#1094: Aliens TRU 3

KANE, PHANTOM XENOMORPH, HIVEWORLD RED ALIEN, HIVEWORLD ALIEN, LT. GORMAN, & ATTACKING ALIEN WARRIOR

ALIENS MINIMATES

alienstru3a

After almost two weeks of Star Wars coverage, I’m switching over to another popular sci-fi franchise (and perhaps my favorite sci-fi franchise at that), the Alien franchise!  I’ll be taking another look at the ever growing Aliens Minimates line today, with that latest round of Toys R Us-exclusive ‘mates.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The six figures covered today are all from the third TRU-exclusive series of Aliens Minimates.  Currently, five of the six figures are exclusive to this set, with only the Attacking Alien Warrior being a repeat, though there will also be a slightly differently deco-ed Kane available with the upcoming Space Jockey set.

SPACE SUIT KANE & PHANTOM XENOMORPH

alienstru3eAlthough the whole line is under the Aliens banner, that doesn’t stop DST from including sets based on the first movie from time to time (as a matter of fact, the entire third specialty assortment was Alien themed).  Kane’s shown up as a ‘mate before in the 35th Anniversary set, but this time around, he’s wearing his pressure suit, an important look for the character.  The figure uses the base Minimate body, and as such stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has add-ons for the helmet, torso, belt, upper legs, shin coverings, and wrist bands.  These pieces are shared with the other pressure-suited characters from the third specialty assortment, but Kane’s my first look at the pieces.  They do a very nice job of translating the movie look into ‘mate form, and there’s definitely some great detail work here.  The generic upper leg pieces look a little strange compared to the more detailed pieces, but they work well, and you do have to draw the line somewhere.  The paintwork on Kane is pretty great, actually.  The design of the helmet doesn’t allow space for anything more than the basic head under it, so Kane’s cap from the film is just painted on, but it actually looks pretty decent.  The face appears to be the same one used on the first Kane, but it’s lower on the head this time, which makes it look a bit better.  The rest of the details are all pretty sharp, and I appreciate that the quilted pattern goes all the way up his chest, rather than stopping at the armored piece.  Kane was packed with a sidearm, a flashlight, and a clear display stand.

alienstru3dThe Phantom Xenomorph is pretty much the same figure as the Xeno included in the Crew of the Nostromo set, but molded in smokey grey tinted translucent plastic.  To that end, he’s a little over 2 1/2 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  As far as variants of the Big Chap go, this one’s pretty fun, and certainly a bit more exciting than the slight head variations we’ve gotten before.  His only accessory is a clear display stand.

HIVEWORLD ALIENS

alienstru3bRemember when NECA did these guys?  Well, it’s pretty much the same principle here.  They’re based on the two warring factions of Xenos from Aliens: Genocide, and are really just another inventive way of getting two more Xeno variants out there.  They both use the standard Xeno parts, with the Red one using the “screaming” head, and the black one the closed-mouth one.  The Red Xeno is nice and vibrant, and definitely sticks out.  That being said, the Black Xeno isn’t just a straight rehash of what we’ve seen before; rather than straight black, he’s actually a very dark blue, much like the black drones were in the actual comic art.  It’s a subtle change, but it at least makes him a little different.  These two include clear display stands and nothing else.  If I’m honest, that’s a little bit of a letdown.  I had sort of hoped these might be along the lines of the Red vs Blue Spartan set from the Halo Minimates line, where a number of different pieces would be included to build all three variants of the standard Xeno (closed mouth, screaming, and inner mouth extended), but I can see how that might have not been cost effective.

