Life In Plastic: RETRO REVIEW: Monster In My Pocket Space Aliens

Ah, Monster In My Pocket.  One of the greatest toylines of my youth, and the direct inspiration for my crazy love of mythology and folklore.  Aaaaand then it went off a cliff.  After three (maybesorta four) series of mythical creatures, MIMP took a nose dive into bug puns, badly-sculpted dinosaurs, space aliens, wrestlers, sports monsters, and ninjas.  I mean, just look at the Worst Spinosaurus Ever:

Well, admittedly, it is a cool toy, terrible though it is.  And that’s the thing – the “bad” MIMP figures were actually kind of fun.  And for this review we’ll take a look at the last “classic” set, the Space Aliens.

 

After these guys, they went into wrestlers, sports dudes… yeah, those figures.  The Space Aliens were the last to follow the classic numbering as well as point values (sorta – the wrestlers and ninjas used points, but on a different scale), with point totals going as high as 500, miles above any others that came beforehand.  The figures were sculpted in hard plastic and came in neon yellow, orange, blue, green, and pink, with individual figures showing up in two, three, or four colors each.  There were also only sixteen of them, fewer than any other series of MIMPs.

 

Each figure’s point value was hidden behind a heat-sensitive rubsign, much like the Battle Beasts who came efore.  They also had factions, either the good guys (sword) or bad guys (skull), though that hardly mattered in the long run.  The designs were quite original, with many reminiscent of some old-school surreal sci-fi art.  There really aren’t many toys with these kinds of strange alien designs, and that makes the Space Aliens worth it in their own right.  Even though the figures came after MIMP ditched the mythology that made it great, theseare still good figures in their own right.  So let’s take a look!  We’ll go by point value and faction, starting with the highest andgoing down.

 

SPACE DINOSAUR

Space Dinosaur has one of the greatest names ever.  And the concept is certainly there, though this is one of the sloppier figures in this series.  He could be a little cooler, I admit, though it’s not a bad figure.

 

VENUS BOOBYTRAPPER

Yeah, that name is unfortunate.  There’s no denying that.  And even though it’s “just” a plant monster, the design is creatie enough to stand on its own.  I love the sheer personality that two simple black dots for eyes give it.  Paint on these figures is very basic, and sometimes sloppy, but it works well in adding a little oomph to the alien designs.

 

FLOYD THE ANDROID

Despite being a fat, toadlike fellow, Floyd the Android is a surprisingly creative design.  It comes with the art style – there’s just something about the proportions, textures, and general design that makes this figure fantastic.  It’s hard to describe it when something just looks good, but this is one of those figures.  Floyd looks like he stepped out of a deranged comic strip.

 

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK HOLE

If this were in green, it’d be a Kang/Kodos knockoff.  In orange, it’s still the same… HAH! But anyway, the design is basic sci-fi, but there are strangely few toys out there like it.  Creature from the Black Hole is full of personality, and even though his big eye is unpainted, he looks great.

 

BLASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

My personal least favorite, Blaster of the Universe is the most human figure in the line.  An obvious pun on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, this figure came out something like a dacade after MOTU went off the air, and even after The New Adventures of He-Man ended.  So it’s kind of dated, is what I’m saying.  Anyway, in the interests of fairness, it’s not a bad figure.  Personally, I’d name him Blast Hardcheese.

 

METEOR MONSTER

Back in the Gorelords review, I pointed out one figure’s resemblance to Eyedol from Killer Instinct.  Well, Meteor Monster is Eyedol+1!  A three-headed cyclops, the presence of his hand grenade hints at technological prowess, though he still overall looks pretty savage.  Once again, though, it’s a technically simplistic design implemented well into a unique figure.

 

FULL MOON FREAK

It’s a sace werewolf – with four arms!  And some pretty funky proportions, too, which means that it’s rarely identified as a wolf on other sites.  Full Moon Freak is an awesome monster, and one of the ones collectors first think about when they picture the Space Aliens.  He’s entirely different from Floyd the Android, but fits in the same line.  The figure is a great example of how to exagerrate and alter details in order to make something comparatively commonplace like a werewolf into a unique space alien.

