KANE, PHANTOM XENOMORPH, HIVEWORLD RED ALIEN, HIVEWORLD ALIEN, LT. GORMAN, & ATTACKING ALIEN WARRIOR
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
Although 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.
The 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.
Remember 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
Lt. 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.