#1080: Pvt Ricco Frost

PVT RICCO FROST

ALIENS (NECA)

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“Guess she don’t like the cornbread either…”

I’ve seen Aliens a lot of times.  When you watch a movie a lot of times, your perspective on different parts and characters from the from the movie can change with each viewing.  Sometimes this is a cool line you missed in an earlier viewing, or a neat little moment of foreshadowing.  Maybe you missed a fun little character beat.  The thing that I gained from so many repeated viewings of Aliens is an appreciation for Private Ricco Frost. 

Now, undoubtedly, I’m sure a lot of readers are thinking “who’s Frost?”  He’s easy to miss on a regular viewing.  He’s just one of the many Marines not to make it back from that fateful trip to the Alien hive.  But, if you pay close enough attention to Frost, you’ll see that he’s easily the most realized of the secondary Marines, especially in the early establishing scenes.  He gets a lot of memorable lines, he’s humorous, and he has clearly established friendships with Hicks and Hudson.  He even finds himself at the front of many of the shots in which he appears, subtly pushing him as a main character.  Frost is, in many ways, the face of the secondary Marines.  Then, moments into the hive battle, he becomes the very first named casualty in the film.  Bit of a gut-wrench, right?  Well, it’s okay, we’ll get through that together, with this here Frost action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

frostneca2Private Frost is the second of the two Marines in Series 9 of NECA’s Aliens line.  The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Frost is built on the standard Marine body, which we haven’t actually seen since the second series of the line, way back in 2014. It was a really strong sculpt back then, and it still is now.  Frost uses the Sgt Windrix variation of the body, which has the sleeves rolled down over the arms.  If you want to get technical, Frost should actually have his sleeves rolled up ever so slightly to be truly screen accurate, but that’s the sort of detail pretty much no one but me’s likely to notice.  Frost gets a few new pieces to complete his look.  The most obvious, of course, is the head, which sports a decent likeness of Ricco Ross.  It’s not spot-on (I think it’s a little too thin, myself) but it’s very close.  Frost is notably the first Marine to feature a removable helmet, made possible due to his slightly closer cropped hair.  The helmet is very nicely textured, with the cloth covering being properly depicted.  It sits pretty well on his head, frostneca3though it pops off from time to time while posing.  Mostly, I just appreciate being able to display him both ways.  In addition to the new head and helmet, Frost also gets a new web gear sculpt on his armor, which removes the welder and knife attachments and adds extra grenades and a holster for his side arm.  Frost’s paintwork is very solid, and what we’ve come to expect from NECA for this line.  The basic details are nice and clean, and he even gets all of the appropriate graffiti on his armor.  Fun fact: the graphic on his back is not from the film.  When working on the figure, NECA reached out to Ricco Ross to place some detail on Frost’s otherwise blank back, and he asked for this graphic to be placed there.  It’s a very cool touch, and helps him stand out even more from the rest of the Marines.  Frost is packed with a flamethrower (the same one that came with Windrix), a handgun, his shoulder lamp, and, most importantly, the bag of all the other Marines’ ammo, which Apone gives him during the hive scene.  The only real piece missing is the pulse rifle, but that’s hardly a rare item in this line, and he comes with plenty of extras as it is. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Frost here at the same TRU where I got Vasquez.  As soon as NECA announced another Marine would be in Series 9, Frost was the one I was hoping we’d see, and his figure definitely does not disappoint.  As cool as Vasquez may be, this guy is kind of my personal favorite from this set.  Can you believe we live in a world where you can own not one, but two Private Ricco Frost action figures?

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#0832: Pvt Frost & Burning Warrior Alien

PVT FROST & BURNING WARRIOR ALIEN

ALIENS MINIMATES

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“What are we supposed to use?  Harsh language?”

