CARTER J BURKE & XENOMORPH WARRIOR
It’s been a little while since I’ve given Aliens its proper due. Even longer since I did it by looking at some sweet NECA figures. In fact, the last NECA Aliens figures I looked at were the re-releases of Hicks and Hudson. As awesome as those were, there wasn’t a whole lot new to them. Today’s review is different.
Though the Alien franchise’s most prominent antagonists are the titular creatures of each film, they’re more of a chaotic, not exclusively evil entity. The real antagonists of the story are mostly employees of the duplicitous Weyland-Yutani company. Perhaps their most vile operator is Mr. Carter J. Burke, who serves as a major draw of today’s set of figures.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Burke and the Xenomorph Warrior were released just about a month ago as part of the “Hadley’s Hope” two-pack, which is part of NECA’s overarching Aliens line. These two join the Marine Two-Pack, as well as Vasquez and Frost under the 30th Anniversary banner.
CARTER J BURKE
Don’t let the quote above about not being fooled fool you: he’s not really an okay guy. Fortunately, the same isn’t true of his actor Paul Reiser, which is why we have this figure. Apparently, after being informed during a Q&A that all it would take to get NECA to make a Burke figure was his sign-off on the likeness rights, Reiser made it a point of contacting them and making sure this figure became a reality. Good on you Paul! Burke is seen here in his casual attire he sports on LV-426, which is sensible, since he’s there for most of the movie. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. Burke’s sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s up to par with the rest of the line’s offerings. Structurally, he reminds me a little bit of Bishop, although they’ve definitely gotten a bit more comfortable with the use of overlay pieces integrated with articulation. The head has a pretty solid likeness of Reiser. They’ve gone with a panic-stricken Burke, which I think really works for the character, in the same way that it worked for the first Hudson. I know some collectors wanted a more sly expression, but I find I prefer this. Burke’s paintwork is pretty decent overall, apart from a few small nits. The biggest flaw is the plaid of the shirt ending just a bit too early, thus leaving some un-painted white exposed. It’s not the end of the world, and honestly isn’t that noticeable if you’re not looking right at it. Beyond that, the paint’s pretty solid all-around.
Apparently, the humans don’t move so well at retail, so Burke needed an Alien to keep him exciting. I have a lot of Xenos, so they don’t always thrill me, but I’m okay with it if there’s a good gimmick, which I think this one has. It’s another concept figure, based on pre-shooting design for the Aliens Xeno Warriors. It’s really just the same design, but with a dome on the head. For the actual film, the domes kept breaking due to the more strenuous tasks performed by the aliens, so they were ultimately removed, creating the design we all know now. It’s a neat little what-if. The figure stands about 8 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation. This Xeno makes use of a number of parts from the Series 1 Xeno Warrior, but not as many as you might think. The head’s been tweaked to add the dome, the torso’s been tweaked to make the back fin a permanent piece, the hands, pelvis, upper arms, and upper legs are new pieces to add articulation. It all adds up to a figure that looks rather similar to the prior figures, but is much sturdier and a lot easier to pose. I loved the old figure, but this is definitely an improvement, and I look forward to seeing more Xenos built on this same base body. The paintwork on figure is rather similar to the black Genocide alien’s. It works for me, and I’m just happy it’s cleaner than prior Xenos.
Neither figure really comes with any character-specific accessories, but the set does also include the Hadley’s Hope town sign, which is a pretty awesome backdrop piece, and just a fun idea in general.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I grabbed this set from my usual go-to for NECA stuff, All Time Toys. I knew it was hitting, and I made a point of stopping by to grab it. Burke’s obviously the star here, and he turned out very nicely. The Xeno’s actually one of my favorites from NECA, and I’m happy to add it to the shelf. All around, and awesome set, which I’m thrilled to add to my collection.