I'm back! Don't ask, let's just say that the fumes from those Butt Heads incapacitated me for three months. But I've just picked up NECA's brand-new wave of Alien Vs. Predator toys, so let's take a look at them! Alien Vs. Predator (1994) was a fantastic arcade game, sort of like Final Fiaght if you had guns, there were enough enemies to fill the screen, and it was Alien Vs. Predator. You know, that sort of stuff. of course, since it wouldn't be a proper game if you only fought ordinary Aliens and a Queen at the end, they miced things up - the game had four playable characters (cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger, a new lady with a samurai sword, and two predators), and the rogues gallery included multiple variants on the ordinary Xenomorph, three distinct "boss" type aliens, lots of soldiers, a Power Loader, face huggers, chestbursters, zombie mutants, an insane Predator, and of course the Alien Queen. NECA has made figures for this game - all four characters, plus the evil Predator boss, and now three of the Alien variants! I picked up the three Aliens, who just debuted on Target shelves this week. Let's have a look!
The Chrysalis Alien was the first stage boss, though two of them appeared in the final battle to guard the Queen. It's a big, hulking Alien with distinctive armor plating and a very unique head underneath all of that. Fun fact: This was one of two designs that Capcom lifted from Konami's 1990 Aliens Arcade game, the other being the blue-skinned "Infectoid" Zombies. Interesting how that works.
The Chrysalis Alien presented sort of a challenge to NECA, in that they needed to still reuse parts when necessary. And they did, to a large extent, but a whole lot of this figure's sculpting is brand new - particularly the head, which has a completely unique construction. Obviously, it couldn't roll up into a ball, but NECA managed to include its other potential action feature...
Blink and you'd miss it, but one of the Chrysalis Alien's attacks is to extend its long neck for some added reach before snapping at you with its inner jaws! It's a pretty sturdy joint, and the head locks back up into place with no trouble.
And yes, it has an extendable inner jaw, to complete the effect. Even more reach!
It's fairly impressive how Capcom remembered to add a human skull to their Alien design.
I know that I always exhibit glee over these figures, but the Chrysalis Alien is a really fantastic piece. When NECA goes creative, they outdo themselves! The only negative I can think of is that it's the same size as other Aliens, whereas the Chrysalis in-game was much larger. That's fine, though, as it would have precluded them from any parts re-use, and likely driven the price way up.
Razor Claws was the boss of the second stage of the game. A mutant of unknown origin, it's a big, fierce, vicious monster. And when I was a kid, I wanted a Kenner toy of this guy. Well, here we are!
My kid-memory thought that Razor Claws had a wider head than this, but upon checking the game, NECA got it right. It's got a great smokey effect on the dome, too, which adds just a little bit of detail!
Just like the Chrysalis Alien, Razor Claws is the same size as any other Alien figure, despite the in-game character being pretty big. That's not bad, though, and he's still pretty game-accurate.
Look at those claws! They have some articulation, which is a pretty cool detail. Yes, Razor Claws basically had hands full of steak knives, and the figure manages ot include them without seeming too exaggerated.
He's friendly! He waves hi!
Although the design is a little more "traditional" than the Chrysalis, it's still a pretty solid figure of a memorable video game character.
The Arachnoid Alien was one of the common enemy types in the game, and the "strongest" of the regular Alien variants. It had a distinct head, and often started combat curled-up in a ball. Although you fight crowds of Arachnoids in the game, the first one you come across is sort of a "boss." The first bonus stage includes an Arachnoid at the end, and killing it ends the bonus level.
The head design is pretty creative, with "wings on the sides and a transparent dome in the back. It looks great, though, and ensures that this creature is just as distinct as the other two!
The figure pretty clearly uses the Alien 3 body, which helps give the Arachnoid a more slender build next to its two buddies.
And that slender build fits - although the figure isn't any smaller than Chrysalis or Razor Claws, the character in-game is, and giving it the skinnier Alien 3 body helps promote the illusion.
And of course, the longer limbs make it seem all spidery, as it should!
Well, there you have it! Three of the most creative, best-constructed designs in NECA's Alien line... or perhaps I'm just biased, because I've wanted toys of these dudes for twenty-four years! But seriously, they are good toys. If you are only going to get one, the Chrysalis Alien is far and away the best, but all three are extremely good designs. Maybe someday we'll get a Royal Guard Alien, or some of the other fodder enemies such as Smasher Aliens or Infectoid Zombies!