Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alien (Funko / ReAction Figures)



Alien
Funko / ReAction Figures
2013

Super 7's retro based Alien line has been met with very mixed reviews from collectors.  While some praise the line for its true to form renditions of what would have been a classic Kenner series, others say it's too much of a step backwards for action figures in this day and age, and only encourages toy manufacturers to keep things basic in terms of articulation while at the same time charging outrageous prices based on nostalgia, and not necessarily quality.

The original concept for the line began in 1979 when Kenner was looking to once again capitalize on the latest and greatest science fiction film of the year.  However, once prototypes were produced, it became apparent very quickly that Kenner would be facing an uphill battle trying to sell toys to children based on a rated R film.  Though some products did get produced, the action figure line was scrapped prior to going into production.

Enter Super 7 over three decades later.  Whatever side of the fence you're on, the fact remains that without Super 7, these long lost Kenner toys would have never seen the light of day.  They were able to obtain the rights to the line, and meticulously went to work on creating the vintage series you see before you today.  They even took a page out of Kenner's book and presented the series as an Early Bird Package at San Diego Comic Con in 2013.

The infamously designed cardboard box guaranteed buyers that they would receive a complete set of figures between October and December 2013, and as an incentive to the $100.00 buy in price also guaranteed a secret chase figure that at the time was not revealed.

EARLY BIRD PACKAGE

When the figures started arriving via mail, fans and collectors were treated to vintage style cardbacks very reminiscent to those of the vintage Star Wars line.  Each figure was packaged on the left with a scene straight out of the movie encompassing the majority of the rest of the otherwise blue card.  In the center was the vintage logo for the line straight out of Kenner's original design.

EARLY BIRD FIGURES
Ash*Dallas


EARLY BIRD FIGURES
Kane*Ripley

The promised chase figure turned out to be a clear version of The Alien, and to date it has only been made available to those who purchased the Early Bird Package.


EARLY BIRD FIGURES
The Alien*The Alien (Clear Chase Variant)

To help promote the series, Super 7 created the fake Cancelled Toyfair 1979 Advance Promotional Sample.  The company falsified a story that they had found a storage bin full of prototype versions of Kane and The Alien.  Mind you, their intentions were never to dupe anyone as below the fake story was also the truth behind it.  The bottom line, they simply thought it would be neat to create a "what if" scenario of prototypes, and truth be told, it was neat.


CANCELLED TOYFAIR 1979 ADVANCED PROMOTIONAL SAMPLE
with The Alien and Kane

With all the Early Bird Packages fulfilled with buyers, Super 7 produced the retail editions of the series.  This would include all new packaging that now featured a black outlining as opposed to the prior blue one.  We commend Super 7 for not only being creative, but for helping to keep the first company supporters investment of the toys somewhat unique and valuable to the full blown retail released versions.



RETAIL EDITION FIGURES
Ash*Dallas*Kane


RETAIL EDITION FIGURES
Ripley*The Alien


Funko continued their San Diego Comic Con releases in 2014 with the first playset from the series, Egg Chamber. For those of you who were unable to attend this years convention, don't resort to secondary markets just yet unless you're a package collector. A retail version is scheduled to hit select store shelves later this year, and much like the figures above will come in a black packaging.

PLAYSETS
Egg Chamber

In addition to the Egg Chamber, Funko also came to San Diego Comic Con with several Deep Space Mystery Eggs. Four figures in total were made, but each came in two variations. The rarest version are the clear, and the common versions are the black with glitter.

DEEP SPACE MYSTERY EGG
Clear Ripley*Clear Alien*Clear Ripley in Space Suit*Clear Chest Burster Kane

DEEP SPACE MYSTERY EGG
Deep Space Ripley*Deep Space Alien*Deep Space Ripley in Space Suit*Deep Space Chest Burster Kane

In addition to the Alien line, several new lines have been announced, some of which may already be on store shelves as of this post.  Will Funko and Super 7 milk this train until people are sick of it?  Or will this be widely received by collector's as the new thing to do?  Time will tell that answer.

***UPDATE***

Wave two of the Alien line hit shelves in 2015.

 Alien (Metallic)*Chest Burster Kane

 Face Hugger Kane*Ripley (in Spacesuit)

***BONUS***

As we said above, despite Kenner eventually passing on the idea to produce a series of action figures on the film Alien, a handful of products did get developed and released.  The most popular, and considered a holy grail among collector's is the very large, highly detailed Alien.

Standing at 19 inches tall, to this day this "figure" represents how action figures/dolls should be done.  It features a rotating waste, ball joints on the arms, a removable portion on its head to reveal the skull - which also glows in the dark.  However, the best feature is the mechanism on the back of the head which opens the mouth and expels its inner jaw, also known as the "attack tongue."

To date this remains the definitive Alien collectible for fans, and it won't come cheap.  Mint in the box versions have sold for two to three thousand dollars, while open ones, or poor in the package ones have garnered anywhere from $500.00 to $1,000.00.

We wonder what cartridge the kid on the box of the Alien Movie Viewer is actually watching.  Even back in 1979 parents were not big supporters of their children seeing the film, so we doubt that in such a modest time that any child would actually be viewing the actual Alien cassette - Let alone smiling about it.  Let's be honest, kids back then scared easily, not that they don't these days as well.  But we children of the 70's and 80's weren't as desensitized as kids these days.  Alien would have terrified the majority of us.

Regardless, Kenner moved forward with releasing this all new dark gray Movie Viewer which included the cassette, "Alien Terror".  It would be the one and only cassette created for the Movie Viewer series in general.

This last Kenner product is actually more well known for the box containing an image of the prior mentioned 19 inch action figure.  It was, "An exciting new game of elimination and escape for 2 to 3 players."  We're talking of course about Alien Game.

The object of the game was to be the first player to get one of your astronauts into the space shuttle Narcissus.  However, at the same time, you have a secondary objective - Use your Alien to eliminate the other player's astronauts.

The box contained one game board, twelve astronauts, four Aliens, two dice and an instruction booklet.  An average game would last about thirty minutes.

Join us next time when we dig deeper into Kenner's Movie Viewer line!

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