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From R-rated movie to Toys ‘R’ Us: How Aliens, Terminator and Predator became action figures for kids

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In space no one can hear you scream. But for a short while in the 1990s, they might have heard you in the aisles of your local Toys R Us. The 1990s toy industry briefly indulged a craze that saw some of the most blood-soaked film franchises in Hollywood history become children’s playthings, from Ridley Scott’s Alien to James Cameron’s Terminator, for kids aged 6 and up.

It seems like madness now – you wouldn’t expect to see toys based on Mad Max: Fury Road, or John Wick aimed at kids barely finished with Sesame Street. So how did toys inspired by R-rated movies come to sit on shelves alongside Barbie, Fisher Price and LEGO?



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