Remember back in April, fans of the Alien franchise were treated to “Alien Day”? There were some cool goodies from a variety of sources to celebrate the occasion. One of the companies taking part was NECA, who unveiled some cool new figures, as well as a couple of exclusives. One of those exclusives was a figure of Ripley from Aliens repainted in the style of the old Kenner figure based on the films. Unfortunately for many, the figure was only available at Toys R Us in the US. Luckily however, I was able to get in on the goodness (albeit two months late, but what do you want from me?). Does this tribute to a classic toy line (and to Aliens) make it worth the effort to track down?
The figure comes housed in the same standard clamshell packaging as the rest of the line of Aliens figures. However, since this is meant to be a tribute to the original Kenner line of action figures, the artwork on the card’s front and back replicates the original look of the Kenner packaging, complete with a little cut-out “collector card” on the back. The back of the packaging also shows off other figures in the line.
If you have the original Series 5 figure of Ripley, you know what to expect from this figure. Standing approximately 7” tall, Ripley has some great details in her sculpt. Sigourney Weaver’s likeness is captured very well in the head sculpt, and the sculpting of the hair is amazing. The same attention to detail like the wrinkles in the clothing and ammo belts are also carried over, right down to the tracker that Ripley wears before giving it to Newt. As an extra detail, this version of Ripley comes with a little scarf to replicate the Kenner figure. Again, it’s nicely sculpted and drapes over the figure’s neck. For the paint, this is obviously the biggest difference between this figure and the Series 5 figure. Gone are the details such as dirt and sweat. Instead, the figure is painted with the same colours as the Kenner figure, right down to the yellow shoes. There’s a bit of a dark wash on the shirt and in the scarf to bring out some detail, however the rest of the figure is just painted flat on the clothes. Skin-wise, fingernails are painted, as well as a bit of a varying skintone on the back of the arms to break it up a bit. There are no paint smears to speak of, and while on a closer look, there are a few missed paint applications on the back of the figure and on the shoes, it really doesn’t detract from the look of the figure.
As with the other Aliens Ripley figure, this one sports the same articulation points. The head is on a balljoint and can move up and down, left and right, and side to side. The arms are on pin-and-socket joints, and despite their appearance, Ripley can’t do a full T-pose. The arms still do have a nice range of motion outward, and can move forward and back. The elbow joint allows you to rotate the arms, as well as bend them to 90°. The hands are also on balljoints, but do be careful, as they are smaller than regular figure’s hands. The figure’s upper torso can move and rotate, and the pin-and-socket joints at the hips allow the legs to move outward, as well as move forward and back and rotate. The legs bend roughly 90° at the knees, and can rotate at the knee as well. Finally, the feet are on balljoints, and can rotate as well and move side to side, and up and down. All of the joints are tight, so no wobbling will be happening. Do keep a hair dryer handy in case you need to loosen the joints up when you first get the figure.
Swapping out the original flamethrower, this version of Ripley comes with a Smartgun. Again, it’s nicely sculpted and painted with some great details, but it does present a bit of a problem. Due to the way Ripley’s hands are moulded, the Smartgun can only be gripped in Ripley’s left hand, with her right hand barely holding the handle on the top of the gun. It’s kind of awkward, but it can be fiddled with to get a nice pose. It’s still a bit of a bummer. The other accessory included is a reprint of issue no. 8 of the Dark Horse minicomics that were included with all of the Kenner figures. The cover art is great, while the comic artwork by David Johnson is what you’d expect from comics of the era. Yeah, the comic itself is really just a fluff piece, it’s still pretty cool that it was included with the figure.
If you’re a fan of NECA’s efforts in paying tribute to the old Kenner line of figures, this is another figure to snag. The great sculpt from Series 5 is carried over here, with some great paintwork that replicates the original Kenner figure flawlessly. The addition of the Smartgun is pretty cool, although because of the figure’s hands, it does take a bit of effort to find a pose that works. Still, this is a nice exclusive from Alien Day, and if you have the opportunity to grab the figure at a reasonable price, it’s a nice addition to your collection.
Big thanks to Northmen Collectibles for making this figure available.