Alien: Lambert in Compression Suit by NECA

The folks at NECA are damn busy people trying to give the proper love to a lot of different franchises. That’s why I can forgive them for taking so long in getting back to releasing figures the original Alien film. I also get that a lot of this has to do with what likeness rights they can and cannot secure and other behind-the-scenes stuff. But I do love Alien and I was always hoping they’d come back to filling out the roster of the Nostromo crew. On the downside, there’s still no Brett or Parker, but hey look… It’s Lambert!

Yes, Joan Lambert, navigator on board the Nostromo and one of the crewmembers chosen to accompany the ill-fated survey of planet LV-426. She made out a lot better than Kane on the survey, but the Xenomorph later punched her ticket back on the ship, and off-camera no less! NECA has been sticking to the sealed clamshell packaging for the regular releases in their Aliens and Predator lines. And I’m cool with that. They may not be collector friendly, but they do give up that wonderful rush of pure plastic fumes when I cut into them.

Lambert is the fourth figure based on the Compression Suit body sculpt. We got both Ripley, Dallas, and Kane from the original film and later Amanda Ripley from the game Alien Isolation. Hey, it’s an amazing sculpt, so I don’t mind that NECA dipped their bucket into this well more than a few times. Of course, each of the suits featured their own unique deco, and Lambert’s may feature my favorite coloring of the bunch.

Indeed, even now I still found myself lost in all the rich details of this sculpt upon opening her up. High points include the ornamentation on the shoulders, the quilting on the mid-section and upper arms, the lacings on the elbows and knees, and the the pads that are strapped onto the lower legs. Extra props go out for the little things, like the painted patch on her left ass-cheek and the personalized strip across her chest. I also love the green-coppery patina that they gave to the parts that are supposed to be metal. The suits look old and well-worn, and that really adds to their character. Indeed, the entire design of the suit looks like just the kind of DIY patch job that a commercial towing vessel might use. It’s both wildly imaginative and hideously practical and it gave NECA an opportunity to run wild with the detail.

Lambert comes with two heads, which is pretty cool considering Kane only came with the Facehugger head, something I’m still a little bit miffed about. Anyway, this is a pretty solid likeness to the Veronica Cartwright.

The alternate head features her with a horrified look and I think this sculpt is downright amazing. I would imagine that it’s hard enough to do decent likenesses, but when you toss in rather extreme expressions, it seems like it would be a lot tougher. Either way, NECA nailed this one perfectly, and I like that it also features her wearing the hood for the suit, while the other one just had her sculpted hair. Another cool detail is that her hood is completely different than the tanker-style cap on the Dallas figure. NECA just loves all those little details!

The helmet is identical to the Kane’s and comes apart into two halves. To put it on, you just pop the head, put on the lower piece, reattach the head and snap on the top piece. The sculpt here is every bit as impressive as the rest of the suit with all sorts of little controls and bits and bobs littered around it. The oxygen tank/backpack includes some detailed paint apps as well, and I love the two furnace-style knobs stuck onto the back. There are two tubes coming off the top of the tanks, which plug into the slots on the helmet.

Articulation on the figure is great on paper, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. There’s also a ball joint under the chest and in the neck. The sculpt, however, does impede a lot of movement. For example, there’s virtually no range of motion for the bend in the elbows, but the suits didn’t look terribly agile, so I’m fine with that.

Lambert comes with two accessories, and they are the same ones that came with Dallas and Kane. First up is the pistol. I’ve said it before, I absolutely love this design. Like most everything else in the Nostromo equipment lockers, this looks like a wonderful patch job. At the core it looks like a traditional 20th Century handgun grip and trigger assembly, but with a cylindrical body and a cone for the laser emitter. There’s a scope mounted on top, and what looks like a laser scope slung underneith, because who doesn’t need a laser scope for their laser gun! There’s some great diamond texturing and I can even make out the detail in the brackets that hold the extra bits on. Lambert’s right hand is sculpted to hold the gun. Oh yeah, and I still think the loop holster is a rubbish design, though. It’s tough to get the gun to hang in it, and if I needed to fast draw that weapon I’d probably be dead by the time I got it out.

The flashlight is just a box with a light emitter on the end and something protruding out of the back. The left hand is sculpted to work really well with the carry strap.

Lambert is an excellent addition to the Nostromo crew and another way to showcase this fantastic suit sculpt. And NECA, if you want to get your money’s worth out of the likeness rights here, I’d be happy to pick up Lambert in her regular jumpsuit as well. I was able to grab Lambert for about $20 and I’m still hunting for the two Xenomorphs that make up the other two-thirds of this assortment. And yes, I’m still going to hold out hope that some day we’ll get a Brett and Parker two-pack, but until then, it’s nice to have the LZ-426 survey team complete.

