Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of  MAX FX and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright
                   (c) BIRNKRANT KISCOM/ The OBB
Return HOME
The Death of
Mel Birnkrant sadly presents:
Continue to The BITTER END
                   Along with Matchbox’s request for additional make-ups, they also asked for my suggestions as to how to package MAXx FX.  As the comp below reveals, at that time I was still spelling “MAX” with only one X.  Matchbox later added another; I guess to facilitate Trade Mark registration.  The comp also addresses an issue, never fully resolved in my opinion: Should MAXx and his outfits be sold separately, as I believe, was the case with “Captain Action”?  Or should a new MAXx figure come with every Make-up?  Matchbox  chose to do the latter.  Here I tried to carry the proposition  one step farther, suggesting that his basic garment could be molded on in a different color in each set, and street clothes, which, once a kid removed them would, no doubt, be tossed aside forever, could be eliminated altogether.
             This is what Matchbox produced in the end.  MAXx with a head the size of a peanut that looked like it is put on backwards, a hand-snagged sweater, and an extra pair of pants.
                  The back of the package showed the line trimmed down to four characters.  “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” have been re-sculpted and toned down.  Didn’t matter, really, as the only one that made it to the marketplace was Freddy.
Double click to edit
                 What happened next became a Nightmare, a Monsterpiece  of  Stupidity.  Toy Fair was over, and by all accounts MAXx FX was doing well.  He was scheduled to appear any day, when suddenly, the morons at Matchbox managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  I remember the very moment my partner Andy and I heard what they did; we looked at each other and said, “We’re Dead!” 
Those idiots, who started out NOT knowing Bat-shit from Shinola or Dreck from Dracula, overnight, became Monster Mavens, and made what has to be the Worst Decision in Toy Trade History, a terrifying Talking Doll of Freddy!
             Freddy Krueger, born of a nun raped by a thousand madmen, had left a trail of tortured teenagers brutally murdered in their sleep throughout a string of five R rated movies.  Now, thanks to Matchbox, kiddies not just on Elm Street, but everywhere, could  take Freddy to bed with them and have a Nightmare.   Just pull the string and Freddy said 11 different sinister sayings, and then he ate your soul.
We knew that handing preschoolers a serial killer to take to bed  would create a public outcry, and it did.  We also feared that this horrendous doll  would bring MAXx FX down as well.  And, alas, that too proved true. The discerning public didn’t discern the difference between a product that said, "Freddy Krueger’s only make-up, kids! Here’s how its done", and one that told them he was Real!   Worse still,  both products looked the same.
I couldn’t bring myself to buy one at the time, this abomination that murdered MAXx FX, but there are plenty images on EBay.  I also found this newspaper clipping there that succinctly tells the gory story.  In September of 1989, crowds of angry townspeople, carrying torches would have gladly burnt Matchbox to the ground.  And I was rooting for them this time too.
                  And so, Dear Children, our story of the short life and untimely death of MAXx FX comes to a Bitter End.  Some product languished on the toy store shelves for a while, until they were eventually acquired by speculating memorabilia dealers.  Meanwhile Freddy’s larger talking brother was either banned or banished, and quickly disappeared.  The three promised remaining  MAXx FX figures never materialized either.  Although, some examples of them are rumored to exist, I have never seen one, or encountered any evidence to prove the rumor true.

Several months later a series of ads, like that below, showed up in “Toy Trader”. Whoever the guy was who ran them appeared to know more about  MAXx’s fate than we did.  I’ve heard the ads never delivered.  A footnote in the fine print reads "$ Refunded if supply exhausted." We were exhausted too!  The short sweet life of MAXx FX was over.
Continue to XTRA SPECIAL FX   NEW!                   Return HOME
Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of  MAX FX and other Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant, are Copyright
                   (c) BIRNKRANT KISCOM/ The OBB
Double click to edit
          Hang on folks!  The show’s not over!  Many years later, on January 15, 2016, my friend James Gurney made the video, below, in which Maxx FX and I take a final bow.  James has mastered HD technology, three cameras and a tape recorder, running simultaneously.  Everything about this video is up to date, except yours truly.  At any rate, what you’re about to see is all that remains of Maxx FX and me.