#1444: Aliens Mega Construx

COLONIAL MARINE & XENOMORPH

MEGA CONSTRUX HEROES

You know, there was a time when being an Aliens fan wasn’t so easy.  Back when I first saw the film (in the early ‘00s), the only real action figure options were courtesy of Kenner’s hardly film-accurate line from the ‘90s.  As late as 2012, I was excited beyond belief that we were getting things like Pulse Rifles included with some of Hasbro’s Pursuit of Cobra figures.  What a difference 5 years makes.  Of course, even with NECA’s plethora of product, I didn’t really expect to be finding new Aliens toys in the building sets aisle of my local Walmart.  And yet, here we are.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Xenomorph and the Colonial Marine are both part of the first series of Mega Bloks Construx Heroes.  The line is taking the basic concept put forward by the Halo Heroes line and applying it to a handful of other licenses.  Also featured in this first series are Picard and a Borg Drone from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as He-Man and Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.  But those are hardly as cool as Aliens, right?

COLONIAL MARINE

Rather than focusing on one particular member of the Colonial Marines, Mega Construx has instead gone for a more generic Marine…sort of.  In actuality, he’s this odd amalgam of Hicks and Hudson.  He’s got Hudson’s armor graffiti, but Hicks’ shotgun shells and lack of sleeves.  In a pinch, he works as either.  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  This guy uses the same standard construction as all of the ODSTs I looked at, but with more Colonial Marine specific parts, of course.  The lower legs are new, as is the head, and then he’s got removable chest armor and a helmet, which is pretty fun.  The detail work on the armor is pretty solid for the size and style.  It definitely looks the part.  I appreciate the removable nature of the helmet, though I doubt anyone will be displaying him without it.  This will at least make it easier to make other specific Marines should you want to do that.  The paint on this guy is pretty simple, but gets all of the important details down.  There are a few things left unpainted (like the helmet cam), but it’s pretty decent work as a whole.  The Marine includes his standard issue pulse rifle (which is super, super awesome), his shoulder lamp, a knife, and a display stand.

XENOMORPH

Like the Colonial Marine, the Xeno here goes generic army builder.  Of course, I’m hardly going to complain about that.  I don’t need named Xenos (I’m looking at you, Grid!).  The Xeno is a little taller than the Marine, at about 2 1/4 inches tall, and even gets an extra point of articulation at the base of its tail.  The Xeno uses largely new construction, rather than relying on clip-on pieces.  As with most Xenos these days, this one’s based on the Xeno Warrior as seen in the second film.  It looks pretty awesome, actually.  The Xeno definitely translates really well to the style.  The level of detail work seen here is definielt higher than I’m used to seeing on Mega Bloks, and I’m really impressed.  Also impressive is the paint.  They could have just left the figure solid black, but there’s a nice silver airbrushing, which further highlights the awesomeness of the sculpt.  The Xeno includes a pair of clip-on claw pieces, as well as two different face huggers, one crawling, and one that fits over the face of the Marine. That last one is seriously cool, by the way.  There’s also a display stand, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These totally snuck up on me.  I genuinely found out about their existence about an hour before I got them.  They were actually my consolation prize from the day I tried and failed at buying the Force Friday figures early.  I gotta say, these two are pretty darn awesome.  I’d like to see a Ripley and maybe a few more specific Marines.

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#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!

#0686: Bishop – Queen Attack

BISHOP – QUEEN ATTACK

ALIENS (NECA)

BishopHalf1

If you thought we were done with the awesome coverage of toys from the greatest movie ever made, you were sadly mistaken. There’s always more Aliens stuff to cover. Always.

