Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Engineer Vs. Trilobite (Prometheus) (NECA Toys)

prometheus-implantation

It’s common knowledge that the Alien movie series contains a few subtle Freudian themes. That’s a lie. What Alien includes is hermaphrodite spiders that rape people’s faces so they violently give birth to penis-headed KY jelly-drooling monsters. Just gonna put that out there.

Prometheus-Mounting

Though to be honest, the Alien movies do keep the phallic insanity subtle enough to keep it from seeming too blatant. And its prequel (yes, it’s a prequel), Prometheus, followed that trend. NECA Toys produced a fantastic series of toys based on Prometheus, including figures like the Space Jockey Engineer and the proto-Xenomorph Deacon. It also had one Toys R Us exclusive two-pack, and, uh… okay, guys. Rape is not funny. Rape jokes are not funny. But every time I look at this, I giggle a little.

Prometheus-Dead

Okay, see, in the movie, Shaw (you know, the not-Ripley survivor) gets impregnated with an alien squiddlydoo, but she manages to get it taken out of her body, and then things go really crazy so everybody forgets about it. At the very end, she’s managed to crash the Engineer alien’s ship, and even though he’s horribly burned he chases after her. They end up running into the now-grown squiddlydoo, and it pounces the Engineer and impregnates him with a proto-Xeno, which bursts out of his chest in the last scene of the movie. The squiddlydoo is clearly related to Face Huggers from the Alien series, though it isn’t the same – it’s massive, more of a squid than a spider, does not hatch from an egg, and has a different, erm, undercarriage. It’s effective for what it does, but you can see why the design got refined into a smaller spider. Without an egg, its lifespan is limited. It takes up a lot of space and likely requires more resources to stay alive. Also, it has to spend more time wrestling the Engineer into submission, while a Face Hugger just knocks you out immediately.

Prometheus-DeathFromAbove

And then there’s the penis. Surrounded by tentacle-sprouting vaginas. The Face Hugger’s underside was always borderline obscene, but this one is ridiculous! None of the parts are what they look like, though – it has a bunch of little mouths surrounding the main mouth. The little mouths sprout smaller tentacles/tongues, which help restrain the target before its ovipositor pops out from the big mouth. It just so happens that they all look more phallic than an Asherah pole in Pompeii. To the movie’s credit, the scene happens fast enough that you don’t really get a chance to dwell on this part of it, but it’s there.

Prometheus-Mount

NECA Toys has a track record of fantastic attention to detail, and they applied that to this set of figures. And even though it lays eggs, this is clearly a Boy Squid. What makes this hilarious is how this pack is a Toys R Us exclusive. Meaning that everybody’s favorite rapesquid can be bought at the most child-friendly toy store this side of Five Little Monkeys. The result was… not ideal. Although these toys came out at the very end of 2012, you can still find them at Toys R Us now, hopefully on a discount. At my local store, the staff burst into giggles if you even acknowledge the Prometheus sets. When I bought one, the clerk cheered. So yes, it’s… hilarious. But this is all beside the point – when you buy the set, you don’t have to deal with snickering at Toys R Us.   Oh yeah, and the squiddlydoo is officially called the “Trilobite.”

Prometheus-Disassembled

Prometheus was a great film!”  “Prometheus sucked!”  Let’s not argue about that one.  I have already discussed my own opinions on this divisive movie before.  However, regardless of the film’s quality, everybody agrees that NECA did a stand-up job with the toys!

Prometheus-Packaged

PACKAGING: ****

The Prometheus 2-Pack comes in a big clamshell, just like other NECA figures. It’s got two things going for it – one is the mural/backdrop that the insert provides (which I used for a couple of photos), the other is… heh…

Prometheus-wtf

The “Toys R Us Exclusive” sticker covers the Trilobite’s detachable bendy penis. I doubt it was a coincidence. Heheheheheheheheheh.

Prometheus-Trilobite

SCULPT: Trilobite: ***, Engineer: ****

The star of this set is the Squiddlydoo – the Trilobite. As per NECA’s standards, it’s pretty much photorealistic to the CGI model, though in this case, logistical and material issues hurt it a little bit. Because the Trilobite is essentially a mass of tentacles, NECA chose to construct it out of rubber and make it a bendy toy. I am going to talk a lot about this under Articulation, but essentially, using softer rubber instead of hard plastic hurt the sculptural details just a bit. Its skin may be well-textured, but the texture doesn’t seem as sharp as in the movie. The Trilobite had wrinkly, squishy skin that was dried out and beginning to shed. This figure is of a healthy, moist (heh) specimen without any of the shedding or flaking going on.

