RESCUE MISSION RIPLEY & CPL. HICKS
The Aliens line of Minimates started off a little bit differently than other lines; instead of getting right to the principle characters, things were kicked off with a case of single packed Xenomorphs and a few of the film’s more minor characters (and Burke, but who wants that guy, right?). It was certainly a fun start to the line, but it was a little odd to have all those aliens and not have a Ripley to face off against them. Fortunately, DST has followed up the army builder case with a more conventional set of Aliens Minimates, including a set with everyone’s favorite Warrant Officer turned space-faring action hero, Ellen Ripley. And, to top things off, she’s also brought along Colonial Marine Corporal Dwayne Hicks for the ride!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two are part of the specialty assortment of Aliens Minimates Series 1. Both figures will also be available in the TRU assortment, but they will each be packed with a Xenomorph.
RESCUE MISSION RIPLEY
This figure ends up actually being the second Minimate of Ellen Ripley, however, it’s the first one from Aliens. As the name denotes, the figure represents Ripley during her rescue mission to save Newt from the alien hive, towards the end of the film. It’s generally the look most people associate with her character, especially for this movie, as it featured prominently on the film’s poster and was the look she was sporting for many of the film’s definitive Ripley moments. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ripley has add-on pieces for her hair, watch, and “suspenders.” The hair is a piece we’ve seen a few times before (it first cropped up on El Indigo from Fistful of Dollars). It’s a near perfect match for Ripley’s hair from the movie, and it well-sculpted to boot! The watch is also a piece we’ve seen before, most recently on the Alien set Ripley, this line’s own Carter Burk. It’s a pretty standard watch piece and it does its job well. The suspenders appear to be new to this figure. They have some fantastic texture work, and you can even make out the grenades that are strapped in place. Ripley features some grade A paint work. The colors are all pretty great matches for what we see on screen, and the detail lines do a great job of outlining all movie-details. Her pants feature all the proper stitching and pockets, and her shirt even has darker coloring near the top of her chest to simulate sweat stains. I bet that smells lovely. The face isn’t a 100% spot-on likeness of Sigorney Weaver, but it’s not far off, and it even has some red scuff marks to show the beating she takes over the course of the movie. I’m also happy to see she hasn’t been saddled with a vacant expression. Ripley should have an intense look about her, and this figure does. Ripley includes a standard clear display stand, as well as her signature pulse rifle/flamethrower combo. The combo piece is actually reversed from how it’s assembled in the film, but it’s still pretty well-sculpted. Also, the set includes two of them. Ripley only had the one and Hicks never carries such a thing, so I’m not sure which figure the second is meant to go with.
Hicks makes his debut into the world of Minimates with this figure, however, actor Michael Biehn has actually had two Minimates before, courtesy of the Terminator2 line. While Ripley has a couple of distinctively different looks over the course of the movie, Hicks’ looks are all more or less just slight variations on his basic Marine armor, so this figure effectively encompasses all of those looks. Hicks features an impressive selection of sculpted add-ons, with pieces for his helmet, chest armor, boots/shin guards, and shotgun holster. We were given a preview of a lot of this figure’s parts with the single-packed Pvt. Wierzbowski figure. The Colonial Marine armor is generally quite well rendered in the Minimate style. The details of the armor are all pretty well defined, and it’s quite accurate to the source material. The chest armor is a little on the bulky side, but it isn’t terrible. The helmet is pretty good, although the little bit of hair we can see towards the back is a little too long flowing to really be accurate for any of the Marines we see in the movie. Hick’s armor load out has a few differences from what we saw on Wierzbowski. The most obvious, of course, is the addition of the holster, which is well sculpted and fits snuggly over the chest armor. Also, while Wierzbowksi’s shoulder lamp was fixed in place, Hicks’ is removable. Given that the character doesn’t have the lamp for the whole film, this was a nice choice. The paint on Hicks is generally impressive, however, there are a few minor issues. The color of the armor really feels too light for the source material, which reduces the contrast between armor and uniform. To DST’s credit, the same issue was present on Wierzbowski, so it’s likely that they just want to keep the Marines consistent. Also, the additional details on the torso armor and helmet are a little sloppy, and on the helmet in particular, it seems as though the camo screen was a bit misaligned, causing it to run over the black of the camera strap. The paint isn’t all bad, though. Under the armor is a (mostly) fully detailed set of camo fatigues, which are very nicely detailed, even if the camo pattern doesn’t continue to the back of the legs. Hicks’ chest armor also features his signature heart and lock detail, which is nice and sharply defined. The face detailing presents a decent depiction of Michael Biehn, though I’m not sure it’s quite as good a likeness as the second Kyle Reese. As far as accessories go, Hicks makes out pretty well. He gets a clear display stand, a pulse rifle, his signature shotgun, an alternate hair piece for an unhelmeted look, and an extra bandaged head to depict him from towards the end of the movie, after he takes some acid to the face. Generally, these accessories are quite nice. The hair piece seems a little too… Elvis-y? for Hicks, but it works alright.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got these two (after a fair bit of waiting for the cases to make their way to retailers) from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ripley’s the figure I was most eagerly awaiting from this wave. There are a few minor nits here and there, but overall, this is a fantastic translation of one of the most distinctive characters in cinema. Hicks is one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, from my favorite movie of all-time. So, the bar was set pretty high on this guy. The final product isn’t without issues, but there’s more than enough good about this figure to make up for it!