I’ll fully admit, I was too young to be really paying attention to movies at all in 1979. And even if I had been, I’m quite certain my parents wouldn’t have let me sit through Alien at that tender age, if for no other reason than the resulting therapy bills would have been a crippling financial burden. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that in 1979, somebody looked at Ridley Scott’s terrifying genre classic and said, “I bet five-year-olds would like to play with toys based on this.”
I realize it falls to each succeeding generation to complain that toys and TV were way cooler back in [insert decade here], but this ad suggests you children of the ‘70s were a lot more hardcore than I ever gave you credit for. Also, many of you may have grown up with serious emotional problems and/or homicidal tendencies. This Alien action figure is the most inconceivable child’s toy since a small child once came into the Best Buy I used to work at with a doll of Chuckie, the possessed, serial-killing doll, slung under one arm. (He then told us Chuckie was his best friend and talked to him at night, at which point my coworkers and I burned the building to the ground and sanctified it with holy water.)
This Alien toy just raises all sorts of questions for me. Did they have a Kane figure complete with chest-burster and scale-model internal organs? Was there a line from the sequel that I somehow missed during my expeditions to the aisles of Toys “R” Us? Perhaps a Bishop figure that would pop in half, or a Random Victim figure that would beg you to kill it? Somehow I feel I’ve missed out on an important childhood experience.