Review: 1992 Kenner Scorpion Alien

  • Manufacturer: Kenner
  • Released: 1992.

It’s the 25th Anniversary of Kenner’s line of ALIENS action figures released in 1992.  With this in mind, let’s take a look at something a little different today, shall we?  Let’s go back 25 years when toys for children based on R-rated movies had become an acceptable marketing strategy.

Under the spotlight this time is Kenner’s Scorpion Alien action figure released as part of their 1992 ALIENS range of toys.

Firstly, let’s get this important detail out of the way.  There were no action figures released based on the ALIENS movie released in 1986. 6 years had to pass for this fellow to appear as part of Kenner’s series 1 ALIENS action figures in 1992.  The Scorpion Alien in its general morphology and stance closely resembles one of the xenomorphs from that movie.  While it’s true Halcyon did release a model kit of the 1986 ALIENS Warrior in 1991,  strictly speaking, that item wasn’t an action figure; and certainly was not a toy for children to play with.

Unlike other figures Kenner released as part of this series, the Scorpion Alien lacks much of the outlandish features that mark other toys in this range.  The scorpion elements are relegated to the background making this the first true action figure based on a creature from the movie, ALIENS.

The figure’s spiny and generally stylised appearance is finished with a coiled tail that terminates with a barb at the end.  That’s the figure’s most scorpion like feature and considering the tail spike is something Aliens possess anyway, it doesn’t detract from the figure’s design at all.  The bipedal shape of the Scorpion Alien despite its abundance of additional spines found upon the legs and elbows doesn’t deviate substantially from the 1986 design.  Even the lack of a carapace upon the head helps to lend a more accurate finish to the figure.  It’s a stylised toy, but without a still all xeno inspired in its presentation.

At 5 inches tall, it’s a robust little brute cast in very dark plastic with copper color highlights generously applied to it’s upper surfaces.  6 points of rotation are to be found on the figure.  These are at the neck, both shoulders, both hips and the base of the spine for the tail.  It’s a minimum set of articulation to be certain but the figure does have a terrific ‘action’ feature that makes it a wonderful piece to have in your collection.

Upon the lower back of the figure can be found a small button very cleverly concealed as one of the vertebrae of the spine.  A casual glance will completely miss it.  Press the button and suddenly the spring loaded mechanism inside the figure causes it to dramatically explode, presumably as if being struck by pulse rifle rounds.

When ‘exploding’, the figure abruptly sends multiple body parts, limbs torso halves and the head into several random directions.  All of a sudden your Scorpion Alien is lying around the place in 4 separate chunky pieces.  …and completely authentic within the limits of an action toy how these ‘bugs’ explode when gunfire is trained upon them during the movie.

Reassembly of the figure is easy and straight forward.  Clamp the upper pieces together with one hand and fit them back onto the lower half of the figure using the other.  A reassuring ‘CLICK!’ tells you it’s all back together in one piece.  It’s a great design and works exceptionally well.  Who doesn’t want an exploding Scorpion Alien action figure in their collection?

The figure was also originally packaged with a number of accessories.  The first of which was a small pliable rubber facehugger.  It’s bronze translucency and segmented quaility gives it the appearance of a multiple appendaged dehydrated earthworm but the cool thing about the accessory is it scales well with NECA’s current ALIEN action figures.  Ripley here looks disgusted with the thing.

Another popular inclusion with select figures from Kenner’s 1992 ALIENS range was the 16 page color mini comic that was included inside these card backed blister packaged toys.  If you want to check these comics out for yourself, you can download an archive of them right here.

25 years after being released these figures are aging quite well.  Mine is getting a little tired internally but all the pieces still hold firmly together.  Sometimes, it will spontaneously explode.  After all, the spring loaded mechanism inside the figure is a quarter of a Century old.  It doesn’t happen often but I have walked into my room to find my Scorpion Alien in pieces on my desk, for no apparent reason. It’s age accompanied by material fatigue causing this to happen.

Other than that, and from what I understand by talking to other owners of this particular toy, it’s an uncommon – but amusing – feature of the aged figure.  The condition of the plastic and paint work have stood up well for their age and the figure still displays well after all this time.  In this regard, you can expect the longevity of one of these figures to be very good. Another 25 years won’t affect this figure in any adverse way.

Due to the fact the figure does come apart it’s not unusual for them to be lacking in pieces when found on the secondary market.   You can sometimes find individual pieces for sale on Ebay if you own one that’s missing a torso or head.  Scorpion Aliens tend to priced reasonably well on the service as the figure itself is relatively common and easy to find.

It would be interesting to see what Kenner would have made if this figure had been released as an item later in the series.   They became wilder, weirder and even more outlandish as the 90s progressed and Kenner explored these weird hybrids with more artistic expression.  Maybe NECA will release a new interpretation of the Scorpion Alien in years to come as part of their tribute series.  This time maybe give it 8 legs, a pair of chelae and a bulbous segmented tail terminating in a long crescent shaped stinger all wrapped up in the presentation of Giger’s biomechanical glory.

At a quarter of a Century old, this little brute demonstrates how toys based on movies inaccessible to children could find a market.  While it’s true the packaging does display an age rating of ‘AGES 4 AND UP’, most of the sales for these figures would have been to  young teenagers rather than 4 year olds.   This was also a time when the adult toy collector market was well within its stride to become the acceptable social practice it is now.

Happy Anniversary, Kenner ALIENS action figures.  You were the wildest, weirdest, wackiest and most outlandish Officially Licenced ALIEN toys, Ever!  To me, the Scorpion Alien was the best of a strange bunch.

Score: 9/10.  Not too weird considering its siblings and it’s basically the first true Xenomorph action figure based on ALIENS.

Check out more ALIEN action figure reviews on HIDEOUS PLASTIC.