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Prometheus: Engineer (Pressure Suit and Chair Suit) by NECA

Trailers are up for Alien: Covenant and I’m mighty excited, because it’s looking very much the sequel to the grossly underappreciated, Prometheus. Yeah, Prometheus is what one would call a derisive film. It generated a lot of curiosity and excitement leading up to its release and then a lot of those feelings gave way to scorn. I imagine a lot of that comes from how problematic some people found it to place the film in the context of the Alien universe. It wasn’t a film that connected the dots for you and the marketers didn’t seem to know what to do with it. Nonetheless, I found Prometheus to be a stunningly gorgeous film and I’m a huge fan. Believe me, folks, the full extent of my unpopular film opinions would blind you all! But, hey, I’m not here to talk about movies, I’m here to talk about action figures!

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NECA (who else?) produced an unfortunately short-lived series of figures based on Prometheus and I’ve had a bunch of them sitting around waiting to be opened for a few years now. Why open them now? Because NECA just announced that the other figures they designed for the film will finally be getting a release later this year and I’m pretty damn excited about that. As you can see, the figures come in the standard sealed clamshells that NECA has been using for their Alien line. Both figures are based on the imposing and god-like Engineers, one in a Pressure Suit and the other in the infamous Chair Suit that hearkens back to the original Alien. Let’s start with that one!

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Hot damn, look at this guy! One of the most intriguing, compelling, and enigmatic things in Alien, the Space Jockey finally gets a proper action figure. Of course, this guy also appeared in Prometheus, mostly as a hologram and later a decapitated mess. I’ve wanted a figure of this fellow since forever and NECA really delivered on this sculpt. The armored suit is loaded with beautiful lines and that wonderful intricately detailed exo-skeletal look. I can’t help but think the feet are assembled in reverse on mine, although I’ve seen two others that are the same, so maybe it’s an optical illusion or maybe a running flub.

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The “rib cage” chest piece and numerous hoses really drive home the shared heritage of this Engineer’s technology and Xenomorph anatomy. The entire figure is painted with a rich metallic wash that looks almost too good to be plastic.

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I particularly love the curvature of his back and the recessed spinal channel. It looks almost as if it’s designed to mesh with the giant astrogation chair.

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The portrait is spectacular. I love all the crags and pitting on the helmet, in contrast with the smooth eyes. It looks like a chitinous shell. The elephant truck protuberance from the mouth hangs down and disappears into gab behind the “rib cage.”

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Despite being about five years old, the articulation here is up to par with NECA’s modern offerings. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. There are swivels in the biceps, a ball joint at the waist, and a ball joint in the neck. With that all having been said, the range of motion in the hips is rather limited by the sculpt and the arms aren’t exactly super pose-able either. He isn’t going to be doing any convincing action poses, but he does lumber and look intimidating pretty damn well. Moving on to the second figure of the day…

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The other Engineer dons the Pressure Suit that we saw toward the end of the film when David released the Engineer from his cryo-chamber and he went berserk. It’s a completely different sculpt from the Chair Suit figure and it is an incredible recreation of what we saw on screen. The Pressure Suit features every bit as much detail as the previous figure, cast in an ivory colored plastic and given a lovely wash to give it a wet look.

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Again, there’s some great sculpting that carries on the rib cage motif in the chest and there are circular ports all over the suit that look like they are meant to hook up to support tubing. Just check out all that detail in his back. It looks less like a twenty dollar action figure and more like a piece of scrimshaw artwork. Simply gorgeous!

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In contrast to the hyper detailing of the suit, the portrait is smooth and simple and quite a nice likeness for the character in the film. He has a wonderfully and deceptively serene expression, not at all like someone who’s about to tear an android in half. There’s very little paint on the pale, bald head to speak of, but I love what they did with the eyes and the red shadowing around them.

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The articulation on this figure is almost identical to the Space Jockey. The only thing missing here are the swivels in the biceps. Also like the previous figure, the range of motion here is on the shallow side. I would have definitely liked to see some more movement in the hips, but what we got is still somewhat serviceable.

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After having these figures sitting around for a while, it’s great to finally get them open and now I can find a place for them on my NECA Alien shelf. They’re both absolute works of art and (probably thanks to the general unpopular opinions on the film) are still widely available at decent prices. I’ve got quite a few more Prometheus figures to open and look at, but I’m going to be saving those until we get closer to NECA’s release of the so-called Lost Wave!