DRESS UNIFORM LT. GORMAN & ATTACKING ALIEN WARRIOR

alienstru3cLt. Gorman makes his first appearance here, albeit in a more obscure uniform.  The standard Gorman’s going to be packed with the upcoming APC, so this set includes Gorman in his dress uniform from when he and Burke go to meet Ripley about returning to LV-426.  Gorman’s mostly a vanilla-mate, with only a belt add-on.  He’s missing his hat from that scene, but I don’t believe there’s a proper hat available to re-use, and new tooling obviously wasn’t an option.  This figure is mostly carried by the paintwork, which does a pretty good job recreating Gorman’s look from early in the film.  I’m not sure the head really captures William Hope, but it’s a fair attempt.  It’s worth noting that, like both Apones, Gorman’s patch still incorrectly reads “USMC”, not “USCM” like it should.  It’s a minor issue of course, but it might be nice for DST to catch that one of these days.  Gorman includes a handgun and a clear display stand.

We’ve seen this Alien Warrior several times before, starting with the Aliens vs Marines army dump set that kicked off the line.  It’s a pretty standard Xeno, so it’s hard to complain about it showing up again.  It being packed with this version of Gorman seems a bit odd, since he didn’t wear his dress uniform on the planet, but I suppose the Alien is here to make the set a little less stuffy.  The Alien includes two eggs (one opened, one closed) and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this whole set at my local TRU a couple of months back.  They’re a bit of a mixed bag really.  Kane and the Phantom Xeno are by far the winning set here, in terms of both execution and excitement factor.  The Genocide pack is decent, but the lack of any sort of extras makes it feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.  Gorman and the Attacking Alien are perfectly fine, and it’s cool to finally have a Gorman, but nothing about this set is particularly exciting.  All in all, I’m glad to have this series, and there’s a lot to like, but they don’t have the same “wow” factor as previous series.

Advertisements

#0993: Nostromo Crew Minimates

DALLAS, LAMBERT, BRETT, & XENOMORPH

ALIEN MINIMATES

Nostromo1

“In space, no one can hear you scream…”

Well, unless you’re talking about Lambert, in which case everyone can hear you scream. Constantly. With no end in sight. Ugh. Okay, perhaps that was a bit harsh. May what Lambert was really screaming about was the lack of any action figures. Well, scream no more Lambert, because Diamond Select Toys has got you, along with Brett and Dallas, covered, thanks to the awesome set of Minimates I’m looking at today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Dallas, Lambert, Brett, and the Xenomorph were all released together in the Hastings-exclusive “Nostromo Crew” set, the second Alien-themed boxed set from DST.

DALLAS

Nostromo2 Dallas, captain of the Nostromo, is the one <human> member of this set who isn’t a stranger to action figures. In fact, he’s the one character who’s shown up in just about every major scale that Alien merchandise has been offered in, and he’s even got another Minimate on the way. This ‘mate shows Dallas as he spends most of his time on-screen: in his Nostromo crew uniform, wearing his signature jacket. Dallas is constructed using two add-on pieces, for his hair and jacket. The hair is a re-use from Marvel Series 31’s Captain Marvel. It’s a well sculpted piece, and it’s appropriately ‘70s enough for the look Dallas is sporting in the movie. The jacket is the same basic jacket piece we’ve seen several times before in this and other lines. It’s a pretty generic piece, and it works great for Dallas. The painted detailing on Dallas is really awesome. The face has a spot-on likeness of Tom Skerritt, and the rest of the body features a ton of fun little details. I like that he’s got the little Weyland/Yutani logo on both his jacket and his shirt, and I really appreciate the dedication to getting the lacing on the front and arms of his jacket just right. Dallas is packed with a spare set of arms, allowing for a sans-jacket look, as well as a small pistol, a flamethrower (with a flame attachment), and a clear display stand.

