First of all, before you ask, there was not a line of action figures made to coincide with the release of John Carpenter‘s classic sci-fi chiller The Thing back in the summer of 1982. It was too much of a disaster in the eyes of critics, audiences, and the executives at Universal Pictures at the time for one to even be considered. By then creating a toy line as part of the merchandising blitz for a major studio genre release was all part of the game. Planet of the Apes broke the mold, but Star Wars and Superman made toys a vital part of a studio blockbuster’s ancillary revenue. Even movies that made less money (and lost more money) and had a lesser cultural impact than The Thing got their own line of poseable figures, playsets, plastic vehicles, and guns that fired objects that weren’t supposed to be ingested but more often than not ended up lodged in some kid’s tracheo. I still recall seeing Judge Dredd figures hanging sadly off of sagging metal hooks in the toy section of my neighborhood Dollar General as late as 1998.
But someone with a little imagination and a ton of free time decided to make a phony commercial for a non-existent The Thing tie-in toy line made by Hasbro, complete with cheesy voiceovers, gory clips from the actual movie, music borrowed from the Spatterhouse video game, and some of the most awesome action figures never defecated into existence.
You can watch the video here below.
The creator of this clip fuzzed up the video to make it era-appropriate and even threw in one of those hilarious animated public service announcements about the evils of smoking crack as a bumper. I couldn’t imagine this commercial airing on any network during Saturday morning cartoons – the switchboards would be flooded with angry calls – but in a more enlightened universe I could.