#0625: Dog Alien

DOG ALIEN

ALIEN3 THE VIDEO GAME

DogAlienVG2

If there’s a theme to any of my recent reviews, I’d say it’s “figures that are almost identical to figures I reviewed not long ago.” First Superman Red, then Ultron 2.0, and now it’s the Dog Alien. Of course, most of these figures have a pretty good reason for being so similar to each other, and as an added bonus, the reviews are also a heck of a lot easier for me to write. Yay for Ethan being selfish and lazy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DogAlienVG4The Dog Alien is the latest release in NECA’s subset of figures based on licensed video games. The idea behind the line is applying the more limited color palettes of vintage video games to some of NECA’s more realistic sculpts, affording them a chance to get an additional use out of some of their molds. The Dog Alien is over 9 inches tall (standing straight up) and features 39 points of articulation, plus a bendable tail. The figure is based on the appearance of the titular character in 1992’s Alien3 tie-in video game. Sculpturally, the figure is identical to the Aliens Series 3’s regular Dog Alien. Though it isn’t my favorite of the Xeno designs, there’s no denying that this is some of NECA’s finest Xeno work. Seeing as there are far less chances for re-use on the Dog Alien, I’m glad to see NECA found another use for this tremendous sculpt. Obviously, the real draw of this figure is the all-new paint scheme. The game which the figure is based on was a 2D side-scroller. Depending on which direction the alien was moving, it would be either blue or brown. The figure has replicated this idea quite expertly. When viewed from the right, the figure is blue, and when viewed from the left, he’s an orange-ish brown. The paint is handled in such a way that you can get a surprising amount of range without seeing the opposite side’s color. In addition, the paint is applied in such a way to really accent the strengths of the sculpt, and highlight many of the cool details that were easily missed on the regular version. The colors are bright and vibrant, and contrast quite nicely with the underlying black. The Dog Alien is packed with the same stand included with the standard version. I don’t find I need it, but it’s nice to have in case you want to do some more extreme posing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was first announced, I really wasn’t sold on it. I’m already pretty iffy on the Dog Alien in general, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to have yet another one. But, up to this point, I’ve picked up every figure from NECA’s Aliens line, and it would suck to just skip one. So, I had quite the dilemma on my hands. A few weeks ago, I stopped by local toystore All Time Toys, just to look around, and they had happened to get their shipment of these guys in. In hand, my opinion of the figure changed completely. This figure really pops. It could have been really gimmicky, but the paint here is top notch, and produces an incredibly unique figure. This has gone from an item I thought I might skip to the highlight of my collection.

DogAlienVG3

#0457: Dog Alien

DOG ALIEN

ALIENS (NECA)

So here we are with the third and final part of the Aliens Series Three reviews. It occurred to me after getting the figures that there was in fact one from each of the first three movies in this particular assortment. For whatever reason, I felt compelled to review them in the proper order (although, to be truly proper, I’d first review Kane, then Bishop, and then the Dog Alien wouldn’t exist, but that’s splitting hairs I guess).

Since I’ve made it no secret that Aliens is perhaps my favorite movie of all time, it’s probably not a surprise that I don’t really care for Alien3, a film which did just about everything it could to murder its predecessor and piss on its grave. Were it not for a little film by the name of Man of Steel, Alien3 would easily get my vote for the worst movie ever. All that said, the movie didn’t get everything wrong. The movie’s redesign of the creature managed to not suck (though it’s still not up to par with its predecessors.) Plus, it offered another possible Xenomorph for NECA to include, so that works pretty well. Let’s see how said figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Dog Alien (which, by the way, is the first NECA alien not to use “Xenomorph” in the title) was released in Series 3 of NECA’s Aliens line. It’s based on the creature from Alien3, which was either spawned from a dog or an ox, depending on which cut of the film you watch, and is known as the Dog Alien, the Runner, or the Dragon, depending on who you ask. Dog Alien seems to be the one that stuck. The Dog Alien is a whopping 9 inches tall when standing up straight and it has 39 points of articulation. Structurally, the Dog Alien is all-new. Previous NECA Xenos, including the Big Chap, all made use of at least some of the basic Aliens Warrior pieces, but that’s not the case here. From what I can tell, the details of the sculpt are an incredibly close approximation of the prop suit from the movie. The tail is incredibly long and very intricate, and the head dome rivals the Big Chap in terms of execution. As far as proportions go, it seems NECA has gone more for proportions based on the initial design and the rod puppet, which gives the creature a more inhuman appearance. NECA also seems to have toned down some of the more “gooey” aspects of the film’s design, which results in a creature that fits in better with the other Xenos and is overall sleeker looking (which further emphasizes the creature’s streamlined design.) In the movie, the Dog Alien is a bit more “colorful” than previous creatures. Like some of the design elements of the sculpt, NECA has toned this down a bit with the paint work, though the creature is still one of the more intricately painted Aliens NECA’s done. The Dog Alien is molded in back, with lots of brown used to bring out the details on the main body. It’s more than we’ve seen on previous Aliens (even the heavy handed Series 1 version) but not quite as brown as the actual prop Dog Alien. My favorite bit of paint is the work on the creature’s dome, which goes from opaque black at the front to almost completely clear on top with the perfect amount of gradation. The Dog Alien includes a special display stand, allowing its more “canine” poses to be carried out a bit easier.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the other two figures in Series 3, the Dog Alien was a slightly delayed Christmas gift from my parents. On the outset, this was the figure I was the most skeptical about. I’m not a fan of the movie, and I don’t really care for how the creature looks in the film proper. In hand, this figure’s a very different story. NECA’s remained faithful to the design, while at the same time making some tweaks that result in a better overall figure. The end result is that the Dog Alien might just be the best figure in the series, which is a sentence that really surprises me.