LAMBERT

Nostromo4Lambert is the Nostromo’s navigator. She’s also one of the three members of the crew to go out on the surface of LV-426 and is one of the longest lasting members of the crew. As such, it’s a bit surprising that this is the first time she’s ever made it into action figure form. Maybe all that screaming deterred people. Lambert is seen here in her attire from when she’s on board the ship. It’s not the most exciting look ever, but it’s the one she spends most of the movie in, so there’s that. Lambert has add-ons for her hair and her vest. The hair is re-used from the T2 line’s first Kyle Reese figure, and it’s admittedly a bit off for Lambert. In the movie, her hair was a fair bit more close-cropped than this piece depicts, and she would probably have been more suited with something like the piece included with Cpl Hicks. The vest is the same piece as Dallas’s, and it works perfectly fine here. Lambert’s paint isn’t quite as exciting as Dallas’s, since it doesn’t feature as many fun details. That being said, it’s still high quality. All the details are nice and sharp, and she looks pretty much as she’s supposed to. The face is a bit on the bland side, but there’s a fix for that I’ll get to in one second. For accessories, Lambert includes a flamethrower (no flame trail this time), a pistol, an extra head, and a clear display stand. The best piece by far is the extra head, which depicts Lambert with the frightened look she has on her face for most of the movie’s runtime. Where the normal head is a bit bland and expressionless, this head is pitch-perfect for Lambert.

BRETT

Nostromo3Brett is the lowest ranking member of the crew, and the first casualty of the full-grown Alien. He’s kind of a tragic character really, being little more than a working class yes-man who just wanted to be paid his fair share. Like Lambert, he’s never gotten an action figure before. This figure depicts Brett in pretty much the only thing we ever see him wearing: a uniform with a Hawaiian shirt over it, and a Nostromo-branded baseball cap. Brett gets add-on pieces for his hair/hat, jacket, and the lower part of his shirt. The hat comes from the first series of Walking Dead Minimates, and it’s a pretty good fit for Brett. The jacket was used on Star Trek Legacy’s Picard ‘mate, and it offers a slightly different jacket from the other two figures in this set, in order to differentiate that Brett is from engineering, rather than the bridge. Brett also gets a hand holding a cigarette, which helps add a nice extra bit of character to the figure. As far as paint goes, Brett’s is pretty great. The face isn’t quite as spot-on as Dallas was, but you can still definitely see a lot of Harry Dean Stanton in there. The rest of the body has a lot of other fun details as well, and I’m particularly pleased with how well the Hawaiian shirt turned out. I also really like the fact that there’s a fully detailed waist under the extra bit of shirt, which is fully distinct from Dallas’s. Brett includes an extra set of arms for displaying him without the jacket, as well as an extra normal hand, a pistol, and a clear display stand. It would have been nice to get the little stunning device he had while chasing the newborn, but what he got is reasonable.

XENOMORPH

Nostromo5Well, I suppose you can’t really have an Alien set without throwing in at least one figure of the title character, can you? So, here’s the third of the four versions we’ve gotten of the Big Chap. Structurally, this is more or less the same figure as the Xeno in the first Alien boxed-set, which itself wasn’t too far removed from the various versions of the Xeno we’ve gotten from the main Aliens line. Aside from the slight inaccuracy on the hands (which are three-fingered like the Aliens design, rather than six-fingered like the Big Chap is supposed to be), the various pieces are all very nicely sculpted and are quite accurate to the source material. The one change to this figure from others is the jaw. Other versions of the Big Chap have all had an open jaw, but this one is closed. A minor change, to be sure, but one that adds a nice bit of variety. The paintwork on this Xenomorph is also pretty similar to what we’ve seen on other Xenos. The details are nice and sharp, and the figure has a cool glossy sheen. The dome is now more of an amber hue than other versions, which actually looks really cool, and allows you to better see the underlying skull. It’s hard to say who some of the accessories in this set were supposed to go with, so I’m going to lump the newborn and facehugger in with the Xenomorph. In addition to those two pieces, the Xeno also includes a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I kept meaning to pick this set up, but not having any Hastings stores anywhere near me meant getting this set would be a little bit of a hassle, so it kept getting put off. With Hastings’ announcement they were filing for bankruptcy and closing down all the MovieStops (one of which I have near me), I decided to take advantage of the ensuing sale to pick up this particular set for a little bit less than its original value. Dallas is a very well-done figure. It’s immediately clear who he’s supposed to be, and the small details really seal the deal. Lambert isn’t the star of this set, but she’s certainly a solid ‘mate. The extra head in particular does a lot to make her even more worthwhile. Brett is a really fun figure, and probably my favorite in the set, even if he’s not quite as good as Dallas overall. Still, he’s a fantastic addition to the crew. The Xeno doesn’t really do anything new or exciting, but he’s still just as good as any of the prior Xenos have been. All in all, not a bad set. I’m glad I finally got one.

