Kenner 19 Alien

The 18" Kenner Alien.

The Kenner Alien figure was a 18" figure of the Alien from the film of the same name, released in 1979. The figure has become infamous for the fact it was recalled shortly after release under pressure from parents who criticised the sale of a children's toy that was based on a violent, R-rated horror movie. Although incredibly detailed for a children's toy, the figure was also poorly constructed and liable to breakage.[1] As a result of these factors, the toy has gone on to become one of the most sought-after Alien movie collectibles,[1] with mint, unboxed examples selling for as much as $1000.[2]


Kenner originally made prototypes of a 3 3/4" Alien figure, but discarded these in favor of producing a much larger 18" figure.[2] The figure was sold with an instruction sheet that documented the mechanism for activating the spring-loaded inner jaw (triggered by a lever beneath the creature's head), the glow in the dark sections beneath the carapace, and the limited poseability of the Alien's wrists and tail. On the opposite side, the sheet included a poster with images of the Alien, Dallas peering at the Pilot, the Facehugger on Kane, the Nostromo hypersleep bay, Ash, Ripley with Jones, and the Nostromo crew approaching an open Egg.[1]

The figure did not prove to be a popular seller when first released. Parents deemed the toy too frightening or ugly for young children — even the images of the figure on its own packaging were decidedly threatening — and since those children weren't especially aware of the movie in the first place (chiefly due to it being an R-rated feature they could not go to see), demand was low. The result was that few were actually sold. Pressure from angered parents eventually led to Kenner recalling the toy.

Besides being rare, the Kenner Alien was also a somewhat poorly made toy and as such, pristine copies today are even rarer. The back spines were flimsy and often broke off, particularly the central spine at the top, while the tail was attached by a sharp metal ring inside the body which had a tendency to sever the plastic anchor.[1] The translucent dome that covers the Alien's head could come off and was frequently lost as a result. The inner jaw likewise had a tendency to fall off and become misplaced.[1] The figures arms are attached by rubber rings that also become brittle with age, occasionally leaving the Alien an amputee.

The typically poor condition of the Alien has resulted in mint boxed figures selling for as much as $1000,[2] while even incomplete, damaged figures have been known to sell for upwards of $300.[1] Replacement domes for the creature's head have been sold for as much as $100 by themselves.[2]