#1989: Sgt. Apone



“Tough and gritty, Apone keeps the Marines in line. Right arm now bio-mechanical.”

When NECA’s highly-popular Predator line started running out of actual movie-based Predators to release, they started reaching back to the ’90s line of Predator figures from Kenner, a fairly popular move.  Obviously, it’s not a huge shock that the Aliens line would follow suit.  We got the Kenner variant of Ripley back on the first Alien Day, with Vasquez following suit the next year.  There was an assortment of Kenner inspired Xenos released between the two in 2016, and we’ve finally gotten a follow-up assortment just this year.  We’ve also gotten our first main series release for a Kenner human, Sgt. Apone, a character whose movie version we have still yet to see, due to Al Matthews, Apone’s actor, being notoriously protective of his likeness.  But hey, at least we have *some* version of Apone.  And one that’s super ’90s-tastic at that!


Sgt. Apone is one of the three figures in the Kenner-inspired Series 13 of Aliens from NECA.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As I noted when I reviewed the original Kenner Apone, his design from Kenner was perhaps one of the most divergent from the source material.  Gone was his uniform and standard military gear, replaced by something I can only describe as “uber ’90s”.  He’s got a backwards baseball cap, fingerless gloves, a bright-colored t-shirt with the sleeves torn off, and even a pair of sneakers inspired by the ones Ripley has in the film (which her Kenner figure didn’t have; I can only imagine that Al stole them from her).  The look is unique to say the least.  For the part of this specific figure, he’s done a pretty amazing job of faithfully capturing the details of the original figure, while still updating him so that he won’t look *too* out of place with the rest of the movie-inspired figures.  There’s a lot of great small detail work going on, from the wrinkles of his pants, to all the little stitches and wear on his boots.  The facial likeness is a tricky area of course, since it’s not officially an Al Matthews likeness, same as the Kenner figure before it.  But, like the Kenner figure, it’s still got a more than passing resemblance to the guy, meaning he still looks like Apone.  For the more resourceful customizers out there, I can see this head leading to a pretty easy movie accurate version of the character.  If there’s one drawback to the sculpt, it’s the way the cybernetic arm impedes the articulation on his right elbow.  It’s not terrible, and you can still get some good poses, but it’s not as good as the left.  In NECA’s defense, the original Kenner figure threw the arm on with no intention to articulate it, so they’re just doing their best to remain faithful to that design.  In the end, it’s not that big an issue, but it did somewhat stick out at me.  Moving onto the paint, Apone’s got some solid work, and is appropriately garish in color scheme.  He’s got his signature “No Bugs” scrawled across his shirt, which definitely looks cool, and as a whole the figure just really pops.  What I like the most about it, however, is that NECA didn’t just do the basic colors, they’ve also gone behind and added some accenting work, especially on those boots, so even though he may be bright and painful, he still looks like a real person.  Apone includes two “grenades” and a shotgun, just like his old figure.  The gun is re-used from one of the Genisys Terminators, but it’s actually a surprisingly good match.


I’ve definitely been wanting an Apone for my NECA Aliens collection, and while I still want a faithful movie version at some point, I really can’t complain about getting this one.  The super ’90s nature adds a lot of charm.  Here’s hoping for some more Kenner Marines to go with him!

I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, who have (or had, at least) the whole series.   If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#0923: TRU Aliens Minimates Series 2




Well, it’s been almost a week since Alien Day, and I’ve started to miss those scary acid-bleedy monsters. So, how about another Aliens review? And, for extra fun, why not some more Minimates? Yeah, that’ll be cool, because I just got this brand-new set of them from Toys R Us. Let’s have a look at them!


These six were released as the second Toys R Us-exclusive series of Aliens Minimates. The pack breakdowns are Ripley and the Screaming Xeno, Apone and the Glowing Alien, and Drake and the Extra-Damaged Alien. Typically, I review Minimates one two-pack at a time, however, all but one of these figures are slightly tweaked versions of previously reviewed ‘mates. Rather than drag them out for the better part of a week, I thought I might as well get them all out of the way, since there’s not much new to review.



Ripley’s the real star of the franchise, so it’s not a huge shock that she’s also the human with the most variations. This Ripley is a slight tweak of the Alien 35th Anniversary boxed-set version, reviewed here. The only difference between the two figures is the facial expression, which is a slightly cleaned up version of the Hive Assault Ripley from Series 1. The new face definitely helps her resemble Sigourney Weaver a bit more, resulting in a AliensTRU2eslightly superior figure. That said, the issue with the incorrect hair is still present, and is made more glaring by the fact that this is the second time we’ve seen it happen. Aside from that issue, she’s a pretty solid figure, just like her predecessor. Ripley includes a flamethrower (no flame trail, though), Jonesy the cat, a facehugger, and a clear display stand.

