It’s been a few weeks since I sat down and got all OCD combing through a DVD looking for an awesome 80s bedroom. Last night I popped my special edition of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial into the computer and spent a couple hours staring at Ellitot’s room looking for some fun stuff to talk about. At first I was a little disappointed because so many of the scenes were in silhouette, but with a quick finger on the pause button I managed to find some nice shots with a lot of fun junk lying around, in particular I realized that Elliott has a favorite comic book hero that I never noticed before!
So, with any Spielberg flick from this period there is always going to nods to Star Wars, and E.T. is no exception, but there are a lot of other interesting things lying around Elliott’s room…
1). Star Worlds Planetarium playset
2). Coors Beer baseball cap (because you know, drunk E.T. and Coors is totally the official beer of earnest sci-fi flicks…)
3). Viewmaster Theater projector by GAF
4). Star Wars Hoth Turret and Imperial Probe Droid playset
5). Han Solo’s Blaster
One of the things I love about Elliott’s room is all of the little items that represent space travel, be it the plethora of Star Wars toys, the space shuttle hanging from his ceiling (in a later screen shot) or his planetarium play set. It’s subtle for sure, but still welcome for a movie about meeting an alien.
6). Star Wars Greedo action figure
7). Captain America Pez dispenser
8). Frozen Moments fake spilled can of Coke
9). “Jaws” shark pincher/grabber wand
10). Star Wars 2-1B Medic Droid (in the football helmet)
So, I have to assume that the shark pincher wand was an in-joke/reference to Jaws right? There are a lot of Star Wars figures scattered around on Elliott’s desk, but these are the only two we get to see clearly and not just in silhouette. Also, the Pez dispenser was a bitch to identify. Even though Elliott holds it up to E.T. to show him how to fill and eat the candy there’s only a split second or two where there’s enough light to identify it. Also, this is not the favorite super hero I alluded to before. That’s still to come…
11). Star Wars X-Wing Fighter
12). Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter
13). Incredible Hulk Poster
So, as I started to pay closer attention to the set dressing in E.T. I started to notice a lot of Incredible Hulk items hanging around. Granted, this was smack in the middle of the character’s popularity thanks to the Bixby/Ferrigno TV show, but I like to image Elliott being a huge fan of the Hulk because he was a middle child and always seemed like he was being put down by his brother and all his friends. Like maybe he identified with that inner rage or something. Anyway, there are a couple of other toys in the above screenshot, the aforementioned space shuttle and another toy hanging from the ceiling at the top right of the frame that I can’t identify…
14). Elvis Costello poster (so Elliott has good taste in music)
Weird dart board cabinet. Artful Dodger Dartboard Cabinet (see update below)
16). Mighty Marvel Incredible Hulk Glowplate light switch cover
17). Star Wars Tie Fighter
Alright, the dart board cabinet. The main reason I pointed to this is that I’d love to find out what that weird Jack the Ripper-looking design is on the cabinet (MYSTERY SOLVED!) Also, there’s an weird amount of dart boards in Elliott’s room! Not only does he have this cabinet on the wall but there’s an additional dart board to the left. Also, that other dart board? It changes through out the film. There’s another design that’s strictly black and white that’s hanging in other scenes (which you can see in the screenshot with items 6-10 above.)
18). Star Wars Hammerhead Action figure (as well as Snaggletooth, Walrusman, Lando Calrissian, and Boba Fett.)
I didn’t want to clutter this will all of the screenshots detailing the various Star Wars figures Elliott shows E.T. in silhouette, but they’re all listed above.
19). Star Wars Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer Playset
20). Stratego and Chutes & Ladders board games (as well as a Lego set to the right of those)
In the screenshot above there is a weird looking clown/egg head toy that I can’t identify. The nose lights up and there’s a tuft of hair that pops up and down as well, but I’ve never seen it before and couldn’t figure it out from google. Anyone know what this freakish thing is?
*Updated* I finally freaking figured out what that egg headed toy is, it’s a 1981 Flippo Sonic Control Clown Head toy!
Also, there’s one additional Star Wars item, a Tauntaun up high on a shelf with some wooden dinosaur puzzle toys…
Okay, one last cool item that’s not technically in Elliott’s room, but goes to proving his love for the Incredible Hulk…
21). Incredible Hulk Sleeping Bag
I think part of the reason that discovering all of this Hulk merchandise in Elliott’s room made me so happy is that I was a pretty big fan of the character at the time too. That TV show had a huge impact on me and I remember begging my mom for the Ben Cooper costume for Halloween around this time as well as having my own Hulk Sleeping bag and Hulk plush toy (that had velcro hands so you could make him hug your arm…)
While I’m talking about E.T. and stuff I noticed in the background, there’s another little thing that I noticed during the opening scenes with all the kids in the house playing Dungeons & Dragons. It’s just a little thing but I noticed that C. Thomas Howell is smoking while they’re playing, but it’s only in a quick shot and the cigarette and ashtray disappear pretty quickly…
I wonder if that was a mistake, like Spielberg didn’t intent for it to end up in the film, or was it placed to show the kids being a little rebellious?
I recently had the opportunity to catch E.T. on the big screen so I took extra special care to keep an eye out for details in Elliot’s room since I’d been having so much fun analyzing the bedrooms in 80s kid’s flicks recently. First of all, when I originally dissected the room there was a weird dart board cabinet that I couldn’t identify (number 15 in the above screen shot…) Well, it was as plain as day on the big screen. #15 is in fact an Artful Dodger dart board cabinet from Oliver Twist!
Now that I’ve identified that it doesn’t do much to explain why the Artful Dodger is on a dart board cabinet, but still, mystery solved. In addition to this I also noticed some more toys in Elliot’s room, as well as in their living room!
1). Chutes and Ladders boardgame
2). Magic 8 Ball
3). Lego Universal Building Set
4). Empire Strikes Back Twin-Pod Cloud Car
5). Super Simon Electronic Game
Though the Super Simon box is in the screen shot above (in Elliot’s room), the game itself is actually on a shelf in the living room…
But for the first time I noticed that there are also some other fun things in the living room like…
6). An Atari 2600
There were also a bunch of other small, fun things I noticed throughout the film. Little details, like how John Williams drops into Yoda’s Theme for a could of beats during the Halloween scene when E.T. sees a kid dressed up in a Don Post Yoda mask…
…or the fact that Dee Wallace is wearing a really weird handgun pin on her vest in one sequence…
Sure, these things haven’t radically changed my outlook on the film, but any time I have the opportunity to learn something new about a film I thought I knew everything about, well that’s worth a full-priced movie ticket if you ask me.
So, anything I missed?
Other Awesome Bedrooms I’ve covered…