Alien 3: Ellen Ripley and Dog Alien by NECA

What’s that? You hate Alien 3? Fantastic, that just means more for me! Yes, I will stand up to be counted as one of the few true fans of this flick. Awww, but it sucks because Newt and Hicks died. DEAL WITH IT! Life in the future is a toilet and there’s a long line of Xenomorphs waiting to take a dump into it. And in space, no one can hear you flush. Seriously, though, I dig this movie a lot and it fills my heart with happiness that NECA graced it with a wave of figures. I’ve already looked at the Weyland-Yutani Commando from this wave and today I’m checking out Ripley and the Alien.

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We all know the deal when it comes to NECA’s Alien packaging. You get a hermetically sealed clamshell that keeps the baked plastic goodness fresh and hot. I like to poke a little hole in it, insert a straw into my nose and snort the plastic fumes right from the source. Seriously kids, don’t do that. As always, these packages show off the figures beautifully, but they are not collector friendly, which saves me the trouble of deciding whether to keep the packaging or not. Let’s start with Ripley…

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As you might have noticed from the package shot, Ripley comes with an extra pair of arms, so there are two display options here. Out of the package she comes with her jacket on and the rest of the fatigues that Clemens gave her. As a sidebar, I’m not entirely sure why her package reads “Prisoner,” because she wasn’t. She was just an uninvited guest there waiting to be picked up by Weyland-Yutani after her escape pod crashed on the planet. Anyway, the details in Ripley’s costume is as excellent as I’ve come to expect from NECA’s figures. You get all the tiny obligatory stitching lines and in this case some nice weathering, including torn holes in the pants. The paint detail is exquisite, from the drawstring on her pants to the individual laces and silver eyelets on her boots.

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The jacket includes a sculpted quilted pattern on the back and a hood sculpted in the down position behind her head. There’s sculpted elastic trim around the waist and cuffs of the sleeves and she’s wearing a pair of black gloves. The outfit on this figure is just another great example of how NECA spares no expense when paying attention to the tiniest details.

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The portrait here is not my favorite example of NECA’s work with Sigourney Weaver. That having been said, NECA has had a fair amount of experience sculpting her portrait and this is a very distinctive look for Lt. Ripley, especially after her haircut. I don’t dislike it, but there’s something slightly off about it. I think it may be that it strikes me as being a little more stylized than the previous Ripley figures. Still, the paint is sharp and clean and they even gave her a nasty bruise on the left side of her forehead.

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The figure’s second look involves pulling off the arms, taking off the jacket and putting the bare arms on. The swap is really easy and you get a cool variant that most other companies would have packaged and sold separately. It’s a profound enough change that this is one of those instances where I’m considering picking up a second Ripley so I can display her both ways, because I really can’t decide which one I like more.

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Ripley comes with two accessories: A flashlight and a torch. Both are decent enough extras and definitely fitting for the character and context of the film, but neither are terribly exciting. It’s also worth noting that only one of her hands is really designed to work with the accessories. I can get her left hand to hold the flashlight, but it’s obviously not the intent. Let’s move on to the Xeno!

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Awwww, shit! This thing is gorgeous! One of the things I love about this movie is that we’re back to just one Alien against a handful of barely armed prey. Xenos are so bad ass, that unless you’re the creatively bankrupt gestalt known as Hollywood, you don’t need to cram a million of them into a movie to make them scary. The Xeno in this wave was unique in having burst forth from a dog (originally an ox) and this figure is available in two colors: Brown or gray. I went with the brown one, just because I associate this entire movie’s dreary and industrial color palate with lots of browns and rusty oranges.

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The design of this Xeno makes it my second favorite in the series, right behind the original 1979 Big Chap. Because it’s birthed from a quadruped, it’s back logs are structured like a dogs’ with the extra joint below the knee and the ankle up off the ground. The other given name for this guy is The Runner, and it’s easy to see why. It also makes him extra terrifying to me, not to mention he has a spear tip on the end of his tail. As usual, NECA packed all the lovely Geiger-esque bits into the sculpt, including the creepy mix of exposed sinews and and bone-like structures. The glossy brown wash brings it all out with striking clarity. If you want an example of a work of art expressed as a $20 action figure… here it is!

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Another of my favorite things about this Xeno’s design is the structure of the head. It features the smooth, transparent dome that’s reminiscent of the original Xeno design with a segmented skull visible within. The jaw on this guy is articulated and you can open it up and pull out the secondary mouth.

