Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I have been living in Salem since August and visiting the Liberty Tree Mall fairly frequently since our arrival. However, we usually only visited the large storefronts like Target and Kohl’s, and scarcely realized there was an entire indoor mall behind them. We finally went in yesterday and, in the course of my wanderings, I came across a store called “Little Shop of Treasures.”
“Treasures” is stretching it, of course. The place is a junk shop with a rather high ratio of toys. There’s the usual assortment of crappy stuff: Hasbro’s goofy G.I. Joe figures from the early ’90s, figures from the Flintstones movie and Warriors of Virtue, Biblical action figures, orange-carded Star Wars figures, and so forth. But I managed to hunt up the strangest, lamest thing in there and was promptly overcharged three bucks for it. (The owners seemed nice enough, though.)
It was called the “Nordic Alien,” and upon reading the “collectible trading card” on the back–which told me these aliens were often referred to as “blondes” or “talls”–I initially thought it was some sort of gag toy–like “blondes are so dumb/hot it’s like they’re from another planet” or something. But no, apparently Nordic Aliens are a real thing–well, as “real” as any other UFO conspiracy theory. Seems kind of racist, doesn’t it? Even the aliens gotta be white, apparently.
A little ‘net research reveals there was a whole line of these “figures” (and even a few actually-kind-of-neat spaceships). They were made in 1996, so the toys were clearly meant to cash in on the whole paranormal/aliens craze inspired by The X-Files. Why Shadowbox Collectibles ever thought someone would want a figure of an alien that’s basically a Norwegian chick in a jumpsuit is one question; how they got away with producing something so cheap and ugly is another one entirely.
Seriously, this thing looks like someone took a 3cm gaming miniature painted by a four-year-old and blew it up to five inches. It feels like it’s made of resin, i.e., very cheap. There’s no articulation and it can’t even stand up on its own, hence the stand.
The X-Files mania of the 1990s was responsible for a few cool toys, such as the Roswell Alien from Street Players. But this…thing is a wonderfully dreadful example of the other side of that phen0menon.
As I mentioned, the thing came with a “collectible trading card” (which I wanted to scan, but our scanner is on the fritz). Collectible trading cards for things other than sports were all the rage in the 1990s–I remember I had a lot of Marvel Comics cards–but I pity the poor child who actively sought the Alien Series cards. Collectible? I suppose. But trading? I guarantee you there was never a single situation in which one kid traded one Alien Series card for another. Never.
The question is, what do I do with this thing now? No force on Earth could get me to display it–to validate its existence and create any sort of association with me. I might be able to use it to prop up a chair leg, I guess.