With the timely arrival of Robert Rodriguez’s Predators hitting theaters this Friday, I thought it might be fun to take another trip through the Toychest Time Machine for a look at some of the merchandise spawned by the original film’s debut (and subsequent sequel).
You see, long before Hollywood shat out the insulting Aliens vs Predator (take your pick, they both suck), the only way fans could ever see a deep space smackdown was through the power of imagination… and action figures. Bad-ass, goo-spewing, tendril whipping action figures.
Released by Kenner in the early 90s, both Aliens and Predator had their own line of toys that were specific to its franchise PLUS a few bonus packs that included a character from both the Alien and Predator universes. From what I can recall the figures were pretty detailed and well-painted, not to mention that they featured a variety of kick-ass gimmicks such as “Spiked Tail” Predator, “Renegade” Predator and “Scorpion” Alien to name a few.
In particular, my favorites of the series were the “Wild Boar” Alien who had spikes that flipped out on its head like a porcupine and a “deluxe” Space Marine named A.T.A.X. (see above) who I don’t recall from any of the films. A.T.A.X. came with a really awesome Alien-inspired black/copper exoskeleton that meant (at least in my imagination) he could be used as a double agent for either side.
While the Predator line had some interesting additions as well (there was one that glowed in the dark) they were definitely less varied in their appearance. I can still remember having a blast with these guys as a kid, especially when you tossed in a Ninja Turtle or two and “bear-hugging” action Hulk Hogan. Now that’s a Royal Rumble.