January 03, 2008

Ugliest Toy in History?

"aired on local Chicago TV on Thursday, November 22nd 1979" according to the youtube poster. Being one of the two kids in my fifth grade class who had seen "Alien" in the theater, I absolutely lusted after this cuddly toy, designed by heroin-addicted occultist H.R. Giger. But I was too old for such things. I got a biology kit for christmas instead. Like the monster scenes models, these currently sell for hundreds on the auction block, and there are hobbyists who fabricate and sell parts to finish out incomplete figures. Check out the hissing little bastard in the opening scene... if my son did that, I'd take him in for rabies shots.


Jen said...

I was 8 when I saw it - in the theatre, with my parents. And I loved it! I begged my grandmother for this thing for my birthday that year. I can remember standing in KB Toys while she asked me "You really want this ugly thing?". My eyes must have said it all, becuase she, bless her heart, bought it on the spot and we've been happy together ever since.

Lance Ehlers said...

In a roundabout way, we are discussing what is appropriate for children. I was probably about 10 when I saw this on Dr. Steve's VCR. It freaked me out, but it also sparked my imagination and expanded my mind in its own way. I certainly wasn't damaged by the experience. I watched the final cut of Blade Runner (also an R-rated film) with my 10-year old niece over the holiday, and I had to explain some things to her, but she was into it and I don't feel guilty about it. I'd much rather that she saw Alien or Blade Runner, something which presents a compelling imagined idea and generates lots of questions for her to think about than subject her to a hyper-kinetic movie about an animated, shit-eating squirrel or any of the other crap which is allegedly age-appropriate, but which is mainly aimed at getting kids like her to purchase products.

I also think that life as a kid is more interesting when you have experienced a few genuinely scary stories. The Brothers Grimm knew this. So did the ancient Greeks. Kids are WAY more savvy than adults generally want to admit.

Having said that, the hissing boy is inappropriate at ANY age.

Mr. Walters said...

Alien would have been a lot better if the alien actually talked with the voice... "Another triumph for Alien."

Lance Ehlers said...

...Yes, and ideally, the words would be spoken with the voice of Zelda Rubenstein.