Back in Series 3 of NECA’s Aliens line, they released the always reliable Artificial Person assigned to the Sulaco, Bishop. When I reviewed that figure, I made mention of the tooling more than likely Being a one-off for that figure, and jokingly remarked that the only re-use I could see it getting would be if they did a “half-Bishop.” Well, umm, NECA seems to have done just that. Let’s look at the figure now!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BishopHalf2Bishop is another figure from Series 5 of NECA’s Aliens line. For those of you less familiar with Aliens than I, the figure replicates Bishop from Ripley’s definitive final battle with the Alien Queen. The Queen makes her presence known on the Sulaco by impaling Bishop with her tail and tearing him in two. Fortunately for Bishop, he’s an artificial person, so this proves non-fatal, allowing to pull off a pretty sweet heroic rescue later in the fight. It’s a pretty darn important part for him, and it accents Series 5’s final battle Ripley pretty well. The figure is about 3 1/2 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation, which is actually really impressive for a guy who has no lower half. Bishop actually uses less of the first Bishop’s sculpt then you might think. He just uses the arms, with the head, torso, shirt, and robo-guts all being newly sculpted. The new parts are very nicely handled. The shirt was a ton of texture, and you can even make out the tear in the front where the Queen’s tail ripped through it. It’s actually sculpted flat on the back, which looks a little odd when viewed head on, but it makes it so that he can be laid down correctly, which is definitely a good thing. The guts are appropriately goopy, and I appreciate that they are somewhat articulated. The head features a pretty BishopHalf5decent resemblance to Lance Henriksen, and it’s definitely got Bishop’s alarmed look from the scene down. I had a few issues with the paint on the first Bishop figure, mostly with the head. This figure tends to do a bit better in that area. The first Bishop’s eyebrows looked sharpied in place, which really hurt the likeness, but this figure has a more appropriate set of details. The eyes on this figure still possess the outline present on the first Bishop, but the actual eyes are handled much better. The outline is actually okay by me, because it helps bridge the two figures a little bit, and it’s really not that noticeable here. The rest of the paint is quite well handled. He’s appropriately messy looking, but in a controlled way, so he looks like what we saw on screen. Now, this figure is literally only half the man that the last Bishop was, but the cost is still the same. In order to make up for that, NECA’s given him one of the best accessories we’ve seen in this line: a face hugger and egg*. Both pieces are based on their Aliens designs, which are slightly different from those in the preceding film. The face hugger is sculpted in a sprawled out pose, and features a posable tail, which really goes a long way. Both the face hugger and the egg are tremendously well-sculpted and painted, and they look pretty much spot-on to the props from the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Bishop was another piece of the set of Series 5 figures I got from my parents for my birthday. He’s more than a little over-shadowed by the Ripley from this same series, due to really being an accent piece instead of his own figure. That said, he accents really well, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to actually have a half-Bishop figure. That wraps up my reviews of Series 5. It should be noted that series also contained single releases the two Xenomorphs from the Aliens: Genocide two-pack, which are essentially the same figures. If you’d like to read my review of that set, head here.

*As I was looking over my previous Bishop review, I noticed that, in addition to asking for a half-Bishop, I also suggested that the last Bishop should have included a face hugger accessory to make him a bit more worthwhile. Neither thing is really all that out there as an idea, but it is amusing that I brought both up before.

BishopHalf4

#0645: Hudson & Screaming Alien

“CPL” HUDSON & SCREAMING ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

HudsonXeno1

The first series of Aliens Minimates covered a lot of bases in terms of major characters, but there were definitely a few key characters missing. Fortunately, the Toys R Us assortment and Series 2 are doing their part to fill some of those holes. The TRU series has added two new marines, including today’s focus, the shell-shocked Marine Hudson, who is packed with another Alien Warrior variation.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the TRU assortment of Series 1 of Aliens Minimates. As of now, both figures are exclusive, but Hudson is already slated to appear in Series 2 at specialty stores.

“CPL” HUDSON

HudsonXeno2So, let’s get something out of the way right now: Hudson isn’t a Corporal, he’s a Private. The package totally gave him the wrong rank. But, I’m probably one of the few people to actually notice such a thing, so, whatever. Hudson is probably one of the film’s more memorable Marines. He’s got a fair bit of screen time, and, whether you like it or not, his panicky personality sets him apart from the rest of the crew. Anyway, he’s pretty important to the film and the line would feel very incomplete without him, so it’s good to see him turn up here. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Hudson features additional sculpted parts for his helmet, chest armor, and boots. These parts are all the same as those used on the Series 1 Marines and Weirzbowski. This is sensible, given that the armor was standard issue in the film. Hudson continues the trend of the removable shoulder lamp, which is a nice option to have. His is a little looser than previous versions, but it stays in place alright. The armor is all stuff we’ve HudsonXeno3seen a few times before, but it’s no less impressive than it was before, and it still does a great job of translating the real deal into ‘mate form. Hudson’s paintwork is pretty decent, but it does have a few nits here and there. The basic armor detailing and underlying fatigues match up with the rest of the Marines, which is good. The chest armor has most of Hudson’s distinctive graffiti; it’s cleanly applied for the most part and helps set him aside from the others. Hudson wore a cover on his helmet in the movie, which featured a slightly different camo pattern and an 8-ball on the back. However, the figure just has the standard issue helmet. It’s not the worst thing ever, but it is just a little disappointing. The likeness on the face isn’t spot-on to Bill Paxton, but it’s a lot closer than the other Marines in the line, so that’s good. On the accessory front, Hudson has an extra hairpiece, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. The rifle and facehugger are the same ones we’ve seen before, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The hair is one of the standard male hairpieces, first used for Marvel Series 27’s Ultimate Iron Man. It’s too long to really work for Hudson, and it’s definitely painted too lightly to be Paxton’s hair. But it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

