Monday, May 19, 2014

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (LJN)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

LJN has a talent for - well - really ruining everything franchise based that they touch.  Just ask the many Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) gamers who purchased such duds as The Uncanny X-Men, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, The Karate Kid...This list could go on and on.

When they set upon producing a series of toys based on the film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the company seemed lost.  Rather than focus on one thing, and do it well, they were all over the map.  Small figures, large "dolls", wind ups, pop ups, etc.  The company didn't seem to have any focus.  It was as if they were just randomly throwing stuff out there in hopes of hooking someone.

The mini figures are actually the best thing to come from the company, but sadly they only seemed focused on the E.T. character despite there being room for growth.  Numerous single carded figures and a larger gift set were produced which depicted the character in his various states throughout the film.

E.T. (in dress)*E.T. (with flower pot)*E.T. (with blue blanket and book)

E.T. (with robe)*E.T. (with white sheet and Speak and Spell)*E.T. (with phone)

E.T. (with ghost sheet)*E.T. (with doll)*E.T. (with umbrella)

E.T. Six Pack

E.T. Action Figure (with Speak and Spell)*Wind Up E.T.*E.T. and Elliott Powered Bicycle

E.T. Talking Figure*Poseable Talking E.T. (with robe)*Toys R' Us Exclusive Poseable Talking E.T. with "I'm A Toys R' Us Kid" T-Shirt

E.T. and Spaceship Launcher*Pop-Up Spaceship*Stunt Spaceship

It's safe to say that Steven Speilberg found greater success with the actual film than LJN found with the toys.  There were plans, and even a prototype advertised for a larger scale version of the spaceship, but due to the lackluster sales of all of the above it was cancelled.  The prototype was showcased in the 1983 LJN catalog which boasted that the playset would have weighed a whopping ten pounds.  It appears that it would have been compatible with the smaller figures above.

Join us next time when we take a look at an interesting toy line from Happy Worker!

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