After a bit of a pseudo start yesterday, the Christmas Reviews officially begin today! There was something of a theme to a lot of my Christmas gifts this year, and that them was Aliens. Let’s be honest, though, what better theme could there be? Aliens is, after all, the greatest movie ever made. Today, I’ll be looking at the center piece to all the wonderful Aliens stuff I got this year, the Alien Queen.
The Alien Queen is probably the most distinctive thing from Aliens. Ripley’s Power Loader-aided battle with the beast is one of the best parts of the film, and it’s the kind of thing that a toy collector like me might want to immortalize in plastic. However, the Queen hasn’t been the easiest thing to toy-ify. She’s a pretty massive creature, and she has lots of intricate little details. She’s had a few figures over the years that didn’t totally suck (I even reviewed one of them recently), but none of them quite lived up to the creature seen in the movie. Enter NECA.
NECA has already been killing it with their regular Aliens series based on the normal sized people and creatures from the movie. But if there’s one thing that NECA does well, it’s large scale figures. So, it’s not exactly a shock to see this figure pop up. Still, it took some time. You don’t just start with the Queen; you work your way there. After some waiting, the Queen is finally here! Let’s see how she turned out!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Alien Queen was released as a supplement to NECA’s main Aliens line. She found herself bridging the rather lengthy gap between Series 2 and 3 of the line (Although, as chance would have it, Series 3 is right behind her). Officially, the Queen is billed as a “Deluxe Set,” which is not surprising, given the size. Speaking of size, this sucker is big. She’s roughly 12 inches tall and a whopping 27 inches long (though about 15 inches of that is tail). The figure truly towers over the rest of the line, as she well should. The Queen has the sort of design that can be difficult to articulate, but NECA’s done a pretty amazing job. The figure has 57 points of articulation, as well as a wire armature tail that can bend all along its length. There’s quite a lot of posability, though most of the joints require some very particular positioning if you want the figure to have any sort of balance. The Alien Queen has appeared in three films, all of them based on the same basic design, but this one is very definitely based on the original Aliens design. The figure features an all new sculpt to replicate the design. It’s a little hard to tell, because the creature was generally shot in the shadows, but the sculpt appears to be incredibly faithful to the movie. All of the basics are definitely there, and the figure is definitely the Queen. In addition, the sculpt is loaded with lots of fine details and texturing, all done in a way that perfectly conveys the creature’s meld of biology and mechanics. The details continue on every side of the figure. I was particularly impressed by the volume of detail on the underside of the figure’s head, an area that could have easily been overlooked. Perhaps the only downside to the sculpt (which isn’t so much an issue with the sculpt as it is an issue with implementation) is that the Queen’s back spikes are separate pieces that have to be attached when the figure is taken out of the package. It’s a bit difficult to get them in place, and they have a tendency to pop out of place while the figure is being posed. That said, they’re just as well sculpted as the rest of the figure, and the match nicely when in place. Just like it’s difficult to get a 100% accurate view of the figure’s sculpt due to the film’s lighting, it’s also hard to get an accurate comparison of the paint. At first glance it seems like the figure may be too bright, but upon reviewing the film, it seems accurate to what she looks like when we see her properly lit in the airlock. Generally speaking, the paint is very well handled. The figure was originally black, with a fair share of blue highlights added. There are also a few touches of bronze, so that this figure should match okay with both colored varieties of Xeno Warriors. Perhaps my favorite touch, coloring-wise, is the transparent teeth, which are just plain cool! The Queen is a pretty massive figure, so little to no accessories is fairly acceptable. That said, the figure includes a few items. Since the design doesn’t allow for the sliding version of the inner mouth seen on the Warriors, the Queen includes two of them, of differing lengths, which can be swapped out for the desired look. They’re both very nicely sculpted, and help spruce up the figure well. The figure also includes a much needed display stand. It’s done in three parts, and the actually support piece comes in both short and long varieties, which allows for a nice selection of poses.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Queen was my main Christmas present from my truly amazing parents, given to me this past year. I have anxiously been waiting for this figure for quite some time. I was absolutely thrilled to open her on Christmas morning. This is a figure that could have turned out badly if it weren’t well handled, but I’m happy to say NECA truly hit it out of the park on this one. It makes for a wonderful centerpiece to my collection. Now I just need to figure out where to put it….