DALLAS – COMPRESSION SUIT
While Alien may not be quite up to the same level as its sequel Aliens (at least in my mind), it’s still a tremendously well-made film. One of the greatest aspects of the movie was its incredible design work. H.R. Giger’s main creature design tends to get a lot of the focus, but the film also had some awesome work on the human side of things, such as the incredibly memorable space suits, worn by three of the main characters during the exploration of the derelict ship. NECA first brought the suit design into their Aliens line in Series 3, where it was worn by the ill-fated Kane. Now we’ve gotten another of the trio, with the Nostromo’s well-meaning captain, Dallas.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Dallas was released in Series 4 of NECA’s Aliens line. Like all the others in this series, he’s from Alien, and is meant to somewhat commemorate the film’s 35th anniversary last year. The figure is about 7 ½ inches tall, and he has 24 points of articulation. As noted in the intro, Dallas is presented here in his Compression Suit look. It’s a pretty distinctive design, and a few of the character’s key scenes occur down on the planet, so it was well chosen. Rather unsurprisingly, the majority of Dallas’s sculpt is from Series 3’s Kane figure. Seeing as the suits in the movie are just palate swaps of each other and they’re bulky enough to hide the figure of the wearer, it would be silly for NECA not to use the parts they already had sculpted. The re-used parts are just as good here as they were on Kane. The body features a ton of texture and detail, and the add-ons for the armored parts add a nice bit of dimension. Dallas gets an all-new head, and, though you might miss them at first, a new set of hands. The hands are pretty much the same as the ones on Kane, except the poses are reversed. It’s a nice touch and it allows for a neat bit of variety. The head is a fairly decent sculpt; the Tom Skerritt likeness isn’t as spot-on as the Sigourney Weaver was, but it’s passable (though, I can’t help but see Tom Hanks in that face. Not sure why.) In general, the head feels a little less defined than the rest of the sculpt. Fortunately this is fairly hidden by the helmet. Speaking of the helmet, it should be noted that it has the same two piece design as Kane’s. The bottom portion is the same piece (though it sits a little closer to the torso than Kane’s does) while the top is a slightly tweaked piece, showing an undamaged version of the helmet. Paint is where Dallas really gets a leg up on Kane. While things certainly aren’t perfect (especially when it comes to the face) the amount of bleed over is a lot lower, and the detailing and texturing looks superb. And the biggest improvement: he’s not sticky! Yeah, Kane was rather tacky is some areas, which isn’t a good thing, but Dallas suffers from none of that, showing that NECA’s really committed to learning from their mistakes. In addition to the removable helmet, Dallas also includes the same flare gun and flashlight that we saw with Kane.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Dallas was part of the set of Series 4 figures I ordered via Big Bad Toy Store. I can’t say the guy was super high on my want list, but I’m pleased to have him. He takes what was good about the Kane figure and improves what was bad, resulting in an overall very solid addition to the line. I can’t help but feel it’s a little unfortunate that he got placed in this series, as I’m sure a lot of people will end up overlooking him in favor of the two Ripley figures he’s packed with. And that’s too bad, because he’s really one of the best figures the line has offered so far, at least as far as quality is concerned.