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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 01-08-2016, 03:09 PM

    REVIEW: NECA 1/4 Scale ALIEN (2015 Release)

    "Big Chap" Made Better...

    If you haven't already, go watch Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World (available for streaming on Netflix). It is an intimate docu-character study on the humble artist, who, shortly after filming in 2014, sadly passed away. One of my favorite parts of the documentary depicts what is probably Giger's most recognizable creation - the biomechanical creature featured in 1979's ALIEN. To me the Alien xenomorph is one of the most hauntingly beautiful things ever created. I'm what you would call a "die-hard" Alien fan and collector. I own a lot of Alien collectibles, some of my more recent favorites coming from NECA. The collectibles company has captured the Alien in toy form in a variety of different formats over the years. From whimsical Scalers, Head and Body Knockers, to more seriously sculpted 7-inch and 18-inch scale action figures.

    NECA originally released a towering quarter scale Alien back in 2008. However, their current Alien-centered action figure line has presented the rare opportunity to release an all-new towering monstrosity. What's even more special is that Kyle "Tankman" Windrix, the artist behind NECA's first 18" Alien (and many other Alien toys), was once again given lead sculpting duties. Nobody sculpts the Alien quite like Kyle (my hero <3) and it's awesome to see the artist given the good fortune to perfect his craft.

    This Alien figure is NOT a direct reissue, but a newly tooled and painted action figure. To the eyes of a casual Alien fan, such as my wife, the differences between the two figures is minimal. One is black, the other is brown. To passionate Alien collectors (like myself) that know more about Giger's imaginary xenomorph anatomy than an actual human-being, the differences are like night and day. Okay, it's not THAT radical, but die-hard Alien fans will be very pleased with the changes. Primary improvements include:

    • (Almost) no assemble required. The original Alien came in two pieces that you had to pop together. This one comes right out of the box in all of it's 22-inch tall glory. You do still have to place the back tubes on, but it's straightforward and minor.
    • Color scheme changed from a metallic black to a much richer black/brown.
    • Tweaks in the sculpt can mainly be seen in the pelvic region. Elbow spikes straightened. Tail spike slightly altered.
    • Improved ball-joint thigh articulation (was cut swivel).
    • THE HEAD! This has been given the most radical makeover. The dome now features a more film-accurate "frosted" paint application. The jaw now almost fully closes for an incredible sneering look. Translucent plastic tendons and gums have also been added for added realism.

    So is this Alien for you? It's really a matter of personal taste. My wife actually likes the look of the first release better with it's darker color scheme and more translucent head dome. More serious Alien fans will appreciate the added sculpted accuracy of the new release. That said, if you don't already own the original Alien, then this version is the one to get. There's no point in paying outrageous secondary market prices for the first release. If you do have NECA's first Alien and are as passionate of an Alien collector as I am, then you'll want this new Alien as well. Personally I think it's a vast improvement over the original. It's all about that new head - Tankman just nailed it.

    Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor

    Review Sample Courtesy of NECA

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