We know it’s a marketing event designed to sell stuff, but it sure beats National Boss Day.
For that last couple years, 20th Century Fox is been declaring April 26 “Alien Day.” This marketing event is inspired by LV 426, the planet where the crew of the Nostromo first encounter the xenomorph eggs in that little Sci-Fi classic, Alien. We share this otherwise useless information with you because a bunch of exclusive collectibles will be released on this date. It is a marketing event after all.
We’ll be sharing the coolest of these collectibles as they are announced and released, but we do have some advance news from toy company Super 7. The company behind the Kenner-inspired ReAction line of retro action figures, Super 7 has given us a sneak peek at a few of the items they’ll be releasing on Alien Day.
Alien ReAction figure carrying case with figures:
True to the entire ReAction line, this case is inspired by toy cases from decades past. In addition to holding up to 24 of the 3.75″ ReAction figures, the case will contain an exclusive glow-in-the-dark Alien figure. I love this idea both as a collector and as a father. If I could have gotten an exclusive Kenner Star Wars figure with my storage case in 1978, you bet I would have been all over it. This case and figure set is available for pre-order on EntertainmentEarth.com
Nostromo 3-pack with Kane, Lambert and Dallas in space suits:
The packaging features an exclusive Japanese window box style just for Alien Day, which might mean the figures themselves will be available elsewhere but just not packaged in such a way.
18-Inch Alien Warrior:
Super 7 recently announced a new 18-ince Alien Warrior figure, designed as the ‘successor’ to the classic 1979 Kenner Alien figure.
The imagined successor to the 1979 Kenner Alien toy. Fully articulated with glow accents, metallic snapping jaws (operated with a trigger on the back of the head like the original 1979 toy), and retro style packaging. The figure stands 18-inches and can also hang from its tail like the original 1979 Alien figure.
The Alien 3.75-inch ReAction Figure Blind Box will be available from Super7 website starting @ Noon PST on Wednesday, 4/26. Boxes purchased online will be selected randomly between 3 new color variants. https://super7store.com
Personally, I like the my Alien Warriors in black, but to each their own!
ReAction Nostromo Crew Set:
As we mentioned earlier, Super 7 is the company behind the ReAction toy line. Their partnership with Funko has expired so they’ve regained full marketing rights of this line designed in the original Kenner figure style. We love the ReAction Universal Monsters and the crew of the Nostromo are pretty cool too.
Of course, Alien Day might simply be a good excuse to dust off your DVD of one of these fine films and give it watch. However you decide to celebrate Alien Day, every day is better with monsters (and aliens) in it!
Celebrate Alien Day With The Kenner 1979 Alien Action Figure
So, 20th Century Fox has created a new Monster Kid holiday with the first ever ALIEN DAY on April 26th, and it’s being billed as a global celebration of the ALIEN franchise. The day will be marked by all sorts of special festivities and product releases, not the least of which is a 20-city double feature re-release of ALIEN and ALIENS – at the screening of ALIENS at New York City venue The Town Hall, complete with a Sigourney Weaver appearance.
I was 11 eleven years old when Alien hit the theaters and, still riding the Sci-Fi high of Star Wars two years earlier, I convinced my parents to let me and my little brother see the movie at the theater. This was a big deal — I had never seen an R-rated movie and my Mom walked us to the ticket booth, bought our tickets and gave permission to the theater employee for us to see the movie. Then she left…. Needless to say, Alien made a lasting impression on my brother and I!
It’s impossible to talk about Alien 1979 without spending some time on one of the most controversial – and coolest – monster toys of the 1970s. Kenner was still riding high on their Star Wars license and decided to jump on the next big Sci-Fi franchise to come along. There was only one problem: Alien was an R-rated movie and the creature was terrifying!
Here’s Kenner’s original TV commercial:
Despite Kenner’s best efforts, and a beautifully designed toy, sales were poor. Parents thought it was too scary and raised a ruckus. Kids, most of whom didn’t have parents like mine, couldn’t see the movie and thus weren’t bugging parents for the toy. Most kids didn’t even know what the monster looked like. The result; retail sales were bad and Kenner canceled the rest of the planned Alien lineup.
This action figure is a collector’s collectible. The simple fact that this toy didn’t sell well means there are less available to collect. Combine that with the fact the Alien franchise has continued to grow in popularity through the years and you get the perfect combination of high demand and low supply. Scarcity is the main driver of price in collectibles and it is almost impossible to get one of these action figure in-box and good condition for below $1,000. Not bad considering it cost $ in 1979. Loose figures are much more common, but even they command $500+ in good condition,
Several of these toys – both boxed and loose – are currently available at eBay, Check out Current eBay auctions here.
