NECA is really showing their support for the Alien franchise by delving into one of the films that most people hate. Yes, even Alien 3 has now been graced by their action figure treatment! And it’s a good thing for me, because I happen to be in the minority that really likes this movie. It’s bleak, dire, and in a way it takes the franchise a step closer to the original horror survival roots, rather than the big budget action flick that was Aliens. It also features some great performances and atmosphere. Enter the Weyland-Yutani Commando! These corporate thugs accompanied Bishop to Fiorina 161 to recover the Xenomorph and I’m just beside myself with glee that NECA actually made figures of them! I mean, not only is this film wildly unpopular, but these guys have just a couple minutes of screen time.
The figure is packaged on the old clamshells. I think these are fantastic for mint-in-package collectors, as they show off the figures beautifully, but I’m an opener and I find them to be just a bit annoying. I practically need a flamethrower or a vial of alien blood to burn my way into them. Or, I dunno… maybe a pair of scissors would work. At least once the shell is punctured I get that sweet, sweet rush of glorious plastic fumes that only NECA can deliver. The back of the insert shows the other two figures available in this series: Ripley and the Dog Alien. I’ll be featuring those two figures together at some point down the road.
Wow, this guy is distinctive looking! One of the cool things about the Alien universe is how easily recognizable some of the designs are. When I put this Commando beside one of the spacesuit figures from the original film, it’s easy for me to see the common elements of design and flavor that thread their way throughout the trilogy.
I love the DIY look of these guys! The Commando comes bundled up in a bulky apesuit recreated here with an intricate sculpt of wrinkles, stitching, and straps. The extra padding on the arms and lower legs looks particularly good. He’s clad from head to toe to keep him safe from the spray of Xeno blood. It’s clear to me that a lot of effort went into recreating every little detail of this suit, right down to the Weyland-Yutani logo on the backpack and it’s hard to imagine anyone but NECA giving these fellas their due.
The deco consists of a lot of off-white with some tan paint used for the reinforced padding. The figure has a subtle wash to bring out all those intricate details. You also get some very fine silver paintwork on the zippers and buckles, rivets, and other fixtures. The overall dirty look really lends itself to the “used future” aesthetic that the Alien films pulled off so well.
The helmet is every bit as distinctive as the suit. The upper part of the head is fully enclosed, while the lower half is partially covered by a full plate and partially by a caged section. Through the cage you can make out the lower half of the figure’s face, wrapped up. It may not be pretty, but it’s sure to keep those pesky facehuggers out.
The eyes feature two visors so they can be worn up or down. The up position reveals a pair of fully sculpted and painted eyes in there, although you really need to get in there with some light to see them.
The articulation here is about on par with NECA’s space suit figures. That includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, and a ball joint in the neck. The two arms that come off the backpack are also articulated front and back. I wouldn’t expect these guys to be all that nimble in these bulky suits, so the articulation here seems about right. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the range of motion in the elbows.
The Commando comes with two weapons. First you get a pretty cool little bayonet-style combat knife, which tucks into a slot in his left boot. There’s a tiny socket on the pommel and for a minute I was hoping it would attach to the rifle, but alas it does not. Neither of his hands are really designed to hold it, but I’m able to make it work in his right. This knife features some nice detail work, including a serrated back blade, but as vicious looking as it is, I have to imagine you need to be pretty desperate to pull this thing out when fighting Xenos.
But that’s why you bring along your trusty M41A Pulse Rifle. For me, this is still one of the best conventional sci-fi weapon designs there is. It looks like a natural progression of an assault rifle and it’s just so iconic to me. The gun fits perfectly into the Commando’s right hand, and the articulation allows him to hold it across his chest and cradle the barrel in his left hand. The figure comes with a sticker sheet just in case you fancy customizing your Commandos. I haven’t applied any of mine yet. I’m actually waiting until I can pick up two more of these guys. I’ll likely add some pictures when I do.
The Weyland-Yutani Commando definitely fits into that category of action figures I never thought we’d ever get in a million years. And so besides being an absolutely beautiful piece of work on NECA’s part, he’s extra special to me just because he exists. I’m also happy to say that despite the overall dislike for the film he’s based on, the general reception of this figure has been extremely positive. And why not? As a troop builder, he certainly throws another interesting dynamic into the Aliens Vs. Predator mayhem taking place on a lot of collector’s shelves.