Friday, June 15, 2012

Toy Chest Part 2: Aliens

For those just tuning in, Toy Chest Tuesday is a special two part this week, as we all look back at the old Aliens line from Kenner. Part 1 addressed the mini-comics and trading file cards that came with each figure. Now we are going to look at the figures themselves!

So some of you may be thinking, "What is a sweet girl like Miss M doing with Aliens toys?" Well I was a pre-teen when these toys came out. I also had zero friends. I'm not exaggerating or trying to get you folks to shed a tear, I am serious, I had no friends during that moment in my life. Fear not, things did turn out somewhat well for me. I do have some friends. (They are real) My skin is eerily porcelain and flawless (on account of all the strange rituals and incantations I do.) I also managed to somehow find a guy to dig me with all my baggage. And let me tell you, I have the Louis Vuitton kinda baggage. My mess doesn't come cheap.

Anyways, as I said earlier, I was a friendless loser pre-teen when this toyline came out. Now by this time my parents were really starting to take notice of my obsession with the toy aisle. They grew more and more concerned as the days grew long and once I found out about the Aliens toyline, it just went way downhill. "Why on Earth do you want that?" My mom said as I lovingly reached for the Bull Alien that was at the local Target. She was very concerned.

And I get it, not many girls were frothing at the mouth for Aliens toys. I totally get it. But I loved those movies and it just made sense with the world that I would also want cool Aliens toys to mingle with all my other crap. Besides, my brother was slowly losing interest in toys, so someone had to carry on the tradition of obsessive collecting habits.

Plus I really wanted a Ripley. Believe it or not, I would have been just fine with owning Ripley. However she was one of the last figures for me to collect, so I just ended up collecting everything from the first series. How could I not? I had to know what happened with the included mini-comics, and my old ass She-Ra dolls needed some dates on a Friday night.

So let's check out the toys in order of their mini-comic issue!

Oh Bishop. This toy really had an android feel to him but also a bit of "Let's make him look like a Terminator too!" I remember looking at him and thinking, "He looks nothing like the Bishop from the movies." I found a way to go on. His cool feature was that his chest could rip apart exposing android parts.

He also came with a gatling gun that made real sounds when turned. There were also magazines or bullet clips (I have no idea what to call them) that fed into the gatling gun. It was a neat feature. There was also some golden weapon that also doubled as a back pack. I am not sure what its purpose was, but I like to think it was a fancy metal detector.

Up next we have the Scorpion Alien! Each Alien figure was painted with black and a specific metallic shade. The Scorpion Alien had a metallic orange look, to further compliment a desert environment. The tail also resembled that of a scorpion, which I thought was cool.

Now the alien figures came with a special feature and a facehugger. I mean honestly, how could an alien figure not come with a facehugger? I loved how the facehugger could wrap around a Space Marine's face. It really created that icky feeling from the movie. The Scorpion Alien's feature was that it could explode. With just the press of a button on the back, the head, chest, and arms came apart. I wanted to capture that feature, however due to age, the feature has not made it very well into the 21st Century. However I was able to show Bishop losing part of his body. 

Next up we have Sgt. Apone. I loved this figure for many reasons. First of all, his shirt was humorous and a nice break from all the Space Marine garb. "No Bugs." I also loved his red baseball cap. He also had a robotic arm attachment that helped with his action feature. He had a twist waist and came with these golden grenades that could be flung at any nasty creatures. The golden grenades have also had a rough time with age, and were sadly not featured for any pretty pictures.

Luckily though, Apone did come with a basic plastic gun, so he would still be able to take out some bugs. I dislike how certain types of plastics and other materials degrade over time. I know nothing can stay perfect forever, but there is nothing worse than a toy or piece getting all sticky through the years. Anyways, the metal arm attachment was molded to Apone's arm. It could not be removed. So at least I haven't lost that!

Next up is another alien, the Gorilla Alien! This toy featured a blue metallic shade and in my opinion, really captured the essence of a deranged mutated gorilla. This figure actually came with two action features. The first was a rubber head that could spit out water when squeezed. This was meant to mimic acid. There were also two pieces on the back, that when pressed together, caused the Gorilla Alien's arms to open wide for an attack.

See how wide the arms could expand? This was one beast you did not want welcoming you to the jungle. With that said, I did love the blue facehugger. It was such a pretty shade of blue. Oh, one important thing to note, the facehuggers have aged well. I was concerned that they would get sticky overtime, but they haven't. Yet.

