What Could Have Been #15 | Operation: Aliens

What Could Have Been #15 | Operation: Aliens

As a fan of film, I love exploring behind the scenes. Reading about the production process, the special effects and the stories of what could have been.

Operation: Aliens (Early 90’s)

It’s the early 1990’s and Twentieth Century Fox are dreaming up ways they can push publicity of their latest entry into the Alien franchise, Alien 3. Now there’s a film that deserves a What Could Have Been article!

Fox decided to drum up interest by releasing a line of Aliens action figures supported by a saturday morning cartoon much like other toy lines such as He-Man or Transformers.

An unknown animation company in the far East got as far as putting together either a demonstration reel, the opening credits or maybe even the first episodes. The truth is no one actually knows. What we do know is that Fox got cold feet and decided that it wasn’t going to work.

Unfortunately for the toy manufacturer Kenner, who was a part of this deal, the decision came too late. They had toys and games already produced, boxed and ready to ship out to the stores. They had no other choice but to send them out.

I remember seeing the various toys and puzzles in the stores and it was immediately obvious that it look like someone had try to make a cartoon out of the very adult themed 1986 Aliens film. I checked the television listing guides to find out if I was missing something, but the cartoon was nowhere to be found.

Once Kenner had sold the initial first run of toys, the Operation: Aliens logo was dropped and replaced with the Aliens logo from the film of the same name.

However much of the cartoon was produced, none of it has ever seen the light of day except for a series of screen captures which you can see below.


This article was inspired by a recent YouTube video by Stuart Ashens where he takes a look at the Aliens toy line.

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John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

4 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 28, 2014

    I actually have an animation cell from this unreleased “project”. I say project because these animations were intended for a commercial spot, not an episodic serial. According to the seller of the cell, who was the head creative director of the studio who produced these animations, these animations were for the Kenner toy commercial spots. Would there have been a episodic serial done along with this product line? I would wager “yes”, and that it was stopped in its tracks cold by Fox, and thereafter follows the timeline you create in your post.

    Great article nonetheless. Hopefully we’ll get more people in on this to shed even more light on this era in the Kenner Aliens history.



    • Avatar
      December 02, 2015

      You say you have an unrealesed cell? Could you please send it to me? Or if not tell me where to get it or how you got it? Please, I’m a super huge alien fan so I would love to see this!


      • Avatar
        December 02, 2015

        P.S. My email is [Removed for security reasons]


      • Avatar
        December 02, 2015

        Your email address was withheld for security purposes. Should the OP wish to contact you they can emails us via the contact form (link at the very top of the site) and we will pass it on.


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