“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!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
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.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
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!