One of the best characters in the Aliens series is Bishop, the android companion to the Colonial Marines aboard the Sulaco in James Cameron’s 1986 sequel. That movie did a lot of stuff right– I still go back and forth over whether it’s actually my favorite entry in the series– but one of the coolest twists was the reveal that Bishop was actually one of the good guys.
In Alien, one of our (many) big shocks was that Ash, the Nostromo’s android, was not exactly on his crewmates’ side in their struggle to survive. This instilled a paranoia of Androids in Ellen Ripley, and Aliens does a great job of keeping you guessing when Bishop, too, will betray his allies. He doesn’t, making him unique as one of a very few benevolent droids we meet in the Aliens series, and cementing his place as a beloved character.
NECA’s third series of Aliens brings Bishop to toy form, and it’s the first time we’ve ever seen a movie accurate version of the character in plastic. He’s a bit basic, but very well done, and he adds another member to the slowly-growing team of Colonial Marines.
Bishop features an all new sculpt, and I like the subtle detail of this piece. His one-piece jumpsuit if filled with wrinkles and billows, folds and zippers, and this provides a lot of texture in spite of the monotone uniform. The headsculpt is good– it’s very clear this is Lance Henriksen– although the figure seems slightly older looking than the actor was at the time. This would be the perfect portrait for Frank Black, Henriksen’s character on the 1990s Fox show Millenium, but Bishop looked slightly greener than this sculpt suggests. That’s a minor complaint, especially in light of the fact that this slightly older portrait can be reused, should NECA ever opt to make Henriksen’s Weyland Yutani scientist from Alien 3. And in the meantime, Bishop is a very nice new addition to the collection.
Like the rest of the Aliens figures, Bishop is fully poseable, featuring a great range of motion in his neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, wrists, knees and ankles. He also includes an ab joint, cleverly hidden underneath the soft rubber overlay that makes up the torso of the jumpsuit. This works out perfectly, as we can enjoy a decent amount of movement from the joint, while it does nothing to affect the sculpt of the figure.
In terms of accessories, Bishop doesn’t use too many in the movie, but what he comes packed with here is pretty cool. He includes his flashlight, a very well done piece with clear plastic on the side of it’s tubing, as well as a knife and alternate hand to hold it. This is perfect for re-creating the scene early in the movie where he does his knife trick, employing his “volunteer” Hudson to assist him.
While Bishop may not be as showy as Kane’s Nostromo suit or as massive as the Dog Alien, he’s still a very nicely made figure based off a very important character in the Aliens mythos. I’m definitely happy to have him in the collection… here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more of the Sulaco crew get the toy treatment as this series continues!