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Review: NECA’s Alien Covenant Collection

The Alien Covenant toy line from NECA is a real creature feature, complete with wonderfully sculpted monsters based on the movie.

Alien Covenant didn’t send many huge shockwaves through the Aliens mythology, nor introduce many memorable new characters to the universe… but it certainly did have some cool creatures.  In addition to new versions of the Xenomorph, Facehugger, Chestburster, and eggs, we were also introduced to the Neomorph.  NECA’s Covenant toy line covers all these bases with a pair of 7″ scale action figures and a Creature Pack delivering a variety of smaller in-scale horrors.

Across the board, the sculpts on these figures is great. NECA’s sculpts are based on the original, practical Xenomorph and Neomorph suits, which are markedly different from the final CGI creature creatures on screen, though I think i prefer these toy designs to the cinematic ones overall.  That’s definitely the case for the Xeno, who is packed with sinewy texture.  While past Xenomorphs have featured an insect-like exoskeleton, this creature’s surface almost feels more like a warped, skinless musculature. Everything about this version of the beast is exaggerated; its limbs are longer and skinnier, its back spikes, head, and inner jaw stretched out.  And NECA’s sculpt captures all of it perfectly, while simultaneously allowing a great range of motion in its copious articulation.

 

The Neomorph is the bigger departure from screen to toy, especially its head.  But the overall concept is still here– a smaller, even more wiry, white-skinned creature that truly feels like an evolutionary stepping stone on the path to the Xenomorph.  The figure looks great, from the taught skin wrapped around its jagged skeleton, and the more unkempt spines that adorn its back.  I love that NECA included two alternate heads– one with the mouth closed, the other open and bearing its teeth– and like the Xenomorph, this figure’s articulation is top notch.  The thin legs and angle of its hock jointed feet make the Neomorph slightly more difficult to stand upright, but it is possible… whether the great thorax joint is bent forward or backward.

So we’ve got two full size creatures… but NECA didn’t stop there.  The Creature Pack rounds out Covenant’s beastiary, with a pair of the new style eggs with Facehuggers, the juvenile Neomorph, and a Chestburster.  Most of these are great to look at… the eggs are perfect, and follow the same model as NECA’s other eggs, featuring one closed sculpt and one open which can fit a Facehugger inside.  The new Huggers are slightly larger, and the intricate detail shows how far NECA’s design team has advanced, even in the few short years since their Aliens collection began.

 

Between the full size Neomorph, the Spineburster version packed with it, and this young Neomorph, each phase of its life cycle is represented in toy form.  Both younger versions feature at least some articulation, but lack the semi-translucent off white plastic with optic white paint apps that give the Neomorph its unique appearance.  Instead, they are solid white, with bright red blood stains adorning them.  The blood makes sense once you’ve seen the movie, but it seems bit too bright and too uniform to me.  The small legs on both– especially the Spineburster– also make standing difficult for each figure.

Our last creature is another mini, and my least favorite by far.  The Chestburster in Covenant was, for some reason, just a tiny Xenomorph, instead of the worm-like creature we’ve seen in the past.  I can’t quite explain why, by the notion of this new Chestburster, with its doll-like proportions, came across as more silly than scary, and its on screen appearance pulled me right out of the film with its absurdity.  NECA does a nice job with the dumb design, packing a ton of detail in a mini figure… but it’s just so goofy, I can’t really take it seriously.

Before Covenant came out, I was a little bummed to see NECA focus exclusively on creatures as opposed to humans. Having seen the movie, I think the strategy mostly makes sense… though I’d love to see them tackle an updated David, and possibly Walter.  But as it stands, having this assortment of bio-engineered terrors in toy form feels like it pays fair tribute to a solid– if not quite earth shattering– chapter of the Aliens saga.

Look for the Alien Covenant collection now at Toys R Us, your favorite specialty retailer, or via NECA’s eBay Store.

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