Nostromo6

 

#0923: TRU Aliens Minimates Series 2

ELLEN RIPLEY, SCREAMING XENOMORPH, SGT. APONE, GLOWING ALIEN, PVT. DRAKE, & EXTRA-DAMAGED ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

AliensTRU2a

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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

ELLEN RIPLEY & SCREAMING XENOMORPH

AliensTRU2b

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.

SGT. APONE & GLOWING ALIEN

AliensTRU2c

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.

PVT. DRAKE & EXTRA-DAMAGED ALIEN

AliensTRU2d

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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!

#0771: Glow in the Dark Alien

ALIEN – GLOW-IN-THE-DARK

ALIENS MINIMATES

BigChapGiD1

Long before Minimates, the frightening titular character of ALIEN found its way to toy shelves in the form of the legendary 18-inch Alien figure, courtesy of Kenner Toys. The figure was quickly pulled from shelves, no doubt due to the nightmares it caused for many an unsuspecting child, and has become one of the bigger grails of toy-collecting. Now, 35 years later, DST pays tribute to that figure with this San Diego Comic Con exclusive!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BigChapGiD2As noted in the intro, the Alien was released at this year’s SDCC, as part of the greater Aliens Minimates line.  I don’t often talk packaging, but I will here.  For many figures, the package is just the way to transport the figure from the store to the costumer in a nice, flashy way. However, this figure’s packaging is actually a pretty important piece of the figure. The basic layout of the packaging is more or less the same as the single packaging for the Aliens vs Marines Army Dump case, but it’s been done up with graphics meant to replicate the original 18-inch Alien’s box. It features that bright ‘70s blue, the old Kenner ALIEN logo, and an assortment of screen shots from the film. The Big Chap’s a little crowed in there, but the box does a great job of giving a nod to that which came before.  While most of the Xenomorphs we’ve seen so far have taken inspiration from the second film’s design for the creature, this one, like the 35th Anniversary Boxed Set, takes influence from the creature’s very first appearance in 1979’s ALIEN. It’s not leaps and bounds of differences from the later design, but it’s enough that even moderate fans of the films could probably discern between the two.  Like his second film-based brethren, the Big Chap has sculpted add-ons for his head, hands, tail and feet. All of these parts but the head are the same ones used for all of the other aliens. Those parts were good on all of the others, and they continue to be good here. The only minor nit is that the hand should technically be different to be accurate to the Big Chap design, since these use the Aliens three-fingered design, rather than the ALIEN six-fingered design. However, at this scale, that’s a minor issue. The head was initially used on the 35th Anniversary set Alien, and it does a very nice job of replicating the movie’s domed look. While the 35th Anniversary version had the dome glued in place, this version leaves the part loose, so that you can remove it to better see the cool skull design below. It means that the dome doesn’t always stay in place the best, but that feels like a reasonable enough trade-off.  The figure’s paintwork is where his main draw comes into play. The BigChapGiDPack1main detailing of the body is similar to the previous aliens, but the silver is a bit brighter, which certainly sets him apart. The other main draw is the paint on the skull under the dome, which is glow-in-the-dark, as the name of the figure indicates. It requires a bit of “charging” under a light source, but once that’s done, it makes for a pretty eerie effect. The figure’s only accessory is a clear display stand. However, as with all of the prior aliens, the number of sculpted pieces more than makes up for the lack of extras.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frequent readers of the site will recall that I did not attend SDCC, so I clearly didn’t pick this guy up there.  No, I actually ordered him from Luke’s Toy Store after the event.  I was actually pretty excited for this figure; the Aliens Minimates in general are a pretty exciting thing, but I liked the whole tribute bit.  This figure isn’t exactly new or anything, but it’s a fun variant of an already great figure.

