SPACE MARINE LT. RIPLEY
A little over three weeks ago, it was Alien Day, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Aliens, the greatest movie of all time. There was lots of awesome stuff going on to celebrate (I even got to see Aliens on the big screen!). NECA, who’ve been making Aliens figures for several years now got in on the fun by offering an exclusive figure in partnership with Toys R Us. So, without further ado, here’s Space Marine Lt. Ripley!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ripley is a part of NECA’s ongoing Aliens line. She was a special one-off exclusive, so she’s not officially part of a specific series. However, she falls in between Series 7 and Series 8 as far as the timeline of releases goes. So, we’ve got Ripley from the first movie, Ripley from the second movie, and Ripley from the third movie’s in Series 8; what version of Ripley is this? Well, it’s not Ripley from the fourth movie, that’s for sure. This Ripley isn’t based on a movie incarnation at all: she’s instead based on Kenner’s Lt. Ripley from their ‘90s Aliens line. NECA started using Kenner variants in their Predator line when they started running out of movie designs, so it’s not a huge shock to see them go that route with Aliens too. This Ripley stands 7 ¼ inches tall and she has 26 points of articulation. Since she was meant to be a figure that could be turned around relatively quickly, most of Ripley’s sculpt is the same as the Series 5 version of the character. That was a fantastic sculpt, and is perhaps one of my favorite NECA sculpts to date, so the reuse is far from a bad thing. There are still a few minor nits, but the good outweighs the bad by like a whole lot. In addition, the Kenner Ripley was based on the same basic design as the Series 5 Ripley, so the sculpt really isn’t far off. To help seal the deal, Ripley gets one additional add-on piece for her bandana, which does a suitable job of capturing the Kenner piece, while at the same time fitting right in with the rest of the sculpt. The rest of the changes in design are handled via the paint job, which I must say is quite impressive. The ‘90s were a truly garish time for fashion, and Kenner’s Ripley was not unaffected by this. However, despite not toning down the colors all that much, NECA’s managed to make Ripley not look super ridiculous. To the casual fan, she’s a fairly serviceable normal Ripley, but a toy fan should be able to instantly recognize the reference. The original Kenner Ripley included a huge freaking flamethrower thing. To properly replicated this would have required a whole new tool that wouldn’t have been useful for too much else. So, instead of that, this Ripley gives us our first look at the Smartgun that’ll be included with Series 9’s Vasquez. Ripley has a little trouble holding it, since it’s not what her hands are designed to hold, but it’s an awesomely sculpted piece. Also, as a neat little throwback, the figure also includes a reprint of the comic included with the original Kenner Ripley (These really need to be put out in a collected edition of some sort).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Oh boy, was getting this figure an ordeal. I hit up my local TRU on Alien Day with no luck finding this figure. I also had no luck finding at any of the nearby TRUs for the next two weeks. In addition, it sold out of TRU’s online store in a few hours, and then the product page disappeared, so I had no luck there. However, patience persevered, and TRU listed more stock online, allowing me to get the figure. Yay. I’m glad I got this figure. Sure, I have most of it already, but it’s an incredibly fun variant, and a wonderful throwback to my very first Aliens figure.