Aliens was the best Starship Troopers movie. Just kidding! But yeah, there are some similarities. The movie also has a lot of Vietnam in it – the fact that two out of three space marine toys we have from NECA look scared out of their gourd kind of communicates that. Wow, I’ve hit a rabbit trail before the review even starts. Dialing back now.
Wave 1 of NECA’s Aliens line included Hicks, Hudson, and a Xenomorph Warrior. Helmeted versions of both humans have been promised in separate two-packs with battle-damaged Xenos, and we got our Hicks 2-pack months ago. But now, finally we have our alternate Hudson. Oh, poor Hudson. Poor, poor Hudson. He loses his nerve… and then gets it back in time to go out in a blaze of glory. Four more weeks and he would’ve been out, too. Poor, poor guy.
Hudson has had one other toy in the past – a Kenner figure that re-used Sgt. Apone’s parts, had a cyborg arm, and was barely released so it is worth a mint now. So it’s good to get two in one year! The regular release is all worried and panicky (Bill Paxton is a good sport), but this one gives us another of his many emotions!
The two figures come packed in a tremendous clamshell, much like NECA’s other offerings of this type. It takes up a lot of space, but most of that is put to use. The figures are displayed well… but their pose warped my Alien’s ankle. When packaging breaks a toy, this is bad.
SCULPT: Hudson: ****, Xenomorph: ****
Hudson pretty much reuses all of the parts from his other figure, except for the head. And look! A helmet! His helmet fits on much better than Hicks’s, and even has an extra loose strap or two. His face is caught in mid-rage mode, twisted and angry while he yells and shoots. Remember that? When Hudson died? Yeah. I made myself sad 😦 But anyway, some of Bill Paxton’s likeness is lost in the expression, though it does loo like him It’s hard to keep people recognizable when they are all scrunched up.
The Xenomorph mostly shares parts with other Aliens… no wait, it does exactly. It has two big acid blood splatters on the torso, which are rubbery and non-removable. Clearly, this guy just too a pulese rifle burst to the chest. Sure, it’s a really scene-specific look, but you need at least one dead or dying Alien in a big battle scene, right?
The globs are a little too big, or at least too thick in mid-splash, but they wor for what they need to be. There isn’t any other major structural damage (like the blown-up head on the other damaged Alien), but this is good nonetheless.
PAINT: Hudson: ***, Xenomorph: ****
Dutch Schaefer has spoiled me. See, the Schwarzenegger figure uses flesh-colored plastic, while this one has flesh paint caked on. Now that I have seen how realistic the former looks, the latter just seems sloppy. The flesh tone is a little inconsistent between arms and hands, too. But other than that misstep, Hudson’s Face is a little gloppy – it almost loos scarred. The paint on his uniform and face are pretty detailed despite this, even though the single release Hudson had a better-looing face.
The Xenomorph Warrior is in the original brown color scheme. I love those colors for three reasons – it is accurate to the film, it looks aesthetically pleasing, and it matches my cat.
The Xenomorph also has a heaping helping of neon green for its acid blood! The blood isn’t as bright as on the other two-pack release, but it’s good nonetheless.
ARTICULATION: Hudson ****, Xenomorph: ****
Hudson has ball-jointed wrists, ankles, torso, upper biceps, and head, ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, and hips, and hinged double knees and toes. The articulation is excellent, and he can take just about any realistic pose you want. His head is also removable, which is very helpful for those accessories.
The Xenomorph has ball-jointed hands, hips, torso, and head, ball-and-socket shoulders and double elbows, hinged feet and double knees, swivel biceps, and a bendable tail. His articulation is just as good as any other Alien in the line, and mine so far feel solid enough to take a variety of pain-wracked, spasming death poses. If you use the tail for support, you can put this guy in just about any state you need!
The Xenomorph comes with nothing. Hudson, on the other hand, has a pulse rifle, shoulder-mounted flashlight, motion tracker, and belt-clipped electric lock pick. When you load him up with all his gear, he almost looks ludicrous – but that’s realistic for a marine. Everything comes with other releases, but it’s all he ever used.
No, really. Hudson never had anything super-special. But come on, you can remove the little lock pick from his belt if you want! And that pulse rifle is just fine as-is.
At $32.99, you are paying under $20 a figure – that’s not a bad deal!
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Watch out for the smaller pieces of Hudson’s flashlight. As always, compare paint jobs, and make sure that your figures are not warped in package.
WHERE TO BUY:
If you couldn’t tell from the “Toys R Us Exclusive” sticker clearly visible on the packaging, this is a Toys R Us exclusive. So, for the best price, check your local TRU! Mine had a couple of these on the shelves, so hopefully they won’t be too hard to find.
This set did not impress me as much as some other two-packs, but that does not mean I’m having buyer’s remorse. Hudson is pretty awesome, though not as cool as his original release, and he comes with a lot of great gear. The Xenomorph is also reasonable cool, and I’ll be using it in many Alien and Predator displays from now on.
It’s not as outstanding as the dead Alien from the Hicks pack, but Hudson looks better than his counterpart. If you want the set, buy it. But if it hasn’t already piqued your interest, having it in-hand likely will not change a thing.