Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NECA's Aliens Series 1....



aliens series 1

Let me just start today's toy review by saying that James Cameron's 1986 'Aliens' flick is one of my most favourite movie of ALL time.....period! I knew that someday we were gonna get 'quality' action figures from the movie. The McFarlane Hicks figure was such a disappointment that most of us wished that it should never had happened! Well, NECA has answered us. Unfortunately, NECA Aliens Series 1 proved to be such a hard set to come by here in Malaysia, especially if your local TRU isn't as good as those...say, in the States. Let's face it, the Malaysian TRUs do not have MOST of the stuff you'd find in other countries' TRUs. Anyway, back to the subject matter, again and again most of us here in the other side of the globe had to resort to the specialty toy stores (thank God!) for our NECA fix. I managed to get my set here at a nearby specialty toy store and amazingly I got them at slightly below retail price! It's currently going for about 20 bucks (equivalent) here in Malaysia but I got 'em for lower than 19 bucks each (plus/minus forex!).

So sit back, do yourself a favour by grabbing a cup of coffee or something cause this is gonna take some time and not to mention there's a whole lot of pictures for you to feast your eyes onto! Got your cup 'a Joe already? Good....let's begin!

Read more....
The packaging

I love the clamshell packaging by NECA. They're very durable and protects the action figures that they hold. Plus you'd get to see whatever's inside very clearly. One drawback is that you'd probably need more than your bare hands to rip the figures out. Not a problem for me. A few swish and slash here and there....they were out of their packagings before anybody could say 'MOC'!
 
There are 3 characters in Series 1 as most of you already know. Private Willliam Hudson & Corporal Dwayne Hicks representing the US Marines Corp and the Xenomorph Warrior representing the....err...hostile alien race.
 
I love the packaging art, especially the side art that depicted how the characters were viewed from Lt Gorman's screen in the APC transport vehicle. Love that 'bloody' camera shots for the Xenomorph!

Private William Hudson

Private William HudsonPrivate William Hudson


Private William Hudson

Private William Hudson































Xenomorph Warrior

Xenomorph WarriorXenomorph Warrior


Xenomorph Warrior













Xenomorph Warrior


















Corporal Dwayne Hicks

Corporal Dwayne HicksCorporal Dwayne Hicks


Corporal Dwayne Hicks

Corporal Dwayne Hicks
































Figures out of their clamshells!

Xenomorph Warrior

Frankly speaking, I wasn't too keen on getting another 'alien' for my collection as I was pretty happy with the ones I already have from McFarlane. I've read so many people raving about this new NECA Xenomorph Warrior for having great articulations and stuff so I got really curious. So when I had the chance (more like 'had to' really) to get all 3 at one go, I took the plunge!

Upon freeing the Xeno Warrior, I immediately realised that he is truly much more articulated than his McFarlane predecessors. Check out the pictures below and you can see just what I mean.

Xenomorph Warrior Alien

The Xeno Warrior comes fully articulated. You name it, he's got it. Even his tail is 'bendy' and can be posed in any way you like it. In fact, that piece of 'bone' at the back of his head is removable so that he could move his head more freely. The 'bone' detaches/re-attaches easily. Great!
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

I'm still on the fence on his paint scheme though. I dunno. I'm just not feeling it. Was he really orangish-black in Aliens? Seems kinda weird to me as I have always remembered them as being slimey and blueish-black in colour. This figure has the slimey appearance but he's orangey. Don't get me wrong, the paint scheme works and suits the figure, it's just that I'm not too sure whether it's screen-accurate, that's all.
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

Speaking of colours, the Xeno-dude (or dudette?) has great paint. He has the dark blue/black base color and orange dry brush coloured all over him. He's been sprayed with some sort of a sealant I supposed, just to give him that slimey look.
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

I've seen some fans posing him in his 'fetal' position. That shows how flexible this new Xeno Warrior figure is. I didn't attempt to pose mine in that position, it's been done and that's that...haha.
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

In my honest opinion, the figure stands well on its own, partially because he has his tail as counterweight. Posing him wasn't much of a challenge. He didn't topple at all during the photoshoot. Thank God.
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

One interesting feature of the Xeno Warrior is his ability to open his jaw to reveal (and shoot out!) his extendable 'tongue'. Unlike his predecessors, there's no special button that allows you to pop out the tongue for some 'tongue-lashing' action and stuff. You simply/manually pull his jaw open and slowly pull his 'extension' out if you wish to. Great display option by NECA. We salute you for including this feature!
 
