While delayed about a year, the Alien 40th Anniversary celebration is now officially underway from NECA. In Alien, the crew of the USCSS Nostromo investigate, what they believe to be a distress beacon on an uninhabited moon. When Kane, one of their crew, is brought back unconscious with an alien parasite attached to his face, the crew unknowingly invites a hostile life-form onto their ship. Shortly after Kane awakens, a small creature bursts from his chest, and begins to grow rapidly. The surviving crew is left to battle the ferocious alien creature. The creature takes out the crew in a series of violent attacks, leaving Ellen Ripley as the last serving crew-member of the ship, narrowly escaping and forever left to battle the creatures.
For the line up, NECA is mixing all-new new figures in with updated re-releases of a few others. In total, there are three series of figure. Series 1, which we are taking a look at today, is exclusive to Target stores. This assortment includes Ellen Ripley, Arthur Dallas, and a Prototype suit Big chap Alien. Series 2 will be a more widely available release, as those will be available via online shops and “Mom & Pop” retail stores in July. The second assortment includes all-new figures of Samuel Brett and Dennis Parker, along with a blood covered Big Chape Alien. Finally, Series 3 will be coming to Walmart stores soon after that. The final assortment includes an all-new Ash, a Gilbert Kane with the actors likeness, and a Big Chap Alien.
Our friends at NECA have sent over the Alien Series 1 Figures to review. After the jump, you can read my thoughts on the figures, and check out my photo gallery. Look for this assortment to hit stores before the end of the month.
Alien 40th Anniversary Series 1 by NECA
- Fantastic retro style packaging
- Prototype Suit Big Chap uses the updated Ultimate body
- New paint apps on Dallas really improve the figure
- Ripley’s new accessories are great
- New Jonesy the cat can fit into the pet carrier
- Lots of subtle changes and upgrades throughout
- I personally prefer Ripley’s original head sculpt
- The space suits could use updated articulation
The new Alien 40th Anniversary assortments feature great retro style packaging, which pays homage to Kenner’s original packaging for their never released Alien figures. The style was used on other official Alien products of the 80’s, and we’ve seen this style used on other throwback releases by multiple companies. The window boxes are collector friendly, and the figure can easily be placed back in for display or storage. On the back, you get a full check list of the figures coming to the line up. Ripley includes Jonesy the cat, a flamethrower, a motion detector, and a pet carrier. Dallas includes a pistol and a light. The Concept Big chap has no additional accessories.
At first glance, these seem like simple repacks of previously released figures. But closer inspection reveals some small, and even some significant changes. For the most part, the changes on both Ripley and Dallas are cosmetic (save for Ripley’s new portrait). Articulation and range of motion remains the same on those two.
Ripley has the most immediately noticeable changes of the three. She includes a completely new head sculpt, with updated digital printing for the facial detailing. Other changes include different coloring on her undershirts, a different skin tone, and pure white shoes, as opposed to the gray of the original releases. The digital printing on the new head sculpt looks really good in-hand. However, I’m not the biggest fan of open mouth expressions on figures this size and I tend to prefer the original portrait sculpt. I’d love to see that sculpt updated with digital face printing. Ripley’s new accessories are excellent additions, and worth picking up just for those. The new Motion Detector is spot on. But it’s the new Jonesy and pet carrier that most fans will want from this set. Jonesy fits perfectly inside, and the carrier opens from the top, but the entire lid is removable to make it easy to get Jonesy in and out. This version of Jonesy is in a sitting position, and has a poseable tail and ball jointed neck.
The Dallas figure doesn’t undergo quite as many changes as Ripley. The figure itself is pretty much the same. However, there were a number of paint changes. The biggest difference is in the face, which is using digital printing for more refined facial details. The face looks much more natural now and makes a good case for replacing the first release with this. The painted sculpted decals on the suit have more detail painted in, and his name tag is completely different now. there are other color changes here and there, such as the white areas of the suit. those have been changed to a more tan color. Nothing earth shattering, but different enough to be noticeable. I do wish they had updated the articulation here a bit, mainly in the elbows.
Another big change is with the Concept Prototype Big Chap Alien. This release is quite different. The biggest change is that the figure utilizes the new body from the Ultimate Big Chap Alien figure. Compared to the first release of the Concept Xenomorph, you get updated articulation, and some updated sculpting throughout (including the face sculpt). The figure is also using a more translucent plastic, making it much closer to the initial concept of the pale Xenomorph, which was intended to be translucent and ghostly looking. The figure is also subtly more yellow in color, and silver paint has been added on the nails and teeth.
The Series 1 figures are a solid kick-start to the Alien 40th Anniversary celebration. Each figure is an update over the original. Whether those changes are enough to upgrade your collection is going to be up to collectors. However, the packaging makes for a great sealed display, and when all nine figures are together, that’s going to be a fun looking display.
Series 1 hits Target stores by the end of June. Check out a selection of photos below, and the full gallery after that.
Backgrounds featured in some of the pics are from Extreme Sets – use code TOYARK at checkout for 15% off your order!