SCREAMING ALIEN

HudsonXeno5Well, I guess it wouldn’t really be an Aliens set without another Alien, right? So, here’s this one. But this time he has a new hat—err, I mean, he’s screaming! That’s sort of different. Different enough when you’re dealing with army builders, anyway. For the most part, this figure is more or less the same as the other Aliens. It has sculpted pieces for the head, torso, tail, hands, and feet. The pieces are as well sculpted as always, so that’s good. This figure uses the “attacking” head, but it lacks the inner mouth piece, giving it the screaming appearance hinted at in the name. The figure’s paint is pretty much identical to all the prior Warrior and Attacking Aliens the line’s offered. There’s plenty of painted texturing and such, which keeps the figure visually interesting.  As far as accessories go, the Screaming Alien only includes a clear display stand. However, this is totally on par with prior Aliens, and it’s totally reasonable, given how many sculpted parts the figure has.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When it was announced that Hudson and Vasquez would be available in both this line-up and in Series 2, I had planned to just wait for the later release. Then I saw these guys at my local TRU and I caved. Big shock, right? Hudson’s a pretty good addition to the line. He has a few minor issues, but he’s an important character, and he’s good overall. I’m curious to see if the Series 2 release might fix one or two of the issues here. The Screaming Alien isn’t really that different from the other Aliens, but it’s different enough to add a little bit of variety to your horde of Aliens. And isn’t that the dream?

HudsonXeno4

#0589: Sgt. Apone & Warrior Alien

APONE & WARRIOR ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

Apone&Xeno1

After a little bit of a wait, the first wave of Aliens Minimates has finally found its way to all the various Minimate retailers. Things started off with a bang with heavy hitters Ripley and Hicks, but the rest of Wave 1 is decidedly a bit more low-key on character selection. Today, let’s look at Apone, the most prominent of the also-rans, as he faces off against one of the movie’s titular creatures.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Apone and the Warrior Alien are part of the specialty release of Aliens Minimates Series 1. Apone seems to be remaining exclusive to this set, but the Alien is sure to turn up elsewhere (and kind of already has…)

SGT. APONE

Apone&Xeno2“Where’s Apone?” Here’s Apone. The ill-fated Marine Sergeant isn’t a stranger to toys (though he hasn’t had quite as many as other Aliens characters), but this is the first, and likely only, appearance of the character as a Minimate. He’s presented here in his standard Colonial Marine armor, which is nice for consistency’s sake, though he’s probably the one Marine in the movie who gets most of his key scenes before suiting up. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. Apone features sculpted add-ons for his helmet, chest armor, and boots/shin guards. These pieces are the same ones we saw on both Hicks and Weirzbowski. It’s standard issue armor, so that certainly makes sense. The pieces are still impressively sculpted and quite accurate to the source material. Like Hicks, Apone’s shoulder lamp is removable. He isn’t seen without it, but it’s nice to have the option. The issue with the hair on the back of the helmet is a little more obvious here, given how close cropped Apone’s hair is supposed to be, but it’s relatively easy to overlook. Apone’s paintwork is decent overall, but there are a few glaring issues. I’ve already addressed the shade of the armor, so I won’t get into that again. The armor does have a few other issues, though. The black areas are a little sloppy, and his name on the front of his torso is off-center and a little angled. He also has the same issue with the misaligned helmet camo that Hicks had, so it seems that wasn’t a one-off. Under the Apone&Xeno4armor, the figure is very well detailed. His uniform’s camo extends all around the torso, however, it’s still absent from the under sides of the arms and the backs of the legs. He has an assortment of insignias running down his sleeves. They’re well-defined, however, his Marine patch actually says USMC instead of the proper USCM. It’s a minor thing, especially given the size, but it’s still not right. Apone features a pretty great likeness of actor Al Matthews, and his hair is painted onto the basic headpiece, so as to replicate its close-cropped nature. This does leave him with an exposed peg hole, however, DST has provided a few solutions to that. Sgt. Apone includes a baseball cap, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. Apone sports the hat in most of his early scenes, so it’s good to see it here, and it provides a way to show him sans helmet, without showing off the peg hole on the head. We never actually see Apone with a facehugger, but it’s implied, and I certainly won’t turn down another opportunity to get a facehugger.

