What’s this? Another Alien review? On my site? Why, that’s just unheard of! …Or, maybe not. So, what’s different about this review? Well, amongst other things, it’s a figure based on a movie I don’t like. Yeah, this here is one of the Alien Warriors from the first Alien vs. Predator film, a movie that’s only real saving grace is that it’s not as bad as its own sequel. In fact, it’s not a bad movie, just a mediocre one. That doesn’t seem right for Alien vs. Predator, which should really be a “go big or go home” affair. But, alas, we got the film we got, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see another. Sorry, this is actually supposed to be a toy review! Let’s get on to the figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Alien Warrior is a part of Bandai’s S.H. MonsterArts line, and was released as a standalone item in early 2014. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall (a little taller than Bandai’s Big Chap) and has 63 points of articulation. As noted in the intro, this figure is based on the Alien vs. Predator design for the Alien Warrior. It’s interesting that they opted to release this version of the alien so far after the movie instead of something more iconic, such as the Aliens version, but if I had to guess, I’d say AvP’s probably just the cheapest of the licenses to procure. I find that each successive iteration of the Xenomorph design after Aliens loses a little of what made the first two designs work, and in particular, I found the Xenos in AvP to be too skinny and waaaaay too slimy and goopy. While this figure does strive to be an overall fairly accurate translation of the design, I find it changes a few minor things that result in a much better end product. For one thing, the details and texturing feel much sharper here than in the film, which is definitely a change I appreciate. In addition, it seems they’ve shrunk the size of the head ever so slightly, so that makes the body feel less skinny by comparison. In general, the sculpt has some incredible detail work and there’s some really great touches that they could have gotten away with leaving out, like the fully sculpted head under the dome. That’s something we don’t see in the movie, but they put it there anyway. Also, like the Big Chap, the knees and the tip of the figure’s tail are made from die-cast metal, which is a cool little, easily missed touch. The figure also has the signature Xeno inner-jaw, though the instructions tell you to remove the whole outer jaw to get it out (side note: looks like they got an actual translator for the instructions on this one. It makes for a more professional end product, but I must admit to missing the just slightly off English of the Big Chap’s instructions. Oh well.) The paintwork on the figure is pretty much what you’d expect on a figure of a Xeno; it’s black with silver highlights. The dark brown transparent dome is definitely a cool look, and I was quite happy to see that the fully sculpted head was also fully painted under there. The Alien Warrior includes an alien egg, a chestburster, two sets of hands in splayed and closed poses, and a display stand, which, like the Big Chap’s, seems a little out of place with this figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After getting me the Big Chap for Christmas, my boy Tim got me this guy as a birthday present. Though I don’t love the movie, and I’m not a big fan of the Xeno design as it’s presented in the film, I actually really like this figure a lot. He’s a ton of fun to pose, and the tweaks Bandai made to the design make it a lot better looking. Definitely an awesome addition to the collection!