ARTICLE BY KRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ
I know it's a day late but I completely forgot about these toys until about 2 am just after watching the movie last night. So 17 years has passed since the release of the 1996 summer blockbuster Independence Day. I still remember it as if it was yesterday.
I went to see the movie on the first day it came out and I was blown away. I was 12 at the time and things such as plot holes and common sense never came into play for me when watching movies then. All I cared about was explosions and fuck off space ships.
State of the art Independence Day offers found inside the Independence day VHS.
After re-watching the film last night I must say, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yeah all the cast members are Hollywood rotten and the fact everyone just by sheer coincidence happen to all meet up at the most convenient of times is more than laughable, but it's just a summer block buster. The main appeal of this movie is the alien invasion and onscreen devastation of mankind. Like I said with Jurassic Park toys article (click here to read), if you only wanted to see this movie because you love the artistic work of Jeff Goldblum or some other none related reason other than aliens blowing shit up- then you are a cunt. Now lets get onto the toys.
The toys were made by a company called Trendsetters who also made the toys for that awful Godzilla movie from 1998. These toys were on the shelves when the movie came out but didn't stay there for much longer. Like I have said before, movie based action figures and especially ones from a summer blockbuster never have a very good shelf life. Depending on the movies popularity these toys will either fly off the shelves quick or will just remain there gathering dust. Independence Day maybe the finest example of a flash in the pan summer blockbuster. Although the movie did very well at the box office on release, the movie never had the same appeal as the Spielberg movies did which defined this genre. So on a whole this was not a very successful toy line.
The toy line consisted of a few of the main characters and a few different aliens. Each figure came free with a floppy disc which carried "mission data" whatever the fuck that was.
The alien figures are quite cool and their heads open up with a bulldog clip type mechanism which you can pop the little alien inside. From what I remember these figures were also a bit pricey which would also be a big factor in this lines downfall.
The Supreme Commander alien figure is the coolest of the bunch as he is a much larger toy and has lots of cool sound effects and gimmicks. The other Alien figures were very similar apart from having different paint jobs and floppy discs.
The Steven Miller action figure was the first ever action figure of Will Smith. Its a pretty cool figure and comes with lots of different guns and other cool shit.
Jeff Goldblum got immortalized in plastic once again, just 3 years after Jurassic park which was great news for him. Out of all the actors in the world to have 2 action figures, he's one of the last guys you would think of.
They never released the giant mother shop or the massive city destroying vessels we see in the movie. They did however release the small UFO as a toy in this line.
This toy was very expensive at the time and was also a big rip off. The box was over sized and gave the illusion of a decent sized toy, but when opened the space craft was only a tiny bit bigger than your hand.
As well as an LCD handheld game and an even worse outing on the Playstation 1 another toy was released in this line which is very valuable.
This toy is the handheld Area 51 micro battle play set. This was a Mighty Max styled hand held play set which included a few vehicles and other bits and bobs which you would lose within 3 minutes of opening the fucking thing. I have seen these sell boxed for over £100.
Although the toys themselves were of a decent standard they flopped majorly just like the movie's popularity. By February 1997 these toys could be found in the bargain bin area of the stores before being shipped off to fuck knows along with last summers Super Soakers and Sega Saturn consoles. When it came to liscensed movie toys Toy Story cleaned house and are still doing so to this day.