WARRIOR ALIEN

Apone&Xeno3It wouldn’t be much of an Aliens toyline without a few of those pesky Xenomorphs, now would it? After being the big focus of the single-packed figures, it looks like the different varieties of aliens are finding their way into the two-packs as well. The Warrior Alien is, in essence, the same figure as the single packed Alien Warrior. It stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 16 points of articulation. The Warrior Alien has sculpted add-on pieces for the torso, head, hands, tail, and feet. This is the same selection of parts from the Alien Warrior, but that’s hardly an issue. These pieces are quite well sculpted, and the aliens should look the same anyway. The closed mouth is a little more open here than it was on the previous release, which adds some variety, I guess. The paint is about the same as the last release. Lots of details that really sell that whole bio-mechanical thing. It’s worth noting that the lines are bolder on this release, making the details a little easier to see. The Warrior Alien only includes a clear display stand, however, this seems acceptable, given the quantity of sculpted parts present.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the two of these from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. This isn’t the most exciting set in the bunch, but it’s not bad. Apone is a decent addition to the line. He’s not quite up to the same level as Ripley or Hicks, but he’s a good accent figure. The Warrior Alien isn’t anything new if you’ve already got the single release. However, it’s still on par with the single release, which was a pretty fantastic Minimate. And it’s not like you can’t have another Xenomorph hanging around…

Apone&Xeno5

#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!

#0455: Kane

KANE

ALIENS (NECA)

So, hey guys, remember back in that Wolverine review I did where I indicated that there was a possibility that I might not be done with my Christmas Reviews? Yeah, turns out I wasn’t. I have this habit of asking for things that aren’t out quite in time for Christmas. Case in point, NECA’s third series of Aliens figures. But now they’re here and I’m totally stoked to get these guys reviewed!

In the second series of the line, NECA released the Big Chap, the version of the creature from the first film. This kicked off NECA’s 35th Anniversary tribute, which continues through both Series Three and Four. For Three, the figure is Kane, the ill-fated astronaut who serves as the creatures “parent.” Let’s have a look at how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Kane is part of NECA’s Aliens Series Three. The figure is based on Kane’s space-suited appearance, from when he, Dallas, and Lambert are exploring the derelict ship. Specifically, this figure is based on Kane from the end of that sequence, after he’s been “face-hugged.” Essentially, this serves as an excuse to release a Kane figure without the impossible to obtain John Hurt likeness. Kane is about 7 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation, which is quite impressive for this design. Kane features an all-new sculpt, though most of his sculpt was done with a bunch of re-use in mind. Series Four will see this body re-used on not one, but two other figures, and if NECA ever gets Veronica Cartwright’s likeness rights, we’re guaranteed another. To be fair, the Nostromo space suits are all built the same way, so re-use is very much warranted. The suit is fantastically sculpted; every surface is properly textured and all of the details look pretty much spot on to the movie’s design. Many pieces are made from rubber add-ons, affixed to the main figure, which adds some really great dimension to the figure. For figure specific pieces, there’s a head and a two-piece removable helmet. The helmet is a great match for the suit, and it even features the proper melting on the faceplate, replicating the facehugger’s entry-point. Under the helmet is the figure’s head, which, for being a sculpt that legally can’t be John Hurt, is remarkably movie accurate. The facehugger is a completely separate piece, glued in place, and it looks like it should. What can be seen of the head is pretty great too, looking just like John Hurt…..’s ears and hair (and just in case you’re wondering, no, there isn’t an Hurt face under the facehugger, though it does get pretty darn close). The figure’s paint is decent, though not quite as good as the sculpt. There’s a moderate amount of bleed over. The suit and armored pieces feature some nice weathering, but the armored parts are tacky, I’d assume due to some chemical reaction. Other than that, the paint is actually quite nice. I especially like the differences in the finishes on the head, which further emphasize the differences between Kane and the facehugger. Kane is packed with a flare gun and a flashlight, both of which are nicely done and movie accurate.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kane, along with the rest of Series Three, was a slightly delayed Christmas Gift from my supremely supportive parents. I’ll fully admit that Kane was not at the top of my list for this series. Still, it’s a pretty signature look, and it’s a good design, so I knew it had potential. Aside from the issue with the sticky armor, Kane is far beyond my expectations for the figure. He’s a really great figure, and he’s made me anxious to get some of the other space suited figures.

