#2456: Dana Barrett



“When ghastly ghouls and spooky specters come looking to paint the town dead, the Ghostbusters are ready to answer the call — but not before Dana Barrett is possessed by Zuul, ready to unleash Gozer’s wrath on New York City!”

Though not a member of the titular team, Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett is a pretty pivotal piece of both of the original Ghostbusters films.  Despite this, she’s received a whole lot less toy coverage over the years, thanks in part to her character being dropped from spin-off material such as The Real Ghostbusters, and in part to Sigourney’s general lack of interest in letting her likeness be used on toys.  If the notable quantities of Ellen Ripley figures that have hit retail in the last five years are anything to go by, she’s laxed up a little bit on such things.  Back when Mattel had the Ghostbusters license, the only Dana we got wasn’t a figure at all, but a statue that was in scale with the other figures.  That always felt like a bit of a rip-off.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s finally giving Dana her due, and have included her in their first assortment of figures!


Dana is figure 5 in the first assortment of Plasma Series figures.  Like most Dana figures, she’s based on her appearance while possessed by Zuul, which is a sensible enough choice as far as memorable looks go.  It’s perhaps not the easiest to translate into toy form, but we’ll discuss that more in a moment.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Dana’s articulation isn’t quite as practical or useful as that on the ‘busters.  The skirt does a lot of limiting on the legs, and the elbow joints in particular don’t have much range at all.  These are, of course, the symptoms of adapting such a design into plastic, since her rather flowy and lightweight dress doesn’t really translate into plastic all that well.  And really, that’s kind of the overwhelming thing that you run into when dealing with this figure: it’s translating a design that just doesn’t translate so well.  There are parts of the figure, particularly on the torso and arms, where they’ve made some design compromises so as to not impede articulation quite as much, and it doesn’t really work.  I mean, I like that the arms are separate pieces, thereby allowing actual movement, but ultimately they’re separate pieces, and very obviously separate ones at that, which don’t look like the single piece of clothing from the film.  Instead, she kind of looks like she’s wearing separate sleeves or something.  Moving away from the hard to translate flowy dress, let’s talk about the hard to translate poofy hair.  Sigourney Weaver’s hair later in the film is…well, there’s a lot to it, and it behaves in ways that really only hair can do.  When you try to make that into a solid piece of plastic, changes have to happen.  And that they did here.  The actual face does sport a solid likeness of Weaver, but the hair around it seems strange.  She’s definitely got some helmet hair going on here, and it doesn’t really look right from any angle.  I can see what they were going for, but it just ends up looking strange, and just off.  It’s the weakest part of the figure, because it just never looks right, no matter how you pose her. One area where the figure actually does pretty well consistently is the paint.  The face uses the printing, which works quite well for her heavy make up, and I quite dig the metallic sheen on her dress.  I would have liked for her sash to have a little more accenting or something going on, but it’s not atrocious as is.  Dana’s only accessory isn’t really anything for her, but is instead the torso of the Terror Dog Build-A-Figure.


Going into this set, I was expecting Dana to be the weakest of the bunch.  I don’t feel I was wrong on that front.  However, she’s actually a fair bit better than I was expecting her to be, and honestly Hasbro deserves some pretty major kudos for actually attempting to make her a real figure, rather than just the accent piece that Mattel saddled us with.  This figure definitely has her flaws, but is still far from terrible, given how tricky to adapt this particular look is.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure.  They’re currently sold out of their initial shipment of the line, but should be getting more soon.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1035: Ellen Ripley – Fiorina 161 Prisoner




Hey, you know what movie I love? Aliens! By extension, you know what movie I hate? Alien3 of course! Now, I know what you’re thinking: If I hate Alien3 so much, why do I keep buying figures from it? Well, there’s at least a part of it that’s about it giving me more time to air my grievances with the movie. It could also have something to do with that fact that, as bad as the movie may be, there were still a few interesting designs. Mostly, though, it’s due to the fact that I have an action figure addiction which cannot be stopped. That seems to be the cause of a lot of things in my life, if I’m honest. Anyway, today’s particular figure is NECA’s fifth version of Ellen Ripley, based on her appearance in the aforementioned film.


