Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Alien 3 – Classic Video Game Appearance (NECA Toys)

RetroAlien-Mission

Alien 3 was a… movie. Some like it, some hate it, let the nerd debate rage on. But its video games were almost universally awesome, based on the run-and-gun action you would expect from the previous movie. Seriously, I can’t explain it. The NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis had essentially the same game, one where you had to rescue hostages while taking on Aliens in the prison planet. Your ammo was limited, as was your time, and you had to make every shot count. NECA has been doing retro video game repaints of their toys for a while now. For the Alien, they looked at Alien 3 – the Genesis version, and found some incredible inspiration.

RetroAlien

***
The ALIENS are fast, spit acid and are right behind YOU! The motion tracker is your only warning. No time to think, no time to catch yourbreath… RUN! Can’t see very far ahead in these air ducts. Hard to breathe. Face-huggers can be anywhere. You have the firepower… blast the ALIENS with your machine gun, flame thrower, and grenade launcher. You know what you have to do… rescue the trapped prisoners and END THIS NIGHTMARE!
Just keep telling yourself, “THIS ISN’T REALLY HAPPENING… IT’S ONLY AN ACTION FIGURE!”
***

RetroAlien-Screenshot

And that’s the screenshot this entire figure is based on. See, in-game, they’re just low-resolution blue sprits. But this? Man, that’s inspiration.

RetroAlien-Packaged01

PACKAGING: ****

The packaging as a whole is a mockup of the Sega Genesis box, albeit with NECA’s Nintendo-esque Seal of Quality. It uses that fantastically creepy art from the movie’s posters, too.

RetroAlien-Packaged03

And as you can see, the back has a great little blurb (based on the game’s blurb), with screenshot-like pictures of the figure – and little bonuses tossed all in!

RetroAlien-Packaged02

The interior includes the all-important screenshot as well as a great look at the Alien – though the front cover is hinged, you can only see one side… except there exists a packaging variation, which allows you to view both, one way or the other.

RetroAlien-Stand01

SCULPT: ****

The Dog Alien is a dessicated creature, more on the mummified end of the scale than its biomechanical predecessors. The sculpt captures its thin layer of skin, its bones, and even the ragged tendons in its jaws. The Alien in the third movie was bloodier and more visceral than previous designs, which shows in its design. This is a Xenomorph pared down to its killing essentials, ready to maul prisoners for the fun of it.

RetroAlien-Stand02

Its sleek, almost canine design is reflected in its smoothed-down body, its wide hip bones, and even the tail – longer, thicker, and with a bigger stinger. The Dog Alien’s head has a smooth dome, but the paint keeps you from seeing the textured detail underneath.

RetroAlien01

PAINT: ****

This is what happens when a face hugger gets Harvey Dent. The original screenshot had the Alien half bathed in orange light, and half bathed in blue light. So of course, this toy is split down the middle, one half orange-brown and the other blue. Daring concept, but how is the execution?

RetroAlien02

Incredible! Seriously. I bought this over a lot of other options in the store because of how well it stood out. They picked just the right contrasting shades – yeah, sure, it’s the Orange/Blue divide that you see in so many movies, but nowhere have I seen its aesthetic benefits as much as in this figure. Hilariously, even his inner mouth is split down the middle.

RetroAlien-Orangeface

The brown side has a hint of orange – its a lot more vivid than his “real” paint job, and sacrifices organic details for a paintbrush look, but it really works. The exact color used blend artistically, making it seem like it could exist… or could be part of a video game… or hey, an oil painting. The exact shades must havebeen hard to get right, but they are fantastic.

RetroAlien-Blueface

The blue side is bright, vivid, and accented with white. At first glance it seems similar to the Retro Game Predator, but it really is its own scheme. Again, just as with the brown side, NECA really chose well, making this Alien look like it sprang out of a comic book page. Nicely done!

RetroAlien-Brown

ARTICULATION: ****

The Dog Alien has ball-and-socket shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles, ball-jointed head and torso, double-ball-jointed shoulders and knees, a swivel and bendy tail, hinged calves and jaw, and an extendable inner jaw. This isn’t just a lot, it’s such a surprising amount of flexibility that you can make the Dog Alien do almost anything you want. Its articulation is smoother and less restricted than on other Xenomorph figures, and even the bendy tail is on a swivel!

RetroAlien-Blue

Yes, it is fantastic. But there is one – just one flaw in this whole figure, and it’s in the articulation. ONE FLAW. Although the Alien has articulation in his neck, he can’t tilt his head all the way up – he has trouble walking properly on all fours. It’s a minor nitpick, but since everything else is so wonderful, it feels like it stands out.

RetroAlien-McFarlane

ACCESSORIES: **1/2

Xenomorph figures, with their huge amounts of sculpting and paint, simply can’t afford accessories. This is too bad, as I would have loved a face hugger (or the queen face hugger prototype from the movie), but this one does come with a base. It’s specially designed to support its hindquarters so the figure doesn’t topple, and I am grateful for that.

RetroAlien-Normal01

VALUE: ****

At about $20, you get one of the best-looking, most artistic Alien figures out there with bonuses forboth loose and MOC collectors. Nice deal!

RetroAlien-Normal02

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Unlike some other figures in the line, the Dog Alien feels pretty sturdy. I still wouldnt throw it down the stairs or anything, but it’s nice to see a toy without major durability issues.

RetroAlien-Predator

WHERE TO BUY:

Toys R Us still has them in a lot of places I’ve checked.

RetroAlien-Normal04

OVERALL: ****

Damn, this is good. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, this is good. Do you hear me? This is GOOD! This figure is easily one of the best I’ve seen in a long, long time. Best of year? Dunno, but it’s u there as one of my favorite to review. it’s just so visually-striking, and the base toy is already fantastic. I can’t get over how smart NECA was to make the decicions they made.

RetroAlien-Normal03

Advertisements

One response to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Alien 3 – Classic Video Game Appearance (NECA Toys)

  1. I know I’m a year late, but this has been bugging me for a while: The reason the faux Nintendo Seal is on the box is because the box is, indeed, based on the NES version. In fact, the screenshot on the inside flap is taken directly from the NES Alien 3 game; compare it to the screenshot you posted and you can see a clear difference in bits!

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