Since Kenner’s Aliens line was originally based on the cancelled Operation: Aliens cartoon, the line did some experimenting with the property. One of the most famous things was adding more diversity to the designs of the Xenomorphs, but one of the other areas that showed some changes was the characters who made up the group of Colonial Marines that faced off against the aliens. While mainstays like Ripley, Hicks, and Bishop remained, a couple of the marines were replaced by characters such as ATAX (which stood for “Alien Tactical Advantage Explorer”), the figure I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
ATAX was part of the second assortment of Aliens figures. The figure is 5 inches tall and features 5 points of articulation. ATAX is one of the marines without a movie counterpart, so presumably his design is based on something from the cartoon. ATAX’s sculpt was unique to him. It’s a pretty solid sculpt, though he does seem a little large-headed. The details in the sculpt are all very well handled, which is really great. ATAX has a more Xeno-inspired look, which certainly makes him stand out amongst the Marines. The paintwork on ATAX is pretty great. It’s better than what we saw on Apone, and this figure has less of a reliance on the decals and such. ATAX’s figure is largely dependent on his accessories, which sadly my figure is lacking. His deal is that he’s supposed to be some sort of an infiltration specialist, so he included several clip on armor pieces to allow him to disguise himself as a Xeno. It’s certainly a unique idea, but seeing as there is never any evidence in the movies that the Xenos recognize each other by sight, I have to wonder just how successful ATAX will be in his infiltration. Maybe that’s why we didn’t see him in the movie…
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I first got into the Aliens line (which was somewhere around the early 2000s, roughly 10 years after it ended), I was mostly focused on just getting characters from the movie. So, ATAX was kind of below my radar. However, when I came across a few Aliens figures while browsing Yesterday’s Fun, ATAX was amongst them and I just couldn’t say no. He’s a goofy figure to be sure, but he’s actually quite well done. I imagine he’d be even better if he had all his pieces…