In the past year I’ve taken a bit of a Xenomorph sabbatical while focusing on the human characters in NECA’s Aliens action figure line. The fast was finally broken when the Kenner-themed Aliens flooded the market a week or two back. I have a lot of fond memories of the Kenner line! I was a little guy when they came out. However, somehow I convinced my mother that I needed to have the toys from a rated ‘R’ movie I hadn’t seen, and she was never going to let me see. Commercials really do work on kids!
Now the Mantis Alien was not a figure I owned as a kid from the original line. In fact I don’t think I had the Queen Facehugger either, only the Gorilla Alien from this wave. The Gorilla and Bull Alien were my two favorites growing up. I was really hoping to do the Gorilla in tonight’s review, but unfortunately that isn’t in the cards as I haven’t been able to track one down yet.
I’m a little surprised that I didn’t own a Mantis Alien when I was young. The design seems right up my alley. Then again I wasn’t the type to dictate what toys I got. If mom came home with a toy for me, I was usually happy. I think she tended to focus on the human characters, and never got me any of the Predator figures.
The Predator line certainly has an advantage over Aliens in the making of a Kenner tribute figure. No matter what the crazy armor a Predator is wearing, in general they will still use the same base body. Aliens don’t have the luxury of external armor so most, if not all, of the Mantis’ parts are new. However, Mantis does share a few parts with the Gorilla Alien such as the upper and lower legs.
Overall I am pretty impressed with the Mantis Alien’s presentation. It is cast in green translucent plastic with silver and black paint highlights. Every segment of its arms are bridged with ball-jointed swivels, so you can get a lot of different poses out of them. It also has very large feet which help a ton in getting him to stand. Standing is definitely not one of Mantis’ stronger traits, however. While he’s much better about it than the Gorilla, he still has some really loose joints in the expanse of his legs. It’s easy to cheat this a bit by having him crouched down enough that his tail or claws help stabilize him. I’m able to get him to stand more upright, but found that he eventually starts buckling back down and falls. I just ordered some Future Floor Polish to tighten up the joints, so we’ll see how that goes.
Mantis is not without accessories. He includes a reprint of the Dark Horse comic that the original came with, and a chest burster with the green and black color scheme. It’s the same one that has been packed with eggs and accessory packs prior, I believe.
I really do like Mantis. The color scheme is great, the newly sculpted parts are refreshing, its tall as hell, and I’m a sucker for his gigantic feet. NECA had to capture the essence of the squat Kenner Aliens toys, and merge that with the ‘real life‘ aesthetic of the movie Aliens. They did a pretty good job with it too. The reference is obvious when you look at the figure, and it still fits in with the rest of the line well. Plus it adds some more color to the Xenomorph collection!
The Mantis Alien is currently available on Amazon.
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