R-Rated Movies, Unrated Toys

Walk into any comic book store and you’re likely to find toys inspired by R-rated material. There’s no shortage of Jason Vorhees and Leatherface collectibles; some of the action figures derived from Todd McFarlane’s Spawn boast such gruesome features as removable intestines. This may be commonplace now, but there was a time when the adult collector’s market hadn’t yet materialized, and making a toy for the kiddies based on such patently “mature” fare caused a ruckus. The first (talking!) Freddy Krueger doll had to be pulled from the shelves after some parents complained. There was even a somewhat recent stink about an Austin Powers doll that inquired, “Do I make you horny baby?” But the very first of these questionable play things was the vicious-looking alien doll that Kenner manufactured in conjunction with Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien. A vintage commercial after the jump.

According to Geoff Bucher of the LA Times, widespread parental outrage had this toy yanked almost immediately—which of course makes it quite the collector’s item today. Roger Ebert went so far as to condemned it on national TV. We were all so innocent then, in 1979.

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