#0750: Alien Warrior

ALIEN WARRIOR

S.H. MONSTERARTS

AlienAVP1

What’s this? Another Alien review? On my site? Why, that’s just unheard of! …Or, maybe not. So, what’s different about this review? Well, amongst other things, it’s a figure based on a movie I don’t like. Yeah, this here is one of the Alien Warriors from the first Alien vs. Predator film, a movie that’s only real saving grace is that it’s not as bad as its own sequel. In fact, it’s not a bad movie, just a mediocre one. That doesn’t seem right for Alien vs. Predator, which should really be a “go big or go home” affair. But, alas, we got the film we got, and it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see another. Sorry, this is actually supposed to be a toy review! Let’s get on to the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AlienAVP2The Alien Warrior is a part of Bandai’s S.H. MonsterArts line, and was released as a standalone item in early 2014. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall (a little taller than Bandai’s Big Chap) and has 63 points of articulation. As noted in the intro, this figure is based on the Alien vs. Predator design for the Alien Warrior. It’s interesting that they opted to release this version of the alien so far after the movie instead of something more iconic, such as the Aliens version, but if I had to guess, I’d say AvP’s probably just the cheapest of the licenses to procure. I find that each successive iteration of the Xenomorph design after Aliens loses a little of what made the first two designs work, and in particular, I found the Xenos in AvP to be too skinny and waaaaay too slimy and goopy. While this figure does strive to be an overall fairly accurate translation of the design, I find it changes a few minor things that result in a much better end product. For one thing, the details and texturing feel much sharper here than in the film, which is definitely a change I appreciate. In addition, it seems they’ve shrunk the size of the head ever so slightly, so that makes the body feel less skinny by comparison. In general, the sculpt has some incredible detail work and there’s some really great touches that they could have gotten away with leaving out, like the fully sculpted head under the dome. That’s something we don’t see in the movie, but they put it there anyway. Also, like the Big Chap, the knees and the tip of the figure’s tail are made from die-cast metal, which is a cool little, easily missed touch. The figure also has the signature Xeno inner-jaw, though the instructions tell you to remove the whole outer jaw to get it out (side note: looks like they got an actual translator for the instructions on this one. It makes for a more professional end product, but I must admit to missing the just slightly off English of the Big Chap’s instructions. Oh well.)  The paintwork on the figure is pretty much what you’d expect on a figure of a Xeno; it’s black with silver highlights. The dark brown transparent dome is definitely a cool look, and I was quite happy to see that the fully sculpted head was also fully painted under there. The Alien Warrior includes an alien egg, a chestburster, two sets of hands in splayed and closed poses, and a display stand, which, like the Big Chap’s, seems a little out of place with this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting me the Big Chap for Christmas, my boy Tim got me this guy as a birthday present. Though I don’t love the movie, and I’m not a big fan of the Xeno design as it’s presented in the film, I actually really like this figure a lot. He’s a ton of fun to pose, and the tweaks Bandai made to the design make it a lot better looking. Definitely an awesome addition to the collection!

AlienAVP3

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#0449: Alien Big Chap

ALIEN BIG CHAP

S.H. MONSTERARTS

We’ve made it to Day Twelve of the Christmas Reviews and after today, there are just two days left. Today marks the last of the Alien-themed gifts from this year. This time around, it’s a slightly different type of Alien figure. This one comes from Bandai Japan’s S.H. MonsterArts line, which is a Monster-themed spin-off of their main FiguArts line. Usually, the line focuses on Japanese creatures, such as Godzilla, but in the last couple of years they’ve added a healthy dose of Alien and Predator figures. Today, I’ll be looking at their version of the original Alien, the Big Chap!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

As noted above, the Big Chap was released as part of the S.H. MonsterArts line. Like many of Bandai’s higher-end figures, the Big Chap is not part of a larger series or assortment; he’s a single release. The figure is about 5 ½ inches tall and features an astounding 61 points of articulation (20 of that’s in his tail!). Technically, he’s based on the creature from the first Alien movie, though, like Funko’s recent Metallic Alien, he’s actually based on the initial design of the Alien, prior to filming beginning and the dome being “misted.” Prototype shots show the dome looking like it does in the movie, but it’s completely clear on the final figure. I don’t mind, but I’m curious as to why they decided to change it. The Big Chap’s sculpt is very nicely done, and all of the detail work is nice and sharp (quite literally in some cases). There’s a definite style to the figure, which makes it fit in with the other MonsterArts figures, even if it has a unique design. The design is a little lankier and more bug life than the “real-life” Alien, which is properly in line with the idea of this being a “concept” figure. The figure sports die-cast metal pieces for the elbows, knees, and the tip of the tail. In the case of the elbows and knees, it helps make the figure a little bit sturdier, and in the case of the tail, it makes it appropriately strong and sharp. Like all the best Alien figures, it also has a secondary mouth, which you must “Please pull out in a state of downward face” according to the included instructions (which are a fantastically entertaining read, by the way. Did someone on staff just say “Hey I sort of know some English” and then have nobody double-checked them?) The piece is very nicely sculpted, though it would be nice if it were a slightly tighter fit; it kind of flops about as it is. Like so many Alien figures, there’s not a whole lot to be done with the paint, but what’s there looks nice. For the most part, the figure’s molded in black plastic, with a heavy silver dry brushing applied to help bring out the details. There’s also some pretty good paintwork on the skull under the dome, as well as some nice silver detailing on the claws, toenails, and teeth. The Big Chap included a spare set of hands, in a more gesturing pose than the regular pair, and a display stand. The stand is cool enough, though I’m a little thrown off by the splattered paint design of it, which doesn’t really fit with the style of the movies at all. But I guess it looks pretty cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Big Chap here was a Christmas gift from my boy Tim. Tim’s well aware of my Alien obsession, and had asked me a few months back whether the Aliens I owned were all NECA, in preparation for ordering this figure. As far as Alien figures go, he chose pretty well. This is a really great version of the original Alien. Plus, there’s that fantastic reading material too!