QUEEN ALIEN (W/ WARRIOR ALIEN & BATTLE-DAMAGED BISHOP)
For everything else it gave us (and believe me, there was a lot it gave us), easily the most definitive thing to come out of 1986’s Aliens was the Alien Queen (or is it the Queen Alien? No one seems to agree on that…) Heck, she even transcends the movie itself. She’s one of the most definitive things in the franchise! Is she the most original concept ever? Well, maybe not. Compared to some of what we see in the first film, she’s a surprisingly straight-forward answer to just where all those eggs came from. But she is pretty cool, which makes it pretty easy to over look the straight-forwardness. She’s finally made her way into Minimates form, alongside the
android synthetic artificial person Bishop, and one of the Queen’s drone-y underlings.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Queen and her compatriots make up the other half of the first deluxe series of Aliens Minimates, and act as a natural counterpoint to the Ripley and Power Loader set.
Where the Power Loader was sort of a glorified vehicle, the Queen is a more straight figure. Well, at her core, at least. The figure is about 3 1/2 inches tall when stood at full height and has 16 points of articulation, counting the tail. The Queen is built on the standard Minimate body, albeit with a unique set of upper legs, as well as a torso extender, upper arm additions and add-ons for her head, torso/neck/tail, hands, and feet. If I’m being totally honest, it took some time for me to be sold on the Queen being built on the basic body. For compatibility’s sake, I can understand the desire by DST to use the same basic parts here that they use for everyone else, and there’s no denying that *a lot* of work went into making her work as well as possible. The Queen as seen in the film was quite spindly and lanky, so I think that using at least some of standard parts is reasonable. The trouble seems to mostly lie with the arms and legs, and the lengths DST has gone to to make them longer than they actually are. Simply put, the elbows and knees are just too close to the main body, which results in the articulation being a lot less useful than it would be normally. It’s not as big a deal for the arms, but the legs can make keeping the Queen standing quite a mean feat. Since DST was already re-sculpting the upper legs, it would have been nice if the new pieces were a little bit lengthened. Ultimately, the final product isn’t bad at all, but it certainly takes some getting used to. The paintwork on the Queen is ultimately pretty simple, even compared to the basic Aliens from the line. For the most part, she just relies on the sculpted details, with a little bit of painted detailing on the lower legs, pelvis, and arms. Fortunately, the sculpted detail is pretty great on its own, so it’s not really an issue. The Queen includes four alien eggs (two opened, two closed), a chestburster, and a clear display stand. She also has an extra tail to swap out with her normal one, which allows her to “impale” the included Bishop ‘mate, just like in the movie. It’s by far the coolest of the included extras.
You’re still here? Review’s over! Go home! …Okay, fine, I’ll discuss briefly. So, this ‘mate is the same as the Warrior Alien included with Sgt. Apone in Series1, which was itself the same as the Alien Warrior from the singles. It’s a perfectly fine ‘mate (and far more versatile than the Battle-Damaged one included with the Loader), and I certainly won’t say to another.
Finally! Bishop! It’s about time! Seriously, Bishop was like one of the only major missing characters from the film, so it’s great to finally have him here—Battle-Damaged you say? Ah. So, I guess we’ll just have to keep waiting on the normal one. Well, half a Bishop is better than no Bishop, right? In his damaged state, Bishop is really just the upper half of a Minimate, with add-ons for his hair and watch, as well as a piece that plugs into the bottom of the torso to simulate his guts seen in the movie. While the guts aren’t as detailed as, say, the NECA version of this design, they’re still pretty cool. I’m actually a little surprised DST didn’t just re-use one of the guts pieces from their Walking Dead line, but I’m certainly happy to see a character-specific piece in use here! The paintwork on Bishop is quite impressive. He’s got a full set of normal details, which are all clean and sharp, and then a bunch of milky-white paint in various splatters, depicting his “blood.” It’s a pretty cool, quite unique look, and it does a reasonable job of capturing his look from the end of the movie. Bishop includes a set of legs as well, for those wanting to display him bi-pedal. It’s not enough to make him into a normal Bishop, mind you, but it does allow him to interact with the Queen’s extra tail piece, and appear as though he’s in the midst of being torn in two. He also includes a clear display stand, should you wish to have him just standing about with a big stain on his front.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like yesterday’s Power Loader set, I got these guys as a birthday present from my parents. The Queen’s alright overall. I have my issues with her, but the final product is better than I was expecting. The Warrior Alien is a ‘mate we’ve seen before; no surprises there. Bishop is, surprisingly, the set’s real star. He’s just very well done, and makes me yearn all the more for that basic Bishop ‘mate. Not quite as strong a set as the Loader, but still very cool.