SPACE MARINE POWER LOADER
Hey guys! Do you know what my favorite movie is? You should, because I talk about it like an excessive amount. But maybe you’re new here, or bad at paying attention, so I’ll remind you that it’s Aliens, aka the greatest film of all time! The movie has gotten quite a few action figures in the last few years, but it’s very first action figure line came from Kenner in the early 90s, and it was the result of a failed Saturday morning cartoon adaptation. I’ve looked at a fair number of the figures, but there were also a number of vehicles in the line. Most were made up, but they did get make the Power Loader, allowing kids of the ‘90s to proudly say “Get away from her you…female dog.”
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Power Loader was released just after the first assortment of items from Kenner’s Aliens line, alongside the first version of the Alien Queen. The base Power Loader body stands about 7 inches tall (the “alienator” missile launcher adds another inch or so, depending on its orientation) and its articulated at the shoulders and has an opening cockpit, and there is also movement on the two side guns on the arms and the base of the missile launcher. The claws can also move, but they are worked into a spring-action feature, and therefore cannot hold a pose on their own. The Kenner line can be best described as “inspired by Aliens,” more so than being a straight recreation of the movie’s designs. While it certainly fares a bit better than a lot of items in the line in terms of film accuracy, there’s no denying that this Power Loader is an entirely different beast than the film version. The basic shape is more or less the same, especially when the missile launcher is in its away position; this thing will definitely pass the squint test. The claws are the first real change, being a more conventional Sci-fi claw design than the more forklift styled claw from the movie. The legs have also been changed from more typical human-style legs to a treaded design that looks fairly similar to the Robot from Lost in Space, presumably to allow the torso and legs to be one solid piece. There are also the added guns, one on each arm, which make the Power Loader more of an offensive machine (one has to wonder if Kenner was aware that these weapons and such resulted in the Power Loader’s name becoming something of an artifact). From there, most of the changes are small and aesthetic, in order to make the overall design a bit more streamlined and in keeping with the more simplistic nature of the whole Kenner line. The end result is actually not a bad looking toy, and certainly one that bridges the gap between toyline and movie quite well. A fair number of these changes have been made in order to better facilitate placing the Kenner Ripley figure in the loader. She doesn’t fit perfectly, due to her rather limited articulation, but she manages to look decent enough. For the most part, this thing’s just molded in bright yellow, with minimal paint for the elbow joints and the treads on the feet. The yellow is a bit on the warm side, but not terrible, and what paint there is has been handled cleanly. The rest of the details are handled via a sheet of decals included in the package, which add a ton of cool little details. Aside from the missile for the “alienator” the Power Loader has no real accessories, but being a glorified accessory itself, that’s not really a problem.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Kenner Power Loader is an item I’ve wanted for quite some time. When I saw it on the back of my first Ripley’s card, I was immediately impressed. Unfortunately for me, it’s not quite as easy to find as the figures, so I was never able to find one. At Farpoint this year, I found it at the table of one of the dealers (the same guy who has been selling me a steady supply of other 90s toylines at the last several cons I’ve attended). It ended up being the most I’ve spent on a single item from the Kenner line, but certainly not outside my price range. This toy definitely she’s its age, and one can hardly compare it to NECA’s recent masterpiece, but this is a really fun take on one of the film’s most memorable moments, and it looks awesome with the rest of my Kenner figures.