Sunday, December 29, 2019

Toy Fair 2020: Mattel Circling a Mighty Max Return?

Mighty Max Toys
HERE WE GO!! We are mere days away from the new year, and as the sun rises on a new decade, so will we begin to see new toys news trickling out from points all around the globe. First up, we visit with Mattel. The tail end of 2019 saw the last DC Multiverse figures hit retail pegs, leaving Spin Master and McFarlane toys ready to show off their new kid focused and adult collector lines, respectively, in the very start of 2020. While Mattel are still chugging along with powerhouse names in the "boys toys" categories like Jurassic World, WWE and MEGA Construx, there's still a little room at retail for more. Maybe just a little space for some little bitty figures?

Signs are pointing toward the return of MIGHTY MAX to toy shelves! For the uninitiated or those just too young to remember, Mighty Max is a toy line, comic and cartoon series focused on a young boy named Max who is always depicted in blue jeans, a white t shirt with an M on it and a baseball cap. The cap was left to him by his father, who failed to tell him it would transport the young boy to THE HORROR ZONE, where all manner of monster-fueled adventures await him. THANKS DAD!

Mighty Max Toys

The toy lines featured "Horror Heads", which were monster heads you'd pop open to reveal a tiny playset within, along with a couple of even tinier figures to do battle, and "Doom Zones", which were full on, larger scale playsets. If all this sounds a lot like Mattel's fairly popular Polly Pocket toy line, then you've been paying attention...and you are following why Mighty Max might be on the way.

SO....what leads us to believe the tiny, supernatural worlds of Mighty Max are close to returning? Let's track the market.

Mighty Max Toys

- In 2015, Mattel renewed the Mighty Max trademark. Obviously they saw value in the property, but there was nothing at retail to compare it to.

- Over the next few years, with the help of Funko and other large toy companies, American children become exposed to the idea of the "mystery toy", in which you buy a box and open it to reveal what toy you've gotten. Note, in previous years, companies importing blind box figures from Asian markets had to put their figures on blister cards so stink-eying moms and dads knew what they were buying. The only place mystery boxes seemed to flourish was in the art toy world, where Funko found many fans, and perhaps the bravery to thrust this concept on a modern toy buying public. Now, unboxing mystery toys has made some charismatic Youtubers millionaires!

- Back track slightly to 2018, when Mattel proudly unveils the return of Polly Pocket and all of her teenie, tiny friends. The line was still going strong as of last year, with a hefty showing of new product at New York International Toy Fair in February, and dedicated space at some of the more hardcore toy blogger events on into the rest of the year, showing Mattel was supporting this line fully.

- With kids embracing tiny toys, buying in sight-unseen with blind packs of every shape and size you can imagine, folding in every gimmick that's surfaced including BOTH slime AND poop, and Polly Pocket going strong, AND Mattel short one "boys" toy line...what do you suppose this paves the way for?

- August, 2019, Mattel files for the trademark MIGHTY MAX, under Toys, Games and Playthings.

Mighty Max Toys

So we've got 7 months from August to February for Mattel to have cooked up some incredible prototypes for a new Mighty Max toy line, but really, they could have had a line on the back-burner all this time, just waiting for the market to be right. Of course, all this is speculation and we've not seen any solid evidence of the toy line coming this year, just like there was no physical sign in 2015, but you have to admit, the stars are aligned, as they say... the market is ready...and the time is right! Stay tuned...

What do you want to see from a modern Mighty Max toy line? Personally, I'd like a side line of awesome monster action figures inspired by the old tiny toy designs! Sound off in the comments!

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