DUTCH & LINN
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (NECA)
“Terror grips the city of San Drad as it is overwhelmed by a mysterious outbreak of aliens. The cybernetically-enhanced Major Dutch Schaefer and Lt. Linn Kurosawa of the USCMC are surrounded by a swarm of Xenomorph drones when a pair of unlikely allies – Predators – appear and offer a temporary alliance. Now it’s a battle to end them all as human and Predator join forces against unending waves of deadly Xenomorphs!”
In 1994, with the golden years of both franchises firmly behind them, Aliens and Predator decided to meet in the middle, and dive headlong into the world of Alien Vs. Predator, in all its shapes and forms. While it would take us another decade to actually get a movie made out of that concept, one was in the works, and a script was drafted for a mid-90s release. Capcom was contacted to make an arcade game to tie-in with the film, and when the film fell through, decided to go ahead and release the game anyway. Players could choose between four playable characters on their trek to mow down Xenos. There were two variants of Predator, and then there were Dutch and Linn, who I’m taking a look at today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Dutch and Linn are a two-pack release as part of NECA’s game-based Alien Vs. Predator line. They hit shelves between the Predators and the Aliens, which I guess makes some sense. Both follow NECA’s trend of video game figures filtered through the lens of pseudo realism.
Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer was no stranger to that whole Predator thing, being the main protagonist of the first movie and all. He’s also no stranger to the NECA thing….being the protagonist of the first movie and all. And, given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ’90s stardom, it’s no surprise that there were plans to include him in the film crossover. Whether he would have actually been cybernetically-enhanced in the movie is anyone’s guess, but it was a cool game concept. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. Unsurprisingly, this Dutch figure makes use of the molds from NECA’s previous Dutch figures. As I noted when I reviewed the Contra figures that were also built on this body, it’s a strong starting point, and still remains one of NECA’s best bodies. Dutch gets a new, slightly less Schwarzenegger-looking head, plus a new belt and knee/elbow pads. And, of course, most notably, he gets a new right arm, replicating his big robot arm from the game. Boy is this a thing of beauty. It’s a clean sculpt, and it’s got working pistons and joints in all the proper spots. It could have easily been badly articulated or overly fragile, but it’s neither one of those things, and it even manages to be pretty well balanced on the figure, so he won’t fall over as much as you might expect. Man, is that a cool arm. Dutch’s paintwork follows the usual NECA classic video-game trend, with actual painted shading and lighting, simulating the way the sprites in the game are painted. It’s surprisingly subtle on Dutch, and adds a pop to the figure without making him look weird from non-highlighted angles. Dutch is packed with an extra, slightly more relaxed hand for his robot arm, as well as a fire-effect piece to plug onto the end.
Lt. Linn Kurosawa was a brand new addition for the game, though given that she was given the Aliens connection, one has to wonder if at some point in the process she was meant to be a returning Aliens franchise character. Whatever the case, she’s just as prominent in the game as Dutch, and a natural choice here. The figure is 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation (including a balljoint on her pony tail; that’s pretty darn cool). Though she’s a new character, she’s not all-new pieces. She’s instead built on some of Pvt Vasquez’s parts. Given they’re both USCMC, it’s s pretty sensible bit of re-use. Like Dutch, there are still plenty of new parts, including a new head and torso, as well as new dressing for the arms and legs. If Dutch is NECA’s best male body, Vasquez is their best female, so Linn’s got another good starting point. The new parts are all pretty good, though she doesn’t have anything that immediately stands out the way Dutch’s robot arm did. Still, a pretty solid sculpt all around. The paint on Linn is certainly bright and eye-catching, though I did notice that it seemed a little more prone to slop and bleed over than Dutch’s. You might want to keep an eye on that. Linn is packed with a katana, and a handgun, with right hands to match each of them.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve not played the game these two are based on, but I’ve always liked the designs, especially Dutch. While I passed on the rest of the game figures, I liked these two enough in-person that I didn’t want to pass on them. Dutch is probably one of my favorite NECA figures, truth be told. That robot arm is just so much fun! Linn may not have the wow factor that Dutch is, but I didn’t feel like I was gipped by having to buy her as well. All-in-all a very fun set.