RipleyCubed2This version of Ripley was released in the 8th series of NECA’s Aliens line, which, as I noted in my Weyland Yutani Commando review, is a series totally devoted to Alien3. The figure is just shy of 7 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation. Rather than giving us different figures based on various parts of the film (like the Alien Ripleys), this figure kind of rolls her two main prison looks into one. She has two sets of arms and a removable vest for both jacketed and unjacketed looks. The pieces swap out well enough and provide two nicely distinctive looks, making it almost a bit surprising that NECA didn’t go for two separate figures. I’m hardly complaining, though. The inclusion of two sets of arms was fortuitous for me, since the left hand broke off the jacketed arm while I was removing Ripley from the box. Nothing a quick dab of superglue couldn’t fix, but be careful unpacking her. This Ripley gets an all-new sculpt, which is, overall, pretty good. Perhaps it’s a bit of personal bias, but I don’t find this sculpt to be quite as good as the Series 5 Ripley, especially when it comes to the facial likeness. While I won’t deny that there’s a lot of Weaver in there, the whole face seems just a bit pinched. That said, there’s still some awesome detail work on her shaved head, and the rest of the body is both well-proportioned and very impressively textured and detailed. This definitely feels like the same person from the last two figures. Let’s talk about the paint. So, overall, the paint on the figure is quite good. The clothes all have lots of subtle work to bring out the sculpted textures, and the overall work is very clean and sharp. The skin even has the tiniest bit of airbrushed red to make her look a bit more lively, which is a fantastic touch. There’s one major issue with my figure, and it’s one I didn’t actually notice until partway through writing this review: her face detailing is skewed just the slightest bit downward. It’s seriously slight. So slight that, like 99% of people wouldn’t even notice. However, it’s enough to throw off the likeness a bit, which may be at least part of why I haven’t warmed to this sculpt like I did the prior Weaver sculpts. In addition to the spare arms, Ripley includes a flashlight and the torch used to lead the Dog Alien to its demise. Both pieces are very impressively sculpted, and both fit nicely into her right hand.


I actually found Ripley at the same time as the Commando, but I ended up passing on her at that time. Of course, then I found the remnants of the series at a couple of TRUs, and was kicking myself for not picking her up the first time. Fortunately, my closest TRU got in a case and I was able to score the last Ripley they had. I don’t like this figure as much as the Aliens version, but then again, I never really expected to. As a figure on her own merits, she’s pretty solid. If nothing else, I’ve got a nice little set of Alien3 figures that I can just pretend are a few more “concept figures.”


#0941: Space Marine Lt. Ripley




A little over three weeks ago, it was Alien Day, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Aliens, the greatest movie of all time. There was lots of awesome stuff going on to celebrate (I even got to see Aliens on the big screen!). NECA, who’ve been making Aliens figures for several years now got in on the fun by offering an exclusive figure in partnership with Toys R Us. So, without further ado, here’s Space Marine Lt. Ripley!