Drake seemed more Marine than Space Marine. While most of the figures in the series had elements of futuristic uniforms and pieces, Drake always looked like he came from our time. I also felt like this figure looked like Richard Gere. So it was weird when I got him. Like, "Why do I have this angry looking Richard Gere figure in camo pants?" He also had the most facial detail than the other human characters.

His weapon and feature always confused me too. He came with this large smart gun that also featured sound. It took me forever to figure out how Drake was supposed to hold the damn thing, but after he had everything in place, the noise would come from twisting his waist. The clicking sound coupled with the twisting weapon, looked like he was firing at a swarm of mean bugs.

Hicks was the first Space Marine I had collected. I had hoped to find a Ripley, but Hicks was always available. I'm not sure why, but I always thought of Hicks looking the most like a Space Marine. On the flip side, that meant his figure looked a bit generic. I could see his outfit being the basic uniform for all Space Marines, whereas Apone or Drake got to wear something that seemed unique. I don't know why any of that really matters, as that was probably the furthest thing from most folk's minds.

Hicks came with a missile launcher that fired two yellow missiles. I have no idea what happened to the yellow missiles, may they rest in peace. What was cool about the missile launcher was that the firing button was the gray scope piece. I thought that was neat, because it made the firing button fit in with the overall design. Usually the firing button on a toy is large and obnoxious as if to say, "I'm right here!" Oh, and I always made Ripley and Hicks go on dates. After taking care of some xenomorphs, they'd go to the Sizzler or McDonalds. It was highly romantic.

As I mentioned in Part 1, the Bull Alien was my first purchase from the Aliens toyline. My parents were worried for me. They thought I'd grow up to be alone going through the loonies. My mom would actually be freaked out when I would show her my Alien figures. She thought they were scary and gross. I mean they were gross, but they were so cool! These toys really did a great job of capturing that xenomorph essence! I also liked the Bull Alien, because it was truly something new and different, like, "Wow, I never thought an Alien would ever look like that!"

The coloring for the Bull Alien was a reddish pink metallic. (Which I loved.) And the action feature was pretty fun too. With just a press of a button, the Bull Alien's neck extended while the head tilted downward ready to knock anything down. The Bull Alien also came with a matching facehugger. Awww.

So in time I started to worry that I would never find a Ripley in stores. I had enjoyed the Aliens collecting thus far, but I was going to be very upset if I never saw a Ripley in the toy aisle. I mean she was the reason I kept picking these damn toys up! I was giving up a lot for Ripley. I had no friends, my family thought something was wrong with me. I needed Ripley stat. Good things come to those who return to the toy aisle every week. To celebrate my birthday I walked into a Toysrus and to my biggest surprise, I saw one Ripley on the shelf. There are just certain moments where you find that one figure that you have been hoping for, I can't describe it. The feeling is just this overwhelming sense of joy. Like you just know that everything will be right with the world. I can't explain it. But I was pretty sure I had heard a choir and some birds chirping. It was wonderful.

Ripley came with her signature flamethrower. I loved that the flame could be pushed in and out with a lever. It was just cool! Everything about this figure was just so cool. I wanted yellow boots like her's. I would look for loose scarfie bandanas around the house to wrap arond my neck. My brother and I would pretend we were in some underground mine fighting off alien monsters. There was just a great world of imagination to be had. One other cool thing about this figure was that when she turned at the waist, her legs and head stayed in place. It helped create such a cool visual when she was using her flamethrower.

Finally we have the Alien Queen. I had actually told myself that after getting Ripley, I had no other reason to collect the line. I was done. Until my dorky lil self caught a glimpse of the Alien Queen on the shelf. And then it was like, "Well, maybe just one more." How could anyone pass up on an Alien Queen?! At the time I thought this was the hugest figure I'd ever laid eyes on. This beast was massive. There was just so much to look at. The multiple arms. The double jaw. The long stinging tail. I mean hook this beast up with Modulok!

The double jaw was so much fun. There was a rubber piece on the back of the head, that when pressed, would push the double jaw out. Mine would only go so far, the double jaw would get stuck behind the teeth. So I would have to extend the entire double jaw with my fingers. Which was fine. It just made the thing even more gross. By this point my parents had given up. They had fully embraced the notion that their daughter would grow up to be the old lady and her toys.

The Alien Queen did not come with a brightly colored facehugger. She came with a deadly chest hatchling. This thing looked so creepy (not unlike what I look like in the morning.) Anyway, the Alien Queen may not have come with a mini-comic, but she more than made up for it!

