The 13th Floor

Remembering The Electronic CLOVERFIELD Toy That Roared To Life In 2008

Heading into 2016, I think it’s safe to say that nobody expected they’d soon be buying a ticket for a movie with the word CLOVERFIELD in the title. Completely out of nowhere, J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot unleashed the trailer for 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE upon the world earlier this month and Abrams describes it as a “blood relative” to the 2008 monster movie. The secretive project hits theaters on March 11th.

The mysterious marketing for 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE closely echoes the build to CLOVERFIELD, which demolished the big screen on January 18th, 2008. The Matt Reeves-directed film was about a giant monster attacking New York City, we knew that much as we headed into the weekend, but the promotional campaign was brilliantly devised in such a way that nobody knew what the monster actually looked like.

It was a risky marketing strategy, but it ended up paying off big time. Audiences eager to find out the answers to so many questions the viral campaign left them pondering flocked to theaters on opening weekend and CLOVERFIELD gobbled up $46 million in its first four days of release. Toy company Hasbro took notice and it wasn’t long before they claimed their piece of the proverbial pie.

On January 21st, 2008, just three days after the film’s release, Hasbro put up for pre-order an officially-licensed CLOVERFIELD action figure depicting the now-iconic monster. The collectible was immediately available for pre-order from the company’s website selling for $99. At the time, images of the toy – either to protect the film’s mystery and/or simply because Hasbro hadn’t even made it yet – were not made available, and it wasn’t until the tail end of 2008 that they actually began to ship out.

Eight years later, we look back on one of the coolest movie collectibles ever made.

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Everything about CLOVERFIELD, from the marketing to the movie itself, was so well done, and that carries straight through to Hasbro’s jaw-dropping work with this toy. Measuring 14″ tall, the massive collectible is not a mere statue but rather a fully posable action figure, with articulation in the arms, legs, fingers, and even toes. The bulk of the figure is comprised of hard plastic, while the tail and underbelly appendages are made of a bendable rubber.

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Every detail of Neville Page’s incredible creature design was captured by Hasbro’s sculptors, and no expense was spared in making the limited edition toy the ultimate CLOVERFIELD collectible. It includes two different heads – “calm” and “agitated” – and even comes complete with the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty as well as a handful of the mini-parasites that fall off the monster in the film and go on their own little missions. The parasites – which can be housed inside of the “calm” head – are so tiny that they’re sort of worthless, but it’s nice that Hasbro went the extra mile to include them.

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As if the figure wasn’t already impressive enough from a visual standpoint, it also has an electronic component, and once you put three (included) batteries into it, the monster’s roar can be heard either by pressing a button on its back or pushing down the tongue on the “agitated” head – which, just like in the movie, features those fleshy, pulsating pouches bursting out the sides. The sound of the roar is loud and guttural, and the added interactivity seals the deal on this being a truly must-own collectible.

But the fun doesn’t stop there.

The toy came housed in a box adorned with the iconic image of the decapitated Statue of Liberty, seen on the film’s poster and home video art, and when that outer box is lifted off, an awesome display setting is found underneath. The three-dimensional backdrop depicts a demolished, fiery New York City, and when the figure is placed inside the box, it looks like a screen-grab from the movie. It’s the absolute perfect display environment for the toy, which thankfully has no problem standing up on its own.

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It didn’t take long for the interactive CLOVERFIELD toy to sell out, and Hasbro stopped producing them after the first wave of orders, so if you missed out back in 2008, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny nowadays. Recent eBay auctions have had “Buy It Now” options reaching upwards of $500, exactly five times the original cost of the toy. And once 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE hits theaters, we can expect that the figure will become even more sought-after – meaning those prices will likely rise.

Honestly? Even at $500, this monster-sized bad boy is well worth it.

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