BigChapGiD7

 

#0464: Alien Minimates

ALIEN, RIPLEY, KANE, & PARKER

ALIEN MINIMATES

You know how I said I hadn’t reviewed enough Minimates lately? You know what else I just haven’t reviewed enough of? Alien and Aliens stuff. Just not enough of it.

So, welcome to another Alien-themed review, which, by the way, is also yet another Christmas Review. Yeah, they seem to be the song that will not end. At this rate, I kind of expect to sporadically be reviewing last year’s Christmas gifts until this Christmas. Won’t that be fun?

When Diamond Select Toys picked up the Aliens license, there was some confusion as to whether this meant we’d also be seeing Minimates of the characters from the first movie. As it turned out, yes, though as more of their own thing, and less as a subset. So, without further ado, Alien Minimates.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as part of a boxed set celebrating the 35th anniversary of Alien. They were supposed to be out last year, you know, for the actual anniversary, but they encountered a few delays, making them a mid-January 2015 release.

ALIEN

It would be ridiculous to release a set without the titular creature, so here it is! It’s referred to simply as “Alien” on the package, but this is the design most commonly known as the Big Chap, the creature from the first movie. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and it features 16 points of articulation. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with a non-standard head, hands, and feet, as well as an add-on for the torso and tail. From the neck down, all of the pieces are identical to those of the three Alien Warriors included in the Aliens Minimates Army Dump set. Since the Alien designs in the two movies are similar, this is a pretty sensible re-use, and the pieces are still fantastically sculpted. My only real complaint is that the hands technically should have six fingers, instead of the three fingered Aliens design, but at this scale and style that’s minor. The head is the one new piece, and it’s very well done. It features the first movie’s signature head dome, as well as the skull detailing underneath, and it looks really good. It’s also a bit bigger than the Aliens head, which looks a bit better in retrospect. The paint is also identical to the normal Aliens Warrior from the neck down, with the exception of the upper arms, which have a slight change in detailing. There’s also some detailing under the dome, outlining the skull. All of the paintwork is clean and sharp, and the detailing is really great. The Alien’s only accessory is a clear display stand.

RIPLEY

Much as you can’t do the set without the titular character, it would also be odd to get an Alien set that didn’t feature Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the original film and the true star of the film series. Ripley is 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. She’s based on Ripley’s appearance from the second half of the film, while she’s running through the Nostromo avoiding the creature. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with a sculpted hairpiece, a watch, and rolled up sleeves. The hairpiece is a re-use from For A Few Dollars More’s El Indio, which is a perfect piece for Ripley’s look… in Aliens. Sadly, it’s totally off for her look in Alien, where her hair was a fair bit longer. Looking through their back catalog of pieces, there isn’t one that’s a natural fit for Ripley in Alien, so I suppose they were just trying to make the best of what they had. It just doesn’t really work. Ripley’s paintwork is generally pretty good, aside from one issue: the likeness on the face isn’t quite there. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t really look like Sigourney Weaver. DST did a pretty good job capturing Weaver in the Ghostbusters line, so I’m not sure what happened here. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives, so it’s not a total loss. The rest of the paint is quite well done, with lots of really great detail work, which even continues onto her back. Ripley includes a flame thrower, Jonesy the cat, and a clear display stand.

