Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Xenomorph Egg & Facehugger (NECA Toys)

facehugger01

For the second time, I have included a YouTube video in a review!

The demonstration is HERE. I will also link to it again later in the article.

Back when Alien Resurrection was in theaters, Kenner had produced a floppy rubber Facehugger. I really regretted not getting one. Fast-forward to now, and NECA Toys has chosen to supplement its Aliens line with an electronic Xenomorph Egg… and floppy rubber Facehugger! Oh, Calloo Callay!

facehugger-wave

Facehuggers are frightening. They live practically forever inside their eggs, leap out and do their business all over your face, and impregnate you with lethal parasite babies. But still, I love spider monsters! Yay! Anyway, the Egg toy seems to have been released with little fanfare. It sneaked onto store shelves, and all reports say that people are enjoying it, but it does not seem to have very much buzz. It’s time to fix this!

facehugger-packaged

PACKAGING: ****

The egg comes in a standard plastic clamshell which shows off both it and the Facehugger. It also has something wonderful printed on the back – instructions! Even though the egg is really obvious, these instructions are a godsend.

facehugger-emptyegg

SCULPT: Egg: ****, Facehugger: ****

The Xenomorph Egg is a leathery, veiny, thing with soft fleshy innards. In the original movie, they used a cow’s stomach lining for the egg’s interior, and the sculpt replicates that reasonably well. The interior texture is a little flatter than in the movies, but that is definitely to accommodate the action feature, and it really does not look bad.

facehugger-eggsterior

The exterior is far less visceral, but the knobbly texture absolutely matches its appearance from the movies – the only thing this egg is missing are the roots! About the only thing that the egg is missing are the “lips” on top, though it would be next to impossible to include those and allow the egg to open.

facehugger-loose

Facehuggers may look like spiders, but they have often been described as “Two hands fused together.” You can really see it with this sculpt – look at the finger/leg knuckles/knees, and especially the nails tipping each one. In the movie, the Facehugger got a really good amount of time on-camera for long shots in clear lighting, so this toy had a greater responsibility to replicate its appearance. And it does!

facehugger-underside

All of the appropriate textures are there, as well as some of the harder-to-see details like its eye/mouth in the front. Of course, it also has that hilariously inappropriate and vaguely obscene underbelly, but that’s all part of Alien‘s subtle freudian undertones. Blatant freudian overtones.

facehugger-marine

There is one caveat to all of this, though. The egg is between 5″ and 6″ in height, thus making it completely out of scale for pretty much any toys out there. It doesn’t fit figures in the 5″, 6′ 7″, 8″, 10″, 12″, or 18″ scale. I would love to see some eggs and Facehuggers in the proper scale to match NECA’s other Alien offerings, but we will live.

facehugger-leap

PAINT: Egg: ****, Facehugger: ****

The exterior of the Xenomorph Egg is painted in a complex pattern of various shades of brown and green. Although the paint apps do not follow any particular sculptural details, this matches its movie appearance – the lighter spots existed independently of bumps, ridges, or veins. Interestingly, the egg is technically translucent brown, but you absolutely cannot tell without a strong light shining through it.  The colors transition to slick, fleshy pink for the egg’s interior, with some filmy gray to simulate the mucous. As simple as it is, this really works, and helps the sculpt come alive.

facehugger-facehugged

The movie Facehugger was mono-tone flesh, and so is this one. the paint used helps replicate its slick, slimy appearance even in just one color, which is really commendable. And yes, there is a different set of paint apps for its underside. Which only make it more obscene. Wow.

facehugger-closed

ARTICULATION: Egg ***1/2, Facehugger: ***1/2

This is not about the egg’s spring-loaded feature, that will be covered below. But the egg’s four “flaps” are bendable – which is a nice detail, although even when you close the egg, you can still see some open gaps. However, this does not interfere with the sculpt when open, so it is a good thing.

facehugger-predator

The Facehugger is technically unarticulated, but it is sculpted in floppy rubber, reminiscent of the old Monster jiggers you used to be able to buy. It flops and wobbles and stretches just fine – in fact, when in motion, this thing looks realistic! You cannot really make it wrap around another toy’s head, but it can wrap its tail around their neck realistically.

facehugger-glow01

ACTION FEATURE: ****

Make no mistake, the real meat of this toy is in its action feature. And the egg has two.

Watch it HERE!

facehugger-glow02

Firstly, the spring-loaded aspect: Push the interior of the egg down until it clicks (the catch is along the side. If it isn’t clinking, shift the pressure around until it does). Wrap the Facehugger’s tail around its body and place it inside. Then simply press the button on the side to launch it! If you don’t wrap the Facehugger up, its legs or tail might get caught along the wall and pinched, and ideally the Facehugger will unfurl in mid-air, anyway. It’s a great gimmick, and… well, I have been using it on people who visit my house.

facehugger-glow04

My roommate: “Wow.”

Houseguest 1: “WOAH!”

Houseguest 2: “AAAH-AH-AH-AH!!!!!”

My cat: “mine.”

As you can see, it is a complete success!

facehugger-glow03

The egg also has a light-up feature, mirroring how they “react” when the eggs sense a potential victim. It is lit by four LEDs inside, which light the whole thing up in bright green. This is a little odd, as the LEDs are bright green, and the eggs look more amber when lit, but the effect is striking. And yes, you can see the Facehugger sillhouetted inside.

facehugger-glow05

VALUE: ** to ****

Retail for this figure is a horrible $35. I now that it is justified, but this hurts. Mind you, mine cost $15 at retail. Yay! With that in mind, I would suggest looking around for a deal on this. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

facehugger-glow06

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

If you load the Facehugger improperly, it could get pinched. This might scuff some of the paint. Other than that, the whole thing is durable – the egg feels leathery and solid, and the Facehugger is loose and floppy.

facehugger-wave

WHERE TO BUY:

That $35 price is the Amazon price, but if I were you, I would check out local stores. You can find these eggs in the strangest places – if you ave a local Go! Calendars and Toys, they should have one on discount.

facehugger-crawl-out

OVERALL: ****

This toy is fun. Fun, fun, fun. I know, I’m a sucker for gimmicks sometimes, but it really is fun. Flaw-wise, the lights are too green, and the egg is weirdly out of scale with everything, but it honestly is insanely fun. It looks great, too, and can sit on a display shelf if you don’t feel like launching rubber spidersnakes at your friends and family. But come on, why WOULDN’T you?

 facehugger-comparison

About these ads

3 responses to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Xenomorph Egg & Facehugger (NECA Toys)

  1. This thing is really awesome. I definitely think the price and the odd scale is what’s keeping most collectors from raving about it. If I stumbled upon one of these in the wild at a fairly reasonable price (probably 10-$15) I’d probably snap it up, but it’s not something I feel like hunting down.

  2. Oh, and this thing would look really cool with my giant Trilobyte from Prometheus. Talk about a really weird display of toys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s