Due to some adverse reactions to the small quantity of merchandise put out for Alien, its sequel Aliens got no merchandise at all at the time of its release. Instead, fans of the film would have to wait six years, when a failed pitch for a cartoon based on the property resulted in a line of action figures from legendary action figure makers Kenner. Sure, they were super goofy, and ‘90s out the wazoo, but they were certainly better than nothing. And you can hardly debate that the line was entertaining. One of the more intriguing aspects of the line was that handling of the titular creatures. Rather than simply release a bunch of generic Alien Warriors, Kenner followed the example of the Dog Alien from Alien3 and created some other, non-human-host-based Aliens. One of the earliest examples is the figure I’m looking at today, the Gorilla Alien!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Gorilla Alien was released in the first series of Kenner’s Aliens line, as one of the three initial Aliens. The figure stands roughly 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation (7 if you count the extra shoulder movement granted by his action feature). In terms of design, the Gorilla Alien really doesn’t stray from the classic Xeno look all that much. Really, it just takes the Aliens design and bulks it up a little bit more, to showcase the slightly larger frame of a Gorilla. The sculpt on the figure is pretty decent; the proportions are rather exaggerated, but it’s a ‘90s figure, so that’s somewhat expected. He features a ton of really great detail work on the body, with each little bit of the Xeno being carefully outlined. They even managed to work in the levers for his arm-swinging action feature by The head is a little less impressive, due to being made out of hollow rubber in order to facilitate the “acid spraying” feature (you dunk the figure under water and squeeze the head to fill it. Then you take it out and squeeze it again to shoot “acid”). It’s still a perfectly acceptable sculpt, but it just is a noticeable step down from the rest of the figure. The paint on the Gorilla Alien is actually pretty neat. The figure’s molded in black plastic, with a nice metallic blue brushed on to help accent all the sculpted details. Each of the three aliens in the first series had their own color scheme (the Scorpion was brown, and the Bull was red), and I think the blue was the best by far. The Xenos just look best in blue. The Gorilla Alien was packed with a metallic blue facehugger, which my figure is sadly missing.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I first got into the Kenner Aliens line, I was really only focused on the Marines, but over time I’ve really wanted some more Xenos for them to fight. I got a good helping of the Xenos through the 10th anniversary Aliens Vs. Marine two-packs, but the Gorilla Alien was sadly not one of the chosen aliens for that set. I ended up finding him at Yesterday’s Fun this past summer, and was quite happy to finally be able to add him to the collection. He’s not anything revolutionary, but he’s a solid figure, and he fits well with the rest of the line.