In the wake of Star Wars in the late-70’s, movie studios were scrambling left and right to find more science fiction properties to lob at audiences and more importantly, to merchandise. Disney jumped on this bandwagon with their critically underrated offering, The Black Hole and even the Bond franchise entered into space, launching 007 into orbit with a last-minute change from For Your Eyes Only to Moonraker.
Arguably the second-best film to come out of the sci-fi craze was Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Alien. The film, about a ragtag group of blue-collar miners that stumble upon and investigate a beacon while en route to Earth only to bring a lethal extra-terrestrial organism onboard that picks them off one by one, was a critical success for studio 20th Century Fox. However, that movie was rated R for healthy doses of gore (now very timid) and adult language. Marketing toys based on such a property was something of a taboo, however that didn’t stop Kenner, hot off their action figure bonanza with Star Wars, from releasing at least one toy; a doll-sized version of the movie’s titular alien, nicknamed “the big chap” in collector’s circles.
Cut to 2013 – Funko, manufacturers of the popular bobble-head figures POP! Vinyl, released a small batch of Alien figures in the style of the Kenner products of the time and even featuring matching retro-style packaging!
I finally managed to get my mitts on one and boy howdy! Is he awesome!
Let’s free him from his plastic prison and take a look at him shall we?
Boy, he’s an ugly little cuss isn’t he? Look at that mug? 100% pure Xenomorph!
The line is 3.75” tall, but, I’d wager he’s a tad taller, maybe around the 4” mark.
He’s a big, heavy, chunky figure! I love it! I love it when things have some weight to them and this guy feels mighty durable. He has very limited articulation, though. A whole whopping five points: 2 at the hips for his legs, 2 at the shoulders for his arms and 1 at the neck for his head, which can swivel around 360’…
…okay, six-points if you also count his tail, which also swivels around 360’. This is one of the only bitchy nitpicks I have, is his tail being stuck in that curled-up fashion. It’d have been better if his tail was bendable, but, I suppose that would’ve increased his price point, which is another nitpick I had as these figures were $15-$20 each. I managed to find an E-Bay deal and they’re out there if you’re patient and look.
One cool feature they did manage to incorporate was his second-set of jaws. Just pop off his skull cap above and push the switch down…
…and voila! Also, the brain-spots on his head are said to glow-in-the-dark, which for me is a huge deal because I’m a sucker for EVERYTHING that glows-in-the-dark! Alas, the paint they had sucks because it doesn’t glow, even under a black light. Boo!
Now Kenner eventually did release Alien figures (along with that other R-rated property, Predator) in the mid-90’s, when taboo over toys-based-on-r-rated-films went away. How does this guy stand up to his “genuine” cousin?
Not bad, actually. He also stands a LOT better.
How does he look with other figures? Let’s compare him with someone from his intended-era, the commander from the Robotix line…
Hmmm. Now how about something more modern? Here he is next to G.I. Joe’s Destro, who gives zero-fuqs that there is a Xenomorph standing beside him.
Overall, Re-Action’s Alien action figure is a nifty little piece of plastic. It definitely has that retro Kenner-feel to it and it looks cool displayed. The limited articulation isn’t an issue in this case because it’s supposed to be limited as that was the norm of the period it’s replicating. The detailing is a bit more advanced but that’s okay. It loses points for having a minor gimmick that doesn’t work (the brain spots) and for having such a high price for such a simple thing.
*** out of 4. Definitely a must-have if you’re an Alien buff or have a little bit of disposable income and you want something out of the ordinary you want to display with any of your 3.75” figures.