After remaining dormant for approximately thirteen years, encased in a white crystalline cocoon in a test tube at the back of a bookcase, the Alien was resurrected on St George’s Day 23rd April 2020. He had patiently waited for this momentous day.
Test Tube Aliens were released in UK and Australia in late 2006. My photographs show an Alien named Samaru given as a birthday gift in 2007. Apparently there were good Aliens and bad Aliens. I certainly hope this fellow is a ‘good’ Alien because he was revealed at the height of COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally named Samaru by the manufacturer, he has been nicknamed Boris. There was no packaging or paperwork with his test tube, and apart from the now adult owner remembering throwing out a sachet of sloog (activation powder), Boris was a completely unknown quantity. First, he had to be rinsed out.
Test Tube Alien Samaru Boris appears to be fully functional and quite a sophisticated toy. Like the gift-giver, he had been forgotten long enough for creator websites to be inactive. He cannot ‘phone home’.
Invented by JKID Ltd and released by 4Kidz Inc, the following information has been sourced from:
Mike Simpson, the inventor of Test Tube Aliens, started up his own Japanese company called Mike Simpson Design. It was through hooking up with another British inventor, Matthew Bickerton back in the UK, that Simpson was able to create a new toy company called JKID and together he and Bickerton co-invented Test Tube Aliens.
QUOTE Inventor Mike Simpson said “There are six Aliens to choose from, all with names with a Japanese twist, the most obvious of which is Shako. (He’s a baddie, by the way.) Each Alien comes in a clear plastic test tube, inside which is a solid cocoon. Pour in water and the cocoon fizzes and dissolves to reveal the Alien with a visible heartbeat. They then have to be fed (with sloog) and cared for to stay alive.
“These aliens, who have liquid-and-light-sensing technologies, physically grow to fill their test tubes within the first couple of weeks of their lives.
“Enter TTA’s Web site, and the first message received reads: The Invasion Begins: From a dying world they come to our own! The better you treat ’em, the longer they live!
“Kids are encouraged to use their imagination and take responsibility. Cause and effect.
“Each Alien has its own number that can be registered and certified online. The background to each character — the story of how and why they have come to earth — place the characters in context. Children can also interact with their Alien pal online through asking questions and provoking it directly by holding it up to the flashing screen.
“TTA is the Web’s first interactive toy,” Simpson says happily.” UNQUOTE
Older websites have information on some of the Test Tube Alien clan but not specifically Samaru Boris, and he is not able to connect with the company’s disabled website. He does have Red Light meaning ‘comfortably happy’ and Green Light meaning ‘uncomfortably drowning’ as shown in my photographs. On activation, he did momentarily flash an Amber Light but the meaning of this is unknown.
There is a blog post written Friday 28th December 2007
and a fan wiki
To quote Alien Wiki “The evil Aliens were responsible for the destruction of Nratuatuko and pursued the five good Aliens throughout the Universe, determined not to let their quarry escape for good. However, in 2011 it was revealed that all of the Aliens were evil, including the ‘good’ Aliens. The true good Aliens were in the Test Tube Aliens X series. The Aliens wanted to be marketed in test tubes so that they would appear to be dead, they would be thrown into a rubbish bin, so that they could take over the rivers and seas of the Earth. This was followed by the release of the Test Tube Aliens: Pure Evil series, with six ‘pure evil’ Aliens.”
“New Alien Invasion a Must-have” shouted the headlines in Central Queensland News on 15th July 2011 and apparently “They’re ultra-cool and they’re pure evil. The Electronic Test Tube Aliens are back – and they are the ‘must-have’ toy for 2011.”
What TTA clan does Samaru Boris belong to? More research is needed, just in case…
He responds to movement (I found this out when I accidentally bumped him over) and light. He needs 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night-time. After this was observed, he stopped getting fast flashes and settled into a steady beat. Likewise if his water level is low, his green light will blink rapidly in distress until topped up.
The test tube is not able to be opened without breaking it. There is a small opening to drip water into the tube but sadly he is entombed for life. A quasi-humorous website claims the Alien test tube is a ‘malicious and cruel torture device’.
I am not sure of Alien growth rate but at the time of writing, May 2020, Samaru Boris is nearly four weeks old and approximately 16cm tall with antennae almost bumping the top of his test tube. He has filled out and his features are steadily becoming more defined.
He almost looks like a portly older gentleman surveying his domain.
You may know more about these Aliens; you may have raised one. Or there may be one lurking at the back of your cupboard. Perhaps your Alien is waiting to connect telepathically with Samaru Boris and together they will activate their master plan.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward
EPILOGUE: Sadly, I regret to advise that Samaru Boris quietly passed away on Friday 7 May 2021 just over a year from his activation. He still sits on the table in his test tube tomb, no longer blinking the minutes away, but he is still part of the family. GBW.