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The articulation is very much in line with what I’ve experienced with NECA’s other Xenos. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, with dual rotating hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and include double hinges in the knees, and hinges in the secondary knees, and in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in the chest and another in the neck. The tail swivels at the base and is made of bendy material that can take and hold a pose. Overall, my only real nitpick here is that the head does not go far enough back to get him looking forward when he’s running on all fours. But based on the sculpt, it looks like that would have been pretty tough to do.

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The Xeno does come with one accessory and that’s this nifty stand to help keep him upright. I was actually pretty surprised at how many poses I could get him into without needing to rely on the stand, although as is the case with most of these Xenos, the leg joints can have difficulty sustaining the weight of the figure in the long term. When I do get a shelf cleared for my NECA Alien figures, I’ll definitely be making use of this one. His feet are also supplied with peg holes, so you can use the regular NECA stands with him as well.

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It’s hard to pick a favorite Wave when talking about this line, because quite frankly NECA slams them all right out of the park, but this one ranks pretty high for me. It’s not just because I’m a fan of the film, but because it’s such a wildly unpopular film that it’s surprising NECA risked making these figures at all. Although, it does seem to be performing fairly well at retail. While Ripley is readily available at a number of e-tailers for deep discounts, the Commando seems to be in high demand, particularly among troop builders, and the Xeno (which are admittedly always popular with collectors) can be really tough to find at a decent price. NECA has teased on Twitter that there’s more Alien 3 goodness to come, and I’m rather intrigued to see what that means.

Alien Isolation: Amanda Ripley (Jumpsuit and Compression Suit) by NECA

If you think I’m seriously back-logged in looking at my toy collection, you should see how far behind I am on my video games. I literally have games from two Black Fridays ago sitting on my shelf still in the cellophane. Part of that is because I still spend a lot of time playing my older consoles, but I’ve been trying to work my way through the newer stuff little by little. Case in point, I finally got around to playing Alien Isolation on the PS4 so I thought I’d celebrate and open up NECA’s figures of Amanda Ripley, both in her jumpsuit and in her compression suit.

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The figures come in standard sealed clamshells. I remain torn on this style of packaging. I can’t deny it looks great and shows off the figures beautifully, but I think we’re getting to the point where this feels archaic compared to window boxes, especially since NECA themselves are doing collector friendly packaging for so many of their other series of action figures. On the other hand, I cannot deny the appeal of the plastic fume rush I get when I slice into one of these. Mmmmm, you just can’t beat it! I should note that both of these figures are re-sculpts and repaints of figures I’ve looked at before, so a lot of this Feature will be a call back to those figures. Let’s start with Amanda in her Jumpsuit!

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If you haven’t guessed, this figure shares a lot with NECA’s Jumpsuit Ellen Ripley from the first Alien film. In fact, the only new sculpting here is in the head and upper arms, but thanks to a lot of new paint, the figure works quite well. Amanda’s jumpsuit is repainted to brown and actually features more paint details than her mothers’ outfit. You get sharp gold paint on all the zippers, white painted trim around the collar, and the lacing on the back of the suit is neatly painted as well. Her sneakers are also a lot cleaner. Since the body is the same, the articulation here is identical to Amanda’s Mama. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The wrists have swivels, there’s a ball joint in the torso, and the neck is also ball jointed.

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Amanda’s upper arms feature sleeves which are rolled up higher than her mom’s, with sculpted straps and circular painted shoulder patches.
The head sculpt here is pretty good, although it looks like it might have been pinched or came out slightly off in the molding process. Since the game is a first person experience, I don’t really have a strong memory of what Amanda looked like outside of some cut-scenes and the box art. Oddly enough, I kind of see a little Sophie Aldred in there from Doctor Who. I think I’m getting that from the lips and cheeks. I really dig the detail they put into her hair and it not only features her ponytail, but also some strands that hang down over her face. She’s also wearing a headset which includes a camera and microphone.

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Amanda comes with three accessories, two of which are familiar. The flamethrower is the exact same sculpt as the one that came with Ellen with just a subtle variation in the paint finish. I love the detail on this thing, it really looks like a weathered piece of tech. The shoulder strap is cool too. I will note that it can be tough to get her to hold it properly with both hands. Hinges in those wrists would have helped a lot.

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She also comes with a motion tracker, which I’m pretty sure was released with one of the marines. Again, there’s some crazy detail in this from the tampo on the screen and the textured grip, to the tiny red diode on the side. This is a brilliant little piece of kit and I can never have too many of these.

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Finally, the one new accessory (or at least new to me!) is her rucksack, which can be slung over Amanda’s shoulder. Let’s move on to Compression Suit Amanda!

