With Alien: Covenant ready to hit American theaters tomorrow I've been having a flashback of sorts to the first or second grade, which was shortly after the 1979 movie Alien was released. One of the class bullies had brought his 18" Kenner Alien action figure to school (I don't remember if it was for show-and-tell or just to show off) and he proceeded to give away the movie's plot, in graphic detail, pumping his arm to emulate the baby xenomorph bursting from John Hurt's chest. I remember some of my female classmates actually gasping and shrieking and as terrified as I was myself to finally learn what this movie was about, I knew that I would HAVE to watch it eventually, which I did a few years later (on ABC as a matter of fact, gory chest bursting scene remarkably intact and unedited.)
Our bully didn't know it at the time, but his Kenner figure -- if he does indeed still own it and if it's still in good working condition, which is doubtful -- is now worth a small fortune. In fact, Kenner released a few toys in 1979 in conjunction with 20th Century Fox to promote the sci-fi horror thriller. The problem was obvious, however: Alien was a R rated film and most kids weren't going to see it (that, and the alien itself has a pretty phallic-shaped head.) The xenomorph figure was yanked from store shelves, making it a now rare collectible...and it wasn't the only one. So let's take a look at four Alien themed toys that could make you a pretty penny, provided you still have one in good condition in the original packaging. Keep in mind I'm only mentioning a few items released in conjunction with the first movie; the sequel, Aliens, spawned (no pun intended) several more toys.
1. The Aforementioned Xenomorph Action Figure
If you happen to have one of these awe-inspiring bad boys at your disposal and he's still intact, he could fetch you between $750 and $1,000 on eBay. The 18" xenomorph featured a trigger at the back of his head that opened his mouth and shot out the teeth-lined tongue and there was another mechanism that made his arms clench around unsuspecting victims. His skull's features also glowed in the dark, which was probably the only real distinction between him and his "life sized" movie version. Other than that, this figure was pretty detailed. I watched a video the other day that said he seemed too delicate for rough play and to be considered an "action" figure--more like a collector's model -- which unfortunately is a reason why some dolls that are still around today are broken or missing parts altogether (obviously decreasing its value.)
Kenner at the time wanted to release a whole series of action figures from the movie but after Big Chap (Ridley Scott's nickname for the space monster) was yanked from shelves so was the entire project. But a few years ago a company called Super7 released the lost figures -- which included Ripley, Ash, Kane, and Dallas and a proportionally-sized xenomorph (but sadly, no facehugger.)
2. Alien Board Game
Also rare and released by Kenner was the Alien board game for 2 to 4 players in which the object is to make it safely to the escape shuttle while using the alien to eliminate your opponents. Online reviews say the game basically sucked, but there's currently a used one on eBay listed for over $3,000, which seems insane.
3. Alien Giant Blaster Target Set
Then there was the giant target set by HG Toys that came with a "laser" weapon and three safety balls. The 30" xenomorph would get affixed to a wall, and you'd try to hit the targets in his head and hands that would flip down when hit, but your ultimate goal was to hit the hole that looks like his belly button. That would cause a bell to go off in an "eerie ringing sound" indicating that you killed the xenomorph. Gotta love that they have a little girl playing this game in the toy's packaging. This one goes for about $850 intact.
4. Kenner Alien Movie Viewer
But here's perhaps the creepiest toy of the list. It's a hand-cranked movie viewer that basically condenses scenes from the entire movie into the span of a minute or so (no batteries needed!) I was wondering how much was included when I discovered that someone filmed it with their phone and uploaded it to YouTube. Even though the goriest parts were excluded, I still find it kind of unsettling.
There's one listed on eBay for $425.