The current NECA Aliens cast consists of Ripley, Bishop, Newt, Hicks, Hudson, Frost, Vasquez, and that’s not even mentioning the various variants, creatures, and vehicles. That’s quite an impressive list of names they’ve made happen from a movie where they’re required to track down each individual actor to obtain their likeness rights. Private Jenette Vasquez, played by actress Jenette Goldstein, headlines the ninth NECA Aliens series with her opening acts of Frost and an Albino Concept Xenomorph.
I haven’t kept up with NECA’s twitter nearly as much as I have in the past, but I’m going to guess Drake is currently one of those characters that they can’t get the likeness rights for. While it would be great to get both of the smartgun operators, if I had to choose one it would be Vasquez. She’s a huge bad ass in the movie who dies an emotional death (spoilers, sorry!), while Drake is just kind of a wiener who gets punked by Alien blood. Yes, Drake is a “wiener” because I’m eight years old. I used to get Jake Busey’s character in Starship Troopers confused with Drake.
In Drake’s absense I could team her up with Kenner Ripley, who shares the same gun with a few less attachments.
Vasquez comes packed with her smartgun, all of the little parts attached to it, a backpack, and a firing effect. It looks as though her gun lost the “Adios” decal that was featured in the movie as well as the prototype. I appreciate that NECA has taken the time online to explain how her gun goes together, but a set of instructions or something would have been a nice packaging insert! My initial instinct was to wrap the entire thing around her waist, which I later found out is wrong. I think I have it correct now, and even if I don’t it still looks good enough to me.
Being the only female marine, she gets an entirely new sculpt all to herself! Unlike her wave-mate Frost, who is a very heavy reuse of the second Alien wave’s Sgt Windrix figure. Looking back now I can’t believe Windrix was seven waves ago! That’s complete madness. Toy lines that aren’t Star Wars or superheroes aren’t supposed to go on that long! But here we are looking over the sculpt of Private Vasquez, one of those characters that seemed like a long shot at happening a few years back.
As I was saying, Vasquez is an all new and quite lovely sculpt. For a seven-inch figure the likeness is about as good as it gets. It certainly helps that they used the flesh toned plastic for her arms and head, which isn’t always used on the Aliens line. However, I think the figures that utilize it turn out much better. There are a few other “quality of life” upgrades to the body that I appreciate. First, they did away with the toe joint on the boots. I’ve never liked that joint and was happy when Hasbro ditched it in the Marvel Legends line as well. In theory they seem like a great idea, but the reality is that they are almost always a hindrance to getting the figure to stand. Especially over time as the joints weaken and loosen up.
The other upgrade I really like is that they gave her a larger range of movement in her elbows. A typical NECA bare female arm can usually hit about a 90 degree angle. It appears they cut into the bicep a little more, so Vasquez can just about get her arm into a “V” shape. This certainly helps with maneuvering her arms into the correct positions to hold her smartgun.
Overall I’m extremely impressed with how Private Jenette Vasquez turned out! I didn’t watch Aliens as a child (I was too scared, the thought of aliens in general terrified me … probably because I was abducted or something), but Vasquez and Drake firing off their smartguns in either the trailer or toy commercials always stuck with me as THE Aliens scene. She was a kick-ass character and I’m sorry she died, but I’m glad she’s finally joined the NECA Colonial Marine collective. Besides the smartgun parts thoroughly confusing me, this is a pretty great addition to the Alien action figure collection.