2014 Gentle Giant Jumbo Alien
Gentle Giant released a 24″ Jumbo figure scaled off of the original 18″ figure Kenner for Christmas 2014. The likeness and attention to detail are terrific, all the way down to the packaging:
With a retail price of $499, this isn’t a toy, but it is probably less expensive than a 1979 Kenner Alien in good condition! You can still get the Gentle Giant figure at retail pricing at the usual places: EntertainmentEarth.
With Ridley Scott‘s Alien prequel Alien: Covenant headed our way in the near future, there is little reason to believe the Kenner Alien action figure will do anything but continue to increase in demand and value over time.
Of course, commerce is the driving force behind our new favorite holiday, so there are a whole bunch of new collectibles headed our way on ALIEN DAY.
Collecting is a very personal passion. It’s also one that has potentially huge financial ramifications. Many collectors don’t consider, or at least focus on, the resale value of their collections because, quite simply, they can’t imagine ever parting with their prized collection. There’s always that temptation though – family and friends who don’t ‘get it’ will read an article about a comic book collection selling for millions after the collector’s death and ask what your collection is worth.
Truth is, while you may have no intention of ever selling your collection, eventually it won’t be your decision. If you are lucky enough to have children or heirs in the next generation who share your passion, and you plan to leave your collection to them, then you’re off the hook as long as you make the necessary arrangements in your estate planning.
If not, there is a real possibility that your collection will be sold and it’s up tot you to decide how that will happen. Will it be sold of piecemeal at an estate sale or will you make arrangements to have it auctioned off after your death. The choice is yours but it only makes sense that a collection you so lovingly accumulated during your lifetime should be thoughtfully included in your estate planning. I came across this article and thought it was worth sharing. Be aware that the author is Josh Levine who co-owns J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale and EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale, Arizona. His company profits from collectors selling and buying, so his focus is on helping sellers get he most return on the items they are selling – it’s simply good business on his end. Seven if selling is the furthest from your mind, the article is thought provoking.
Here’s the article in full:
I am often asked, “When is the best time to sell my collection?”
And not to be one accused of keeping my opinions to myself, I say, “Strike while the iron is hot.” What do I mean by that?
When you see record prices happening, sell your collection. Sounds obvious to most, but so often I hear, “I’ll hold on to it. It can only go up from here,” or “Imagine what it will be worth 20 years from now!”
I don’t know if it’s prospecting, greed, or something their parents ingrained in these collectors, but I think it’s a losing bet. Let me cite a few examples.
Fifteen years ago, we were selling Hummel collections and prices were riding high. I would see collections in my travels and ask folks if they wished to consign for auction, and more often than not, the owners would decline. Their consensus was, this would never end, and Hummels would keep increasing in value.
Then about 10 years ago, large collections began to be sold off and we could see it coming quickly. The crash.
The collectors blamed the economy and kept waiting. And waiting. … It wasn’t the economy, but simple economics. Huge supply, in this case, and no demand from the next generation. I have yet to meet a Gen X’er or Millennial that collects them. Most have no idea what they are.
The next example is toy trains.
A Pre-War Lionel Train set was money in the bank for a long run as they were desired by many collectors and enthusiasts spanning several generations. They all had a train set when they were kids, and had many fond memories of them. They sold like hot cakes, and there were many serious collectors.
Over the past five years, toy collectors’ tastes have changed, and you can see the Hummel thing happening. A 2003 price of $12,000 for a Lionel Pre-War set is now $1,500 if you are lucky.
Some say it was video games that caused the younger generations to lose interest, and that really may be true.
What to do now? If you are thinking of selling a collection, sell it when it’s hot.
What is hot in toys? Star Wars toys from 1977 through 1984 as well as most action figures from this period. Hot Wheels Redlines and AFX Aurora Slot Cars from the late 1960s through the early 1970s.
Let me give you my forecast. Star Wars is going to peak with this new movie release. It’s a great time to sell your Star Wars collectibles.
Hot Wheels and Slot Cars are more urgent to sell as I feel they are going to go the way of the train set soon.
I hate when I see a collection that was just held on to a little too long. It’s just like playing the stock market, but when they fall off the cliff, they don’t recover to former glory.
