Back in 1979 20th Century Fox had unwittingly licensed the merchandising rights for Alien to a number of toy manufacturers before realizing the film would never receive a PG rating. What consumers got was an assortment of some of the strangest, most horrifying toys produced for children that would quickly be recalled due to their terrifying nature. This included the legendary 18″ Kenner Alien figure and of course the Earl Norem illustrated HG Toys Jigsaw Puzzle.
These items are becoming increasingly rare and expensive and finding them in decent condition is even more of a challenge. After months of searching I was able to pick up a copy of the puzzle off eBay (with all the pieces) for about $50. The box was smashed but what I really wanted to do was assemble the 36″ tall puzzle, glue the pieces together and add a really cool vintage poster to my collection. Well, the pieces were kind of a mess – dirty, torn, peeling – so I scanned them in at 1400 dpi and assembled them in Photoshop.
Next I cleaned up the puzzle lines, dirt, scratches, and print errors followed by some adjustments in hue, saturation, and contrast.
I put together an animated .gif to show off the transition a bit more. All in all I’d say this project took about 8 hours which was totally worth it now that we have a beautiful version of Earl Norem’s work to admire once more. It’s a piece of Alien history that can finally be appreciated. Who knows, maybe I can get Fox to re-issue this as a poster 🙂
Alien © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.