KenRipley1Ripley is a part of NECA’s ongoing Aliens line. She was a special one-off exclusive, so she’s not officially part of a specific series. However, she falls in between Series 7 and Series 8 as far as the timeline of releases goes. So, we’ve got Ripley from the first movie, Ripley from the second movie, and Ripley from the third movie’s in Series 8; what version of Ripley is this? Well, it’s not Ripley from the fourth movie, that’s for sure. This Ripley isn’t based on a movie incarnation at all: she’s instead based on Kenner’s Lt. Ripley from their ‘90s Aliens line. NECA started using Kenner variants in their Predator line when they started running out of movie designs, so it’s not a huge shock to see them go that route with Aliens too. This Ripley stands 7 ¼ inches tall and she has 26 points of articulation. Since she was meant to be a figure that could be turned around relatively quickly, most of Ripley’s sculpt is the same as the Series 5 version of the character. That was a fantastic sculpt, and is perhaps one of my favorite NECA sculpts to date, so the reuse is far from a bad thing. There are still a few minor nits, but the good outweighs the bad by like a whole lot. In addition, the Kenner Ripley was based on the same basic design as the Series 5 Ripley, so the sculpt really isn’t far off. To help seal the deal, Ripley gets one additional add-on piece for her bandana, which does a suitable job of capturing the Kenner piece, while at the same time fitting right in with the rest of the sculpt. The rest of the changes in design are handled via the paint job, which I must say is quite impressive. The ‘90s were a truly garish time for fashion, and Kenner’s Ripley was not unaffected by this. However, despite not toning down the colors all that much, NECA’s managed to make Ripley not look super ridiculous. To the casual fan, she’s a fairly serviceable normal Ripley, but a toy fan should be able to instantly recognize the reference. The original Kenner Ripley included a huge freaking flamethrower thing. To properly replicated this would have required a whole new tool that wouldn’t have been useful for too much else. So, instead of that, this Ripley gives us our first look at the Smartgun that’ll be included with Series 9’s Vasquez. Ripley has a little trouble holding it, since it’s not what her hands are designed to hold, but it’s an awesomely sculpted piece. Also, as a neat little throwback, the figure also includes a reprint of the comic included with the original Kenner Ripley (These really need to be put out in a collected edition of some sort).


Oh boy, was getting this figure an ordeal. I hit up my local TRU on Alien Day with no luck finding this figure. I also had no luck finding at any of the nearby TRUs for the next two weeks. In addition, it sold out of TRU’s online store in a few hours, and then the product page disappeared, so I had no luck there. However, patience persevered, and TRU listed more stock online, allowing me to get the figure. Yay. I’m glad I got this figure. Sure, I have most of it already, but it’s an incredibly fun variant, and a wonderful throwback to my very first Aliens figure.


#0830: Jumpsuit Ripley & Newt




“They mostly come at night.  Mostly.”

-Rebecca “Newt” Jordan

Aliens is oft remembered for the Colonial Marines, but they’re just part of the film’s small group of survivors.  One of the most important characters in the movie is Newt, the lone surviving colonist following the initial Xenomorph attack on LV-426.  She’s found her way into the latest series of Aliens Minimates, alongside a Ripley variant.  Let’s see how this set turned out!


This pair is part of the second series of Aliens Minimates.  So far these two are both exclusive to the specialty release, but time will tell as to whether either of them will be picked for TRU release.


RipleyNewt9The last Ripley ‘mate we got was based on her appearance from the last act of the film, when she’s storming the Alien hive.  It’s an important look to be sure, but it’s not how she’s spends the majority of the movie.  This figure is how she spends most of the movie, in a jumpsuit and a leather jacket.  The figure is 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  She has add-on pieces for her hair, jacket, watch, and the rolled up sleeves on her arms.  The hair and watch are the same pieces used on the previous Ripley, which is good for consistency.  They’re also just pretty good pieces, so no complaints there.  The jacket is from the second Michael Knight minimate, which is a pretty common reuse.  Technically, it should have pockets on the front and straps at the tops of the shoulders, but the piece is close enough, especially at the smaller scale. Ripley’s paint is generally pretty decent.  The overall application is all really clean and the detail lines are tight.  The face doesn’t quite look like Sigourney weaver, but it isn’t horrid.  It’s clearly the same person as the Rescue Mission version.  I do wish she looked a little less bored, though.  The legs are identical to the prior Ripley, which is once again good for consistency. For accessories, Ripley is packed with a standard issue pulse rifle, a pair of arms to match the jumpsuit, and a clear display stand.  The rifle is just as nice as always, and the extra arms allow for this figure to cover another important Ripley look (sans-jacket). I would have liked to have gotten a motion tracker or something, but what she has is acceptable.