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You know I love a mold when I’m willing to buy it four times over like I have with the Alien Compression Suit figures. This is without a doubt one of my favorite space suit designs in all sci-fi film history and NECA has beautifully reproduced it for their Kane, Dallas, and Ellen figures and they’ve done it again here. As far as the suit itself is concerned the only thing that’s new is the box that hangs on the middle of Amanda’s waist. Her mothers’ suit didn’t have one and the design here is different than the one seen on Dallas and Kane’s suits.

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I won’t spend a whole lot of time gushing over how amazing this sculpt is, because I’ve already done it three times. Let’s just say that this suit design gave the wizards at NECA something they could really sink their teeth into and they went all out. The texturing, the wrinkles, the sculpted straps, the lacing, the studs on the shoulder armor, it’s all here and it all looks so damn good. The deco is also entirely new and features a wash that really brings out all the details. As I’ve said before, the articulation on this figure is quite serviceable. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and also include swivel cuts in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and feature rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another in the neck. Obviously the sculpt of the suit restricts the movement a bit and I think that’s pretty accurate to what wearing the suit would have been like.

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The portrait here is again pretty solid with Amanda now wearing a pretty surprised expression, which quite frankly works considering the context of the game. The face has a lot better symmetry here and it’s definitely my favorite of the two. She has the same kind of arming cap we saw with the Dallas figure.

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The helmet is the same sculpt we saw with Dallas and Kane (Ellen Ripley’s didn’t have the light) as well and splits apart in the middle to make it easier to put on. You simply pop off the head, put on the bottom half, connect the first hose to the back, then put on the top half and connect the second hose.

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Compression Suit Amanda comes with just one accessory and that’s the trusty pistol that she carries through most of the game.

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Here’s where I put cards on the table and admit that overall I found Alien Isolation to be rather disappointing. My enjoyment of the game started high and gradually leaked away with the more I played it. Add to that the fact that these are basically remold/repaints of figures I already own and I think it’s a testament to the incredible work NECA poured into these that I still had to have them in my collection. Oh yeah, and in case your wondering, there is indeed a third figure in this wave and it’s the Xenomorph design used in the game. I’ve only been able to find him priced a lot higher than retail and while I haven’t given up the hunt, I decided I didn’t need that variant enough to spend a premium on him. Besides, I have plenty of other Xenos for Amanda to fight.

Alien 3: Weyland-Yutani Commando by NECA

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Alien Eggs by NECA

It’s Easter and what better day is there to check out some Xenomorph eggs? This pack was released by NECA last year and it works as a wonderful novelty piece as well as accessories for your 7-inch scale Aliens figures. And best of all, you don’t have to color them for Easter because they look amazing right out of the carton!

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Yes, carton! These half-dozen cage-free Xenomorph eggs come fresh from LV-426 and straight to your grocer’s refrigerator. The presentation here is absolutely killer. The eggs come in an authentic looking cardboard egg carton with a colorful label on the front that includes “Nutrition Facts” and a hazard image that shows the life cycle of the Xenomorph. This is some fantastic stuff!

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Open up the carton and the eggs come in a staggered layout, three closed and three opened. There are also “Safe Handling Instructions” printed on the inside of the top flap.

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The closed eggs are just that, eggs, which have not yet popped to eject the facehuggers within. The fact that NECA can take a simple solid plastic egg and make it something so fantastic is a real testament to their workmanship. The sculpts on these are unbelievable and the quality of the paintwork is there to match it. They look slimy and they’ve even managed to replicate the interior glow effect of the facehugger inside with simple paint applications. They also have a really nice heft.

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The open eggs each contain an individually wrapped facehugger. These eggs are even more disgusting than the closed ones. The membranes are folded back to show the pink and squishy interior. There’s sculpted mucus stretched between the flaps, and once again the whole thing looks slimy to the touch, thanks to some gorgeous high gloss paintwork.

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The three facehuggers are identical, static pieces. They’re tiny, but that didn’t stop NECA from packing them with sculpted detail both top and bottom. Nothing has been spared on these little huggers, and I find the undercarriage to be particularly unsettling. Ewwww!

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A half-dozen of these Alien eggs ran me about $20, which is a damn good deal for the amount of craftsmanship that went into these. Most of the marketing I’ve seen has treated these as a novelty item, but make no mistake, these are made to be displayed and interact with NECA’s Aliens figures and they do that splendidly. So, grab yourself a carton of these babies, this Easter, hide them for the kiddies, and make sure to have your phone ready to snap those priceless pictures of little Jimmy or Suzie coming out from behind the sofa with a facehugger attached to their head. HAPPY EASTER!

