90s era Marvel comics have a reputation. The guys who founded Image Comics were cutting their teeth there, and the characters they worked on seemed to take on many of the sorts of things fans today bemoan but which must have been selling back then, hence the reason for so many of them. They were massive guys with guns, pouches, and bad-ass names and powers. Bishop. Cable. Ghost Rider. X-Force. Venom. I think the Punisher had three separate titles going at one point. Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man series showed the Hobgoblin going nuts, thinking he was a real goblin, finding religion, and ripping his own face off.
To a 10 year old Jimmy Impossible, Secret Wars was right in his wheel house. For one full year the best heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe would be together every month bashing skulls, having mountains dropped on them and bowing before Doom. Though the tie-ins were subtle, this was really the first huge company wide event at either of the Big Two. (sequart.org has a nice article comparing Secret Wars, Secret Wars II and Crisis on Infinite Earths and which is responsible for the rise of the endless Events that I keep getting suckered into, which seems like every few months.)
One of the biggest parts of Secret Wars, and in fact the reason for it’s existence, was a promotion for a toy line from Mattel.