Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Alien (Revoltech)

Alien

Alien week continues!  What, I never said it was a formal week?  Hah, sucks to your asthma!  That joke is nonsensical without context.  It’s part of an old book.

Alien

Alien is one of the greatest movies of all time, and branded merchandise is somewhat of a trap that I fall into.  You know, like everything else I obsessivedly hoard.  ANYWAY… this figure is fairly unique among the Xenos that have been reviewed here, in that it was produced in Japan, not the United States.  So, amidst all the NECA, McFarlane, Kenner, and Super 7 figures, what makes the Revoltech one special?

Alien

Revoltech is a special brand produced by Kaiyodo of hyper-articulated hyper-detailed figures that utilize a special proprietary ball-and-socker joint.  Revoltech joints are durable, swappable, and very flexible – though sometimg too visible on figures.  Most Revoltech toys are anime-based, and I own quite a few from Fist of the North Star.  But they have other sub-lines, including the Sci-Fi one, which is where this Alien comes from.

Alien

Another note – it’s “Revoltech” as in “Revolver,” not “Revolting.”  It’s an easy mistake to make!  But hey, let’s look at the figure!

Alien-Packaged

PACKAGING: ****

Revoltech packaging follows the high-end Japanese collectible pattern of a padded window box bereft of twist-ties.  Suprrisingly, the toy inside is perfectly safe, and that’s just excellent.  The box has a pleasing color palette, and also shows off some of the poses you can put this figure in.

Alien-Stand

SCULPT: ****

The Revoltech line is one of those high-end Japanese lines, so there is an emphasis on sculpting.  But the thing is, they have a bigger emphasis on articulation – so which wins out?  (spoiler: both).  There seems to be an informal contest among toymakers as to who can make the most screen-accurate Alien, and this one is definitely in the running.  Despite its small scale, it’s just as detailed as any NECA figure, and looks about ten times better in hand than in photos.  Its details get a tiny bit soft underneath the removable dome, but that is quite forgivable.  Just beware the articulation, which can be quite visible at times whent he joints become lose – but you can push them back in fairly easily.

Alien

That said, there is an issue with scale – the Alien is somewhere in the 5″ to 6″ range, and honestly out of scale with pretty much everything, including other Revoltechs.  It’s too sall for its compatriots, too big for a GI Joe, and way too small for any other Aliens out there.  If you buy this, it will hang out with the other Revoltech aliens.

Alien

PAINT: ****

Black brown.  Brown black.  The Alien has a seemingly-simple paint job, but it’s actually subtle and complex.  Various near-identical shades combine underneath a glossy finish to produce a film-perfect Alien.  Its dome is smokey and its skull is pale, and contains some subtle brushed-on detail, but overall is smoother than most versions of this creature.  But for your money, it’s probably the best-painted Alien out there.

Alien

ARTICULATION: ****

The Alien has fifteen Revoltech ball joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, torso, two on the neck), a hinged jaw, bendy tail, and adjustable inner mouth.  That’s a pretty good range, but it’s the special Revoltech joints that deserve mention.  You see, this guy has an insane range of motion – as good as NECA figures are, this Alien can pretty much take any pose from the Lotus position on up – it’s a thing about Revoltech in particular, and one of the brand’s big selling points.

Alien

This is what makes a Revoltech figure.  Special ratcheted ball-and-socket joints.  They are all removable and swappable, though some have larger pegs than others across various figures.  The ratchet isn’t super-tight, but it’s enough for a figure to hold a pose.  Although this sometimes results in highly visible joints (especially among human figures), the Alien hides them fairly well.

Alien

That said, here’s a primer on Revoltech maintenance.  If they begin to pop out, and look too visible, push them back in.  if a joint feels loose, pop the whole thing out and fiddle with it, squeezing it until it feels tighte.  Occasionally, swap the Revoltech joints around anyway.   The Alien’s head has a tendency to fall off, but is easy to replace – just keep the peg centered when you push it back in.

Alien

ACCESSORIES: ***

Aside from a base to stand on and a little nameplate, the only thing the Alien comes with is its egg and Facehugger combo.  Before it looks like I’m just complaining, realize that most – nearly all – Revoltech figues come with a lot of goodies, usually including several extra pairs of hands.  The Alien does not have these, even though the hands would be useful – also, its base is just a black disk, whereas every other Revoltech comes with a flight stand.  It should be noted that this figure, unlike other Revoltechs, does not have a slot in its back for a flight stand’s peg.

Alien

The egg and the Facehugger go together, with the spider’s tail plugging securely into the egg.  Its coloration is quite good, and its paint has some subtle veins and other detials, though its colors seem a little “richer” than most Facehugger toys.  When put together, they capture it in the act of launching itself from an egg toward a potenial victim.

Alien

The egg itself is pretty sturdy, though permanently in this pose – the “splash”inside does not come off.  It’s interesting to see the subtle anime influence in the flying egg fluid, even though there is none in the rest of the figure.

Alien-Facehugger

The Facehugger works on its own – its tail may seem a little short, but itdoes function as its own entity.  It is made of stiff plastic that isn’t too brittle, but is certainly less sturdy than the flexible material these creatures are usually made from.  Don’t put too much tension on those legs.

Alien

Its pose is rather subtle, and if you set it down it appears to be caughtin mid-step.  This is a rather nice contrast from other Facehugger toys, and if you start combining them all, you’ll get a great amount of variety.  This one may differ a little in paint, but the sculpting is just as good as any hyper-detailed figure out there.

Alien

VALUE: **

As with all hyper-articulated cool-looking Japanese figures out there, expect to pay $50 minimum for it.  Have fun with that.

Alien

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Revoltech toys are thankfully durable, but be careful not to damage the head dome or bendy tail, and watch that Facehugger.

Alien

To repeat, the figure will come apart, but that’s okay.  Someimes Revoltec joints feel loose, but are easy to tighten just by popping them out and fiddling with them.  And hey, you can even swap parts!

Alien-reaction

WHERE TO BUY:

It’s an import, so if you don’t have a local anime store, it’s off to the internet with you!

Alien

OVERALL: ****

This is not my first Revoltech – I’ve got a bunch of Fist of the North Star figures, and a few other varied ones.  That said, this figure does stand out – it isn’t based on an anime, so they really put effort into getting the look right, and it shows!  It’s one of the best-looking Alien toys out there, poses surprisingly well, and despite some odd scale issues, it’s fantastic.  The only real issue is that it’s a very weird size, but we toy collectors live with that all the time.

Alien

 

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One response to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Alien (Revoltech)

  1. Pingback: Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Kirin (Kaiyodo Takeyashiki Jizai Okimono) | Nerditis·

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