LJN was an American toy company and video game publisher in operation from 1970 to 1994. They created many toy lines and published video games that were based on popular movies, television shows, and celebrities.
LJN was founded in 1970 by Jack Friedman (who would go on to found video game publisher THQ and toy company Jakks Pacific). The name was inspired by reversing the initials of Norman J. Lewis Associates, a toy company where Friedman was employed in the 1960s before leaving to form LJN.
In 1986, LJN was acquired by MCA through their Universal subsidiary. LJN ventured for the first time into the video game market and published several titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, often based on popular franchises such as movie and cartoon licenses. In late 1988, Acclaim Entertainment acquired LJN from MCA/Universal.
Acclaim got rid of LJN's toy division and refocused LJN solely on publishing video games, while keeping the same direction — movies and cartoons. During the 8-bit gaming era, Nintendo, as a form of quality control and to prevent flooding the market with product, regulated the number of titles an individual publisher could license for the NES each year. As a result, companies like Acclaim used separate divisions such as LJN to produce more products than Nintendo would have allowed. Other companies that utilized such tactics included Konami with their division Ultra; however, unlike Ultra, which was just a brand name of Konami, LJN was operated as a legally-independent company with separate headquarters. Even after Nintendo dropped its rule in the early 1990s, LJN published several titles for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. There is no game known to have been developed by LJN themselves even though many of their video games, especially the pre-Acclaim ones, did not disclose the developer.
LJN, along with the Flying Edge and Arena Entertainment labels (the latter two published Acclaim's games for Sega consoles) were folded into Acclaim in 1994. In 2000, LJN made a return in name only when Acclaim used the brand to publish Spirit of Speed 1937, a title for the Sega Dreamcast.
- Gotcha!, NES 1987
- Jaws, NES 1987
- The Karate Kid, NES 1987
- Major League Baseball, NES 1988
- Back to the Future, NES 1989
- Friday the 13th, NES 1989
- Marvel's X-Men, NES 1989
- NFL Football, NES 1989
- A Nightmare on Elm Street, NES 1989
- Uncanny X-Men, NES 1989
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, NES 1989
- Back to the Future II & III, NES 1990
- Bigfoot, NES 1990
- Pictionary, NES 1990
- WWF WrestleMania Challenge, NES 1990
- Beetlejuice, NES 1991
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure, NES 1991
- Punisher, NES 1991
- Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball, NES 1991
- T&C Surf Designs: Thrilla's Surfari, NES 1991
- Wolverine, NES 1991
- Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six, NES 1992
- T2: Judgment Day, NES 1992
- WWF WrestleMania Steel Cage Challenge, NES 1992
- NBA All-Star Challenge, SNES 1992
- Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball, SNES 1992
- WWF King of the Ring, NES 1993
- WWF Royal Rumble, SNES 1993
- WWF Raw, SNES 1994
- Sterling Sharpe: End 2 End, SNES 1995
- Warlock, SNES 1995
- WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game, SNES 1995
- Spirit of Speed 1937, Dreamcast 2000