John Charpentierit is The thing hit theaters on June 25, 1982, infamously a few weeks after box office darlings ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and Fighting spirit. Alas, the film did not make much noise at the time. Whereas The thing may have been heralded as a sci-fi masterpiece, finding its audience was not instantaneous. And it’s likely a major contributing factor to the dearth of collectibles the film had spawned for many years.
While the merchandising of John Carpenter’s Practical Effects Showcase may not have been as robust as it deserved over the past four decades, there are still plenty of incredible collectibles to be found, in especially in recent years, including books, toys, art, and more.
Here are ten of the coolest The thing collectibles released over the years.
The thing Novel by Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster’s novel came out before The thingof the initial theatrical release and was based on an earlier version of the script. This means you can expect some narrative differences from the finished film. Well, if you can even find it, that is. When it surfaces, the long-out-of-print novel costs a ton of money on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
The thing from another world Comics
Dark Horse Comics picked up where Carpenter left off in the 1982 film with the comic sequel The thing from another world. The two-issue comic was written by Chuck Pfarrer, with art by John Higgins, and published in 1991. It continues MacReady’s attempt to stop the alien after being rescued by another research facility. The thing from another world continued a few different stories beyond its 1991 run, including a Viking tie-in to the 2011 prequel film with The Thing From Another World: Northman’s Nightmare.
McFarlane Toys Blair Monster Toy
McFarlane Toys’ mega-popular Movie Maniac line launched in 1998 with the first series of an ongoing collection that provided detailed figures of horror movie characters. His third series, in 2000, brought together two creatures from The thing: the Norris Spider-Head and the Blair Monster. The latter’s design is particularly cool and not as common as its spider-like counterpart.
Collectible Spiderhead from SOTA Toys
In 2006, a few years after McFarlane Toys took Norris’ iconic spider moment, SOTA Toys released a niftier version in the form of a limited-edition mini bust. Both the packaging and the resin figure come with a black base for display. The statue is a perfect desktop companion.
Chronicle Collectibles Bottin Monster Figure
Another limited edition figure, this time an exclusive Loot Crate from Chronicle Collectibles. The company was inspired by a sculpture by Danny Wagner and paid homage to SFX master Rob Bottin on the packaging, referring to the figure as “Bottin’s Monster”.
The thing Screenprint of Tyler Stout
Carpenter’s masterpiece may have inspired countless stunning works of art over the decades, but this 24″ x 36″ silkscreen print by artist Tyler Stout, commissioned by Alamo Drafthouse for a screening of repertoire, ranks among them. It’s not just the design and layout, the piecing together of all of Outpost 31’s hapless characters and its alien infiltrators, but the detail. Closer inspection of the print reveals that all of the infected characters have red eyes, and red glows in the dark as an added touch.
The Thing: Art Book
Printed In Blood’s 400-page hardcover art book celebrated The thingit is 35th anniversary. The voluminous art book features over 375 works of art created specifically for this collection, bringing together artists from around the world from comics, fine art, animation and illustration. It also features an introduction by Eli Roth and an afterword by The thing director John Carpenter.
The Thing: Outpost 31 Infection Board game
Designed by OP games, Infection at exit 31 captures the paranoia of the movie in board game form. A group of 4-8 players set out to clear the outpost of alien enemies and collect materials to escape, while “Imitation” players secretly work to sabotage the group and work against them without being detected. The hidden identity board game breeds paranoia among players, complementing Carpenter’s film perfectly.
The thing Deluxe Vinyl Reissue OST
The film’s soundtrack saw a vinyl release in 1982, making it another out-of-print rarity. Fortunately, Waxwork Records has presented and released a deluxe reissue of Ennio Morricone’s masterclass score in 2020, complete with new artwork, excellent packaging and exclusive vinyl variants.
NECA 40th Anniversary Poster Figure
NECA party Things 40th anniversary paying homage to the iconic poster. The upcoming limited release recreates the original and iconic poster art for the theatrical run. This special deco figure stands approximately 7″ tall and features an LED light in the head and interchangeable and removable faceplates to create the poster’s signature burst of light.