We’re just a few days out from Christmas and this time of year always reminds me of my favorite seasonal TV program as a kid: The Aliens Vs Predator Christmas Special! Getting to see the Aliens and Predators team up to save Santa Claus, while learning the important life lessons of peace and harmony was always a treat. Alright, you got me. I made it up. But hey, as long as we’re on the subject, let’s look at NECA’s Aliens Vs Predator two-pack!
To the casual eye, this may seem like just an awesome two-pack featuring those two great extraterrestrial adversaries, but it’s actually an homage to a similar pack released back in Kenner’s old toy line. NECA’s been doing some amazing things with both the Predator and Aliens licenses, and I’ve been able to show restraint, mainly because I’m so late to the game. This set, however, has had me drooling for a while now, and it seemed like a good jumping on point. Anyway, the packaging is simple, but impressive as all hell. It’s a giant slab of a clam shell that prominently shows off the two gorgeous figures. The front of the window features a silver “Toys R Us” Exclusive sticker and another sticker that calls out the Dark Horse comic reprint that’s bundled inside.
Flip the package over and you can see why I’ve been reluctant to get in on these. Look at all those figures! I’ve already decided that I’m on board for the Alien Isolation figures, as I really do dig that game a lot. As for the rest… maybe I’ll try to hunt down some of them there Predators as well. The only downside to this gorgeous package? It’s a sealed clam shell and therefore not collector friendly. It’s more or less typical for NECA over the ages, but they have been breaking into more collector friendly window boxes lately, so it’s a shame they didn’t do it here. Either way, I’ve got to get out my razor blade and do some cutting as I wipe away tears. At least I’ve probably got a glorious whiff of intoxicating plastic coming my way when I unseal it. Mmmmm… delicious plastic fumes! <cough> That’s potent stuff!
The Xenomorph is an absolutely amazing figure. He’s appropriately large for a 7-inch scale beastie and the sculpt here is just mind-blowing. All the little details of his exo-skeleton are reproduced here and I had a great time just turning him over in my hand and checking out every last Geiger-fied inch of him. The lanky proportions, the insect-like elements, and the giant, bulbous head make this one of the creepiest sci-fi designs ever as far as I’m concerned and every bit of it has been reproduced in this figure. He also stands surprisingly well. Sure, the tail helps, but I’ve been able to pose him with the tail off the ground as well.
The head is just as amazing as the rest of the body. The super glossy finish on the dome looks spectacular and all that great detail in the body carries over to the head as well. Just look at all the sinewy bits stretching from the mouth and those sharp, silver painted teeth. God, the paintwork overall is just so striking on this guy. And yes, the jaw is articulated and the secondary extending mouth is present. Incredible!
The Xenomorph is loaded with useful articulation, so let’s break it all down. The arms feature rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and there are swivels at the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, double hinges in the knees, and hinges in the ankles and toes. There’s a ball joint in the torso and again in the neck. As mentioned, the jaw is hinged and the secondary mouth slides out. The tail is a fashioned from a nice bendy material. Moving on to the Predator…
With so many different varieties of Predators inhabiting NECA’s line up, I suppose you could consider this one just a straight vanilla Pred and damn is he gorgeous. He features some amazing texture and paintwork on the skin and the armor bits show some sculpted pitting and wear. All the little controls and instruments on his arm bracers are present, he’s got his two serrated blades on his right arm, and he has some little hoses connecting to the armor pieces in his left arm.
But it’s clearly in the head sculpt where this guy truly shines. One thing worth noting is that the upper right tusk on mine is broken off. It was like that in the package and there wasn’t a piece of it rattling around in there. I’m not sure if it’s just a factory defect or all of them were like that. Frankly, I think it gives him some character. Anyway, the disgusting mandibles look fantastic as do his beady, deep set eyes. Oh yeah, each and every one of his dreads are individually sculpted. Incredible!
The Pred also comes with a swap-out masked head. Again, every one of his dreads are sculpted separately.
The shoulder cannon is a removable piece that tabs into the shoulder and again at the back. It’s articulated in two places so it can be positioned in an inactive state or activated and targeted.
You also get two weapons with The Predator. He’s got a blade and a gun. The sculpt and paintwork on these accessories are great. I particularly like the crazy design of the gun. Unfortunately, the blade weapon snapped in half while I was taking it out of the package. I’m going to put this mishap on me, as I didn’t even realize they were one piece and the other half was still secured. He can still wield the larger piece as a good looking weapon.
The Pred also sports some solid articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and double hinged at the knees. The ankles are hinged and swivel. There’s a swivel in the waist, but it’s really tight on my figure and I didn’t want to over stress it. Lastly, there’s a ball joint in the neck. I’ll confess, I was a little nervous moving the right arm a lot, as those two cables look rather frail, but they seem to have been designed with enough slack to allow for a fair range of motion and to pull out rather than snap.
I picked up this set from TRU’s website when they were doing a free shipping deal and it ended up costing around $42. I absolutely adore these figures, and I have to admit that having them in hand is making it really hard for me not to go after any of the other Aliens and Predator figures in the series. And let’s face it, with my willpower as poor as it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more from this line turning up on FFZ in the year ahead.