Polly Pocket playsets had become a hit so it was decided to make a boys version that instead of houses and whatnot would feature things “boys” would like such as monsters, aliens and dinosaurs; and so Mighty Max was born. It was a successful toyline in the UK so it eventually got a cartoon. The original character was changed as well as his backstory to better fit what a cartoon was supposed to be, while the huge sales of the toyline didn’t exactly translate into huge ratings it did well enough to get a two season 40 episode run so let’s take a look back at it..
The story from the playsets was changed as mentioned and while I was not a big fan of the change I could live with it. The re-design of Max with the baggy shirt totally fit the 90s and made him look cooler. I wasn’t a big fan of making him the chosen one since the original idea of him just stumbling into worlds for no reason and having to escape was more appealing but oh well, we still got some of that anyway. We also got two companions with VirgiL and Norman who give him someone to interact with and were fun, they weren’t in all episodes as Max’s Mother and his friends Bea and Felix also guest in a few episodes.
The show is mostly praised for taking risks and being dark for the time and while it may be true it is still a watered down version of some of the things we used to see in the toyline. It was nice having an on going arc as well as good stand-alone episodes and while the show ends on a cliffhanger it was done fairly well that it can be counted as an open ended ending as well so it worked out.
The show had a hard time trying to mimic the toyline since it was so diverse and while they could’ve done a better job it did try to some success, so you could still have aliens one week, cyborgs the next, demons, primordial immortal creatures, flippin’ anything. Some characters might not have been as cool as their toy counterparts but it also fleshed out others in the process.
Any show that can mix sci-fi with fantasy/magic well is a show worth watching and this is no exception, this is why I feel the show could’ve done so much more with the concept since imagination was the limit when you can be transported to any setting that your mind could come up with. I was surprised by how many episodes took place on “normal” earth because of this but when Indiana Jones is your mother it gets a pass. Hell, because of being forced to it even featured history lessons in the stories/ending alongside Thor the iguana.
Counting how the toys completely changed the toy industry for many years to come with playsets available for pretty much any franchise in the 90s I’m surprised we haven’t gotten any sort of revival, even the show never got a DVD release and the best we can hope for is this fan clean up project. Still with so much potential I hope to see Mighty Max make a return one day.
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