Sunday, June 28, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, June 29, 2009

In a way the Alien franchise is one of the great tragedies in Hollywood.  Long before the concept was reduced to the gratuitously bloody sophomoric splatter fest that was seen in Alien Vs. Predator Requiem, there were two great movies.  Many critics disagree about whether Alien (1979) or Aliens (1986) is the better film, but almost all rate these first two movies significantly higher than the subsequent sequels.

I tend to favor Aliens which expertly blends a military themed action movie with science fiction.  It is arguable that one of the qualities that makes both of the first two movies so believable-- and in turn so scary, is the art direction.  The design of the space craft and hardware is intricate and realistic.  I dare say that Aliens remains one of the best designed SciFi movies in history.  The machines, weapons and vehicles in the movie are not revolutionary, but instead, evolutionary of what weapons and vehicles look like today.   SciFi fans around the world recognize this and there have been many fantastic toys and models of Aliens vehicles, creatures and weapons throughout the years.  Some of the most spectacular examples have come out of Japan. You will have to see those in a later installment of The Toy of the Week because today I present an example of a toy that only saw extremely limited release here in the United States.

In the late 1990's Galoob toys launched a line of Alien Action Fleet vehicles.  Action Fleet were small vehicles that had opening hatches, cockpits, and detailed interiors.  Galoob previously had a successful Star Wars and Star Trek Action Fleet series.  Curiously the Alien line never saw a major release in toy stores.  You could only get them by ordering them directly from Galoob or in a few select comic shops.  The vehicles now fetch close to $100.00 on EBay.  There were three Alien vehicles in the line; the space craft Narcissus from the first movie, the Drop Ship and the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) from the second movie.

The APC is the most scale vehicle in the line.  It gives a relatively accurate idea of how big the vehicle wold be in proportion to a person.  It came with two small figures  and a detailed interior with opening hatches and other movable parts.  But don't take my word for it.  Head on over to the vehicles gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and tour the Action Fleet Aliens APC for yourself.

Keep your steam up.

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