- Introduced in 1986 shortly after the launch of Hallmark’s Shoebox card line, Maxine has entertained millions with her feisty, insightful, and hilarious observations on life. The character has appeared on everything from greeting cards to books to popular Hallmark gifts.
- Maxine follows current news, trends and popular culture with an eagle eye and has an opinion about pretty much everything. Her irreverent quips about aging, the workplace, technology and political correctness strike a chord with fans, especially professional, college-educated women aged 35-65. But it’s clear that Maxine appeals to anyone with attitude. Fans say they love her because, "Maxine says the things I wish I could say."
- Maxine cards have consistently rated among Hallmark’s highest selling alternative humor cards, with millions (and millions) being sold since 1986.
- Over a million Maxine books, in several titles, have been sold since 2006. One classic title, It’s Not Menopause...I’m Just Like This, has sold more than 400,000 copies. Maxine's Agin’ and Ragin’! book is also the number three seller in Hallmark's book line.
- And in spite of Maxine’s age, she’s still with it, including being on top of the online trends of today. With over 2 million active fans on Facebook, Maxine is a social media star these days, ensuring her a growing base of younger devotees who just like her sass.
- Maxine’s comic feature, Crabby Road, is posted daily both on her Facebook page and on her website, Maxine.com. Maxine’s special Breaking News features also appear regularly on Facebook, giving her the chance to comment on up-to-the-minute bonehead stunts of celebrities and politicians, or on the quirks of modern life in general. Maxine also has appeared on YouTube and has her own line of e-cards.
- The bright lights of Branson, Mo. are set to shine on a brand new star of the stage, although there's a good chance she might find a reason to complain about them. During the 2016 Christmas season, Maxine, Hallmark Cards' self-appointed "Queen of Crabbiness," will star in "Maxine's Christmas Carol", a twist on the Charles Dickens' classic holiday story, "A Christmas Carol." The live-action musical is getting the full Maxine treatment and will feature ghosts, songs, plenty of attitude, and even a role for Maxine's dog Floyd.
- Maxine’s likeness and attitude are so popular that she’s become one of the stars of Hallmark Licensing, with a diverse lineup of companies using the Maxine character. The Maxine page-a-day calendar is the number one selling calendar for Mead. She also appears on popular crafting fabrics for Robert Kaufmann and her designs are available on print-on-demand apparel and mugs at Zazzle.com.
- Hallmark's own creative staff constantly innovates new concepts for Maxine, with formats including Cards With Motion, interactive cards and push-button Cards With Sound featuring Maxine’s voice.
- Maxine has also been featured on a number of humorous Hallmark gifts including a Bunco game, wine coasters and bunny slippers. Maxine also has her wisdom published in a number of book titles including It's Not Menopause...I'm Just Like This and Agin' and Ragin'! All products are available in Hallmark Gold Crown® stores, and most of the gifts are priced at less than $15.
- In August 2015, Maxine reached 1.8 million fans of Facebook. Check out her page here.
Hallmark artist John Wagner created Maxine in 1986 based on his mother, grandmother and maiden aunts while he was the first art studio manager for Shoebox Greetings. The new card line was trying to attract hip, young card senders with fresh female characters. He thought the line needed an older character too, just like the smart and funny women who helped raise him. So with a few passes of his pen he created the no-nonsense grouch who would be known for years only as “John’s old lady.” (Watch a video of John Wagner speaking about his mother's influence on the crabby character.)
Maxine was born. Her first card sold well, so Wagner drew more of them. He added the spot-on details of an outspoken, loveable curmudgeon that have become Maxine’s trademarks, from her chemically tortured hair, aviator shades, and perpetual snarl, right down to her housecoat and bunny slippers. He gave her a canine best friend, Floyd, who plays her straight man without saying a word.
Soon Wagner’s mom got involved. Toni Wagner, who helped inspire the character, was a willing conspirator in Maxine’s publicity boom. Toni began dressing up as Maxine and attending special events at Hallmark Gold Crown stores and nursing homes throughout New England, where she lived.
Maxine was featured in a 1995 People magazine article alongside Toni and John. From then until her death 10 years later, Toni took on the Maxine persona in countless interviews with national and local media. These days professional Kansas City actor Cathy Barnett dons the garb to play Maxine for special occasions, such as Keepsake Ornament Club events and events around Kansas City.
For more than a quarter century Maxine has been popular for the way she channels everyone’s pet peeves. But in these times of change and uncertainty, her fearless quips especially resonate with both genders and all ages. As one online fan recently put it, “Maxine is a walking bottle of truth serum.”
Maxine greeting cards are available wherever Hallmark products are sold. Maxine gifts can be found in Hallmark Gold Crown® stores. Use the store locator on Hallmark.com to find the nearest Hallmark Gold Crown® store.