Alien: Dallas and Kane in Compression Suits by NECA

Today I’m polishing off NECA’s 35th Anniversary tribute to the original Alien film with the final two figures in Series 4 of their Aliens line. Last week, we got a good look at the magnificent sculpt NECA did for the Compression Suits used on the Nostromo. This week we’re going to see it again featured on two new figures. And yes, while these figures are largely the same recycled body as that Ripley, each of these releases have their own special charms.

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The packages are right in line with what we saw for the last three figures in Series 4. You get sealed clam shells designed to keep the figures fresh and tasty. It’s attractive, but not at all collector friendly. The fact that Dallas has (Compression Suit) pointed out on his insert makes me wonder if they had planned to do a jumpsuit version of him like they did Ripley. NECA has recently shown off a new sculpt of Lambert from the film, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fill out the rest of that figure’s wave. Anyway, let me go ahead and slice these open and we’ll start off with Captain Arthur Dallas.

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Dallas is a man who is comfortable in his own sexuality, as evidenced by his pink suit. This sculpt was amazing enough when cast in Ripley’s all white version, but now that it’s got some color to pick out all the details, it looks even better. The only difference in the sculpt from the neck down is the addition of a strap on the right hip for a holster and all the same points of articulation are here as well. I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the detail on this suit. The wrinkles in the padding under the traps, the cross-laced sections, it’s all so impressive and the work put into it strikes me as a clear labor of love. Besides the pink deco, there’s also a lot more weathering to this one over Ripley’s, so you get some nice  yellowed stains on the lower leg pads and around the collar insulation. Little touches like this really drive home the whole “used future” aesthetic. Dallas also has his name on the chest plate, which might as well read: Hands off, bitches, the pink suit is mine!  

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The backpack on mine is actually missing one of the furnace knobs. I may have to steal one of Kane’s and just say his was knocked out in the Facehugger attack. The pitting on the backpack is more defined thanks to the copper paint. You also get some additional paint hits on the lights and two tampos on the tanks that were absent from Ripley’s suit. The butt cheek patch is still there. The brown paint on the straps really bring out the subtle sculpted stitching around the edges.

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I don’t think the likeness here is quite as good as Ripley’s, but it’s not bad. The paint is a little rough in a few areas, but this guy is going to spend most of his time with his helmet on, so that’s not a big deal.

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The helmet works exactly the same way as Ripley’s. It splits into two halves. You pop the head off the figure and put on the bottom half, reattach the head and position it to your liking and then pop the top half on. The hoses then plug into the sockets on the back of the helmet. The only change to the helmet from Ripley’s is the addition of the light piece on top. Again, the coppery finish makes all those wonderful little details easier to see and appreciate. I particularly love the relief work done on the shoulder pads and the helmet. A subtle green wash on the coppery bits gives these parts a nice worn patina.

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The accessories include the pistol and the flashlight. The pistol is a great sculpt of a pretty cool and distinctive design and features some red and silver paint hits. The holster, on the other hand is pretty wonky. Since it’s just a loop you have to basically hook the grip and scope on it to get it to stay put. I would imagine that you were pretty screwed if you need to quick draw this baby.

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The light is the same cumbersome design used in the film. It’s basically just a box with a handle on the top. This reminds me of the terrible “palm beacons” the Away Teams used in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why is it that people think in the future something as elegant as the flashlight is going to become all awkward. It’s still a welcome accessory, although I would have liked the cobbled together motion tracker from the original film. And that brings us to poor Kane…

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Yes, straight from the egg field and experiencing a full-on Facehugger attack, Kane is having a very bad day. He’s a straight repaint of Dallas from the neck down, this time rendered in yellow and with his name on the front of the chest plate. Overall, Kane’s suit looks like it’s in a bit of a better state than Kane’s, apart from the added ventilation in the helmet visor, of course. The helmet, backpack, and other plates are a little brighter copper, although they still have the same amount of green tarnish. The belts and straps are painted a little darker brown on this suit as well. Otherwise, the key differences are from the neck up.

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The broken visor effect is magnificently done. The plastic is melted and pushed in leaving a hole where the little bugger got inside. Now, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have liked a John Hurt portrait to go along with this figure. Given how generous NECA usually is with extras, I’m guessing that they had problems securing the likeness and this was a very clever way around it. Although, considering Character Options was able to get his likeness for their Doctor Who line, it could be that it just didn’t cost out for this line. Either way, the effect here is brilliantly done. And yes, you can still remove the helmet.

