I call it "Toy Karma," and I've got it good.
Just the other day I stumbled onto a Flickr album belonging to a collector calling himself Astronit. He appears to specialize in space themes, vending machine toys and cereal premiums (pull up a chair and give yourself an hour or two to look at all his goodies. I'll still be here when you're done.)
While looking through his photostream I saw this picture and a flood of memories came back to me about a toy alien I had as a kid that came in a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers. The odd alien was modeled after another toy I had at the time that came in a bag of Star Wars-esque little plastic space men. (UPDATE: Through a completely different toy search I found a pic online - Outer Space Fighters and Galaxy Laser Team manufactured by Tim Mee)
In fact, I chased after the Screaming Yellow Zonkers specifically for this one alien. I don't know how many boxes I had my mom buy before I got him, but I'm pretty sure I got lucky early. My Toy Karma is nothing new.
So today I went to the swap meet and, you guessed it, I found him. And he was free (I bet you didn't guess that.)
"I come in Peace."
Some kind of cross between a turtle, a crab, and a snail, this guy is a pretty unique and fun creature, reminiscent of fifties sci-fi B movies.
The toy has no markings, but according to the Screaming Yellow Zonkers packaging, his name is Zip.
The space set these were based on was originally released in the early eighties, and re-released in the nineties (I recall buying a bag of them when I discovered them at a Mom and Pop type toy store.) It included "inspired by" figures of Luke, Darth, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 among a couple others in all sorts of funky neon colors. I don't still have any of mine, but I'm sure one day my toy Karma will find them for me if I focus my powers on them.
In the meantime, I have Zip, and that's good enough for now.