The Toy That Made Me

This is a story about why collections are important, and how they can change your life.

There are moments, they say, that shape you. Sometimes they are big, grand, Earth shaking moments. Other times, they are small, at first seeming insignificant in the series of events that shape your life.

One of these such moments was my birthday, I think my 6th or 7th. Birthdays are always fun of course, but this particular birthday now stands out as one that shaped who I would become. It was the birthday on which I was gifted my first Mighty Max playset.

Within this small, roughly 5cm playset lay a world of danger and excitement. I could create my own adventures or act out the “official” story that appeared as a short comic on the reverse of the backing card. Usually, I went for the former. And I absolutely loved it!

My first Mighty Max playset was the Horror Head set Skull Warrior. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I fell in love right away with Max and his exciting world.

Horror in the Palm of Your Hand!: The History of Mighty Max | by Joe Douglas | Oct, 2020 | Medium

As I mentioned, I was around seven at the time when I received my first Max toy, and probably around nine or ten when the cartoon series began to air in Australia. It’s an impressionable age, an age when you start to view people as role models and look up to those who inspire you most. Max was one of those people.

I vividly remember watching the Adventures of Mighty Max cartoon and hoping I’d be as cool as Max when I grew up. Of course I had my father and grandfather whom I looked to as examples of wonderful men, but they were a lot older than me. Max was almost my age, only a few years older. Being as heroic and adventurous and awesome as him was within my grasp!

Mighty Max made me want to be a hero, and Mighty Max made me a collector.

On the reverse of the backing card along with the comic were photos of the other Max sets that were available. I longed for each of these, to be able to go on further adventures with Max.

Skull Warrior, my first ever Max playset

My parents, the generous and loving people that they are, saw just how much I loved this little toy and so over the coming years they’d buy me a playset or two each birthday and/or Christmas. Other members of my family caught on and soon my grandparents and aunt and uncle would also gift me a Mighty Max toy every now and again.

Mighty Max was the first thing I remember wanting to have every single one of and, thanks to my family, I almost got there…

While I never got rid of my Max toys, throughout my teenage years they lived in a big box all stashed together. Not that I was ashamed of them or anything like that, more I was experiencing new things like monthly comics, video games, and girls…

However, in my early 20s, when I’d started working and earning my own money, I rediscovered Max. After going through the playsets and remembering the fun I’d had with them, and now admiring them for their amazing detail and creativity, I decided that I was going to pick up where a young me had left off and finish the collection!

Since then I’ve completed my collection of Horror Heads, larger playsets and Doom Zones. A number of the other sets elude me though, and some of the non-toy items, such as the comics, can be quite hard to track down.

Mighty Max has been with me for a very, very long time. Most of my life, in fact. He means a great deal to me and I want to continue to have adventures with him, even if it’s only via nostalgia and an appreciation for toy-making. To this end I’m determined to finish the collection. It might take a year, or ten, or more, but I’ll get there.

If you’d like to check out my Mighty Max collection, you can do so on my collections website, Collectorized.org

Collector. Writer. Artist. Geek. I write mostly about the hobby of collecting. Check out my full portfolio at JMDWorks.org.

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