- Manufacturer: FUNKOxSuper7
- Released: 2013
Fueled by the rampantly successful sales of over 40 million 3.75 inch tall Star Wars action figures in 1978, Kenner’s design and manufacturing engines were set to Full Speed Ahead for their newly acquired ALIEN licence. The goal was to develop and distribute a promising new line of ALIEN merchandise. Unfortunately for the company, an unexpected marketing error brought their entire merchandise machine to a halt, slamming the brakes on production and in the process cancelling an entire range of 3.75 inch tall action figures based on ALIEN.
The prototypes that had already been prepared were promptly shunted into storage and during the passing decades, passed into obscurity, only to be known to exist as a series of photos and samples in private collections. For over 3 decades, these figures were lamented by Collectors who knew of their existence and believed they would never be released to the public. Then one sunny day in 2013, FUNKO and Super 7 announced their intention to release a range of retro accurate figures based on photographs and other materials previously prepared for these unreleased and cancelled prototypes.
Everybody cheered “Hooray!” and at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, the figures made their debut appearance as a pair of faux 3.75 inch tall prototype figures. Kane in his compression suit and the Alien were emulated as in house ‘test shots’ and cast in light blue plastic to be sold as promotional pair of figures packaged inside a small white box.
A blue carded pre-order special edition became available via a marketing strategy similar to Kenner’s Star Wars stop gap Early Bird kit in late 1977 and eventually these lost ALIEN figures were released onto store shelves.
The ReAction series of 9 ALIEN figures that has since been released is essentially divided into 2 distinct waves. A number of variations is present and each figure superbly re-captures the nostalgic 1970’s retro-styling that inspires them. The initial wave includes Ripley, Kane in a compression suit, Dallas, Ash and The Alien.
A second set was released featuring Ripley in a compression suit, Kane with a facehugger and yet another version of Kane with the Alien emerging from his chest. The figures each have an average of 5 points of articulation, with the Alien possessing some additional movement for its tail and a sliding tongue that migrates to and fro within its mouth.
The simple articulation and solid construction allows the stylised figures to be rugged and sturdy, thus emulating the style of their much older 3.75 inch tall Star Wars counterparts. These are collectibles designed to look and feel like toys from a bygone age of movie tie-in merchandise and they fulfill this role perfectly.
As part of their design, they are packaged on a light card printed on both sides and held in place with a plastic blister to complete their presentation. The final touch comes in the form of the black and red open maw Kenner ALIEN toy line logo prominently appearing near the top of each card. Since these collectibles were released, Super 7 has gotten solid mileage out of adopting this logo.
These items could easily have been made back in the late 1970’s; and, well, should have been. Surface detailing and paintwork is excellent considering their diminutive size and only the character likenesses on the figures are lacking for any authenticity; but this problem is more closely related to licencing concerns rather then aesthetic issues.
Since FUNKO and Super 7 have commenced making these items, which are delightful in an unexpected way, they have taken advantage of the opportunity to release several variant figures of select characters. The Alien alone has had no less than 7 different iterations pressed. They range in availability from a pair of easy to find off the the shelf versions to hard to acquire collectible Comic Con items.
You’ll also find that multiple versions of other ALIEN characters are unevenly represented. What’s most disappointing is the lack of some characters being represented at all.
In this regard, it is unfortunate that Parker and Brett have never seen any appearance in the ReAction figure line up whatsoever. If anything, this is the only true failing this series of figures suffers from. I’m actually surprised that Super 7 hasn’t yet stepped up to fill this gaping hole in the line up to produce some proxy figures based on these characters.
Instead, they have given us multiple versions of the Alien, Ripley and Kane.
Most of the figures, the retail mass market editions in particular, include some manner of accessory. Dallas and Ripley each sport flamethrowers. Ash carries a motion tracker. Suited Kane and Ripley each have removable helmets. Face hugged Kane comes with a separate and removable facehugger, which is fabulously detailed – and a lot of fun, too, as you can see below.
The Alien has a removable head carapace.
These accessories are light by today’s standards but once again do accurately capture in essence what was expected in such items sold 3 decades ago. These are great items. I’m only disappointed that the chestburster isn’t removable from that particular version of Kane. How cool would it have been if the coiled up chestburster could be a removable accessory, leaving a gaping hole in Kane’s torso?
Of course the great inescapable disappointment these figures possess is obvious. They failed to be released 30 years ago when they should have appeared in the first place. As a result, millions of children around the World have missed out on some seriously weird play time by not being able to mix up these belated ALIEN figures with 1970’s Star Wars toys.
Consider such missed opportunities as these: How about dropping some Aliens into their Kenner death star play set? Or maybe have Dallas command the Millennium Falcon while Han Solo and Chewie are being stalked by a Big Chap? Or possibly have Ripley and Ash hanging out at the Mos Eisley cantina with Obi Wan and Greedo? Or maybe even have Luke Skywalker get face hugged – imagine that… a Force capable Jedi Alien!
It’s these wildly imaginative childhood moments that we have been deprived of because these items released now are considered to be Collector’s items – and not child’s play things.
I say, push this ‘it’s a collectible and not a toy’ philosophy to one side for these terrific items and buy a few extra ALIEN ReAcion figures. Open ’em up and hand them to your 5 year old kids along with some old beat up Kenner toys from 1978. Give ’em a 3.75 inch tall Alien or 2 to play with their Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia and watch what happens…
After all, that’s exactly the purpose these toys were originally intended and designed for back in 1979.
Great stuff! Only 30 years too late.
Check out more ALIEN action figure reviews on HIDEOUS PLASTIC.