PRIVATE WILLIAM HUDSON & XENOMORPH WARRIOR
It’s no secret to those who follow this site that I think the movie Aliens is one of the greatest movies ever made. As a toy collector, I want toys from just about everything, even bad movies! Heck, I even bought a bunch of the figures from James Cameron’s Avatar, before I came to my senses and sold them all off. So, it stands to reason that I would want all the toys imaginable from the greatest movie of all time, right? Well, that’s where things get tricky. See, there’s been a few toys here and there from the movie over the years, but a lot of them weren’t that great or they were solely focused on the aliens themselves. I don’t watch the movie for the aliens, I watch it for the awesome characters standing up to the aliens!
I was thrilled beyond belief when NECA announced that they were making a line of Aliens figures and the humans would be one of the focuses. So far, we’ve only gotten two of the marines, but Bishop’s on his way in Series Three and NECA’s already confirmed that Riley should be showing up in one of the series after that.
NECA is a slightly smaller toy company, which means there can end up being quite a wait from series to series of a line. So, to keep the momentum going on Aliens, they’ve released three two-packs, scattered between the main releases. The two-packs re-use parts and tend to be re-releases of previously seen characters. Today, I’ll be looking at Private Hudson facing off against a Xenomorph that’s a little worse for wear!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This pair was released as a two-pack outside of the regular Series structure. It’s the third of the two-packs NECA has done for its Aliens line. These two were originally meant to bridge the gap between Series One and Two, but due to delays, they ended up coming out a little ways after Series Two, which actually makes for a nice bridge between Two and Three.
PRIVATE WILLIAM HUDSON
This is Hudson’s second figure in the Aliens line. Both figures so far have depicted Hudson after the initial attack on the alien hive, as denoted by the bandage on his left arm. The Series One version of Hudson depicted him immediately after the attack, but this one depicts him as he appears in the last third of the film, when the aliens are attacking the remaining marine forces. The big difference is that Hudson has his helmet and his game face. He’s ready to fight. Hudson stands about 7 inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. From the neck down, the figure is more or less identical to the Series One release. So, I’ll be focusing on the new head sculpt. The big change is the addition of a helmet, a piece that was woefully from the Series One marines. The helmet is different from the one used on the second Hicks figure. In the movie, Hudson has a cover on his helmet, so I’m glad to see NECA pay attention to this detail. The helmet also sits better on Hudson than it did on Hicks, which makes it look less doofy. That’s definitely a plus. The actual head is pretty decent. The screaming expression makes more sense here than it did on Hicks, as Hudson did tend to be the more reactive of the two. Hudson’s scream here is less a frightened one, and more a “come get some” yell, which is pretty much spot on to Hudson’s look during his last stand. The paint work on this figure is alright. The helmet exhibits the best work, with all of Hudson’s graffiti cleanly applied. The face is a bit messier, with some harsh cuts between his 5 o’clock shadow and the rest of his face, and a fairly messy hairline. It’s not bad overall, but it could be better. Hudson includes a shoulder lamp, a welder, and a pulse rifle, all the same as the regular release.
This is the sixth version of the basic Xenomorph in the line. Like the last one, this one is another exploration of the “just got shot” look. He stands about 8 inches tall and features 38 points of articulation. The figure is mostly the same sculpt as all the previous Xenomorph figures, which is hardly a bad thing. It’s a great sculpt, so I think NECA should milk it for all it’s worth. The key difference is the addition of blast effects to the figure’s upper torso to simulate the effect of the Xeno being gunned down by one of the marines. It appears that these pieces have just been glued onto the basic body, with no real changes to the underlying structure. The new pieces seem to be sculpted well enough, although the larger one got smashed in the package, which makes it look a little…droopy. You know, one in ten….uhh never mind. The paint is the key part of pretty much every NECA Xeno release. In this case, the Xeno has been given brown highlights, similar to those on the Series One version. They seem to have been applied cleaner, which is a definite plus, but both the Series Two Xeno and the Xeno packed with Screaming Hicks have convinced me that Xenos just look better in blue. Also, the blood spurts on this figure are more dull than the neon greens on the previous shot-up Xeno, which I feel robs the figure of the needed pop.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
In contrast to the other two-packs NECA released, I fully intended to pick this set up from the moment it was announced. I felt the screaming expression and helmeted look were more key looks for Hudson, and I foolishly believed that the Brown Xeno look was superior. Interestingly, I actually ended up putting off purchasing this one a bit more than the other two. In the end, my opinion about Hudson turned out to be true. I’m going to have a rough time picking which version of the character will be staying on the shelf once more marines arrive, as both are great interpretations of him. The Xeno is a serviceable Xeno variation, I suppose. It’s not as cool as the exploding head version packed with Hicks, and I’m not the biggest fan of the brown, but I suppose it could be worse. All in all, a pretty good set, but not quite as exciting as I’d hoped it would be.