Here we have the whole group from the first series. These figures were so cool and I had really enjoyed collecting them, even if there was a bit of drama. However there were other Space Marines that would be released throughout the mid-nineties. I would not really know about those releases though. In an attempt to "grow" up and not be some weird chick that no one likes, I took a break from collecting. I really wanted some friends, because it has not been easy being a dorky girl. Dorky guys are lucky, because there will always be dorky guys. They will always have a brotherhood to join together and gawk at the latest in dork. However dorky girls have it worse. We are a rare breed, and growing up, I did not know a single one. Though it is nice to know that as I have gotten older, I have gotten to know some fellow dorkettes. And that is a nice thing.

What wasn't nice was that I had no idea the other releases that would come out from the Aliens toyline. My trying to be cool and normal backfired and I missed out on great Space Marines like Vasquez and Atax. Once I realized those figures were available it was too late. Interest in the line had stopped and whatever was left in stores was it.

Finally here is a nice family photo of the Aliens. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I'd want them, but I couldn't imagine my life without them. They were ugly and creepy, but Kenner did such a great detailed job on these things! I mean for toys that were made in the early nineties, these weren't shabby. And much like the other series of Space Marines, there were also many other different types of alien toys too. There were so many it almost became like a menu from a Bubba Gump restaurant.

So that is about it for Part 2 of Toy Chest Tuesday. I told you all this week would need to be in two parts! Goodness, I am out of breath. Anyways if any of these pictures have you begging for more Aliens toys, hit up ebay. There are many listings for new and loose Aliens toys and the prices are very reasonable. Until next time folks!


  1. Well, I never asked my overprotective mom for figures from an R rated movie! Maybe since you had a sibling you guys could get away with those sort of shenanigans,
    I did have a friend with the Aliens figures tho-and they were rad! Why do they make figures for R rated films!? there were Rambo figures too! What the hell!?
    One thing always pissed me off about the aliens movie series. The H.R Geiger designs are original-the film makers though -Cameron and even Scott-are kinda hacky. They ripped off stuff I actually WAS allowed to watch when I was a kid.If you look up "IT the Terror from Beyond Space!" and "Night of the Blood Beast"-are crappy B movies ( that I love) that,in a way gave the alien series its story. ( "IT" had the whole outer space claustrophobic alien trying to kill you in a space ship until you shoot the alien out of the air lock thing."Blood beast" ,on the other hand, featured an alien getting a guy pregnant.Elements of "the Tingler" with Vincent Price come to in when I think of the bugger in the body too. The chest burster thing was kind of original to Alien-though )
    Anyway, what most interested me in this post was how you talk about you! You being insecure and having no friends. But look at you now! All talented and beautiful-I had the same damn problem-I was really skinny when I was young, (had friends tho , but I was not confident in myself)but I grew into a sexy young man, if I do say so myself! I eventually dated girls who were one million times hotter than any of my friends girlfriends ( though admittedly I am going through a dry spell right now-back in school so that will probably end).But, even when you become all cool and sexy-like, there is always the stigma isn't there? I have the dork thing-I may be a cool guy now, I may look good now-but I still love the same dorky stuff I loved when I was a kid!! Anyway, now that I'm "mature" (ha ha!)it is tuff to still be(on the inside)a dork who wants to talk about "he-man"-isn't it?

    1. You know, you bring up a really good point. I forgot to mention about the fact that these toys were based off of an r-rated movie. I remember thinking how odd it was to see that on the shelves. However my parents had no real clue. My brother and I were always able to have things fly over their radar. It is not that they were absentee parents or something, they were involved in our lives, but there were some things they just never catched.

      And you bring up some interesting points about those B movies. I believe I have heard of IT the Terror from Beyond Space. I also feel like there was an article written about the similarities found in those movies and what transpired in some Alien films. It is very interesting, because when is it inspiring and when is it a rip off? I mean I think it is normal that other forms of media inspire new ideas that evolve, but then there are times where things seem really copied.

      And I was very insecure growing up. I would even say I am insecure now as an adult, because I am at an age where i should be worrying about having a baby and focusing on my professional career. Which I do focus on my professional career, but that professional identity is very different from this other perspective with my interests in writing and blogging about toys and fanfiction. So it is odd. Some people know about my interests while others have no clue and if they were to look at me on the street would have no idea that I am so dorky. It is an interesting line to walk.

  2. I had an easy time finding Ripley. It was that damn queen i had a tough time hunting down. Finally found one at toys 'r us by sheer dumb luck, got it, and never saw it on shelves again.