One of the horror genre's "most widely read critics" (Rue Morgue # 68), "an accomplished film journalist" (Comic Buyer's Guide #1535), and the award-winning author of Horror Films of the 1980s (2007), The Rock and Roll Film Encyclopedia (2007) and Horror Films of the 1970s (2002), John Kenneth Muir, presents his blog on film, television and nostalgia, named one of the Top 100 Film Studies Blog on the Net.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Alien Week: Alien (1979) Action Figure (Kenner)
The written description to this H.R. Giger-inspired toy from Kenner notes the alien’s “evil brains” that “glow in the dark.”
The same instructions sheet also instructed the kiddies to “press the back of his head on the bottom. His mouth opens and the gruesome teeth move forward.”
How many children could have possibly seen Alien, I wonder? Did parents take their kids to see it?
Perhaps a more pertinent question is this: how many children wouldn’t be scared to death by a cat or dog-sized action figure with retractable inner jaw and an eyeless, human skull for a head?
Well, I didn’t see the movie (I was nine), and I still wanted the toy. Desperately.
I didn’t get it.
I feel like a lot of kids my age wanted the Alien toy too, whether or not they had seen the film, but apparently parents complained about Kenner’s masterpiece of horror and, legendarily, the toy sold poorly.
The alien was thus pulled from toy shelves at the behest of concerned parents and terrified children, and a generation of psychologists grew rich treating the PTSD of innocent children who happened down the aisle hoping to buy a plus R2-D2, only to catch sight of this leering, plastic monstrosity. Here's a commercial from 1979.