‘The Thing’ at 40: 10 of the Coolest Collectibles You Need to Own


John Carpenter‘s The Thing was released in theaters on June 25, 1982, infamously mere weeks after box office darlings E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Poltergeist. Alas, the film failed to make much of a splash at the time. While The Thing may have gone on to become heralded as a sci-fi masterpiece, finding its audience wasn’t instant. And that’s likely a significant contributing factor to the dearth of collectibles the movie had spawned for many years.

Even though the merchandising for John Carpenter’s practical effects showcase may not have been as robust as it deserved over the last four decades, there are still a lot of amazing collectibles to be found, particularly in recent years, including books, toys, art, and more.

Here are ten of the coolest The Thing collectibles released over the years.

The Thing Novelization by Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster’s novel tie-in was released ahead of The Thing‘s initial release in theaters and was based on an earlier draft of the script. That means that 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 goes for 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 artwork by John Higgins, and published in 1991. It continues MacReady’s bid to stop the alien after getting rescued by another research facility. The Thing from Another World continued a few different stories past its 1991 run, including a Viking set prequel tie-in to the 2011 prequel film with The Thing from Another World: The Northman Nightmare.

Blair Monster from McFarlane Toys

McFarlane Toys’ mega-popular Movie Maniac line launched in 1998 with the first series in an ongoing collection that delivered detailed figures of horror movie characters. Its third series, in 2000, brought two creatures from The Thing: the Norris Spider-Head and the Blair Monster. The latter’s design is especially cool and not as common as its spider-like counterpart.

Spiderhead from SOTA Toys

In 2006, a handful of years after McFarlane Toys took on Norris’ iconic spider moment, SOTA Toys released a niftier version in the form of a limited-edition mini bust. The package and resin figure came with a black base for display. The statue made for a perfect desk companion.

Bottin Monster from Chronicle Collectibles

Another limited-edition figure, this time a Loot Crate exclusive by Chronicle Collectibles. The company drew inspiration from a sculpture from Danny Wagner and paid tribute to SFX master Rob Bottin on the packaging, referring to the figure as Bottin’s Monster.

The Thing Screenprint by Tyler Stout

Carpenter’s masterwork may have inspired countless pieces of stunning artwork over the decades, but this 24″ x 36″ screenprint by artist Tyler Stout, commissioned by Alamo Drafthouse for a repertory screening, ranks high among them. It’s not just the design and layout, assembling all of the ill-fated characters of Outpost 31 and its alien infiltrators, but the detail. A closer inspection of the print reveals that all the infected characters have red eyes, and the red glows in the dark as an added touch.

The Thing: Artbook

Printed In Blood’s 400-page hardcover artbook celebrated The Thing‘s 35th anniversary. The hefty artbook features over 375 pieces of art created specifically for this collection, assembling artists across the globe 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: Infection at Outpost 31 Board Game

Designed by The OP Games, Infection at Output 31 captures the film’s paranoia in board game form. A group of 4-8 players set about clearing the Outpost of alien enemies and collecting gear to make their escape, while “imitation” players covertly work to sabotage the group and work against them without being detected. The hidden identity board game breeds paranoia among players, perfectly complementing Carpenter’s movie.

The Thing OST Vinyl Deluxe Reissue

The original motion picture soundtrack did see a vinyl release in 1982, making for another out-of-print rarity. Luckily, Waxwork Records presented and released a deluxe reissue of Ennio Morricone’s masterclass score in 2020, featuring new artwork, excellent packaging, and exclusive vinyl variants.

NECA’s 40th Anniversary Poster Figure

NECA is celebrating The Thing’s 40th anniversary by paying tribute 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 inches tall and features an LED light in the head and interchangeable and removable faceplates to create the poster’s signature burst of light.

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