Escapes from Skull Dungeon!|
The beauty of these sets were in the details. Tons of tiny details sculpted in to every corner of the playsets. Bookshelves, stairs, cobblestone floors, bones and bugs, vials and bottles. Everywhere you looked there was something interesting. The Skull Dungeon playset, for instance, included a tilting table for bringing the monster to life along with tiny Tesla coils and of course a switch to throw.
The Mighty Max line eventually expanded from the basic pocket-sized playsets to larger sets, like Trapped in Skull Island (boy there's a lot of skulls in this line) and even smaller sets like the Shrunken Heads series which mainly included enough room inside for one or two characters. Even McDonald's got in on the action, including some exclusive sets in its Happy Meals.
Mighty Max may not have been in every boy's pocket in the early nineties, but it's influence was seen throughout the toy industry. After seeing the popularity of the line, other companies jumped on the "tiny toys in slightly less tiny heads" fad. I personally remember seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets. Others included Godzilla, Batman and Galoob's Star Wars minifigure and vehicle line which are still popular, although unfortunately no longer produced, today.
-The Highest Fever