Not to be outdone by Ripley, the Big Chap goes for his fourth variation. This one’s a combination of two of the prior figures: he’s got the paint scheme from the “Crew of the Nostromo” set, with the head from the first set (albeit with the inner mouth removed). Not really much to say about this one, other than to say it’s just as good as all the other Xenos in the line. The figure includes a closed egg and a clear display stand.



Well, I was wrong. In my review of the Series 1 Apone Minimate, I said he’d likely only get one Minimate appearance, and here he is with his second Minimate. Lucky him. Like Ripley, the only difference between this Apone and his prior ‘mate is his facial expression: he’s turned in his more collected (if still pissed off) expression for a more intense, teeth gritting one. This Apone’s clearly from his final moments in the hive, as he’s caught in a firefight. The resemblance to Al Matthews is lessened a AliensTRU2fbit by the new expression, but it’s not hard to figure out who it’s supposed to be, and the expression is worth the tradeoff. The rest of Apone’s details are identical to the last release, right down to the transposed letters on his USCM patch (it says “USMC”). Apone is packed with his baseball cap, an M41A Pulse Rifle, a newborn alien, and a clear display stand.

The other half of this set is the one truly new figure in this series: the Glowing Alien. No, you didn’t miss a scene in the movie; no aliens ever appear like this. He’s just a fun variant cooked up by DST. Sculpturally, he’s the same as any other Alien from the line (his head is the “Screaming” version). What sets him apart is the clear green plastic he’s been molded in. The figure isn’t just clear green, though; if you let him charge in sunlight for a while (and I mean a good, long while), he lives up to the adjective he’s given by the front of the box and does a bit of glowing. The Glowing Alien includes another egg, also closed.



Okay, I had kind of figured that Drake might get a second ‘mate, and this one gives me pretty much exactly what I expected. This figure’s more or less the same as the Series 1 Drake; like Ripley and Apone, he just gets a new expression. Instead of the sly grin of the last figure, this one’s mid-yell, that honestly feels a bit more appropriate for Drake. Sadly, Drake is still lacking the flack vest under his armor, instead just sporting the normal fatigues. It wouldn’t be a big issue, if not for the extra pieces included. Drake comes with an extra head, sporting the acid burns he gets at the end of the hive attack. AliensTRU2gAt that point in the film, Drake had ditched his smartgun and its harness, which is when we see the flack vest. Of course, everything about this series points to them being put together as quickly as possible, so there probably just wasn’t time to do a new torso detailing. In addition to the extra head, Drake includes his smartgun, a hat without the headgear, a flamethrower (w/ flame trail), a newborn alien, and a clear display stand. It might have been nice to get a hairpiece without the hat, since Drake loses the hat at the same time as the harness, but he has enough extras that I don’t feel gipped.

We’ve gotten a number of Battle-Damaged Aliens over the course of this line. What makes this one different? He’s Extra-Damaged! No, but really, there are different blood splatters. Seriously, you guys probably don’t get how big a deal that is, but I’ve got like four of these already, all with the same damage. Some variety is much appreciated. Other than the slight change in blood splatters, this figure’s the same as the one included with Vasquez. The Extra-Damaged Alien includes another egg, open this time, and a clear display stand.


On Alien Day, NECA released a re-deco of their Aliens Ripley figure through Toys R Us. I was busy during the day, but my Dad was nice enough to stop by a TRU during his lunch. He didn’t find the Ripley figure, but he did find these three sets. They’re not a bad consolation prize. Sure, there’s not a whole lot of newness to them, but each set has at least something exciting, especially for an Aliens geek like me!

#0589: Sgt. Apone & Warrior Alien




After a little bit of a wait, the first wave of Aliens Minimates has finally found its way to all the various Minimate retailers. Things started off with a bang with heavy hitters Ripley and Hicks, but the rest of Wave 1 is decidedly a bit more low-key on character selection. Today, let’s look at Apone, the most prominent of the also-rans, as he faces off against one of the movie’s titular creatures.


Apone and the Warrior Alien are part of the specialty release of Aliens Minimates Series 1. Apone seems to be remaining exclusive to this set, but the Alien is sure to turn up elsewhere (and kind of already has…)