RipleyNewt11Newt is definitely the main focus of this set, being not only a new character, but also the most pivotal character who had not yet been released.  Newt’s figure is based on her appearance when she’s found by Ripley and the Marines, after she’s been hiding from the Aliens for a while. Newt has one add-on piece for her hair.  It’s a re-use from BSG’s Tory Foster.  It’s a decent enough piece, though it does seem a little too… kempt(?) for Newt.  She also uses the shorter arms and legs introduced with the Peter Pan sets, so that she can be a little shorter, since she’s a kid. The paint on Newt is actually pretty nicely handled.  It’s maybe a little more cartoony than I was initially expecting, especially the bright yellow of the hair, but the overall look is really sharp.  The face does a reasonable job capturing a young Carrie Henn, though the smudges of dirt, while a nice touch, are completely covered by the hair piece. Newt includes Casey, the disembodied head of her doll, and a clear display stand.  The head is definitely a cool touch, since she’s rarely seen without it in the movie.


These two were a slightly late Christmas  present from my parents, who know very well how much I love Aliens. This Ripley has the misfortune of following the Series 1 version.  She is by no means a disappointing figure, but she just fails to be quite as exciting as the earlier figure. Newt is a surprisingly cool figure.   While she’s not ever going to be Hicks in terms of sheer awesomeness, there’s a lot to like about this figure, and she’s a key character to boot.

#0685: Lt. Ellen Ripley




Okay, guys, you read the title. You saw that picture. You know what I’m reviewing today. Are you prepared for what is about to happen here? I mean this totally seriously. Are you prepared? Okay, let’s give it ago. I think I’ve maintained my composure for a while, without freaking, so I’ve lulled everyone into a sense of ease. Good. Let’s move on.



I think I’m good now. Sorry, I’ve been holding the excitement in for a little while. Umm, so I’ve just gotten my figure of Ripley from Aliens, my favorite movie of all time, and now I’m gonna review it.


RipleyAliens2Lt. Ellen Ripley is part of Series 5 of NECA’s Aliens line. After going completely to Alien for Series 4, they’ve switched back over to figures from the second movie for Series 5. Yay, more Aliens toys for me! Ripley is presented here in her Xeno-hive-exploring get-up, from the climax of the film, when she goes to save Newt. It’s really the go to look for Ripley from Aliens, so it’s definitely the one to lead with. The figure stands roughly 7 ¼ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Like Series 4’s Jumpsuit Ripley, this puts her at the same height as all of the Marines produced so far, and a little bit taller than Series 3’s Bishop. That’s definitely appropriate for a figure representing Sigourney Weaver, who is 6 feet tall. Ripley’s sculpt appears to be mostly new; the only parts that look to be re-use are the forearms, which are from Jumpsuit Ripley. And, seeing as they’re the same actress’s forearms, that seems pretty excusable. The rest of the sculpt is really, really good. It’s not perfect; the arms seem just a touch lanky and the neck’s a little on the thin side. However, those are minor issues, especially compared to what the sculpt gets right. The overall proportions are pretty spot on, and the figure is covered in detail work and texture. The ammo-belt and watch are both add-ons, which actually surprised me a bit, especially on the watch. Now, the key piece of a Ripley figure in this day and age is the likeness. NECA did a pretty great job on both Series 4 Ripleys, so the pressure was definitely on here. Prototype shots had me a little worried, but the final product blows all that away. Easily the best likeness in the line. This IS Ellen Ripley. Well, facially, anyway. The one thing that holds it back just a little is the hair. It’s not bad, but it seems just a tad too big. Hair is difficult, so NECA’s still done an admirable job here, getting it as close as they did. Moving onto paint, I feel it RipleyAliens3important to note that, while this is the best paintwork we’ve seen in this line to date, it’s not without issue. The biggest issue, for me, is the eyebrows. They’re set too hi, and they’re too at ease, which isn’t appropriate for Ripley at this point in the movie. It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it is somewhat noticeable. In addition, the right side of the hair ends just a small fraction shy of the sculpted hair. It’s not noticeable from 90% of viewing angles, but when it’s visible, it looks a little goofy. Lastly (and this one’s really minor), the stains on the shirt stand out just a bit too much from the normal shirt color. Some fading would have been nice. Those issues aside, the paint on this figure is truly amazingly handled. This Ripley makes the switch over to the more realistic flesh toned plastic that NECA used on figures like Rambo and Dutch. It has the semi-translucent of real skin, and avoids loss of detail and the extra thickness added by paint. The end result is an astounding improvement to the Marines and Bishop. Ripley is packed with her signature pulse rifle/flamethrower combo. It’s a key accessory for this look, and it’s wonderfully executed. The piece is actually two pieces, bound together, and the pulse rifle even has the tracker taped to the top, just like the movie.


So, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’ve been anxiously awaiting this figure’s release ever since the prototype was first shown off. My wonderfully supportive parents were nice enough to get me Ripley (along with the rest of Series 5) for my birthday. The figure wasn’t here quite in time for my actual birthday, the sheer awesomeness of the figure more than makes up for that. I noted in my review of the Series 4 Ripley that NECA had set the bar pretty high for this figure. Well, I’m happy to say that this figure has cleared that bar with room to spare. This is the finest piece the line’s had to offer!


#0613: Ripley – Compression Suit




No movie toyline is every truly complete without a bunch of variations of one of the film’s main characters. Sometimes they’re manufactured by the toy makers, resulting in strange neon colored variations, aimed at capturing the attention of small children (which has been known to work…occasionally). However, there’s been an increasing trend towards variations that are accurate to the source material. NECA is pretty big on these, especially when they get ahold of a major actor’s likeness rights. When they managed to get Arnold Schwarzenegger’s likeness from Predator, they released five variants of the character right off the bat. Now that they’ve gotten Sigourney Weaver’s likeness from the Alien films, and it looks like they’re going to be approaching her figures a similar fashion. I looked at the first version of her the other day, and now I’ll be looking at the second version, from the very same series.


RipleySS2Ripley was released in Series 4 of NECA’s Aliens line. The series is devoted completely to the 35th Anniversary of Alien, so all of the figures are from that particular movie. The figure stands about 7 ½ inches tall and features 24 points of articulation. The first Ripley figure depicted her in her jumpsuited look, which was her primary look from the movie. This one is based on her look from her final confrontation with the creature, while in the Narcisus. It’s not the look most would associate with her for the movie, but it’s a strong second, being from a rather pivotal scene of the film. As an added bonus, it gives NECA another opportunity to use the compression suit body into which they’ve put so much work. Surprising pretty much nobody, the figure uses the same pressure suit body as Dallas and Kane (she also has the same hands as Dallas). Ripley’s suit was just a slight bit more streamlined in the film, so she doesn’t sport the front piece of armor (not sure what it actually is) and she also doesn’t have the holster strap for the flare gun. The helmet is RipleySS3similarly streamlined, being pretty much the same as Dallas’s, but without the head lamp. Under the helmet is a Ripley sculpt that is completely different from the one on Jumpsuit Ripley. It’s different, but I honestly can’t say if it’s better or worse than the other sculpt. It’s still got a pretty good likeness of Weaver, and the hair has been sculpted to more properly fit within the helmet. This ends up making the figure look a bit more goofy with the helmet off, but she looks great with the helmet on, which is the preferable outcome. Ripley’s paintwork is a little more simplistic than the other two compression-suited figures, but this is once again accurate to the movie, where Ripley’s suit is only used within the confines of the ship. Though it may be more simple, it’s hardly a bad paint job. In fact, it’s probably one of NECA’s best. While the suit is all white, NECA has made sure to include some slight variation in color and finish, providing quite a bit of dimension to the figure. The head also features some incredibly clean work, with no slop or bleed over, and some nice smallerRipleySS6 details. Ripley includes the harpoon gun, which figures prominently into the last moments of the film and has both opened and closed-hook harpoons, as well as another version of the film’s other survivor, Jonesy the cat, this time in a frightened pose.


