Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Kane (NECA Aliens)


In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream…

…NECA’s Aliens line has not run as long as their Predator line, at least not yet. But they’ve decided to start with variety, and after only a few space marines and variants of the xenomorphs from Aliens, we’re getting humans, monsters from other movies in the series, and even previously impossible-to-obtain characters! In fact, here’s one that’s probably a rights issue waiting to be fought over. Kane, as played by Sir John Hurt, was the guy from the infamous chest burster scene. And although this is a toy of Kane, it doesn’t use John Hurt’s likeness. Howdoes it manage that? Well, read on.


“In space, no one can hear you scream…”
In a remote region of the galaxy, the United States space tug, Nostromo, carrying a cargo of mineral ore, makes its return journey to Earth. The ship’s crew – five men two women and a cat – are awakened from their hypersleep chambers when Mother, the on-board computer, monitors a strange transmission. According to Company law, the crew must investigate any signal indicating possible intelligent life. What begins as a routine search mission quickly escalates into a nightmare of unimaginable terror when the crew discovers and brings aboard an extraterrestrial lifeform.


Well, this wasn’t specific to Kane, just the movie. But considering that Aliens Series 3 has characters from the first three movies, the theme fits. So, let’s take a look at the first movie’s representative here: Kane!



Like all NECA toys, Kane comes in a utilitarian, attractive-looking clamshell. It keeps the figure safe and secure, and looks nice for all you mint-on-card lunatics.



SCULPT: ****

So, how does Kane manage to be screen-accurate without actually using John Hurt’s likeness? Because the face is obscured! This figure portrays one specific scene in the movie – when Kane knelt over an egg and got a face full of alien wing-wang. It’s one of the character’s two most iconic scenes in the movie (though not the gory first place scene), and this toy slavishly recreates it.


Kane’s spacesuit is surprisingly realistic – it’s a complicated, padded outfit that looks like it could be airtight. The level of detail on this thing is insane, and really makes the figure stand out more than it could have. It certainly shows more color and detail than you could get from viewing the movie, since the scenes on the planet or derelict ship were dimly-lit.


Kane’s Face Hugger is also quite good, and you can see it through the acid hole in his helmet – or just by taking the thing off. Now, it both is and is not removable – you have to work past the glue, but the face hugger can be taken off and does fit on other human figures in this line. I have not personally done so, simply because I don’t want to wreck the thing. And no, there is not a fully-detailed John Hurt underneath.


Oh yeah, and one more thing… the top flashlight-thingy on the helmet is really fragile, and snaps off easily. Glueing it back on is simple, but the peg holding it in place is shallow, so don’t put any pressure on it when you put the helmet on or off.



PAINT: ***

Before I discuss the technical quality of the paint job, there’s one rather odd issue to deal with – and I mean odd. The figure is sticky. There’s something odd about the paint composition or how it was applied or how it interact with the plastic, because every Kane comes out of the clamshell smelling like a toxic factory, and with sticky paint that rubs off to the touch. But if you leave your Kane out for an hour or two, the stickiness miraculosly vanishes and the paint solidifies itself. This is not an exagerration – my figure marked up my hands at first, but not after I let him sit for a little bit. There is something very odd with the factory NECA has contracted.


On a technical level, Kane’s paint job has very little slop. The space suit itself is pretty flawless, and whether it’s the slightly tarnished patina on the metal or the colored netting on the arms, it looks like a real outfit. Kane’s costume has a lot of variety on it, and it could have been an overwhelming task for NECA, but it really wasn’t. And the paint does an excellent job keeping up with all the little buttons and such.


Overall, I’d have to give a hearty thumbs up to the paint job – just watch out for weird chemical reactions, and you should be fine. Seriously, the stickiness is weird, man.




Kane has ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, ball-jointed wrists, waist, and head, and swivel biceps. On paper it’s a really good range of movement, but his outfit actually restricts him prety hard. Kane is good for standing around or falling over, and isn’t exactly built for high-intensity fight scenes. Mind you, that fits his role in the movie.




Kane has a laser pistol that safely tucks into his belt, but raises a question – there’s at least one other laser gun in this movie. Why didn’t anybody think to use one? Why create a homemade flamethrower when you havea frickin’ phaser? The world may never know. Kane can’t hold his gun all that well, though, and it’s best left in its holster.


Kane also comes with a flashlight. A simple, realistic, boxy device that, while useful, he really can’t hold easily or non-awkwardly in his hand. So far, he’s got props that certainly complete the look, but that aren’t exactly super-spectacular.


Now, Kane’s helmet is another story. It’s a two-part item, which clamps easily onto his collar. Sure, it isn’t without its flaws – the fragile light, for example – but overall, that helmet is amazingly good. It makes the figure, essentially.



VALUE: ****

Kane will cost you about $20, which is way less than you would pay for other figures of this level of quality, stickiness notwithstanding.




Watch out for the little light on top of Kane’s helmet – it sticks out, and is easy to snap off. Every figure comes with tacky paint, but it soon dries when exposed to oxygen for long enough. And of course, don’t wreck the face hugger when you put on the helmet.




You should be able to find this figure at Toys R Us right now!




This is a weird figure. It does so many things right, but then it has weird stuff like the durability issues or sticky paint. It looks fantastic, but can barely move. It matches a particular scene in the movie perfectly, but really needs to stand in just for that scene. It’s a necessary part of your Aliens collection, but it really isn’t going to do much besides stand on a shelf. Overall I like Kane, but the figure certainly has some odd issues going on with it. At least it doesn’t stay sticky!



Oh, and if you wondered how much paint rubbed off, this is what happened after just a little bit of handling:


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