Closing Logo Group
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Background: Best Brains, Inc. (first known as Hair Brain Productions) is an entertainment company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is best known for its creation and production of the comedy/sci-fi television program Mystery Science Theater 3000, aka MST3K. The company ceased producing the program in 1999 and closed its studio. Currently, its only functions are to sell MST3K-oriented merchandise and negotiate box-set releases through Shout! Factory. On November 5, 2007, Jim Mallon and Paul Chaplin of Best Brains revived the MST3K brand by launching a new series of Flash-based animated shorts featuring the robots of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the official website. However, due to financial issues, the series only lasted several months.

Hair Brain Productions[]

(November 24, 1988-May 28, 1989)[]

Logo: Up against a starry background, we see "(C) (YEAR OF PRODUCTION) KTMA & HAIR BRAIN PRODUCTIONS" in white.

FX/SFX: The scrolling of the credits.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show.

Availability: Extinct. It was only seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes from the KTMA era, which have never been rereleased (save for "Invaders from the Deep" and "Revenge of the Mysterions from Mars" being released to Kickstarter backers of season 11) but are mostly preserved by fans.

Best Brains Productions[]

1st Logo (November 28, 1989-October 13, 1990; November 17, 1990)[]

Logo: On a black background, the words “A BEST BRAINS PRODUCTION” are written in white.

Variants: Starting in the second season, the font was changed a few times.

FX/SFX: It’s a still logo.

Music/Sounds: Computer sounds, namely ambient noises for host segments in Mystery Science Theater 3000 that take place on the Satellite of Love's bridge. Sometimes, the logo is silent.

Availability: Rare; seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes from the era, most of which have been released onto DVD by Shout! Factory and are available on streaming services like Tubi.

2nd Logo (October 27, 1990-August 8, 1999)[]

Nickname: "The Stinger"

Logo: A short clip from the featured movie is shown, with “A Best Brains Production” at the bottom.

Variants:

  • On the very first stinger, for "Rocket Attack USA," "A BEST BRAINS PRODUCTION" is written at the upper left corner, in a similar style to the first logo. The name disappears after a few seconds.
  • On "Ring of Terror," the name is in its usual position, but also disappears before the stinger ends.
  • On "Mighty Jack", the name "A Best Brains Production" is on the top of the screen, and the drop shadow is missing.
  • On some episodes, the stinger fades in and cuts out.
  • On "Stranded in Space" and "Time of the Apes," the text was all-lowercase.
  • On "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" and "City Limits," a copyright symbol appeared next to the text.
  • The font used for the name was replaced with a bolder one starting with "Space Travelers."
  • "Village of the Giants" had the stinger replaced with a memorial card to Frank Zappa, who died on December 4, 1993, shortly before the episode aired.
  • On some episodes, the clip freeze-frames a second or two before the logo fades out.
  • When the show moved to SciFi Channel, the font became different.
  • During the Observer planet arc in season 8, the clip from the movie was replaced with:
    • "The Thing That Couldn't Die" and "The Undead:" A shot of the Observers (Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, Paul Chaplin) staring ominously at the viewer while holding their brains.
    • "Terror from the Year 5000:" The same clip as above, but the Observers smile.
    • "The She-Creature:" A shot of Professor Bobo (Kevin Murphy) lying on the ground, moaning.

FX/SFX: Live-action footage, plus a fade-in and fade-out.

Music/Sound: Whatever sounds the clip has.

Availability: Seen on many MST3K DVDs. For some reason, "Wild Rebels" used the logo above. The Rhino Home Video release of "The Atomic Brain" strangely lacks the stinger, although it's retained on the Shout! Factory print.

Editor's Note: This logo is highly beloved among Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, to the point that the logo for Alternaversal Productions in the show's revival also functions as a "stinger". The clips shown tend to be some of the funniest parts of the movie beforehand. The variant with the Observers is quite notorious for being a bit creepy though (although the actual characters are quite silly). The Village of the Giants variant will sadden many people, especially fans of Frank Zappa.

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