Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: 1992 Kenner Aliens Toyline/Operation: Aliens

As it's Aliens Day (4/26), I thought we'd take a look at the slightly more obscure end of the Aliens spectrum. In 1991, Fox pitched an idea for a new Saturday morning cartoon series based around Aliens that would also lead into Alien 3 by the name of Operation: Aliens. It would have featured the cast of the Aliens movie, including those who had died, going around various planets and killing Xenomorphs. An unknown Korean studio was bought in to animate it, but sadly the project was already cancelled by the time the 1992 Kenner toyline had been bought into production and released. Many of the early toys in the line still featured the Operation: Aliens name before subsequent released changed the name back to Aliens.

The line was spread out over 4 waves. The above picture lists most of the toys that came out during the line. The human figures were 5 inches tall and featured standard articulation for a 1990s toy. They also came with large weapons and accessories not seen in the movies, as well as looks. They also feature generic likenesses of the cast. as they had refused to sign off their likenesses to Kenner. 

Series 1 contained:
  • Ripley
  • Hicks
  • Bishop
  • Apone
  • Drake
  • Bull Alien (with Facehugger)
  • Scorpion Alien (with Facehugger)
  • Gorilla Alien (with Facehugger)
  • Alien Queen
  • Power Loader

Series 2 contained:
  • ATAX (with Queen Costume)
  • Rhino Alien
  • Snake Alien
  • Mantis Alien
  • Queen Facehugger
  • Flying Queen
  • Alien Vs Predator set
  • Evac Fighter
  • Stinger XT-37
  • Electronic Hovertread

Series 3 was 3 figures of Vasquez, O'Malley and Hudson. Their retail experience was UK only, as the other waves hadn't sold that well in the United States. The pegs were full of human marine figures. Kids were more interested in the new and exciting Aliens. So in all, 36 cases were shipped back to Kenner's China division. 24 cases were known to have been destroyed, leaving the other 12 cases's existence and whereabouts a mystery. Now because of these figures being UK only, they are more collectable and rarer. New Alien figures included Wild Boar Alien, King Alien, Killer Crab Alien, Panther Alien and Night Cougar Alien.

Series 4 was the final wave to be released. They dropped the concept of the marine figure as they weren't selling. They focused solely on new Xenomorphs. These included an Arachnid Alien and a Hive playset with ooze. With declining sales, they canned the line in 1996

In 1998, 2 years after the demise of the Kenner toyline, they relaunched it with a series called Aliens: Hive Wars. It was sold only at Kay-Bee stores in the United States. It featured a number of figures which included:
  • Hicks
  • Integer 3
  • Hive Warrior Alien
  • Acid Alien
  • Night Recon Predator
  • Warrior Predator
The blurb on the back of the card reads: The Aliens Hive Planet- a new Predator hunting ground for deadly alien xenopods! The heroic Marines, a team of Cyborg-tech warriors, have volunteered to destroy the Alien menace before the entire universe is demolished. It's the galaxy's last chance for survival as the vicious Aliens, ferocious Predators and fearless Marines clash in the ultimate battle of domination!

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Aliens movie, Kenner released another line that was sold exclusively at Kay-Bee stores, this time called Aliens vs. Marines. The line consisted of:
  • Hicks vs. King Alien
  • Drake vs. Arachnid Alien
  • Hudson vs. Scorpion Alien
  • Vasquez vs. Night Cougar Alien
  • O'Malley vs. Queen Facehugger.
So there we have it, there's our look at the 6 waves of figures released for the 1992-1996 toy line. If anyone out there is interested in collecting any of these figures, they do start at around £5 per carded figure for the Aliens and going further up for the playsets, rarer and larger figures, especially carded and complete.