Reviewing repainted figures poses a unique problem: How do I talk about this toy without retreading old ground? Take the NECA Xenomorph from Aliens. I have reviewed the original version, two repaints packed together, the first movie variant, and this same paint job, but with a new head. So what now?
The lighting in Aliens was pretty terrible. This was on purpose, to add to the atmosphere and preserve the mystique of the monsters, but it also means that in the days before the internet, we had weird ideas of what the aliens looked like. I thought that there were several types, and some had tentacles. Of course, I was also a little kid, and I had played Contra, so make of that what you will. And for people who knew what they looked like (just press pause in a lot of scenes. You do get some great looks at those costumes), there was the issue of color. The Xenomorph costumes were kind of brownish. This is absolutely true, but it’s not like you could tell.
But the lighting in the movie made them look either flat black or black and blue more often than not. As a result, a lot of fans want their aliens to be black or blue, and a few found last year’s brown Xenomorph to be odd. NECA knew this, and they promised a blue version to come among the many repaints.
Cool thing is, we actually got two! The Hicks Vs. Alien 2-pack gave us a blue Xenomorph in the act of dying horribly, just as the upcoming Hudson Vs. Alien 2-pack will give us a brown one getting all shot up. It was a nice preview of how a blue alien would look, but of course couldn’t fit in most dioramas. Well, now we’ve got the full version – it’s in Aliens Series 2, the same one as the first movie’s Alien and Sgt. Windrix.
Exactly the same as the rest of the packaging in this line! It’s A-Okay.
What can I say that I haven’t said before? This is the same as the other Xenomorph Warriors we have gotten so far. The detail is incredible, both for its screen-accuracy and tremendous realism. I love love love these toys in so many ways. But there is one problem.
The Blue Xenomorph seems to have more quality control errors than other Aliens in this line. As for mine, it has a couple of issues. I noticed some spots on its shoulder that look like dried glue, and a tiny patch on its head (too small to show up in a photo, but visible to the eye) that seems almost like an extra piece of plastic melted on the head. Also, its dorsal spines are deformed – on mine, his lower-right spine bends all the way to the right, while the others are all kind of bunched up and crooked. Yes, it gives the alien some individuality, but this is still a flaw. Finally, its inner mouth droops down naturally – so much so that if I leave it in the alien’s mouth, I will have to pry the jaw out when it settles way down into the jaw. These flaws seem to be from the plastic itself – it feels softer and more rubbery than previous releases, almost as if it has not been cured properly.
It isn’t merely that this alien is blue, it has to be blue enough to compete with the black/silver version from the 2-pack. But is has to do this without being too blue. In my opinion, they succeeded. The blue paint is pretty prominent, but it doesn’t overwhelm the sculpt any more than the original’s brown.
This also serves a stealth purpose! The NES Alien 3 game had a bunch of aliens in it, kind of like the previous movie. And all the aliens were colored blue. NECA has been producing NES-themed repaints for a little while now. So this? This is your NES Alien. In blue. Now we just need a purple one for the arcade game!
Aside from black and blue, the Alien has silver for its teeth and some gray/off-white for its jaw tendons and second mouth. The tendons aren’t as painted as they are in the other versions, and blend in somewhat more than usual. Just as before, the inner mouth’s paint is kind of gloppy, just as with the others. The figure as a whole looks good, and blends in well with the others in this line.
The Xenomorph Warrior has ball-jointed head, shoulders, wrists, hips, torso, ankles; double ball-jointed elbows and knees; swivel biceps; hinged toes and a hinged jaw with extendable mouth; and a bendy tail. Now let’s look at the specifics:
The head is on a ball-joint, but is slightly restricted by the thin tubes connecting its jaws to its torso. The hips interact a little with that rubber crotch piece, and will feel either very free or very restricted, depending. The articulation is just as great as with other Aliens in this line, in that you can pose it more than it looks at first. However, the blue Xenomorph has a couple of issues of its own.
Lots of people have reported figure breakage, particularly around the hips. Now, there have been some reports throughout this toy line, but this particular figure sees a lot more than the others. Why is that? Well, addressing both breakage and the warped figures, NECA has said,
Well, that’s that! Quality Control slipped by a tiny bit, and NECA is going to find a new factory to do it right. Good job!
NOPE. It’s a matter of budget – this is a big, detailed, complex toy, and accessories just didn’t cost out.
These figures are a great value – under $20 for a massive, hyper-detailed alien with great articulation. However, the quality control issues are enough to lower this rating a little bit.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Unfortunately, because this alien has QC problems, you need to watch for joint strength and durability, as well as any warped parts.
WHERE TO BUY:
The Xenomorph looks great, is an excellent tribute to fans and a NES game, and overall is a great addition to the line. However, the poor alien is plagued by some durability issues that were bad enough for NECA to switch factories. Again, mine has not broken, but others have, and most figures appear to be warped in some place.