When it comes to merchandise for 1979’s masterpiece Alien. I feel the epitome of surprise comes from the fact that Kenner released an action figure. While Star Wars showed that kids loved science fiction toys – Alien was a horror film set in space. To say nothing that it was rated R, so it was kind of crazy that Kenner made an 18-inch figure in the first place.
That is kind of a well known product. I certainly recall a bit of outrage from parent groups. As well as Siskel and Ebert showing off the figure – they too were dismayed and a little upset that Kenner made them. Of course now days those figures are highly sought after and demand a pretty penny from collectors.
As I’ve already said – I knew about the 18-inch action figure. What I didn’t know was just how far Kenner went with the marketing of the film. Releasing an Alien board game designed for children ages 7 and up?!
Players pick their favorite color, collecting three astronauts and one Xenomorph matching their color.
The Player of course is trying to lead their astronauts to the Nostromo’s escape shuttle – the Narcissus. Which is located in the center of the game board.
Fun fact. In the late great Dan O’Bannon’s original screenplay, the shuttle went by an entirely different name. It was simply called the Snark 2. The shuttle being christened Narcissus was thanks to the rewrite by David Giler and Walter Hill. Make sure to check out the really nicely painted images – scenes from Ridley Scott’s masterpiece.
Naturally a Player attempts to guide their Alien towards the opposing Player’s astronauts. Hunting them down one by one – obviously a Xenomorph can’t harm an astronaut of the same color. Thankfully there are some safe spots located on the board where one can hide from the intergalactic menace. Bear in mind the opposing Players are attempting the very same action.
Now that you’ve seen a bit of the Alien board game – why not check out this review by Think Bolt?
In addition you will get a close-up view of some of the fantastic artwork on the game board. Moreover I should add this looks in fact to be a pristine version of the game!
You probably have already noticed from various online sources that today is in fact National Batman Day. So why not join us on the The Retroist as we dance with the Devil by the pale moonlight and see what the late great Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel felt about Tim Burton’s Batman?
Was Ebert being fair in his criticism with Batman?
Yes and no. My takeaway is that Ebert didn’t hate the movie. He just couldn’t get past some of the story elements like Vicki Vale, played by Kim Basinger, not kind of freaking out more when she discovers that Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) is Batman. Not enough at least to enjoy it as much as Gene Siskel did in this case.
Here though is why I respectfully disagree with Ebert’s argument:
Early on in the movie, Bruce demonstrates some rather odd behavior, right? After spending the night together Vicki wakes up to see Bruce “exercising” and looking very much like a hanging bat.
Vicki also spots Bruce on the streets of Gotham visiting the spot where his parents were murdered in crime alley. Something that causes her to research what happened to him as a kid – to which even the character of Knox mentions that he thinks Bruce is messed up in the head.
Then of course there is Bruce’s confrontation with the Joker in Vicki’s apartment. Which results in Vicki losing a perfectly good vase and watching Bruce get gunned down by the jealous Joker. Then he ends up literally leaving the apartment without her seeing him…probably climb out the window.
Vicki is a reporter besides being a well known photographer – she is not stupid. It only makes sense that she would put all of those pieces together and come to the conclusion Bruce is also Batman.
Plus I bet there was a scene before Alfred escorts her down to the Batcave where she grills him about knowing Batman’s true identity. Probably a threat about revealing who Wayne really is if Alfred doesn’t let her see him.
So today why not take a moment and join in on the celebration of National Batman Day? Re-watch 1989’s Batman or one of the other films – or better yet pick up and spend some time reading some Batman comics?
Who knows…maybe you should keep an eye on the night sky?