KANE

Alien35th6In spite of John Hurt’s resistance to his likeness being used, Kane seems to turn up quite a bit in Alien product. Not a huge shock, seeing as his role as the carrier of the first Xeno is pretty pivotal. Kane is depicted here in his Nostromo uniform, which he wears early in the film, prior to setting down on LV-426. I actually don’t recall him being without his jacket for very long, so it’s omission is a little odd. Seeing as the figure includes a chestburster piece, I would think his “last supper” look might be more appropriate, but I suppose DST felt like being different. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. Kane is built on the standard body, with a sculpted hairpiece and a watch (same as the one on Ripley). As far as I can tell, the hair is new to the figure. It seems to me that Kane probably could have made do with a re-use if it meant giving Ripley a new piece that was more appropriate, but there might be more to it than that. Regardless, the piece is well sculpted and seems like a pretty good match for his look from the movie. Kane’s paintwork is very nicely done. Everything is nice and clean, and all the colors seem just right. The likeness isn’t spot on, but I’d chalk that up to Hurt’s likeness not transferring to the style. The eyes and mouth are definitely right. Kane includes a facehugger, a chestburster, an extra head, and a clear display stand. The facehugger is a little difficult to get on at first, but it’s very well sculpted and it even features the appropriate detailing on the inside. The chestburster and extra head allow for a recreation of the memorable “birth scene.” The ‘burster is well sculpted and fits pretty well in place. It also covers enough of his torso to make this look like the appropriate uniform, so kudos to DST on that!

PARKER

Alien35th4Parker probably marks the set’s oddest inclusion, as he’s not a character who’s incredibly key to the plot. That said, he’s one of the last survivors, and my personal favorite character, so no complaints there. This figure has the notoriety of being the first Parker figure ever, so that’s cool. Parker is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Parker’s look roughly mid-movie, after he’s ditched his coat. The figure is built from the standard Minimate with a sculpted hairpiece. The piece is new to this figure and it’s a good translation of the look from the movie. Parker has a pretty decent paint job. His uniform is well detailed and everything is nice and clean. The only real issue I have is that his skin tone just seems to be too light for Yaphet Koto. This ends up throwing off the likeness, which is otherwise pretty spot-on. Parker includes a flamethrower, a flame attachment (though that could easily be paired with Ripley, too), and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This boxed set was a Christmas gift from my parents. I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say that it’s my last gift of the Christmas 2014 season. Obviously, this set, being based on the first movie, isn’t going to ignite me with the same excitement as the Aliens Minimates, but I do think they turned out pretty nicely. The real weak link of the set is definitely Ripley, who really isn’t accurate to her appearance in the first film. But hey, put a pulse rifle in her hands and you’ve got a pretty great Aliens Ripley, so it’s not a total loss!

#0449: Alien Big Chap

ALIEN BIG CHAP

S.H. MONSTERARTS

We’ve made it to Day Twelve of the Christmas Reviews and after today, there are just two days left. Today marks the last of the Alien-themed gifts from this year. This time around, it’s a slightly different type of Alien figure. This one comes from Bandai Japan’s S.H. MonsterArts line, which is a Monster-themed spin-off of their main FiguArts line. Usually, the line focuses on Japanese creatures, such as Godzilla, but in the last couple of years they’ve added a healthy dose of Alien and Predator figures. Today, I’ll be looking at their version of the original Alien, the Big Chap!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted above, the Big Chap was released as part of the S.H. MonsterArts line. Like many of Bandai’s higher-end figures, the Big Chap is not part of a larger series or assortment; he’s a single release. The figure is about 5 ½ inches tall and features an astounding 61 points of articulation (20 of that’s in his tail!). Technically, he’s based on the creature from the first Alien movie, though, like Funko’s recent Metallic Alien, he’s actually based on the initial design of the Alien, prior to filming beginning and the dome being “misted.” Prototype shots show the dome looking like it does in the movie, but it’s completely clear on the final figure. I don’t mind, but I’m curious as to why they decided to change it. The Big Chap’s sculpt is very nicely done, and all of the detail work is nice and sharp (quite literally in some cases). There’s a definite style to the figure, which makes it fit in with the other MonsterArts figures, even if it has a unique design. The design is a little lankier and more bug life than the “real-life” Alien, which is properly in line with the idea of this being a “concept” figure. The figure sports die-cast metal pieces for the elbows, knees, and the tip of the tail. In the case of the elbows and knees, it helps make the figure a little bit sturdier, and in the case of the tail, it makes it appropriately strong and sharp. Like all the best Alien figures, it also has a secondary mouth, which you must “Please pull out in a state of downward face” according to the included instructions (which are a fantastically entertaining read, by the way. Did someone on staff just say “Hey I sort of know some English” and then have nobody double-checked them?) The piece is very nicely sculpted, though it would be nice if it were a slightly tighter fit; it kind of flops about as it is. Like so many Alien figures, there’s not a whole lot to be done with the paint, but what’s there looks nice. For the most part, the figure’s molded in black plastic, with a heavy silver dry brushing applied to help bring out the details. There’s also some pretty good paintwork on the skull under the dome, as well as some nice silver detailing on the claws, toenails, and teeth. The Big Chap included a spare set of hands, in a more gesturing pose than the regular pair, and a display stand. The stand is cool enough, though I’m a little thrown off by the splattered paint design of it, which doesn’t really fit with the style of the movies at all. But I guess it looks pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Big Chap here was a Christmas gift from my boy Tim. Tim’s well aware of my Alien obsession, and had asked me a few months back whether the Aliens I owned were all NECA, in preparation for ordering this figure. As far as Alien figures go, he chose pretty well. This is a really great version of the original Alien. Plus, there’s that fantastic reading material too!

