Remember Polly Pocket? Of course you do. If you or your sister didn’t own one, then I am sure you knew someone who did.
Much less well remembered (which to me seems odd as they were muuuch better in my opinion) is the Mighty Max toyline geared more towards boys.
No, it isn’t a toy series based on an unfortunate lad who managed to get himself marooned on Mars like the logo suggests, this is a toyline comprised of micro playsets like Polly Pocket, but whereas Polly Pocket used to get her nails done or go shopping, Mighty Max was pitted against a collective of evil monsters and hellish landscapes. So that brings us to the playset I will be looking at today, which was the first MM toy I ever owned. Mighty Max Versus the Kronosaur!
Dinosaurs were everywhere in the early 90s. It made life quite challenging. I remember when my parents went to do the weekly shop at Kwik Save and Dad lost an arm to a Velociraptor. I’m being silly, but dinosaurs were everywhere. Jurassic Park came out in 94, The direct-to-video ‘Land Before Time’ animated movies were being churned out every couple of years, Barney the Dinosaur was entertaining the young ‘uns and there was the very popular American TV sitcom about dinosaurs which started in ’91, though I dont remember what that was called… Oh wait it was called Dinosaurs.
Naturally dinosaurs found their way into the toy aisles in a variety of toy lines. There were Ninja Turtles Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park dinosaurs, Extreme Dinosaurs (a spin-off of Street Sharks), Tyco Dino Riders, a G.I. Joe ‘Dino Hunter playset’ and even a Paleontologist Barbie, complete with little baby dinosaurs. Though I will probably cover some of these in the future, for now I will just look at the dinosaur Mighty Max playset.
As it was the first Mighty Max set I got, I distinctly remember where I got it from. My Mum showed me a promotion on the back of a cereal box and asked if I wanted her to send off the coupon and postage costs to receive it. She might have asked me if I wanted it to rain candy and be allowed a pet Wookie by the enthusiastic affirmation I gave her.
It took sooooo long to arrive. In reality it probably took only a couple of weeks but to my 4 or 5 year old self, it felt like 10 lifetimes. Did it live up to my expectation? Hell yeah!
Opening it up, we can see what made it so awesome and it isn’t the caveman trying to sniff a dinosaurs ass.
The walls are covered in insects and what looks like a rotting dinosaur carcass lies on the floor. The part which becomes the eye when the set is closed is a bloody stalagmite when open. On gore points alone, this set is definitely winning. You just don’t see much blood or gore in kids toys these days which is a damn shame in my opinion.
Where the caveman stands is a steampunk-esque load of gears, cogs and pipes.
I’m not sure why such mechanical things are going on in a prehistoric cave but it makes it look more interesting. Maybe the Caveman is like Stig of the dump (does anyone remember that book?) and has salvaged some copper from someone else’s fly tipping. We will never know. But actually we will. After finding out a piece of interesting information from a man who used to work at Bluebird toys, the more likely explanation is that the designers used to use bits of Star Wars Airfix kits to make scenery look more interesting in the playsets. I own more Star Wars toys than a grown man should care to admit and the little bronze sticky up parts do look suspiciously like X-wing fighter engines…
The set came with 3 figures, a caveman with a bone club, a stegosaurus and Max sporting a purple cap, (though there was no set colour, each Max was packed into a set at random). Max’s cap was the source of his adventures. Being magical It randomly used to transport him to these hellish scenarios which just seems like an inconvenience in my opinion.
What I loved about the MM toyline is that if I was going somewhere and I was allowed to take one toy with me, there was an easy decision. It was tricky deciding which action figure I wanted to take with me, and that also used to run the risk of losing the accessories, something I HATED doing as a kid. With these sets, I could take a variety of characters with me and a little setting to battle ’em in as well. And after I had done playing everything packed away nicely. No losing bits.
I think it’s a bloody shame they don’t make these anymore. But then kids aren’t THAT into toys now. Its more apps and stuff on their tablets (maybe I am wrong but the kids I know, this is certainly the case). Also kids these days are too mollycoddled, there is too much fear that they would eat their toys. Whereas it was almost a right of passage for us to ingest a small amount of plastic.
Mighty Max sets are still quite cheap and are a lot of fun. I will undoubtedly be looking at a few more in the future as they are one of my favourite toylines ever.
Anyway, thank you for reading my first post!