Blog:LJN: Where the Investigation Stands Now
Back in August, I thought I made a break in the case when I found a Newsday article from 1991 about Paul Samulski, who at the time was working for Acclaim. According to the article, he had served as creative director at LJN and "was responsible for the concept, design and execution of all LJN products." What luck! Maybe he would know something about the video games.
So I e-mailed Samulski and within hours received a reply. He said that he was in charge of LJN's video games. He also said he'd be glad to answer my questions and shared an interesting tidbit with me that I hope he doesn't mind me sharing with you: He was one of only two people that went from LJN to Acclaim, the other being LJN President Jack Friedman's driver, who then became the president of Acclaim's driver. It would seem Acclaim gutted the company. The LJN brand and "extra slots" alone were apparently enough to justify the cost of the acquisition.
I proceeded to send Mr. Samulski some questions, but never received another reply. I don't know if it's something I said, or he's just busy. Had I been able to interview him, it could have been interesting. That same Newsday article pointed out that he produced and co-created animated TV series with LJN toy tie-ins like Thundercats and Bionic Six. He was also a consultant on the television show Video Power, presumably only during the original format that centered around cartoons featuring Acclaim game characters (The Power Team). He was also Vice President of Creative and Product Development at Acclaim, dealing with properties like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. He later worked in the same capacity at NewKidCo, another publisher of licensed games, this time aimed at young children.
Since Samulski was pretty much my last hope for answers, we are now at a dead end unless something leaks out of Japan. I suppose I could try finding that driver...
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