Prometheus-trilobitemouth

On the underside, its tentacles have the appropriate gashes (with one peeled-back segment). It also has all of the mouths, though the tiny floppy tendrils obscured their… inappropriate shape. The main mout in the middle is pretty blatant, though. Again, the rubber quality has dulled all of its tiny little teeth, but the basic idea is there and just fine. the tiny tentacles are loose and floppy, and just fine the way they are. Its ovipositor also looks the way it did in the film. Which is to say, it looks circumcised.

Prometheus-engineer

The Engineer is the other half of the set. He is a variant of the Pressure Suit Engineer figure, and shares some parts with it. However, there are distinct differences on his face, upper torso, left shoulder, and hands. The face is the most obvious, as the Engineer is burned like Two-Face. NECA has done an incredible job in replicating his injuries, and they even put his mouth in an appropriate rage-screaming expression that just happens to be wide enough for the Trilobite’s egg-laying dingleberry. His torso and shoulder are also burned, but my attention goes to those hands. They are tense, hooked into claws, and match his enraged, injured expression. This is a fantastic little detail, and one that most toy companies would have overlooked. It’s the little things like this that help elevate NECA into toy superstardom.  The Engineer is over eight inches tall, and he will tower appropriately over your puny human toys.

Prometheus-trilobiteback

PAINT: Trilobite: ****, Engineer: ****

As the Trilobite is made from a different material than most NECA toys, its paint cannot be quite the same. Despite that, NECA did an admirable job replicating the creature’s color scheme. Whereas most companies would have painted it a flat flesh tone, NECA has layered on various shades of beige and tan, with several fleshy hues mixed onto its more sensitive parts. The paint is slightly glossy, leaving the Trilobite looking slick and disgusting. As well it should!

Prometheus-Engineerface

The Engineer’s base color scheme is the same as his normal variant, but the differences are quite pronounced. His suit is a lot dirtier and dingier, and his burns are a nasty charcoal gray. His injured eye is pale and dilated, looking unfocused and blinded in a realistic way – blind people’s eyes aren’t always milky white orbs, you know.

Prometheus-Mounted

ARTICULATION: Trilobite: ***, Engineer: ****

As previously stated, the Trilobite is a big bendy beast. Its tentacles are connected to the main body with ball joints, but they themselves bend. NECA has in the past shown a really great understanding of how to make bendy toys functional and durable. This figure, though, isn’t perfect. The rubber is extremely durable (thankfully), but it is also very thick, so the individual tentacles have only a moderate amount of bending ability. They get very flexible toward the tips, but ultimately just stick out for about a third of their length, and curve sharply soon after. You can’t really do much else and keep the pose for a while, and this is kind of disappointing. On the plus side, you can position its tentacles like “feet” so it can “Stand,” more or less, but the Trilobite just isn’t as flexible as one would have liked. But on the bright side, its wang dang doodle is really curvy and flexible, and can take any position you’d like!

Prometheus-EngineerBattleDamaged

The Engineer’s articulation is exactly the same as every other Engineer. He has ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, and ball-jointed head, waist, and hands. He’s got a pretty realistic, human range of motion, and the joints are all fairly solid. The important thing is, he can take a pose and hold it without loosening or falling over. Someone like this does not need to do gymnastics, and it’s good that NECA has a handle on basic human movement.

Prometheus-Ovipositor

ACCESSORIES: ****

Technically, this set has no accessories. The only accessory is a body part. You know, the detachable bendy penis.   It’s really very flexible, too, with none of the stiffness inherent in the tentacles.  It can point up!  It can flop down!  You can even bend it into a little inappropriate boomerang!  Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah.

Prometheus-SideFight

VALUE: ****

This set originally retailed for $35, but was soon discounted to $30 everywhere. And now if you go and find one at Toys R Us, it is practically guaranteed to be $20 or less! That’s a great deal born from a sad misjudgement of audience. But even the $30 price is fine (and standard).

Prometheus-Attack

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

The Squiddlydo is a bendy, so watch those wires. Bend too harshly, and it might snap or get stuck. Also, watch the stress you are putting on the rubber.

prometheus-succumb

WHERE TO BUY:

Before going anyplace on-line, check out your local Toys R Us. You can probably find this set at a discount, and maybe share an inappropriate laugh with the checkout clerk.

Prometheus-HappyBirthday

OVERALL: ***

Heh. Heheheheheheh. Hahahahahahahah. Okay, okay, I’ll be mature about it. If you can get over the hilariously Freudian overtones, this really isn’t a bad set. The only real problems come from the Trilobite not being terribly articulated, but it’s good for a decent “Molest the Engineer” pose, and the Engineer himself is a nice bonus. Just… wow. In Toys R Us. This is like that time I found McFarlane’s Tortured Souls at a TRU when I was in college. They did not sell all the time that I was there, and I’m sure there were complaints. It’s kind of unfortunate that the hilarious inappropriateness of a rapesquid with detatchable bendy penis overshadows a pretty solid entry in the Prometheus line, but that’s life.

Prometheus-HappyBirthday-Edited

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