Ripley is the last piece of the Series 4 set I ordered from Big Bad Toy Store. While I think the other Ripley is still the standout of this set, this version is incredibly solid. Like Dallas, she makes use of the strong compression-suit sculpt we saw on Kane, but doesn’t suffer from Kane’s drawbacks. Also, and this applies to this whole series, the paint here just seems like a huge leap forward compared to the previous three series of figures. All in all, this a fun figure, and definitely a must for anyone who’s an Alien fan.


#0610: Ripley




As faithful readers of the site know, it’s no secret that my favorite movie of all time is Aliens. So, it’s probably not a huge shock to find out that I’m rather fond of Alien, the film Aliens sequel-izes, as well. Granted, I don’t view it with nearly as much reverence as its sequel, but I appreciate it for what it spawned, and I think it’s a tremendously well assembled film. When NECA made their announcement that they had managed to acquire Sigourney Weaver’s likeness rights, they quickly followed up by confirming that the first Ripley figure in their Aliens line would be based on her debut appearance in Alien. Now, that figure is finally here, and I’m really excited to see how it turned out.


RipleyJS2Ripley was released as part of Series 4 of NECA’s Aliens line. Series 4 is the first series in the line not to feature any figures from Aliens, as well as the first series not to feature any of the titular creatures. There’s no need to fret, though, because a) Series 5 will be making up for both of those things, and b) Series 4 suffers in no way for the lack of either of these things. NECA has taken advantage of Alien’s 35th anniversary, and has offered three figures based on that film’s designs. This particular Ripley represents her in her main jumpsuited look, which she sports for most of her screen time. The figure stands just shy of 7 ½ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. It’s refreshing to see a female figure that isn’t dwarfed by her male counterparts (in fact, she’s taller than Bishop, and the same height as Hicks), and it makes this an accurate depiction of Ripley as portrayed by the 6 foot tall Sigourney Weaver. Ripley has a brand-new sculpt (in fact, she’s the only figure in this series to get one) and, simply put, it’s phenomenal. She has great proportions, tons of detail, and the articulation is very nicely worked into the sculpt. When NECA did Bishop in the last series, I had a few issues with overlay piece used for the torso part of the jumpsuit. I was somewhat concerned about those issues cropping up here. Fortunately, NECA has made sure they didn’t, and have tweaked the overlay part to be two pieces, allowing for a more form fitting look and avoiding the slight diaper-like appearance of Bishop’s waist. The overlay allows for a bit more dimension, and they’ve done a wonderful job of sculpting the collar of her uniform shirt so that it just barely shows RipleyJS4under the jumpsuit. Now, we all know that NECA can do an awesome job on the body, but the real pull here is that, for the first time ever, we got a Ripley that’s actually allowed to look like Sigourney Weaver! So, how’d they do? If I’m totally honest, when I first saw the sculpt, I was a little underwhelmed. Sure, it bore a resemblance to Weaver, but it seemed off. After taking the figure out and viewing the sculpt in three dimensions, my opinion’s changed greatly. This is definitely Sigourney Weaver. At least the face is, anyway. The hair, I’m not 100% sold on, though I’d chalk that up to the impossibility of perfectly replicating something so fluid in a solid medium. Also, this may seem like a weird thing to comment on, but I’m really impressed by the hands. Like, I looked at them and immediately thought “wow, those are Sigourney Weaver’s hands.” It’s something that’s really minor and easy to overlook, but it really adds a lot to the figure. Ripley’s paintwork is, while not flawless, pretty darn good. Application is nice and clean, and there’s some great detail work on the patches on her jumpsuit. The face is pretty decent for the scale and the price point, but the edges on the eyes are just a little off, and there’s a little scratch on her nose. Nothing too major, though. She does seem a little on the clean side, but it’s fair to say she’s supposed to be from earlier in the film, and would therefore be a little less messy. Ripley includes two accessories: a flamethrower and Jonesy the cat. Both pieces are excellent additions to the figure. The flamethrower is superbly sculpted and painted and fits quite nicely in her hands. Jonesy is pretty decently sculpted and features ball joints at the neck and tail, allowing for some decent movement.


