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In space no one can hear you hula.
Sure, you could throw a traditional Polynesian party, but what if you’re also a science fiction fan? Thankfully the folks over at Mondo, an online store and art gallery specializing in limited edition and original works based on film, art, music and toys, have you covered with an array of Xenomorph-shaped Tiki mugs inspired by Aliens, the popular sequel to the 1979’s Alien movie.
So why turn the creature from a sci-fi thriller into a kitschy tropical drink container? Mondo's creative director Brock Otterbacher told me via email that, “It started a couple of years ago, when Rob Jones (fellow creative director) suggested out of the blue we do tiki mugs.” After last year’s run of Gremlins mugs, he and the team at Mondo landed on more extraterrestrials.
“I always loved the lines on the head of the creatures in Aliens (as opposed to Alien, where it had a smooth domed head), and once I was in tiki mode with the Gremlin, I started seeing other characters and creatures as tikis. A few design rounds with my friend and designer Mikey Bonanno, and we had something to present to Tiki Farm, who in turn took our initial design and pushed it even more into the tiki realm, to what we have today.”
The 16 ounce, ceramic Xenomorph Tiki mugs are currently available in blue, acid blood (green), and hive (black and silver) varieties on the Mondo website, with two more special editions rolling out as well. They include a brown glazed mug that will be sold exclusively by the famed Alamo Drafthouse movie theater chain, and a bone colored version which will pop up as a limited edition item at an as yet unnamed event (maybe pack some tiny umbrellas for ComiCon just to be safe).
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But you’d better act fast. The black edition will only be on sale from now until noon CST on March 3rd, and the green edition is a limited run of just 200 mugs while supplies last. Mondo representatives tell me the blue mug will continue to be available ongoing for about a month or so. The prices range from $28 to $42 each and will ship in summer of 2017, so hopefully just in time for cookout season.
The indelibility of the creatures from the Alien franchise has certainly endured since their introduction to audiences nearly four decades ago, and with another film, Alien Covenant, due out in May, they’re still making impressions. Otterbacher puts it this way: “At the time when [Alien] was released, there was nothing else like it. Creatures and aliens in film were either big guys in bulky suits, or giant goofy puppets. The Alien took the human form, and twisted it in interesting and unfamiliar ways. Sure, it was still a guy in a suit, but HR Giger's design pushed and pulled the human silhouette in odd (and yes, sexual) ways, so that if viewed from certain angles, any humanity in the form disappears. It's simply evocative.”
For whatever reason the mashup of Tiki culture and aliens just seems to work. Tiki Bar drinkware has been designed to include characters from space movies (including these Star Wars-themed mugs we covered last year) and according to Otterbacher there’s likely more to come. “We do have many, many other tikis planned, with one based on the title character from The Iron Giant being next. As for more general sci-fi luau products, what about a lei based on Flowers for Algernon?”