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Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of ANAMAX and other Products and Images        created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright (c) BIRNKRANT KISCOM/ The OBB
            Here it is, the actual Product that Schaper manufactured.  All the products you see here actually happened!  I saw them in the stores myself. Of course, with none of the promised TV advertising to promote them, I might have been the only one who noticed.  The Packaging, thanks largely to the fabulous painting, was really quite extraordinary.  The back of the Package (below) showed the entire line and also tried to tell the story
The Carnivaurs of The Dark Side and the ANIMAX of The Light Side were pictured on the box sides.
                  Some Schaper ANIMAX product appeared in stores during the summer of 1986.  Jungle Max and The Obliterator were never manufactured, but there was a stack of the smaller vehicles in our local Toys R Us.  I watched them slowly disappear.  Feeling sorry for them sitting there with no TV to introduce them, I even bought a few myself.  The carded action figures lingered longer.  I would see an odd piece here and there, years later, and never failed to wonder how Schaper could be so “out of it” as to think a kid would want an action figure with the face unpainted, or that the difference between “Wow look at the detail!” and “ Wow what a piece of crap!” can as simple as an extra penny.  They just didn’t get it.  In the chain of events that led to ANIMAX ,  Schaper was the weakest link.
                  I was rather surprised to see that Schaper carded the figures and tried to sell them separately.  Because of their stunning lack of painted detail and somewhat so-so sculpting, as well as the fact that all the Road Tamers bodies were identical, except for one color, and from the neck up, one head fit all,  I regarded them as accessories, rather than separate entities.
A Curious Coincidence:
           
             Several years later sitting in a meeting at Tyco, who, for the moment, were convinced  “Invasion Earth” was going be their major introduction for the following year.  I mustered up the courage to ask Tyco’s production manager what happened to the remains of ANIMAX, the two main vehicles, Jungle Max and the Obliterator, as well as the Bridge of Doom. He answered with thinly disguised glee. “ I wish you’d asked me sooner.  "We threw  them out last week!"
"Funny" Footnote:

              Looking through the 1986 Shaper Catalogue, all these years later, I think I finally solved the mystery of why Shaper instructed Product Dynamics to alter the “Obliterator”. Their seemingly arbitrary elimination  the giant scull,  really "got my goat"!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                What happened?  The dreadful details are buried on the Dark Side.  But to my partners, Kiscom and myself, the news resounded like the Crack of Doom!  The bottom line is: Sometime after Toy Fair, a Carnivorous Toy company called Tyco gobbled up poor little Schaper, lock stock and ANIMAX.  They happily devoured “Stompers”, which was all they really wanted, and spit out half-cooked  ANIMAX .

                 The classic games, “Cootie”, “Tickle Bee”, “Ants in the Pants”, and “Don’t Spill the Beans”, etc. were later sold to Milton Bradley, who at the time was owned by Hasbro.  But all the other scraps were thrown away.  Thus, ANIMAX, “Ghostbusters”, “Tendertoys”, “Super Jocks”, and a line of fuzzy pussy cats called “Strays” all went astray.   Thus, ANIMAX  became the innocent victim of late term abortion.  End of story!  Well almost! Marvel who liked the story from the beginning decided to release the comic anyway.

                 Meanwhile the friends that we had made at Schaper, were cast astray as well. As once and forever, the toy industry left Minnesota. Weeks later I got a mysterious phone call from an unknown friend at Schaper, a friend we didn’t even know we had there. He was a stranger, really, but a Hero.

                 Apparently Shaper’s premises had been vacated, the feeding frenzy over, and this young man, who for all I know might have been the custodian, had been idly picking through the leftovers when he came across the abandoned bits and pieces of what was left of ANIMAX. And kindly called me up to ask if we wanted the remains. If so, he’d pack them up and ship them to me. The rest he explained, had been sent to Tyco, and this, maybe by accident was left behind, Anyway if we didn’t want it, it would be either sent to Tyco or thrown away.

                   And so it was that some of the ANIMAX miraculously came home again. My painted models of five of the smaller vehicles were there, along with other morsels and, best of all, the two amazing paintings. 
              Kiscom got the package art, and I got my first choice, the awesome atmospheric Bridge of Doom.  To me, that alone made the whole adventure of ANIMAX worthwhile.   
              I must have been because they were also introducing this piece of crap from Filmation’s animated version of "Ghost Busters" the same year.  What happened to the scull canopy?  On the last page of the catalogue, I think I found it.  Schaper acquiaitioned it for the "Scare Scooter" of their "own" creation.  Even the bat wings and exhaust pipes are there .
NOW YOU SEE IT!                                       NOW YOU DON'T!
 
 
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