Sent from the cosmos to some dank New Jersey flea market, I’m proud to present the gorgeous mutant offspring of Mighty Max and space aliens!
The Mysteries of the Universe collection mixes the “tiny playset” appeal of Mighty Max with the “holy shit SPACE ALIENS” appeal of… I don’t know, Fire in the Sky?
The package is undated, but I’m fairly sure it’s from the mid ‘90s. (Not only would it justify the Mighty Max similarities, but that’s also around the time of Independence Day and The X-Files.)
Unless “China” is a company, I have no idea who made it. I also have no idea what to officially call the toy, unless its makers really were obnoxious enough to go with “Mysteries of the Universe – UFO and Visitors from Outer Space.” I don’t think SEO rigging applies to toy packaging.
You start off with a plain black spacecraft. The hatches are supposed to snap shut for a “seamless” look, but I guess it’s easy to cut corners when you’re leaving your name off the packaging. Besides, it’s what inside that counts, and what’s inside is so good that I needed eight giant photos to do it justice.
They took every space alien trope and somehow mashed it into five square inches of plastic. There’s an entire bizarre world hiding in that ship, or perhaps even multiple worlds.
The aliens have plenty to keep themselves busy with, even if I’m having a hard time identifying a single one of their hobbies. Like, what’s with the pyramid surrounded by berries and giant cocoons? These aliens have much to teach us!
The stars of the set are, of course, the aliens themselves. They’re green, sort of ferocious looking, and apparently part mantis. The red eyes are a nice touch, and I’m so thankful that Mystery Company BZ-23 remembered to paint them.
The set also comes with an assortment of random things, for lack of a better term.
The only piece I’m wholly firm on is the pyramid. (Makes sense, since aliens have fucktons of lore tied up with ancient pyramids.) The three things in the foreground appear to be vehicles, though I can’t discount the chance that the black doodad is actually a shy cosmic turtle.
Then there’s some gold ornament that looks like a seatless throne. Since “seatless throne” is a bit of an oxymoron, I guess it can’t be that. Maybe it’s their Stargate?
One of the ship’s platforms includes a lidded tank filled with strawberry preserves. I originally believed this to be their food, but further inspection proved that I was only half-right…
So maybe those things near the pyramids aren’t cocoons after all. Maybe they’re grubs. Young aliens still trapped in their larval stages. Seems like that red stuff is really some form of royal jelly, meant to help the buggers grow arms, legs and cute little demon eyes.
Why this is all happening over grass near a miniature pyramid is anybody’s guess.
Under one of the platforms is the toy’s most sinister scene: A dusty pit overflowing with human bones!
You know, I honestly believed that these guys were friendly. Strawberry preserves seem friendly. So do resin pyramid replicas purchased from Pier 1 Imports. This damn graveyard changes everything. It’d be one thing if there were just a few skeletons, but there looks to be at least two dozen human corpses in there. That goes well past the level of damage that could be fairly associated with mere curious experimentation. These extraterrestrial mantises were out for blood.
Maybe that strawberry jelly isn’t strawberry jelly after all. Maybe it’s candied guts. These aliens rear their young on candied guts!
The back of the package shows two other playsets, which are similar in scope but include totally different aliens and accessories.
Look real close at the one on the left. Clearly, that was the best of the trio. Not only did it include adorable alien beds, but there also seems to be a tiny moai replica, along with a random King Kong figure!
The more I look at these, the more impossible it seems that they’re legit. Did Mystery Company BZ-23 steal these molds from another line? (I’m only mentioning this in case they’re actually “redressed” Mighty Max toys. I don’t want to be left with Max-related egg on my face.)
Whatever the case, I am very much loving these sets, and I have every intention of tracking down the remaining two. Life won’t be complete until I make King Kong beat the shit out of sleeping space aliens under the shade of a big tiki god.