One of the best parts of getting figures based on the colonial marines in Aliens is that I get to go back and watch the movie again as “research.” Believe it or not, it has been a little while since I watched the film, so I pulled out my old Alien Quadrilogy and fired up the Director’s Cut of the movie. NECA has had me trekking through all of these loosely linked movies in the past year. I’ve gotten to catch up on all the Predator movies, first three Aliens, and a few extra viewings of Prometheus for good measure.
The colonial marines from Aliens never really got a proper plastic treatment in the modern age. I’ll admit the Kenner line had the names and was a hell of a lot of fun when I was a kid, but it was far from movie accurate. McFarlane did two versions of Hicks that really didn’t look like Michael Biehn at all, but at the time it was a serviceable tribute. NECA is no stranger to the Alien franchise and have tackled various creatures from the film, but this is the first time that they have gone after the humans.
If you aren’t going to get Ripley, who would be the next logical human from Aliens to make? Paul Reiser’s Carter Burke obviously! No? Ok then how about the colonial marines from the film and more specifically the ones that don’t get jobbed right at the beginning: Hudson and Hicks. You could also ask for Lt. Gorman and Vasquez since they made it to the end (and actually outlasted Hudson; poor, poor Hudson), and Vasquez’s large shoulder mounted chain gun would be awesome to have with her. Similar to the Predator line, as soon as they introduced Dutch the requests started coming in for every other character in the team. I expect the same with this Aliens line because it is always fun to put together a team. For now I will just have Hudson and Hicks team up with four other versions of Dutch to snuff out Aliens.
First I want to talk about Bill Paxton aka Hudson because if we are being quite honest the man should be knighted. NECA took an interesting approach for the first release of his character (there is a variant with a rage face planned for August 2013 already) in having his facial expression be his “game over man” face. Bill Paxton must have a good sense of humor about himself to sign off on what is hardly a flattering facial expression. However I think it turned out great and really captures the character of Hudson. I’ve seen about a 50/50 split on people who like or hate the choice they made with the facial sculpt. I have to admit at first the expression was a bit jarring, but I’ve come to love it even more than Hicks’ more neutral look.
Hudson comes with a pulse rifle, removable back-flashlight, and motion tracker. The flashlight and motion tracker are exclusive to Hudson. While both of the marine’s armor is sculpted the same their paint is individualized. They made sure to add just about every little detail to the guys’ armor, so every little bullet hole and decal they had is there. Hudson also has a wrapped up arm from being sprayed with Alien blood.
Hicks is probably the best likeness done of Michael Biehn to date. I mentioned earlier the McFarlane version that just didn’t look anything like him. Then of course we have the NECA Terminator Kyle Reese who is decent, but it always felt a little off to me. The NECA Aliens Hicks is by far the best likeness we have seen of the actor, and despite being the best in a bracket of low standards they pretty much nailed the great Michael Biehn.
Hicks comes with a pulse rifle, shotgun, and holster for his shotgun. The holster can be strapped over Hicks’ shoulder, the gun fits nicely, and it snaps closed as needed. Both of the marines are able to hold all of their equipment on their person, and it is a good thing too because I judge every action figure against this standard. I did forget to mention this with Hudson that both figures have a removable arc welder attached to their left side.
These are probably some of NECA’s most articulated figures ever. With that comes the chance of breakage and loose joints. I have not had any breakage and have not even felt like these guys would break. However I do have some loose joints, and this is so especially in the ankles and hip balls. It is counteracted a bit because they have a good center of gravity, but I’ll throw it out there if anyone has experience in tightening up joints that works (I’ve heard the glue thing many times and it never really works for me) I’d love to hear it. At least I do have the option if their joints get too loose I can stick them in a crouching pose because they still look great that way.
I’ve seen a few people I’m friends with on Twitter say they don’t like the plastic used for these guys. It is a little bit soft, but I was under the impression they wanted it to have a little more give so that you could get them in more poses. The thing with small arms and hard plastic is that you are probably more prone to snapping the joints, and nobody wants that.
One thing I do find interesting is that they painted the flesh parts of the figures this time around instead of using that flesh plastic that the Rocky and Dutch figures were made from. I’m curious if it isn’t financially viable when working with a figure that has so little flesh exposed? Maybe one day I’ll ask NECA about that. That flesh plastic they used for Dutch is incredible and really helps add to the likeness.
These figures cost less than $20 and you can probably get the set for around $50 shipped if you can’t find them locally. I hate to sound like a broken record but NECA’s movie figures continue to be some of the best value for what you get out there today. You can always grab a set off of Amazon if you can’t find them in stores. If you are an Alien series fan I wouldn’t pass these up (unless you are waiting for the helmeted two-pack) because they came out fantastic.
NECA appears to have every intention of hashing out more of the Alien universe. According to past news they have another marine coming, Bishop, the Alien Queen, the original Xeno, and many other variants and multipacks planned. This Alien world is going to blossom in the upcoming year which is really exciting.