Xenomorph Warrior Alien

Corporal Dwayne Hicks
 
This might sound weird but one of my fondest memories from the 80s apart from the glorious cartoon series of yesteryear was actually remembering how a certain Colonial Marines named Hicks sprayed his Pulse rifle onto an onslaught of marauding aliens. Ah, good times!
 
When McFarlane gave us that 'statue' of Hicks many years back, I had this tiny feeling back then that we wouldn't have the chance to see any of his team mates being made by McFarlane. That figure itself was such a disappointment that it immediately put me off from ever trying to locate one for myself. Our (my) prayers were answered many many years later when I first read that NECA was releasing Hicks and Hudson as the first set of Marines off their Aliens series of figures!

Corporal Dwayne Hicks

Upon first glance, one cannot help it but to notice and marvel just how uncanny the head sculpt is to Michael Biehn, the real life actor who portrayed Hicks in the '86 flick. Like I mentioned before in my review of the NECA Dutch (Predator) figures, it looks like Hot Toys has a rival in the head sculpting department and ironically it's not even within the 12-inch scale area! This is how I rememberd Hicks from watching the film over and over again when I was a kid and this is a GREAT effort by NECA!
 
Corporal Dwayne Hicks

Hicks' armour is perfectly re-created, complete with all the camo details and stuff. Gotta love that 'camo'ed' crotch pad! Heheh. Anyway, my only grouse here is that the armour should've been removable to re-create that 'acid-burning-through-my-armour' scene. But I quickly realised that it would not have been economically feasible for NECA to have done so.
 
Corporal Dwayne Hicks

The armour and camoflage details look eqully stunning from his back. Real quality QC work by NECA here. I think we're in for a treat this year. NECA hasn't really let us down yet thus far, so I'm really looking forward to their future releases from here on!
 
Corporal Dwayne Hicks

NECA has really outdone themselves when they even reproduce Hicks' crisp-lookin' arm tattoo. I'm guessing this is screen-accurate? Can somebody verify this?
 
Hicks' accessories

In the accessories department, Hicks come with his standard-issue M41-A Pulse rifle, hand welder, shotgun and shotgun holster. He is able to carry or sling his Pulse rifle and the shotgun holster (and inevitably his hotgun as well!) as they come with straps.....how cool is that?! The Pulse rifle was in my Top 10 'most wanted screen prop' back when I was a kid. Those who saw and love the Aliens movie can attest to my statement when I say that the Pulse rifle is by far one of the coolest 'good guys' weapon that has ever existed in sci-fi film history. Who can forget looking at the red LED-light bullet-counter run down whenever the Marines fired rounds at the oncoming Xenomorphs? Good times.
 
Corporal Dwayne Hicks

Hicks is able to hold his shotgun rather comfortably using both hands. I'm pretty happy on how I'm able to pose him 'convincingly' holding his shotgun. At least he can hold and aim it facing forward!
 
Corporal Dwayne Hicks

And when he's done with his shotgun, he can always stow it into his holster which he slings onto his back. Time to use the Pulse Rifle eh Dwayne? More pics of Hicks on the Pulse rifle in 'action' towards the end of this review.
 
Hicks' shotgun sheath

Private William Hudson
 
It took me years later to finally identify the scaredy-cat of a Marine that played the part of Hudson as Bill Paxton. I mean, what was the man famous for before the '86 Aliens movie? I honestly can't recall any (good) movies that he was in though I might have recalled him having a cameo/small role in the '84 Terminator movie with Arnie.

Private William Hudson

Obviously, them NECA sculptors re-created Hudson's facial expression very accurately here. The character is famous for his 'oh s*** we're f******' attitude and this was what the sculptors have managed to immortalise in this figure's head sculpt. Excellent work Randy Falk and team (that's the director of product development over at NECA)!
 
Private William Hudson

Hudson has the same detailing in the armour as Hicks except that he has a very 'personalised' message at on his armour. Nice touch by NECA. Again I'm not too sure whether this is a faithful representation of what appeared on-screen. Come on, did anybody really pay attention to the armour details and all other little things during the movie when all you cared about was the annihilation caused by the Aliens?
 