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The un-helmeted head is pretty ghastly. It almost really does look like they sculpted a head and then attached a Facehugger to it. It has a suitably glossy sheen to it and the tail is sculpted around Kane’s neck.

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Kane comes with the same accessories as Dallas; A pistol and flashlight. For all the good they did him!

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It was my adoration for the original movie, as well as my overall respect for NECA’s great work that compelled me to buy this assortment and I’m certainly glad I did. Display space is a premium around my place, but I’m actually pulling down a shelf of other figures to make room so that I can prominently display these. On the downside, I’ve already picked up a handful of more Aliens figures and even a couple of Predators, so I have a sinking feeling that I’m hooked. In fact, I’ve even ordered a carton of Free Range Alien Eggs, so look for a lot more NECA Aliens Features in the weeks ahead.

Alien: Ellen Ripley in Compression Suit by NECA

I promised I’d be back this week with more NECA Alien love and so here I am with a look at the second version of Ripley in NECA’s tribute to the original film. And yes, it’s that version of Ripley from that unforgettable scene at the end of the flick that simply had to get a figure. You know the one I’m talking about…

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No, dammit not that one you freaks. It’s right after that one. But, hey… NECA, if you want to do a variant, I’d be down with that.

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Ah, that’s the one. This is Ripley in the escape shuttle when she finds that she’s got an unwelcome hitchhiker and slowly retreats to the storage closet to slip on a Compression Suit and shoot out the window and blow that Xeno’sum’bitch into space. The packaging is the same as what we saw last time, so you know the drill. Impenetrable clam shell. Razor Blade. Intoxicating plastic fumes high. In other words: Pure NECA Bliss.

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Just look at this suit! I briefly mentioned last time how much I dig the designs in this film, whether it be the sets or the costumes. This is a movie that not only gets the whole “used future” thing down perfectly, but every element of the designs feel like it has a purpose. NECA brought out all the great details in this suit that make it look both futuristic and strangely ancient at the same time. All that padding and stitching and cross-lacing in the sculpt take a figure that by design has very few paint apps and could have been horribly boring, and makes it something remarkable. The subtle variants in the white also help to pick out the details. The insignia on her butt cheek, and the teeny tiny markings on the gloves’ fingers are wonderful little touches.

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The backpack features some subtle texturing and silver paint apps along with the red knobs that look like something off the furnace in my old house. It all adds to the charm of these suit designs. They almost have a DIY nature about them.

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The portrait is good, although I don’t think it’s quite as strong as the one on Jumpsuit Ripley. The hair has been tweaked a bit to work with the costume. I still think she looks great with the helmet off. The detail in the shoulder pads is exquisite and those are positioned on flaps so that they don’t hinder the arm articulation hardly at all.

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The helmet is a clever design in that it splits apart at the middle. To put it on you pop the head, seat the helmet into the track running around the neck, pop the head back on, and now you can position the head the way you want it before putting the top of the helmet on. There are two hoses running off the backpack. One plugs into the lower half of the helmet and the other to the upper half. The whole ensemble is a thoughtful design that works quite well. The extra windows on the top back of the helmet do a nice job letting light in and granting a nice view of the head sculpt inside.

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The articulation on the figure is very serviceable. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and also include swivel cuts in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and feature rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another in the neck. Obviously the suit would restrict the wearer’s movement and I think the figure reflects that pretty well. If anything, you probably get more movement in the hips than the suit probably allowed.

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Accessories include another version of Jonesy the Cat! This one has him all wigged out with his back arched. Little extra like this is how we know NECA loves their fans.

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Ripley also comes with the harpoon gun and two harpoons, one with the prongs closed and one with them open. Her right hand is sculpted to hold the gun. The harpoons socket right into the barrel of the gun.

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The Compression Suit Ripley is another fantastic release in this line and it’s a tasty preview of the next two figures in the series that I’ll be opening. Yes, the wave also includes Dallas and Kane in their Compression Suits. And while it was a clever way for NECA to reuse the body and get their money’s worth out of the mold, I think the results are fantastic. But I’m getting ahead of myself, and I’ll save the rest of that talk for next week!

