Archive for the 'Alien Trilogy' Category

Earl Norem’s Giant Alien Illustration—Restored!

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As I’ve said before, Earl Norem’s work on HG’s Alien license, including the target from the Alien Blaster Giant Target Set and this, the 36″ tall jigsaw puzzle, is some of the finest in pop culture illustration. Artist Stephen Kick recently bought a copy of the puzzle, scanned every single piece into Photoshop, assembled the pieces, cleaned and restored them, and gave us a big, beautiful poster. The before and after images are above.

Go to Steve’s post to see more, including some GIFs of the entire process—it took him eight hours. And maybe drop him a line of thanks. The puzzle is not easy to come by, and, because of the size, it’s almost impossible to see quality images of the whole thing. Now, everyone gets to enjoy Norem’s work up close without spending a small fortune.

While you’re at it, check out Steve’s many other incredible designs, like this custom Boba Fett blaster, for instance.

Alien Promotional Matchbooks, 1979

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Please do not send matches. Did you know that Chevy Chase wore the Nostromo cap (worn by Brett) in Fletch?

From the collection of Gregg Koenig.

Alien Outline Jigsaw Puzzle (HG Toys, 1979)

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Brilliant. See more jigsaw puzzles and read about Alien‘s extensive merchandising campaign here.

Halloween, 1979: Alien

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Elementary school kid is wearing the Ben Cooper Alien costume! As in the Xenomorph from the movie Alien that was rated `X’ in the UK and yet spawned a massive amount of merchandise marketed to small children, a campaign I talk about here and here. File under: when Halloween wasn’t banned because “costumes and parading increases apprehension in an increasing number of students who are presently experiencing anxiety issues.”

(Photos via the Miami Herald)

1984 TV Guide Ad for Alien

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Could ABC not have put together a better ad for the first network showing of a horror masterpiece? Or did they not bother because half of the movie had to be cut? What’s with that shitty tagline, ABC? The original is one of the greatest ever devised! Why does Tom Skerritt look like Jesus? Why does John Hurt look like he’s humping the control panel? Why does Sigourney have a perm, and why is she holding James Bond’s gun from Moonraker?

(Image via Platypus Comix)

Alien Jigsaw Puzzle (HG Toys, 1979)

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One in a series of the bleakest jigsaw puzzles ever produced on planet Earth. Others in this format included the Space Jockey and the Nostromo in flight, but the real prize is the 250-piece, 36″ tall beauty featuring art by Earl Norem, who also illustrated the unforgettable Alien “target” from the Alien Blaster Giant Target Set (see it here on an episode of Toy Hunters).

The marketing of Alien was one of the strangest, most decadent moments in the history of toy licensing, and one of the greatest kid moments in the history of kid-dom. 20th Century Fox foolishly sold the license across the board expecting the film to come back with a PG rating, and ended up having to sell parents on one of the most violent movies ever made, and arguably the most terrifying.

I found a blurb in Starlog (below) detailing the scope (but not the extent) of the merchandising campaign. The only products I haven’t seen are the Don Post mask and the pajamas (!). One of the Roach t-shirt transfers is here, the Ben Cooper costume is here, and you can see the Kenner-produced “world’s ugliest doll” (a.k.a. the greatest action figure ever made) here.

Alien Merch Starlog July 1979

Dodge ‘Alien’ Custom Van, 1981

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How am I expected to quit my custom van obsession when I keep finding specimens like this one? It’s like it emerged from a slimy, leathery egg and attached itself to my face.

(Image via Cosmo Lutz/Flickr)

Ben Cooper Alien Costume (1979)

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This actually happened. See more views at Erick’s Wonderful Wonderblog.

Kenner’s 18″ Alien Action Figure (1979)

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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.

Alien T-Shirt (1979)

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It sparkles!


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