I’ve been patiently waiting for this figure’s release ever since it was announced. I picked her up, along with the other two figures in the series, from Big Bad Toy Store, as soon as they got her in stock. This figure is fantastic. It does a wonderful job of translating the character from the film to three dimensions and gives us our first shot at a character that the line couldn’t be complete without. Sure, it’s not the version from Aliens that I’ve been oh so anxiously waiting for, but it’s more than enough to hold me over until that figure comes along. NECA has done a tremendous job with this figure, and they’ve set the bar pretty high for the Aliens version in Series 5. Here’s hoping that one’s just as good!

*Ripley also has the added notoriety of being the 3000th unique figure to be added to my collection!  That’s a big number!


#0588: Ripley & Cpl. Hicks




The Aliens line of Minimates started off a little bit differently than other lines; instead of getting right to the principle characters, things were kicked off with a case of single packed Xenomorphs and a few of the film’s more minor characters (and Burke, but who wants that guy, right?). It was certainly a fun start to the line, but it was a little odd to have all those aliens and not have a Ripley to face off against them. Fortunately, DST has followed up the army builder case with a more conventional set of Aliens Minimates, including a set with everyone’s favorite Warrant Officer turned space-faring action hero, Ellen Ripley. And, to top things off, she’s also brought along Colonial Marine Corporal Dwayne Hicks for the ride!


These two are part of the specialty assortment of Aliens Minimates Series 1. Both figures will also be available in the TRU assortment, but they will each be packed with a Xenomorph.


Ripley&HicksMM2This figure ends up actually being the second Minimate of Ellen Ripley, however, it’s the first one from Aliens. As the name denotes, the figure represents Ripley during her rescue mission to save Newt from the alien hive, towards the end of the film. It’s generally the look most people associate with her character, especially for this movie, as it featured prominently on the film’s poster and was the look she was sporting for many of the film’s definitive Ripley moments. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ripley has add-on pieces for her hair, watch, and “suspenders.” The hair is a piece we’ve seen a few times before (it first cropped up on El Indigo from Fistful of Dollars). It’s a near perfect match for Ripley’s hair from the movie, and it well-sculpted to boot! The watch is also a piece we’ve seen before, most recently on the Alien set Ripley, this line’s own Carter Burk. It’s a pretty standard watch piece and it does its job well. The suspenders appear to be new to this figure. They have some fantastic texture work, and you can even make out the grenades that are strapped in place. Ripley features some grade A paint work. The colors are all pretty great matches for what we see on screen, and the detail lines do a great job of outlining all movie-Ripley&HicksMM4details. Her pants feature all the proper stitching and pockets, and her shirt even has darker coloring near the top of her chest to simulate sweat stains. I bet that smells lovely. The face isn’t a 100% spot-on likeness of Sigorney Weaver, but it’s not far off, and it even has some red scuff marks to show the beating she takes over the course of the movie. I’m also happy to see she hasn’t been saddled with a vacant expression. Ripley should have an intense look about her, and this figure does. Ripley includes a standard clear display stand, as well as her signature pulse rifle/flamethrower combo. The combo piece is actually reversed from how it’s assembled in the film, but it’s still pretty well-sculpted. Also, the set includes two of them. Ripley only had the one and Hicks never carries such a thing, so I’m not sure which figure the second is meant to go with.


