Thursday, December 17, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, December 14, 2009

Last week I featured a toy from Galoob that flew under the controversy radar and highlighted some of the most shocking moments from the classic sci-fi/horror film Alien.  Toy history has had countless scenarios of recalls based on safety issues ranging from a baby doll that could "eat" but wound up eating a little girls hair-- nearly scalping her in the process, to an infamous Cylon Raider toy which fired tiny plastic missiles and nearly blinded a young boy, or even the lead-based paint controversy of recent years.  It's much "easier" for a toy to find itself immersed in controversy based on safety concerns.  Much more rare are the examples of toys that made headlines because they embody questionable subject matter.  Generally toys like this need to be targeted buy an individual or organization that carries enough weight to get the public to vote with their wallets.  In the case of the Freddy Krueger doll that I mentioned last week, a Christian advocacy group known as the National Federation for decency had parents boycotting toy stores which ultimately lead to the toys discontinuation in a surprising one week time span.

In the mid 90's toy maker Galoob boldly flew in the face of previous controversies and produced a handful of toys based on the 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien  This week I continue featuring these toys with a really nice model of the space craft Narcissus.  In the movie a commercial space towing vessel called the Nostromo landed on a remote planet after receiving a radio transmission.  Their efforts to investigate the transmission ultimately results in nearly the entire crew of the Nostromo being exterminated by a hostile parasitic alien organism.   Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley is the sole survivor-- but not before engaging in a final showdown with the alien in the Nostromo's escape craft-- a small vessel named the Narcissus.

I have to hand it to the toy designers at Galoob.  This toy thoughtfully recreates the classic final showdown between Ripley and the alien down to some very small details.  For example Ripley's cat "Jones" is finely rendered in a small carrier inside the detailed interior of this toy.  Jones the cat was the only other survivor of the alien attack and went on to be featured in the sequel.

There are many other details to enjoy so please investigate the Alien Action Fleet Narcissus in the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.

Full steam ahead...

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. This post brings back memories. I am the industrial designer who designed this toy for Galoob. It was a cross between a playset and a vehicle toy. I watched scenes from the movie over and over to find scenes I could adapt and recreate into a mechanical toy. I found the scene where the hidden alien pops out of the tech-filled wall ideal and recreated it here for this actiofleet scaled toy. We could't make the toy totally accurate with Ripley wearing undies in the cryo chamber since this is supposed to be a G rated toy. Ha-ha! Glad you could tell that's the kitty. The rear door opens to eject the Alien into deep space too.

    Thanks for posting!

    - David Shaw