#0372: O’Malley & Queen Face Hugger

O’MALLEY & QUEEN FACE HUGGER

ALIENS (KENNER)

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Okay, so here’s another Kenner Aliens review. This review plays a bit more into Kenner’s wackier sensibilities with the line, while at the same time not going super overboard. What’s noteworthy about this set is that it’s the only set who’s Alien is not a “Xenomorph.” So, let’s have a look at the last of the 10th Anniversary two-packs, O’Malley vs. The Queen Face Hugger.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

O’Malley and the Queen Face Hugger are the final two-pack from the KB Exclusive Aliens Vs. Marine line. They are both repaints of figures from the previous Aliens line.

O’MALLEY

OMalleyVSFH2O’Malley! Hey, remember that guy? They hero of the… The guy who does the… He has the… Okay, okay, yeah, O’Malley is another Marine created by Kenner. He’s not really as goofy as ATAX, but he’s still a bit out there. In case the name and the hair hadn’t clued you in, O’Malley is supposed to be Irish. O’Malley is 5 inches tall and he sports 6 points of articulation. The figure makes use of the sculpt from the O’Malley figure meant to see a wide release in the 3rd Series. This featured a unique head sculpt, which may very well be the best Marine sculpt from the line. For a character that seems so one note and bland on the surface, O’Malley’s head sculpt is full of character. He’s got a smug look of assurance on his face (no way he’s making it out of the movie alive looking like that. Sorry O’Malley, your name might as well be Toast). He’s also got a really nasty scar over his eye. Obviously, he’s had a run in with some nasty beasts before. From the neck down, O’Malley shares his sculpt with Corporal Hicks. Hicks’s body sculpt is probably my favorite of the Marine sculpts, so I’m in favor of the re-use here. It’s a quality sculpt and it matches the head nicely. The paint work on O’Malley is more or less the same as it was on Hicks, with changes for the head and some tweaks to the accents on the torso. Everything is nice and cleanly done. O’Malley included a flamethrower clip-on, similar to Hicks’s claw thing, as well as what has to be one of the goofiest weapons in the Aliens line. It’s some kind of grappling thing on an accordion type arm. It’s kind of a funny weapon, but there it is.

QUEEN FACE HUGGER

OMalleyVSFH3Okay, so the name on this one kind of confuses me. So, is this a face hugger that has a queen embryo, or is it like the queen of the face huggers? What’s the deal Kenner? Well, Kenner’s kinda defunct now, so I guess we’ll never know. The Face Hugger is about 3 inches in height, 5 inches wide, and 6 inches long. That, by the way, makes this particular Face Hugger about 20x the size of what the actual Face Huggers should be. So, it’s not really a Face Hugger so much as an everything hugger. The figure doesn’t really have any articulation. There’s some movement, but it’s all tied into the action feature. The sculpt is a re-use of the original Series 3 Face Hugger. It’s a pretty good sculpt, and it’s surprisingly accurate to the Face Hugger design from the movies. There’s quite a bit of texturing, and they’ve added some spiky bits, similar to the changes present on the Scorpion Alien. The Face Hugger has what is probably the most drastic paint scheme change of all of the 10th Anniversary figures. The original figure’s paint scheme was similar to the regular Aliens. For this figure, they went with something more faithful to the actual Face Hugger. It’s an improvement, but it also makes the size of this thing even weirder! The Face Hugger included no accessories, but it does have a few action features. The tail can be pulled and retracted, the legs have a jumping action similar to the Alien Arachnid, and the mouth has a pullback opening feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

O’Malley and the Face Hugger were yet another piece of the large lot of Kenner Aliens figures I won on ebay. Neither one of them was super high on my list of desired figures, but they were part of the lot, so I figured why not. In hand, I was pleasantly surprised by this set. The Face Hugger’s kinda odd, but O’Malley is really quite a nice figure. It’s strange that Kenner put this level of effort into a character that no one cares about, but this really is one of their better figures. All in all, this is a pretty winning set.

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