Aliens Vs Predator Arcade: Arachnoid Alien and Razor Claws Alien by NECA

My Toy Closet has become something like an archaeological dig these days. So much so that I’ve really pulled way back on what I’m buying and trying to take the time to unearth the unopened treasures that lie under the levels of cardboard strata. This past weekend I unearthed a particularly interesting box of NECA goodies, a lot of which center around Capcom’s 1994 beat-em-up classic, Aliens Vs. Predator. In an effort to clear out this box, I’m going to try to check some of this stuff out each week until I get to the end. There are eight figures in the series total and today I’m starting with two of the three Aliens released from the game.

And here’s Arachnoid and Razor Claws in their boxes. You’ll notice that Chrysalis Alien is unaccounted for and that’s because I haven’t been able to find him at Target, or online for a decent price. I may wind up over-paying for him at some point, but for now let’s just have a look at this gruesome duo. They come in collector-friendly window boxes, which I dig a lot more than the sealed clamshells. I’m going to start with Arachnid!

So, this guy reminds me a lot of the Xeno Warrior from Aliens, but with enough key differences to set him apart. I believe it’s a new sculpt, but I don’t own all the NECA Xenos, so I won’t stake my (admittedly next to worthless) reputation on that. As with all of NECA’s Aliens, there is some absolutely amazing detail work in this sculpt, which really brings out the Giger flavor in the design. Why he’s called an Arachnoid, I don’t know because there really aren’t any arachnid influences that I can see. He does have fairly typical arms and legs, the usual exposed rib-cage, and a pretty basic segmented tail. This fellow only has four of the stalks protruding from his back and he has bone-like loops hanging off his forearms. The coloring features a very pale blue with a black wash to pick out all that lovely detail.

The head sculpt features the usual elongated head. The cranium is overall pretty smooth, but it does feature a spiked ridge running down the center. The front half is blue, while the back half is decidedly cockroach colored. The mandibles are the usual mess of sinew webbing and the jaw opens to reveal the secondary mouth, which can extend out past the jaws.

I dig this guy a lot, but if you’re looking for something vastly different than the regular Xeno’s I don’t know if this one will scratch your itch. He’s definitely got a lot of unique stuff going on, but I really had to compare him to my Alien and Aliens Xenos to pick out all the differences. Still, I’m sure the die-hard fans out there will spot the differences a lot easier than me. The coloring adds to his distinctive look, and helps makes him stand out as a video game character. With all that having been said, he takes second place in this pair to my favorite…

 

 

Razor Claws is just so damn awesome on every level.  He features a completely different body sculpt, with a lot more sharp detail, particularly in the legs. The structure of the torso still shows off the rib-cage, but with an entirely unique structure. Of course, the biggest differences here are found int he giant razor clawed hands and the tail, which possesses a cycle-like blade at the end. This fellow still only has four tubes coming off his back, but these are longer and taper to points at the ends. He’s also missing those extra toes that the Arachnoid has, and he has pretty powerful looking talons jutting out from the front of his feet. The coloring here is also gorgeous. He has a reddish and almost pink finish and just like his comrade, the black wash brings out all the exquisite detail in the sculpt.

The head is also completely different, with a totally smooth cranium, tusk like horns protruding from his chin, and the same articulated jaw with the secondary mouth that extends outward. The cranial plate is somewhat translucent so you can just make out some of the detail that’s going on underneath it. Overall, it’s a simpler styled head than the Arachnoid, but my personal taste makes it my favorite of the two.

And I can say that pretty much about the entire figure. Not only does this Xeno look a lot more distinctive than his Arachnoid brother, but he also looks like an absolute killing machine. Between those shredding claws and that extra blade on his tail, this fellow looks like he’s just designed to leap on Colonial Marines and eviscerate them in a matter of seconds. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring that really does it for me.

I’m always looking to add some new Xenomorphs to my collection, so even if I wasn’t a fan of the quarter-munching arcade game, I would have still been all over these. But the fact that they are realistic interpretations of the 16-bit pixelated game characters makes them all the more sweeter. And even if you aren’t looking to collect all the Arcade figures, I think these fellas would be right at home in any NECA Aliens collection. They look fantastic together, and I just know I’m going to wind up dropping a lot of money to pick up the last one and complete the set. Next week, I hope to be back to check out the Predators in this line!

Kenner Predators: Lasershot Predator by NECA

Even with a seemingly endless variety of Yautja hunters available, from the movies and comics and video games, to cast into plastic, NECA is still always looking for new material. They mined the old Kenner Toys line for their Aliens line, so it’s only natural they would do the same for Predator. And that’s exactly what they did here, plucking Lasershot Predator straight off the pegs of the 90’s and giving him a complete overhaul so that he will fit in with just about any modern NECA Predator on your shelf… Groovy!!!

