Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Prototype Xenomorph (NECA Alien)

 

protoalien-ready

 

My most tremendous apologies, friends.  This review should have been up two months ago.  What got in the way, you ask?  What delayed me?  Well, uh, I was slow in taking all the necessary photos, becase this figure just looked too good on display in my living room.

protoalien-belljar

The lace doily really helps the Sweet Old Grandma atmosphere.

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten your forgiveness… this figure is a repaint of the Xenomorph from the first Alien movie. This is a fairly significant recolor,as it’s soethign that has never been seen before in plastic – and, in fact, barely anywhere else, despite being an important part of Alien history.

protoalien-skull

The titular Alien went through several concept designs before the final suit was finished. hat’s well-known is that the human skull in its head was originally totally visible, only to be covered by a dome later on. What is somewhat less-known is that the dome was supposed to be completely translucent, and filled with writhing maggots. The suit at the time was bone-white and fairly translucent, and the effect would have made the Alien more skeletal and corpselike. But the effect was hard to actually produce, with maggots quickly dying under stage lighting and being unsanitary and all that. They decided to ditch the maggots, make the dome semi-opaque, and paint the suit black. All fantastic decisions, bu it’s also nice to get something representing the prototype.

protoalien-walk

Pieces of the old suit have been found, if you want to compare it, but essentially, this is identical. It’s a repaint because the original was a repaint – no maggots, but that’s just fine.

protoalien-green

As for the paint it’s not entirely white – bone isn’t pure white, after all. It has a very specific shade of weathered yellow, which not only matches the proto suit (which might be yellowed with age), but also makes it look aged and exposed to the elements – awhite toy left out in the sun for a while can turn this shade, though it’s intentional on the toy.

protoalien-cross

In actuality, what appears to be a single shadw of off-white is actully a few layers of paint and washed designed to mak it look realistic. Subtle paint is diffiult, and although NECA has alwaysbeen fantastic with it, their work on this figure really deserves attention.

protoalien-purple

Now that its paint is lighter and shaded, you can even appreciate the sculpt a little more – absolutely no detail is lost, which is just a fantastic thing. Alien toys tend to be good as a general rule, but NECA’s work is beyond exemplary.

protoalien

The articulation is the same as on the standard Alien, though some people have reported their figures as having loose, floppy limbs. Mine didn’t, and in fact its limbs feel stuck tighter than usual, but the plastic is slightly more rubbery than on other Alien figures. NECA’s factories seem to produce something slightly different with each new batch, and it shows.

protoalien-attack

Thi does lead to a prblem – y Proto-Xeno’s quality control isn’t up to NECA’s usual standards. Its inner jaw is stuck in its head, one shoulder joint fits poorly in the socket, and one leg warped just from its own weight as it stood on its feet. Despite how that sounds, these are minor issues, but they are therre. You can judge paint from a packaged sample, but not joint integrity.

protoalien-fetal

That said, the general stiffness of its limbs helps it keep the poses it takes, and makes it sturdy when standing – for example, in a bell jar in the living room.

protoalien-face

The skull is wonderfully creepy when it matches the Alien’s entire face, isn’t it? Just fantastic work there, NECA. It is amazing to see what a difference color maks – the black alien seems biomechanical, whereas this paint job makes it look dessicated and skeletal. This just illustrates how paint can make or break a toy.

protoalien-creep

So, what to say overall? This is really a great figure – visually extremely striking, a significant part of Alien history, and just a quality piece overall. It may notreplace the “standard” Alin, but it’s really an excellent compliment to the figure.

protoalien-profile

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