#0442: Alien – Metallic Flesh

ALIEN – METALLIC FLESH

ALIEN REACTION

Today marks Day Five of my Christmas Reviews. This review also marks the second review to tie in with the “theme” of my gifts this year: Aliens. Last year, I received the first series of Funko’s Alien ReAction line, which finally brought the unreleased Kenner Alien figures to retail. Almost a year later, Funko finally added a second series, which was made of three new figures and one repaint. So, hey, how about starting with that repaint?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Alien is part of the second series of Alien ReAction Figures. The figure is about 4 inches in height and it has 6 points of articulation. As noted in the intro, the Alien is the one straight repaint in this series. From head to toe, this figure’s sculpt is identical to the Alien from the first series. Fortunately, the Alien featured one of the best sculpts from the first series, so it’s not a bad thing. Like I said in my review of the first release of this sculpt, it’s certainly a product of its time, but it represents the best that late 70s sculpting had to offer. Being a repaint, obviously what sets this figure apart from the previous figure is the paint. The last figure was rather basic, and presented the Alien as it would have looked if it really had been released in 1979. This figure opts for a more detailed paint job, and it’s the better for it. Rather than a flat gray, this figure’s base color is a very dark, metallic gray, which is far more in line with the creature’s film appearance. The figure’s dome has been changed from a smoky, semi-transparent piece to a completely clear piece. Underneath of the dome, the head has been given a more intensive paint job, detailing the underlying skull. While this isn’t strictly accurate to the movie, it is accurate to what the suit created for the movie looked like initially. It offers a nice contrast to the last figure, and the cool thing is that the domes can easily swap out, if one were to want a more accurate Alien. The Alien includes no accessories, but that’s no surprise; it’s a larger figure and the previous one didn’t have accessories either.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Alien was another gift from my always amazing parents. He and the other ReAction figure I got (who I’ll be reviewing tomorrow) were actually purchased as a bit of a “backup gift,” just in case the Queen wasn’t there in time. Fortunately, the Queen did arrive, but hey, extra gift! At first glance, this Alien seemed a bit boring, but having it in hand I actually really love the figure. He offers a wonderful improvement to the original figure, and that was a pretty great figure to start with.