— Private Ricco Frost

One of the frustrating things about many of the toylines based on Aliens is the overall lack of any of the human characters.  The film has quite a rich cast of colorful characters, and only a small handful of them ever made it into plastic form.  Most lines avoided humans all together, and those that didn’t, such as Kenner’s line from the 90s, quickly abandoned the film’s actual characters for characters of their own creation.  Fortunately, through the efforts of both NECA and DST, the lack of character selection from the film is quickly being resolved.  Today, we’ll be looking at one of my favorite Marines, Pvt Frost, as well as another variant of the titular creature.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Frost and the Alien are part of the second specialty series of Aliens Minimates, which started hitting stores in late December.  Currently, both figures in this set are unique to this assortment.

PVT FROST

FrostXeno10Despite technically being one of the more minor Marines and only appearing in about a quarter of the film, Frost is actually a kind of memorable guy.  I mean, sure, he’s not Apone, or even Drake, but he manages to get quite a bit of dialogue, and a lot of his lines are fairly memorable.  He’s probably the most humanized of the secondary Marines.  Which makes him being the first character to die, after an hour of waiting, all the more gripping.  Frost’s figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation for a Minimate.  He features the same armor pieces we’ve seen several times before on the various Marines.  Like his series-mate, Crowe, his shoulder lamp is not removable, which is a bit of a letdown after the Series 1 Marines, but not the worst thing ever.  The armor parts are still very nice pieces of work, which quite nicely replicate the Marines’ armor from the movie.  Frost has probably the best paintwork in this whole series.  There are one or two instances of bleed over, but other than that, everything’s pretty clean.  His face is a pretty great likeness of Ricco Ross, and the line work is really sharp.  He’s even got a bit of the armor graffiti we see in the film; a heart with an arrow through it and the name “Heath” in the middle.  This was in honor of Ross’s girlfriend Heather, though I suppose in universe Frost might just be a really big 10 Things I hate about You fan.  Or he’s really into candy bars.  Regardless, it’s nice to see the armor graffiti hasn’t been forgotten.  For accessories, Frost includes an extra hairpiece, the standard issue pulse rifle, a flame thrower (w/ flame attachment), and a clear display stand.  The flamethrower is a new addition to the line, and it looks really great.  Of course, packing Frost with the flamethrower is a bit like packing Thomas and Martha Wayne with a handgun, but let’s not dwell.  It’s just awesome that Frost got two whole weapons!

BURNING WARRIOR ALIEN

FrostXeno12Hey look!  Another Alien!  It’s okay though, guys, this one’s actually totally new and unique!  Yay!  Yes, it seems the DST is well aware that people might get bored buying essentially the same Alien Warrior over and over again, so they’re trying to mix things up.  Since this Alien’s packed with a flamethrower wielding character, this figure is made to look like it’s on the receiving end of the weapon.  Sculpturally, this figure is the same as all of the prior Alien Warriors, with one slight change: not it’s got little flame-y bits on the shoulders (which are re-used from the Marvel line’s Dark Phoenix), in order to make the figure look like it’s really on fire.  The one downside is that these extra pieces remove the elbow movement entirely, but at least they’re removable.  In addition to the two new pieces,  the majority of the figure is molded in translucent orange plastic, to give the figure the appearance of being ablaze.  All of the usual Alien details are still there, but now there’s a slight flame pattern over them.  The end result is maybe not a spot-on recreation of a burning Alien, but interesting nonetheless.  The Burning Warrior Alien includes a newborn alien and a clear display stand.  I’m definitely glad to see the newborn showing up multiple places, because it’s a good piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Frost and the Burning Alien, like the other two sets from Series 2, were part of a slightly delayed Christmas present from my parents.  Frost is probably the best basic Marine so far.  The painted details are all really sharp, and he has a great accessory complement.  Pretty good for a seemingly minor character.  The Burning Alien certainly isn’t going to be an everyday Alien, as he’s quite scene specific, but it’s a really fun variant, and a great way to keep the Aliens in this line interesting.  This is easily the best set in Series 2.