 

STAR SCORPIAN

Okay, aside from the terrible spelling (scorpion Scorpion SCORPION YOU MORONS!!!), this is one of my favorite figures.  It’s an insanely surreal monstrosity, only resembling a scorpion in the barest of ways (it has a tail), it’s a fantastic example of just how creative these creatures can be.  Why even notice Blaster of the Universe when you’ve got Star ScorpianScorpion?

 

NOVA SCORCHER

He’s a fiery dude!  Okay, Nova Scorcher is up there with Blaster of the Universe as kind of a bland design, though I can’t fault it for detail on the sculpt.  As smooh as some of the other figures may seem, this one certainly looks like fire, and kinda reminds me of the bad guy in those Kool-Aid Man comics they had years ago.

 

SATURN SCUMSUCKER

The only true quadruped of the group, the Saturn Scumsucker is a cybernetic combination of a lizard-toad-hippo-whatever and a vacuum cleaner!  Seriously.  Once again, the design sounds simple at first, though its execution is pretty good.  I especially love the handlebars and sadde, even though there is nobody sculpted to actually ride on its back.

 

JUMBO JUPITER JUNKEATER

I love this guy.  He’s just so insne – the Jumbo Jupiter Junkeater looks like he stepped out of a particularly deranged cartoon, and is like almost no other minifigure out there!  It’s odd the way they used his mouth as negative space, opening into whatever is behind him, but it doesn’t hurt the ultimate effect.  Though the lame paint on the tongue, which only looks good from directly head-on, does hurt the effect a bit.

 

SUN POISONER

Although it’s “just a gargoyle,” Sun Poisoner is very well-sculpted and filled with personality.  Whether you want to view it as an alien or not, it’s a great figure, in a pose filled with energetic menace, and has gotten plenty of attention just as-is in my toy collection.

 

LASER BLASTER

A “basic robot,” Laser Blaster has some interesting things going on in texture and proportions.  It’s been said a bunch of times in this review, but a huge part of this series’ charm is taking simple ideas like “A robot with guns,” and making them something completely unique in the realm of toys.  It’s the curves, really.  They give it sort of a gray alien look, kinda.

 

MARTIAN MANIAC

Three-armed and with an upside-down head, the Martian Maniac is one of the more complicated ideas in the line – he’s insane!  If his head were right-side up, he’d be more-or-less standard (discounting the tripod leg thing), but having his head flipped around just makes him so strange.  This is also one of the figures that exists in four out of five colors.

 

ASTEROID ATTACK ANDROID

Actually, this robot is more “normal” than Laser Blaster – compare them.  Although it’s not a bad robot by any means, and is pretty clearly armed to the teeth, it just lacks the strange surreal weirdness of other figures in this series.  That said, it’s one of the more-detailed in the line.

 

RADIOACTIVE URANIAN RODENT

And finally, we have – wait, this is a rodent?  Uh, okay.  ignoring the fact that he’s not remotely anything like a rodent, the Uranian Attack Rodent is one of the weirdest, most surreal figures in the line, up there with Jumbo Jupiter Junkeater or Sun Scorpiaon.  If you want to show why thse figures are great, you don’t have to go much further than this one.  It seems to be two creatures, with a smaller blobby one rising out of its back (and wielding a knife!).  Sure, there’s no rhyme or reason to it, but that’s why it’s great.  The figure also has more mass than many of the others in this series, not flattening or hollowing out the scupt in the way some others do.

 

And thus, there we are – one of the ignored later series of Monsters In My Pocket.  The Space Aliens suffer from not following the line’s mythical pedigree, but they are surprisingly creative on their own.  Their specific old-school surreal alien design is nearly Barlowe-esque in some ways, and that makes them more than worth a spot on the toy shelf.  don’t let their pedigree make you undervalue them – they’re great!

 

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3 responses to “Life In Plastic: RETRO REVIEW: Monster In My Pocket Space Aliens

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