Of all John Carpenter’s films, They Live may be the most riveting. It’s one of those uses of science fiction to advance social commentary, and it did it like nothing before. When you think of science fiction movies, the big franchises probably come to mind first, but then there are those gold nuggets that had a mid-level of success that reflect unique, special visions. Films like Total Recall and They Live built fan followings over time. Right before They Live star Roddy Piper’s death, he was in discussions to attend a local event, but it wasn’t meant to be. But 31 years after the film’s release, who wouldn’t be excited for Super7 to get their mitts on the They Live license for some retro Kenner-style action figures?
We first previewed the cards for the figures coming out of this year’s New York Toy Fair. The slated figures were for Roddy’s lead badass and a male and female alien (the movie and Super7 call them ghouls, but we all know they were aliens). The figure of Roddy was destined to be one of the coolest figures ever, based on the great prototype displayed at Toy Fair. Unfortunately, the incredible sculpt for the Roddy Piper figure (his character was called Nada) didn’t make it to the production stage for failure to secure the image or similar rights and so the two alien figures are the totality of what is being released for the film. (Keith David’s character Frank would have made a great figure, too).
In the film, aliens have arrived and coerce some humans to sell out–to allow the aliens to dig their claws into society and take over. A small group has discovered the truth, and its band of resistance fighters uses specially developed sunglasses and contact lenses to identify the aliens among us. The show’s heroes acquire the glasses and learn that it’s not only the people hiding secrets, but an entire world of subliminal messaging has lulled the bulk of society into complacency.
This week Super7 previewed a variant for the male “ghoul” (which may be available for a single or both of the “ghoul” figures, but we’ve only seen the male so far). And its packaging may be Super7’s best retro “ReAction” packaging yet. So what’s so great about the variant figure?
The package is completely re-designed to be viewed as if you, the unwitting consumer, are wearing the special sunglasses from the movie, including the figure and accessories molded and painted in greyscale instead of color as found in the standard release.
So no Roddy, but this is a great figure packaging design for the release.
Keep watching the Super7 website for updated information on ordering the variant, and a list of stores that carry the ReAction action figure line to be able to purchase it. Super7 announced the variant will be available for Black Friday, and we’re expecting this to be in limited quantities.