Apone&Xeno2“Where’s Apone?” Here’s Apone. The ill-fated Marine Sergeant isn’t a stranger to toys (though he hasn’t had quite as many as other Aliens characters), but this is the first, and likely only, appearance of the character as a Minimate. He’s presented here in his standard Colonial Marine armor, which is nice for consistency’s sake, though he’s probably the one Marine in the movie who gets most of his key scenes before suiting up. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. Apone features sculpted add-ons for his helmet, chest armor, and boots/shin guards. These pieces are the same ones we saw on both Hicks and Weirzbowski. It’s standard issue armor, so that certainly makes sense. The pieces are still impressively sculpted and quite accurate to the source material. Like Hicks, Apone’s shoulder lamp is removable. He isn’t seen without it, but it’s nice to have the option. The issue with the hair on the back of the helmet is a little more obvious here, given how close cropped Apone’s hair is supposed to be, but it’s relatively easy to overlook. Apone’s paintwork is decent overall, but there are a few glaring issues. I’ve already addressed the shade of the armor, so I won’t get into that again. The armor does have a few other issues, though. The black areas are a little sloppy, and his name on the front of his torso is off-center and a little angled. He also has the same issue with the misaligned helmet camo that Hicks had, so it seems that wasn’t a one-off. Under the Apone&Xeno4armor, the figure is very well detailed. His uniform’s camo extends all around the torso, however, it’s still absent from the under sides of the arms and the backs of the legs. He has an assortment of insignias running down his sleeves. They’re well-defined, however, his Marine patch actually says USMC instead of the proper USCM. It’s a minor thing, especially given the size, but it’s still not right. Apone features a pretty great likeness of actor Al Matthews, and his hair is painted onto the basic headpiece, so as to replicate its close-cropped nature. This does leave him with an exposed peg hole, however, DST has provided a few solutions to that. Sgt. Apone includes a baseball cap, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. Apone sports the hat in most of his early scenes, so it’s good to see it here, and it provides a way to show him sans helmet, without showing off the peg hole on the head. We never actually see Apone with a facehugger, but it’s implied, and I certainly won’t turn down another opportunity to get a facehugger.


Apone&Xeno3It wouldn’t be much of an Aliens toyline without a few of those pesky Xenomorphs, now would it? After being the big focus of the single-packed figures, it looks like the different varieties of aliens are finding their way into the two-packs as well. The Warrior Alien is, in essence, the same figure as the single packed Alien Warrior. It stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. The Warrior Alien has sculpted add-on pieces for the torso, head, hands, tail, and feet. This is the same selection of parts from the Alien Warrior, but that’s hardly an issue. These pieces are quite well sculpted, and the aliens should look the same anyway. The closed mouth is a little more open here than it was on the previous release, which adds some variety, I guess. The paint is about the same as the last release. Lots of details that really sell that whole bio-mechanical thing. It’s worth noting that the lines are bolder on this release, making the details a little easier to see. The Warrior Alien only includes a clear display stand, however, this seems acceptable, given the quantity of sculpted parts present.


I got the two of these from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. This isn’t the most exciting set in the bunch, but it’s not bad. Apone is a decent addition to the line. He’s not quite up to the same level as Ripley or Hicks, but he’s a good accent figure. The Warrior Alien isn’t anything new if you’ve already got the single release. However, it’s still on par with the single release, which was a pretty fantastic Minimate. And it’s not like you can’t have another Xenomorph hanging around…


#0362: Sgt Apone



In the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t uncommon for toy companies to get the rights to movies that were a bit outside of the target audience for… toys. Things like Rambo, Robocop, and Terminator 2, all very definitely aimed at adults, were treated to their very own lines of action figures very clearly aimed at kids. Kenner’s Aliens looks like this at first glance, but in actuality they were meant to tie in with Operation: Aliens, a proposed Saturday-morning cartoon based on the 1986 film. When plans for the cartoon were scrapped, Kenner was left with lots of already produced merchandise, leading to them rebranding the line as just Aliens. The Marines offered in the line were based on those that would have been the characters in the cartoon, which means some of them weren’t from the movie. However, a fair number of movie characters made it through, including Sgt. Apone, who I’ll be looking at today.


Apone was released in the first series of Aliens figures. The figure is 5 inches tall and features 6 points of articulation. Unlike the previously reviewed Ripley, Apone’s design doesn’t have much in common with his movie counterpart. Admittedly, the face does look a bit like Al Matthews, which is nice to see. The rest of the figure is very clearly meant to be based on the Apone design from the failed cartoon. At the very least, it’s an interesting design. The sculpt manages to make it look pretty good. There’s a lot of detail work, especially in the armored pieces on his arm and shoulders, but then there are large areas on his lower half with virtually no detail at all. It’s a mixed look. The paint on Apone is decent, if a bit basic. There are a few fuzzy lines, but nothing too bad. With the exception of the “No Bugs” written on his t-shirt, the rest of the little touches are actually decals, not paint. Apone included some sort of rocket launcher accessory, but I bought mine loose, so he never had whatever it was.


The Aliens figures were released in 1992.  That’s actually within my lifetime, but just barely. Needless to say, I wasn’t buying action figures at less than one, so I didn’t start getting the Aliens figures until much later. Apone is one of the last additions to that set; I didn’t get him until just this summer. I picked Apone up from Yesterday’s Fun, while on vacation with my family. Apone is one of the characters who changed the much for this line, but he’s not a bad figure.