LJN was an American toy company based in New York and founded in 1970. They initially became popular producing action figures. In 1985, MCA, wanting more control over toys made from their movie licenses, bought LJN. The company hired third-party video game developers to create games and published their results, which tended to be particularly awful. After receiving bad press due to selling realistic looking toy guns, MCA sold LJN to Acclaim in 1989, and Acclaim dissolved the brand in 1995. Despite going out of business, LJN's reputation for horrible games has caused their name to outlive the company by decades, especially to fans of the third and fourth generation platforms who continue to use LJN as a punchline, like the Angry Video Game Nerd.
As a child, I never paid attention to the company that made my toys, I just bought the things I thought were fun. I never bought any of LJNs action figures, and I, thankfully, never purchased an LJN game, but I did rent or borrow my fair share of them, only to be hugely disappointed. Now that I'm older, I remind myself of LJN before ever buying a game, especially a movie tie-in game.
LJN produced toys for many popular movies, television shows, and various other forms of media. Some of their licensees include Dune, the World Wrestling Federation, Advanced Dungeon and Dragons, E.T., Indiana Jones, ThunderCats, Gremlins, Voltron, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Michael Jackson, Nightmare On Elm Street, Bionic Six, and many others.
LJN published games on the NES, Game Boy, and SNES. All of them are terrible. There is one Dreamcast game which bears their logo published in 2000, but the company, which had been closed for years by that time, had nothing to do with it.
LJN also sold video game hardware including the Roll & Rocker and a cartridge-based system called Video Art, both of which flopped.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Acclaim_Entertainment_subsidiaries#LJN - Wikipedia.
- mobygames.com/company/ljn-entertainment-inc - MobyGames.
- nintendo.wikia.com/wiki/LJN - Nintendo Wiki.