SPACE MARINE DRAKE
“Specialty: Never defeated in hand to hand combat
Home Planet: Detention Planet 27, Requist System
Background: Born in captivity, he fought his way out to join the Space Marines at 21
Quote: ‘Stay Frosty, Marines…and LET IT ROCK!'”
Hey, look at that! It’s another new item, even! Man, this is just going off the chain with the new stuff, isn’t it? Three new things? I better slow down! In the midst of all this pandemic stuff, I kinda missed Alien Day. I knew it was coming up, but I honestly didn’t have anything on-hand to review, so I just let it slip by without saying anything. It’s been just over a month, but I’m finally coming back around, with one of the items that NECA dropped right around the celebratory day, Space Marine Drake. We’re now four Space Marines deep in the Kenner-inspired Aliens sub-line, and much like last year’s addition of Apone, Drake’s another character whose movie incarnation we have yet to see, so this figure pulls a touch of double duty, until such time that we might actually get a proper movie figure. Does he do alright? Let’s find out.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
While Apone was part of a larger series, Drake seems to fall back on the pattern Ripley and Vasquez followed, being his own separate release. However, rather than being an exclusive like those two, Drake is still available through most retailers. I know, a non-exclusive NECA figure. What a novel concept. Drake stands 7 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. At his core, Drake has a great majority of his pieces in common with NECA’s Jungle Patrol Dutch figure from their Predator line. It’s a solid starting point, and one of the better base bodies. It also looks fairly close to what Kenner’s version of Drake was wearing, so it’s sensible in that regard. The one major downside is that it’s articulation scheme wasn’t really designed with holding the smartgun in mind, meaning he has a little difficulty on that front. Drake gets a new head, hands, and webgear to complete his conversion into his Kenner appearance. The head’s a nice piece, doing a solid job of adapting Kenner’s radically different Drake likeness into a realistic design. Unlike Apone, though, I don’t feel there’s any way to pass this off as Mark Rolston. This is definitely a much more divergent look. It’s still a solid sculpt, though. The webgear’s a little loose, and floats a little more at the waist than I like, but it looks pretty decent, and is again a solid recreation of the old design. It adds up to a pretty cohesive design. The paintwork is again a nice recreation of the Kenner paint scheme, just with a little bit more real world flair thrown in so that he isn’t wildly out of place with the movie-based figures. Honestly, he more than the other Kenner figures can slot in without too much trouble, given his far more reserved color scheme. As a smartgunner, Drake gets a re-use of the same smartgun included with Vasquez, though if my figure is anything to go by, it’d not quite as sturdy, as one of the handles broke off in the midst of taking the photos. That’s not great. There are a few attachments to make the gun a little more Kenner accurate. The bayonet is removable like on the original figure, and can even be stored on his shoulder, which is kinda fun. They’ve also changed up how the arm of the smartgun connects to the figure, and it’s…well, I think it wasn’t assembled right? There’s a new piece that connects to his web gear, and there’s the part that connects to the gun, but the ends of the two parts don’t connect, and in fact appear to be the same piece. They’re both glued in place, and neither can be removed. The stock photos don’t show both of these end segments in place, so I think maybe the one at the end of the arm wasn’t supposed to be there? Whatever the case, there’s no real easy fix for this, and it means the arm just kind of hangs there. It kind of ruins the coolness of the actual articulated arm as it was on the Vasquez figure, and kind of makes posing him a bit of a pain, because it just flops around, and it also means that the broken handle is even more of an issue, because there’s not that extra support.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Drake’s been a notable missing character in the NECA Aliens set-up, and once NECA put out the Kenner Apone, I was expecting to see him show up this way first. I was excited for him when he was announced, I was excited when he showed up, but ultimately I don’t know if I feel like he really paid off that excitement. He’s not awful, but the breakage and that issue with the arm on the gun is annoying, and I don’t love the Dutch body as much here as I usually do. Ultimately, he’s a passable figure, but I think he’s a bit of a step down after last year’s Apone. I hope NECA can some day get us a movie version. And I also really hope Kenner Hicks is next year’s figure.
I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, who have been helping me keep my sanity with some new toys. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.