Ripley&HicksMM5Hicks makes his debut into the world of Minimates with this figure, however, actor Michael Biehn has actually had two Minimates before, courtesy of the Terminator2 line. While Ripley has a couple of distinctively different looks over the course of the movie, Hicks’ looks are all more or less just slight variations on his basic Marine armor, so this figure effectively encompasses all of those looks. Hicks features an impressive selection of sculpted add-ons, with pieces for his helmet, chest armor, boots/shin guards, and shotgun holster. We were given a preview of a lot of this figure’s parts with the single-packed Pvt. Wierzbowski figure. The Colonial Marine armor is generally quite well rendered in the Minimate style. The details of the armor are all pretty well defined, and it’s quite accurate to the source material. The chest armor is a little on the bulky side, but it isn’t terrible. The helmet is pretty good, although the little bit of hair we can see towards the back is a little too long flowing to really be accurate for any of the Marines we see in the movie. Hick’s armor load out has a few differences from what we saw on Wierzbowski. The most obvious, of course, is the addition of the holster, which is well sculpted and fits snuggly over the chest armor. Also, while Wierzbowksi’s shoulder lamp was fixed in place, Hicks’ is Ripley&HicksMM6removable. Given that the character doesn’t have the lamp for the whole film, this was a nice choice. The paint on Hicks is generally impressive, however, there are a few minor issues. The color of the armor really feels too light for the source material, which reduces the contrast between armor and uniform. To DST’s credit, the same issue was present on Wierzbowski, so it’s likely that they just want to keep the Marines consistent. Also, the additional details on the torso armor and helmet are a little sloppy, and on the helmet in particular, it seems as though the camo screen was a bit misaligned, causing it to run over the black of the camera strap. The paint isn’t all bad, though. Under the armor is a (mostly) fully detailed set of camo fatigues, which are very nicely detailed, even if the camo pattern doesn’t Ripley&HicksMM7continue to the back of the legs. Hicks’ chest armor also features his signature heart and lock detail, which is nice and sharply defined. The face detailing presents a decent depiction of Michael Biehn, though I’m not sure it’s quite as good a likeness as the second Kyle Reese. As far as accessories go, Hicks makes out pretty well. He gets a clear display stand, a pulse rifle, his signature shotgun, an alternate hair piece for an unhelmeted look, and an extra bandaged head to depict him from towards the end of the movie, after he takes some acid to the face. Generally, these accessories are quite nice. The hair piece seems a little too… Elvis-y? for Hicks, but it works alright.


I got these two (after a fair bit of waiting for the cases to make their way to retailers) from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Ripley’s the figure I was most eagerly awaiting from this wave. There are a few minor nits here and there, but overall, this is a fantastic translation of one of the most distinctive characters in cinema. Hicks is one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, from my favorite movie of all-time. So, the bar was set pretty high on this guy. The final product isn’t without issues, but there’s more than enough good about this figure to make up for it!

Ripley&HicksMM8*This review was originally published at Minimates Central

#0464: 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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!

#0443: Ripley – Spacesuit



It’s Day Six of my Christmas Reviews, and they’re moving along strong. Today’s review is the second half of the ReAction review I started yesterday. When you’re dealing with Alien, the two most important characters are the Alien and the lone survivor, Ripley. Yesterday, I looked at the Alien, today I’ll look at Ripley.


Ripley was released in the second series of Alien ReAction Figures. She’s 3 ¾ inches tall and she features 5 points of articulation. Ripley is presented here in the space suit she wears during her final run-in with the creature. From the neck down, Ripley is identical to Series One’s Kane figure. Since the Nostromo’s space suits were all roughly the same design with different colors, it’s a reasonable re-use of parts. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Kane was my personal favorite figure from the first series, mostly due to his superb sculpt. At first, I thought the head might just be a re-use from the first Ripley, but a closer look shows this is definitely not the same piece. It’s not as good as the first Ripley, but I imagine a large part of that is due to the need for it to fit in the helmet properly.  This results in the figure looking much better with the helmet on, which is the better of the two options, I suppose. It might seem the figure has no paint on the body, but that’s not the case. All of the plating and straps have been painted with a slightly different white, allowing for some distinction between the pieces of the suit. It’s really an impressive effect, and something that could have been left out. The figure’s head features mostly straight forward work, which is fine I suppose. Ripley includes her helmet for her suit, which fits very well. True to the movie, the helmet lacks the head light seen on Kane’s suit, which means they tweaked the helmet at least a little bit.


Like the Alien, Ripley was a gift from my amazingly cool parents. While this might not be the most exciting figure that the line has to offer, it does offer Ripley in a fairly key look, and it gives us another figure using the fantastic Space Suit sculpt from Kane. I can’t really fault Funko for wanting to use that body again.