PVT VASQUEZ & BATTLE-DAMAGED ALIEN
The first wave of Toys R Us exclusive Aliens Minimates have the notoriety of being one of the few series in recent years not to get any purely exclusive sets. Instead, the series is a “Best of” series of sorts, being used to bridge the gap between Series 1 and 2 of the main line. It also gives us our first look at two of the Marines who will be showing up in Series 2. One of the two is Smartgunner Vasquez, packed facing off against another pesky Xenomorph.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This pair was released as a Toys R Us exclusive set, though, as with Hudson, Vasquez will be appearing in Series 2 as well.
Vasquez is one of the movie’s two Smartgunners. We got the other half of the pair, Drake, in Series 1. However, Vasquez is definitely the more central of the two, so she was the one everyone was waiting for. Like Hudson, this same figure (more-or-less) should be turning up in Series 2 of the specialty assortments. Pvt. Vasquez features additional sculpted parts for her hair/headpiece, and her chest piece. The chest piece is the same as the one used for Drake, which is sensible re-use, since they had the same armor in the film. She still has the standard issue shoulder lamp, though it has some difficulty staying put, which is rather annoying. The hair/headpiece is new to Vasquez and…well, it’s not quite as good as I’d hoped. The hair seems to be too bulky and to sit too high to accurately depict the close-cropped hair the character sports in the film. If it were just a smidge on the smaller side, I think it would look a lot better. I’m also disappointed to lose the articulated eye-piece, as that was one of my favorite things on Drake. The thing about the sculpt is that it’s really hard to get an accurate read on the quality, mostly due to…the paint. The paint on this figure annoys me. It’s not sloppy. In fact, it’s quite clean and sharp. Her fatigues are nicely detailed, and her armor has most of the appropriate graffiti. I’m also glad to see they got her skin tone correct. I like having a diverse selection of skin tones. So, what’s wrong? Well, for starters, her hair is just the wrong color. Yes, Jennete Goldstien has red hair. However, she very definitely didn’t have it while playing Vasquez. The hair here is far too light to be accurate. Also, her face, while well-rendered, is too low-set, making the hairpiece look even higher up than it already is. Also, she’s got lipstick, which isn’t accurate, and her expression is far too friendly to ever be Vasquez. As far as accessories go, Vasquez makes out alright. She includes the smartgun, which is the same as Drake’s, and works just as well here as it did there. She also has a spare hairpiece, without the headset, but it has the same issues as the main piece. Lastly, she has the now standard clear display stand.
Oh boy, another Alien! Yeah, it’s cool that they keep making them available, but there’s really only so much you can say about what’s essentially the same figure over and over. So, like all its alien brethren before it, the Battle-Damaged Alien has sculpted parts for its head, torso, tail, hands, and feet. This one’s a little different from the last two versions of the Battle-Damaged Alien; he’s been given the closed-mouth head. That’s different enough. Aside from that, the rest of the pieces are all the same Xeno parts we’ve seen before, though that’s certainly not a bad thing. Have you seen the other Battle-Damaged Aliens? Good, then you’ve seen the paint on this one too. It’s Identical. I still wish that DST would mix up the blood splatters a little bit, but I guess that won’t be happening. This Alien includes a clear display stand AND a newborn Alien. Well, the newborn could really go with either of the figures in the set, but I figured, since Vasquez had other stuff, it made sense to put it here. It’s a fun little piece, with a surprising amount of detail. It’s a cool pack-in!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, yeah, I was gonna wait on Hudson and Vasquez, but…I didn’t. That worked out okay for the last set. This set? I’m not gonna lie, it was disappointing. Vasquez is supposed to be the draw here, but she’s rather weak. After the slam dunk that was Drake, it seemed like this one should be no trouble for DST, but that didn’t prove true. Perhaps the Series 2 release could fix the hair color, at the very least, but it’s nigh-impossible that we’ll see the sculpt of the hair fixed. It’s a shame because, from the neck down, this is a tremendous figure, but that head really drags the whole thing down.