Alien: Ellen Ripley (Jumpsuit) and Xenomorph by NECA

NECA has been buttering their bread with the Aliens and Predator license for a while now and doing a bang up job at it. And, yes, it’s taken me longer than I thought it would for me to finally buy in to NECA’s Alien line, but they’ve finally beaten me down and I could resist no longer. The Kenner-inspired Alien Vs Predator 2-pack was the ultimate gateway drug, but it’s the figures from the original film that I’ve been jonesing after the hardest. I’m most certainly in the minority when I say that the sequel Aliens hasn’t aged well for me, but the original film still has a place near and dear to my heart. It’s a near perfect blending of sci-fi and horror and there’s always been a copy of it on my media shelf, whether it be VHS, DVD and ultimately Blu-Ray. While I will no doubt pick up some of the other figures in this line (I’m definitely looking forward to getting the Alien: Isolation and Alien 3 figures) it’s the ones based on the first film that I’ll be focusing on first. And what better place to start than with Lt. Ripley and Big Chap himself.

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The figures come in sealed clam shells that show off the goods splendidly but are about as non-collector-friendly as you can get. I suppose some deft work with a razor could get the figure out through the back and in again, but I tend to see this kind of package as a gift from on high. I don’t have to feel bad about discarding it. Plus… there’s nothing quite like the head rush I get from those glorious NECA plastic fumes! So, I’m gonna douse these babies with some Xenomorph blood to get them open and get at the figures inside. Let’s start with Ripley…

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Without a doubt one of the great female protagonists of the genre, Lt. Ellen Ripley dons her blue Nostromo jumpsuit. This may not be the flashiest figure on the market, but it’s a damn iconic one to me. The jumpsuit is sculpted with all the little folds and pockets, and you can see the various layers of clothing peeking up from inside her collar. She’s got her personal computer-watch sculpted on her left hand and a highly detailed pair of space kicks, complete with sculpted laces. The shoulder patches with the ship insignia also look particularly good.

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The back of the jumpsuit features a rather elaborate set of stitching that cinches around her waist and looks almost like a corset. The set and costume designs in Alien are so damn good they could even make something like a jumpsuit seem interesting. And leave it to NECA to pick up on all those little details and bring them out in the sculpt. The sleeves are sculpted to be rolled up just above her elbows, which is convenient for her articulation. In total, I count about 12 points of articulation. There are rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. I think there are lateral rockers in the ankles, but mine appear to be fused. Ripley may be taking a dip in some boiling water at some point. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck.

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The portrait here is certainly solid, and that’s saying something because Sigourney Weaver doesn’t seem to be the easiest likeness to sculpt. Just ask Mattel (and now Diamond Select) about how they’re Dana figures from Ghostbusters turned out. The paintwork on her face is solid and I’m happy to note that the copious amount of hair doesn’t impede the neck articulation too badly. From what I understand, Weaver doesn’t play fast and loose with licensing out her likeness, so it’s nice to see it landed in good hands here.

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Accessories? Well, you get Jonesy the cat. How cool is that? He’s a fairly simple little piece with articulation in the neck and base of the tail. The wash on him makes it look like he’s been crawling through the Nostromo’s ventilation system watching the humans getting picked off one by one. Kitty needs a bath.

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You also get the flamethrower that was used by the crew to try to flush the Xenomorph out of the vents to where they could blow it into space. How’d that plan work out for ya, guys? It’s a good sized accessory and looks great. The figure can hold it with one or both hands and it features a shoulder strap for carrying. Now, if only she had something to toast with that thing…

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Oh yeah, we’ve got the Xenomorph! I can’t think of too many creature designs more iconic or terrifying than the Big Chap here and NECA did a phenomenal job bringing it to the 7-inch scale. This is basically the same mold as the one from the Alien Vs. Predator 2-pack and yet I find myself falling in love with it all over again. Giger’s design had to be a challenge to recreate and the folks at NECA spared no expense in the detail here. From the serrated edges of the segmented tail to the exo-skeleton ribcage, everything here is just beautifully done. The glossy finish gives him a nice, icky wet look and the silver paint on the finger and toe nails is a great little touch.

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The big difference that separates the sculpt here from their other Aliens is the translucent dome, through which you can see his skull and it makes for an extra chilling effect. The jaw is still hinged and the secondary mouth can be extended. The articulation remains the same as the other releases and he still has that same great bendy tail, complete with wire so it stays where you decide to put it.

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I don’t know if it’s because I waited so long to get these, but it’s hard to remember a time that I was this delighted by a pair of figures that are outside my usual area of collecting. I’ve been getting so bogged down with DC and Marvel and Transformers and Star Wars that I’m glad to have a company like NECA producing such quality figures from other franchises that I’ve enjoyed all my life. They may not feature the superb packaging and presentation of NECA’s “Ultimate” line, but the figures themselves are no less spectacular. Indeed, it’s impossible for me to pick up the Xenomorph and not be impressed each time I handle it. Next week I’ll swing back and take a look at a couple more from the Alien Series.