Kenner’s 18″ Alien Action Figure (1979)













Definitely the greatest action figure ever made, and possibly the greatest toy ever made, despite its notorious fragility. I talk about toys based on R rated features of the ’70s and early ’80s here, where I first mentioned Kenner’s magnum opus. The figure didn’t sell well due to price point and parental puzzlement, but everyone I knew wanted one. (The toy reportedly lost Kenner “more than $1 million and was produced for only one year.”)

All it took to draw the kids in was a good trailer (Alien had one of the best), solid lead up press in the genre magazines (Starlog, etc.), and eye-catching merchandise. (If you don’t already have it, go get a copy of Alien: The Illustrated Story, the 1979 graphic novel by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson originally published by Heavy Metal magazine).

All of the photos are from eBay (item sold for $521.77), with the exception of the instruction sheet (itself a masterpiece), which I found at Gregg Koenig’s Flickr.

9 Responses to “Kenner’s 18″ <em>Alien</em> Action Figure (1979)”

  1. 1 narvo October 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Dood. I’m totally speechless.

  2. 2 Will E. October 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Still have mine, altho’ its arms have fallen off and the dome is long gone. I can remember a department store’s toy shelves full of these, marked down to like $5, which is how I was able to convince my parents to buy one for me! They’d seen the movie in the theater and deemed it appropriate for family movie night when it premiered on cable in ’79 or ’80.

    • 3 2W2N October 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      God, our parents are awesome. I must have seen it on ON-TV around the same time. My mom would always threaten to cover my eyes during the “scary parts” of whatever horror flick I wanted to watch, but when they came she was too busy covering her own eyes. Eventually she just gave up and left me to my own devices.

  3. 4 Soppdrake November 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Still have mine, but the left arm is “loose” due to that the rubber attachment has broken within the model. The arm is attached with blue-tac. 🙂 Still have the dome, though, but not the box, unfortunately!

  4. 5 Richard Russell April 21, 2017 at 2:56 am

    I have one the dome is missing but everything else is in great shape. Back in 1985 we had a real bad flood and a few days later I was walking my dog at the river taking pictures of the damage. My dog found the alien toy at the rivers edge. I thought he had found a dead monkey or something but as he brought it back to me what a surprise to find it was the alien toy. That’s why I don’t have the dome or the box.

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