#0122: Xenomorph – Big Chap

XENOMORPH

ALIENS (NECA)

Today, I’ll be wrapping up my reviews of the second wave of NECA’s Aliens line.  The focus of today’s review is the original big bad, the somewhat humorously named “Big Chap.”  For a lot of people, this is THE definitive Alien, so this figure’s certainly got a lot riding on it, and is easily the anchor figure of the series.  So, let’s see how it turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This guy is based on the appearance of the titular creature in the original film, ALIEN, otherwise known as the Big Chap to the crew of the film, and thereby many of the more die-hard fans as well.  The figure isn’t officially called this on the box, but Xenomorph is a long word, and spell check doesn’t like it, so I’m gonna call this guy by his nickname.  Anyway, the Big Chap stands between 8 and 9 inches tall, keeping him in scale with the rest of the line, and has 36 points of articulation.  Initially, upon seeing this figure, I assumed he would more or less be reuse of pieces from the Xenomorph Warrior, with, at most, a new head and hands, and maybe feet.  NECA’s really gone the extra mile on this figure, though, and the only pieces he actually shares with the previous figures are the pelvis, tail, and removable back fin thingy.  The torso looks to share some of the same sculpting, but the tendrils on the back are space out differently, and the neck is a new sculpt, meaning it was tweaked, and would still require new tooling costs.  So, how are the new pieces? Well, the quality is just as good as the previous aliens, and the details are all accurate to the Big Chap’s look in the movie.  The most important part for most is the head, which is one of the biggest differences between the two alien designs.  Kyle Windrix seems to have captured the Big Chap’s noggin perfectly, and there’s even the appropriate details hidden underneath of the misted dome, which is super cool.  The figure’s articulation is a bit more restricted than the previous Xenos, but that’s actually quite understandable, as the design of the Bog Chap was said to be much more restricting, and that was the big reason for the change when they made Aliens.  Like the rest of his series two compatriots, the paint is great all around.  I was glad to see this guy wasn’t plagued by the same issues as the series one Xeno, as it really helps the figure.  Like previous Xenos, the Big Chap doesn’t include any accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, this is it.  Final figure in Series two of NECA’s Aliens.   This guy was the one everyone was waiting for, and I feel NECA delivered.  Looking at the series as a whole, I have to say I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of this release.  I mean, I had no problems with the tribute figure, the Xeno certainly looked a bit better in blue, and the original alien is always important, but for some reason, I didn’t have the same enthusiasm as I did when series one was released.  However, once I received these figures in person, my opinion changed completely.  As much as I loved series one, I think series two improves upon the quality of the figures in more than one way, and these three were a whole lot of fun to mess around with.  I can’t wait to see what the lineup for series three is going to be, because I am totally hooked on this line!

#0087: The Alien

ALIEN

ALIEN REACTION

It’s Day 9 of my post-Christmas Review, and it’s my final review of the Alien ReAction line by Funko.  If you haven’t read my previous reviews of the line and you want a little bit of backstory, go here to my review of Ripley.

I’ve saved the best for last, with this one.  Today, I’ll be looking at the title character, the Big Chap, The Alien himself.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Alien is, of course, part of the first wave of the Alien ReAction line.  The Alien only really has the one look once it’s fully grown, and that’s the look depicted here.  The Alien stands closer to 4 inches, making him a bit taller than the rest of the figures in the line, and he’s got 6 points of articulation.   While it’s fairly obviously still a sculpt from the late 70s, it’s a pretty good one.  I’d say that the alien is probably on par with Kane sculpt-wise.  The details look to correspond pretty well to the design of the creature from the movie.  The clear head dome is removable, which allows you to see the head underneath and also allows you to operate the Alien’s inner mouth.  The inner mouth works nice and smoothly, when you push down the lever-thing.  There’s not much paint to speak of on the Alien.  His teeth are painted silver, and there’s a bit of paint denoting a few of the ridges underneath of the dome.   All of the paintwork is clean, with no real slop.  The alien has no accessories, but given that it’s a larger and more complex figure than the others, that’s perfectly alright.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like all the others in the first wave, this bad boy was a gift from my superbly amazingly supportive parents.  He’s probably the best figure in the series, which is good, because he’s probably the most important.

All in all, this was a really cool line of figures.  I’d really like to see Funko tackle another series.  It’d be really cool to get Parker, Lambert and Brett so we can finally have the whole crew.  And would it be too much to ask for a set of ALIENS figures to go with them?