Before monsters entered my world, there were dinosaurs. As I have detailed in previous posts, dinosaurs were my gateway to monsters and played an influential part in my becoming a full-fledged Monster Kid.
In reality, my favorite kind of monster movie usually includes a dinosaur or derivative thereof — atomic behemoths rampaging through modern cities, inhabiting lost worlds accidentally discovered by modern man or, in more recent incarnations, terrorizing mad scientists who recreated them using their DNA.
With Jurassic World stomping the competition at the box office this summer, I’ve been focusing on some of my favorite dinosaur-infested classic movie posters and it only makes sense to broaden the scope to dinosaur collectibles of all kinds.
In today’s post, I’ll provide a general overview of vintage dinosaur toys including companies that manufactured them over the decades and highlight some of the unique products released over the years. In the coming weeks, I’ll dig deeper into some of these companies and products included in today’s overview.
Early 20th Century
Toy dinosaurs have been around for almost since the first fossils were discovered. In a segment I wrote profiling toys from the 1933 King Kong, I highlighted a terrific jigsaw puzzle of Kong battling a T-Rex. Early examples of prehistoric animal toys include a metal Brontosaurus and Sabre-Tooth Tiger from 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. There are other examples of lead, metal and wooden dinosaur toys from the first half of the 20th Century, but it was in the 1950s that dinosaur toys really came to prominence.
1950s Rise of the Dinosaur Toys
Early dinosaur toy makers include Ajax (1950s-1960s), Marx (1955-1963; 1971-1979), MPC (1964-1970s), and Timmee (1960s-present).
Most of the dinosaur toys in the early days were no bigger than a few inches and many were originally packaged in playsets that included plastic rocks, plants, and cavemen. Since access to dinosaur information was limited back then, many of the toy makes, like Marx and MPC, imprinted the animal name on their tail or body.
Of the toys just mentioned, Marx dinosaur toys are the most detailed, best crafted, and most desired among collectors and I’ll cover them in detail in a future post.
By the late 1960s, dinosaur toys were cooling off and monsters, G I Joe and space toys were captivating kids imaginations.
Thanks to popular kids shows like Land of the Lost, dinosaurs were back in the forefront by the early 1970s and many of the companies already discussed began re-issuing and expanding the prehistoric offerings to include cave people and Ice Age mammals.
Other companies near and dear to Monster Kids were in the dino toy business as well and are worth spending some time. Aurora Model Company, in particular, was very successful with their Prehistoric Scenes collection in the 1970s, which are near to my heart because I had the entire set when I was a wee lad. Additionally, in 1976 Mego released a collection of prehistoric people and animals based on the movie One Million Years B.C.
1990s Jurassic Park
While dinosaur toys never went away, the 1980s saw a shift toward dinosaurs recast as action figures and included in play sets that are outside the scope of Collecting Classic Monsters. But the release of Jurassic Park in 1993 resulted in a boom in reissues of classic dinosaur toys as well as Kenner‘s Jurassic Park collection — all of which we will explore further in the coming weeks.
So, lots of ground to cover in the coming weeks.
But I recognize that I can’t simply publish a post that lists what I plan to write about in the future and expect you to trust me with your valuable spare reading time. So let’s wrap up with an in-depth review of an interesting and highly collectible line of dinosaur toys from the 1950s that were offered as premiums inside cans of coffee from an Austrian company.
Linde Coffee Premiums
Austrian coffee company, Linde Coffee, offered soft plastic animals as premiums in their herbal coffee substitute which had become popular during World War II when regular coffee was scarce. Among the premiums were 8 prehistoric figures that are now highly collectible and really quite impressive in their design.
One of the most desirable aspects of Linde figures is the unlimited combination of colored marbling and many of these are quite handsome in coloring. The 1950’s issued figures range in colour from pale green through, orange, brown, red, blue, grey to black. More usually they’re a mix of darker green/grey. Each figure is marked with the animal name and company name, Linde, but they are not dated.
Like the figures in the Marx “Prehistoric Times” toy sets, the Linde animals were modeled after paintings by Charles Knight and Rudolph Zallinger’s ‘Age of Reptiles’ mural now housed at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The 110-foot-long and 16-foot-high painting chronicles the evolutionary history of the planet from 362 million years ago (the Devonian Period) to 65 million years ago (the Cretaceous). First engaged when he was a Yale Fine Arts student, Zallinger took more than 4 1/2 years to complete the project. The mural represents the best available scientific knowledge of the 1940s, and won Zallinger the 1949 Pulitzer Award for Painting.
Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 10
Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection
This is the final installment in my review of the 2014 nominees for the Best Toy, Model, Collectible category of the Rondo Hatton Horror Awards and we finish with the most classic of all monsters –the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters.
In 2013, Funko and Super 7 partnered to bring Kenner’s unreleased 1979 Alien prototypes to market. It wasn’t long afterwards that Funko announced a full “ReAction” line of retro 3 ¾” action figures based on characters from 1980’s cult, sci-fi and horror cinema: Escape From New York, Back to the Future, Terminator, a Rocketeer figure, iconic horror villains as well as the Universal Monsters. These news collections were designed as an homage to classic KennerStar Wars action figures of the 1970s and early 80s.
The retro style has been a bit controversial as these figures have been panned by some for the lack of detailed likeness to the actors/character. Funko even extended that feeling of “vintage-ness” through the packaging, which is the same size as the original Kenner packaging from the late ’70s /early ’80s. This has also met with some push-back by collectors who find the side-panel style packaging a challenge to display.
We did originally look towards the first run of Kenner Star Wars figures for inspiration, especially when we first got started, so that’s why you’ll see that our Terminator and Snake Plissken sort or mimic that “softness”, but as we went on, things got a little more detailed, a little closer to ROTJ figures, which you’ll see in the Universal Monsters and Horror lines. Basically, we think there’s a sweet spot somewhere in there that we keep trying to hit. But Kenner remains our main inspiration as opposed to, say, Remco or Mego. But they have their charm, too.
I buy that logic fully and think that they nailed the retro styling of the characters. I particularly like the packaging, though finding them in pristine condition on store pegs has also been a frustration for collectors.
There are a lot of great reviews on these figures already published and, frankly, from folks with greater expertise then me. For your reading please, here’s a great review from one of my go-to resources for collectible toys, Brian Heller at Plaid Stallions.
Here’s the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters collection, in order of theatrical appearance:
Funky ReAction Phantom of the Opera
from The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Funko ReAction Dracula
from Dracula (1931)
Funko ReAction Frankenstein’s Monster
from Frankenstein (1931)
Funko ReAction The Mummy
from The Mummy (1932)
Funko ReAction Invisible Man
from The Invisible Man (1933)
Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein
from The Bride of Frankenstein (1932)
Funko ReAction Wolf Man
from The Wolf Man (1941)
Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon
from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
3 ¾” action figures
Five points of articulation
bubble photo card
MSRP: $9.99 each
Like all variants, forced scarcity is either the bane or the blessing of the completist collector. The glow variants were limited to one figure per every six cases and the clear Invisible Man was an Entertainment Earth exclusive.
Where to Buy Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection
These figures are available near and far, so the real goal is finding them at the best price. They have been in the market long enough that they are widely available on secondary resale sites like eBay, but prices have increase because they are still available at retail prices in most stores. This makes it a buyers market for these figures.
While I appreciate that modern toy collectors have gotten used to incredible like-like sculpts, the fact that this line is inspired by 1970’s and 80’s toys is central to the design style. My Han Solo figure from Kenner didn’t really look like Harrison Ford in 1978 and I didn’t care; I loved it completely and totally.
I think the ReACTION line would have missed the mark if the figures were too realistic. They certainly wouldn’t have been as retro, so I’m fine with the less-then-realistic sculpts. In short, I think Funko nailed these figures.
My favorites are pretty much in line with my favorite monsters; The Creature and The Wolf Man were the two “must-own” figures for me. I was surprised by how much I liked the Invisible Man too. So far, those are the only three I’ve purchased, but this review has me re-considering the variants, at lease for the Gillman and Invisible Man.
These are priced really well. So well, in fact, that I got my kids a couple of the figures to open and —gasp– actually play with!
As a child of the 1970’s, who owned the original Kenner Star Wars figures, these bring back waves and waves of nostalgia. As an adult vintage monster toy collector, I love how these figures fit right into my collection. I don’t tend to buy many modern monster toys or collectibles, simply because I focus my limited collecting budget on high-grade vintage pieces.
So thumbs up on the figures from me all the way around–design, price, packaging — Funko nailed it. And with the recent announcement of the Jaws and Gremlins series, looks like we’ve got lots to look forward to from Funko ReAction.
Let me know your thoughts– do you like the retro style of the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters line or do you prefer the more sophisticated style of modern collectibles?
The Digital Clubhouse for Monster Kids & Collectors of Classic Monster, Retro Science Fiction and Vintage Fantasy Memorabilia