With Prometheus crash landing here on Earth today, it seems only appropriate that this weekend's Vintage Video be Alien themed. What I've got for ya tonight is something really special; the original 1979 commercial for Kenner's 18" Alien toy, which we'll talk a bit about once you check out the video. Enjoy!
Though the kids in that video look to be very happy playing with a toy based on one of the most terrifying creatures in movie history, the villain of a brutal R rated sci-fi/horror flick, that wasn't exactly how things went down when this toy was released onto store shelves back in 1979. Or at least, most kids never got to decide for themselves if they wanted to play with one. Once parents saw the movie that the toy was based on, a widespread outrage began to build, which left Kenner with no choice but to pull the plastic Xenomorph completely from shelves. It was simply too realistic and too scary for mass consumption.
A whole line of smaller Alien figures was in the works at the time (above), showing that Kenner clearly had plans to make serious money off of turning the film to plastic like they did with Star Wars just a couple years prior, but the outpouring of outrage over this toy caused those plans to go up in smoke as well. The line never saw release in any capacity.
Cut to 1992. A few years after the release of Aliens, Kenner decided for whatever reason to venture back into R rated Xenomorph territory, which worked out a whole lot better for them. Several series' of Aliens toys were released, proving the times had changed to their advantage. Suddenly, it became a little less offensive to release toys based on graphic adult horror movies. I suppose it didn't hurt that the new figures were very colorful and kid friendly, with the Xenomorph toys looking a whole lot less terrifying than Kenner's original outing.
Ya know what. Since I'm feeling super excited about Prometheus, let's make this a double dose of Vintage Videos for the week. Check out the early 90's commercial for Kenner's line of Aliens toys while we're at it!!
And that's about the whole history of the Kenner/Alien relationship in a nutshell. Now get out there and enjoy the shit out of Prometheus this weekend!!