Private William Hudson

Hudson basically has the same number accessories as Hicks with the addition of two (2) extra equipments, the motion-tracker scanner and the shoulder camera/lamp. More on both pieces of accessories later on.
 
Hudson's accessories

Before we go into the next section of this review (possibly THE part of this review most of you have been waiting for) let me just end the reviews for both Marines figures by saying that both Hicks and Hudson are very well articulated and they definitely beat the s**t out of that crap of a Marines figure/statue McFarlane produced many years back. I'd also like to say that I would have loved for NECA to provide an alternative head with the Marines helmet (or if possible include a removable helmet) for the boys but I guess NECA has other plans (the 2-pack HELMETED Hicks/Hudson & Xeno Alien are coming out soon!)...specifically their plan 'to make collectors buy the SAME characters TWICE'.

 
Marines vs Xenomorphs!
 
The best part about becoming an adult action figure/toy collector is that you'd be able to disguise the fact that you're actually playing with your toys. Sure, some might take it further and embark into 'toy photography' (we 'adults' call it 'action figure photography' or '3D art' etc,,,LOL) but what you're really doing now (still) is whipping out your toys and having the same mind-blowing fun you had back when you were a kid! Right? Haha....good times never end. Whatever your motivations are, let's not forget to stick to this little passion of ours and enjoy it as it's meant to be. They're action figures fer goodness sake! And what do we do with 'action' figures? Why we give them some action of course!
 
Here are Hicks and Hudson, loaded with their accessories, ready to take on the Xenomorphs! For the record, I can't really understand why NECA didn't give Hicks a shoulder camera/lamp like they gave Hudson. I mean, Hudson already has his motion-tracker scanner so why wasn't Hicks given an extra accessory then?

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

The motion-tracker scanner thingy has a sticker in place of the actual LED screen as depicted in the film that shows the scanner doing what its supposed to do best, which is.....err...scanning.
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

"They're coming outta the g******* walls!"
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

You just gotta love NECA's attention to details. They gave both Marines their own welder. This contraption can be attached to their belts when not in use. Honestly I can just recall Hicks ever using it in the movie. Didn't think Hudson had a chance to use it.
 
welder accessory

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

I still have this excellent piece of Alien props from my McFarlane '79 alien figure. Ain't a better time to whip out the alien egg and face huggers prop to go with them NECA figures!
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

"Holy ****!"
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

"Get that thing outta my face man!!!"
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

"Game over man!!!!"
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Look out Hudson!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

Here's the Xenomorph Warrior with my 3 other McFarlane aliens. The 'shiny' head alien is the 'original 1st movie' alien which NECA is also producing in Series 2. Whatever it is, both the NECA and McFarlane aliens look good together and they look menacing enough for our heroes to battle with! Truthfully, the McFarlane aliens, though lacking in the articulation department compared to the NECA version, still reign supreme in one area.....they're able to move their heads up and backwards, this is something that the new Xeno NECA figure is unable to do.
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

THE REBEL'S VERDICT: As a hardcore fan of the Alien franchise, I can't recommend you these action figures enough! These are THE action figures we have been waiting for since the first Alien movie came out in '79! It's a bit unfortunate that Sigourney Weaver and some of the actors/actresses have yet to give their approval to use their likeness for the Ellen Ripley and the rest of the marines' figures. The good news is that we'd probably see Bishop in the 3rd Series! So here's hoping that more characters would come in future series. Give me Ripley, Bishop, Vasquez, Drake and probably some of the Nostromo crew (Ash is a MUST!!!) from the '79 flick and I'd be a happy camper! For now, Series 1 is the perfect start to whatever we're getting from the Alien franchise! GET these excellent NECA action figures now for your collection. They deserve a spot on your display shelves!
 
Hicks & Hudson vs xenomorph aliens

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5 Comments:

Little Plastic Man said...

Nice!

The Combollector said...

I love those back drops, it's pretty movie accurate. I really have to get those two marines to add into my Alien/Predator "scenario."

The Rebel said...

Adrian >>> Thks bro!

Combollector >>> Wow, thanks for your kind words bro. That was what I was aiming for...it's kinda like a poor man's version of the recent NECA Aliens backdrop....LOL.

desmond said...

good review!!

The Rebel said...

Thanks Des! Really looked forward to these figures!