The box is similar to what we’ve seen with NECA’s Ultimate releases. It seems like a fully enclosed box, but there’s actually a front flap that opens to reveal a window to show off the goods. It’s also an extra thick box to accommodate Lasershot’s significant stature and all the extra bits and bobs that come with him. I dig the artwork and its distinct 90’s flavor. The colors are great and the front panel mimics the old figure in a sort of clam-shell packaging. Of course, everything is collector friendly, which is great for me, because I do keep these figures in their boxes when I’m not displaying them. The box also exclaims that Lasershot features an Electronic LED Targeting Eye which I was damn excited to try out. Lasershot is known for his obsession with technology and his willingness to augment his own body to make himself the Ultimate Alien Hunter, so you know we’re in for a treat!

Many of the Kenner Pred designs were about as goofy as you can get, which makes NECA’s figure here all the more impressive. I think they managed to burn away almost all the gimmicky wackiness of the original figure, while leaving behind mostly just Yuatja badass. OK, maybe there’s still a little bit of campiness left in this guy, but I still love him. Probably the most distinctive thing about Lasershot is the purple skin, which includes a black wash to bring out the detail. Why purple? I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with all the augments he’s performed on himself. Combined with that lovely purple is his golden armor, most prominent on his lower legs, hips, forearms, and upper body. The armor trades the usual tribal flavor and trophies for what looks like ancient Yautja designs mixed with high tech improvements, and there is a ton of detail in this sculpt to reflect it. I’m particularly fond of the large blades attached to the lower legs and the organic curves of his shoulder weapons, which rests dormant on his back when not in use. He also has a skull sculpted into his belt, that’s very reminiscent of a T-800 Terminator. Lasershot is a lot to take in all at once, and the sculpt and coloring conspire to make him quite the work of art.

His portrait is no slouch either! Like any Yautja, he’s got a face only a mother would love. The purple skin is still prevalent here, and it really makes those teeth at the end of his mandibles, and the spikes around his cranium, stand out. He’s got one deep set piercing eyeball, and his other has been replaced with an artificial targeting system,nesting in a mess of grafted golden tech. A nest of brown dreadlocks spill out the back of his head, each one with a sculpted gold band. By now, NECA are pros at sculpting the uniquely hideous Predator head, and like the all the others, this one is just a marvel of tiny detail.

Lasershot comes with a bio-mask that can be worn over his head. It’s vaguely like your average Pred mask, but it has a lot more panel lines sculpted into it. The upper right side is also missing to accommodate his facial grafts. The bio mask is painted with a copper finish, which puts it at odds with the golden armor, but it still looks pretty good on him. Although, to be honest, I think I prefer him without the mask. NECA did too fine a job with that head sculpt for me to be covering it up.

The LED light advertised on the box is activated by pressing a disguised button on the top of Lasershot’s head, producing the familiar triple light targeting system we’ve seen in the films. The lights are nice and bright and can be seen fairly well even under normal lighting conditions. They can also be seen while he is wearing the bio-mask. Let’s move on to some of this guy’s weaponry.

The double cannon rig on his back can be slid up the track and angled over his shoulders. His left shoulder features the standard plasma-caster, while the right one is a harpoon launcher, complete with two optional heads. One is capture-claw and the other is just a nasty looking spike. You also get a rather thick, bendable tether to make it look like it’s been fired. The cable has a strong wire running through it, allowing it to be bent any way you like it, and it holds up really well too. The claw is good for grabbing hold of prey, while the other just looks like it would make short work of most anything.

Next up, Lasershot has an energy shield that deploys from his right gauntlet. There are two pieces that can peg into the hole there. The device looks like a pair of golden horns with a red crystal in the center. It’s actually got something of an Egyptian flavor to its design. The second piece features a translucent purple disc of energy, simulating that the shield is activated.

Finally, you get an interchangeable left hand, which is a larger claw with articulated fingers. The socket on my figure’s claw was too small, so I had to dremel it out a bit to get it to fit, but now it goes on and off easy-peasy. It looks like a nasty piece of business, and when combined with the energy shield, it gives Lasershot some nice options for close-quarter melee combat.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of NECA’s modernized Kenner Aliens, and now I can happily say that their magic works on Kenner’s Preds just as well. Lasershot is a great looking figure and lots of fun to mess around with. He also displays well going up against those Kenner Aliens or even with any of the other NECA Preds on my shelf. The addition of the LED targeting system is a particularly nice bonus, especially since at $27.99 it didn’t really drive up the cost of the figure that badly. Indeed, I’d love to them revisit the gimmick in some of their future Predators. I’ve been trying to be a little more selective about my Predator purchases, because of space limitations, but when I saw this guy on the shelf at Target he just had to come home with me, and I’m glad he did.

Aliens Vs Predator by NECA

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!

necavp1

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.

necavp2

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!

necavp3

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.

necavp16

necavp4

necavp5

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!

necavp6

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…

necavp7

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.

necavp8

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!

necavp10

The Pred also comes with a swap-out masked head. Again, every one of his dreads are sculpted separately.

necavp12

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.

necavp13

necavp14

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.

necavp15

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.

necavp11

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.