There are a number of iconic, centerpiece-worthy things in the Alien movies, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be the Alien Queen. Ever since her first appearance in James Cameron’s Aliens, the Queen has remained one of the most terrifying and awe-inspiring creatures in movie history. Part of it is her sheer size, part of it is the exceptional design work by Stan Winston Studios, and a lot of it is based on the fact that this monster was practical. The full-size Queen was a real, tangible things that exists in the real world… knowing that fact always lends an extra visceral rush each time I watch Aliens.
And now, NECA has finally released their toy version of the mighty Queen, and she is every bit as incredible as we all hoped. This figure is massive, clocking in at over 12″ tall and almost two feet long from head to tail. Every facet of this beast is painstakingly rendered in plastic, from her crown-like crest to her spindly arms and legs to her menacing, android-vivisecting tail. Sculptors Kyle Windrix and Chris Gawrych have done lots of stellar work in the past, but the Queen might just be the crowning achievement for both of them.
The Queen features a lot of articulation, offering an impressive range of motion for the massive figure– she’s got ball shoulders and hips, double jointed elbows, hinged swivel wrists, three half-ball joints in her hock legs, hinged toes, double hinged front arms, a bendable tail, ball joint ab crunch and remarkable head articulation, including a ball neck, sliding crest, hinged jaw and a separate ball joint for the face, allowing it to move freely underneath the massive armored crest. This articulation is smart and well designed, leaving the figure’s poseability very intuitive and with a great range, especially in light of her huge size and unique proportions.
Because of the Queen’s size and accurately skinny legs, the figure also includes a clear plastic and metal stand, with a clip that attaches at the neck and supporting the heft of the figure when posed leaning forward. This is a very nice feature, which goes a long way in keeping the Queen standing securely, with minimal compromise of the figure’s overall display-ability.
As awesome as this figure is in terms of sheer size and mass, it’s the small details that really bring her to life. The paint work is stunning, with a litany of brown, blue and copper washes and details peppered throughout in a wide range of gloss finishes, leaving the figure with the perfect insect-like texture. The smallest nuances– the creepy translucent teeth and strange spider-web anatomy of the hands and fingers– leave this not only the most screen accurate Queen toy ever made, but also the most intricate and gorgeously detailed.
It all comes back to the sculpt, and everything about this figure proves to me that the Queen was a true passion project for the entire NECA team. Despite her terrifying visage and truly otherworldly appearance, there is a perverse beauty to the Queen’s design, a majesty and mystery and sexuality that runs throughout the best of the Aliens universe designs. This figure captures those elements of the monster, as well, and every facet of this figure pays tribute to the brilliant original design.
The Alien Queen is commanding a price tag around $100, which may seem high. But once you witness this figure up close– the massive size, the detail, the intricacy and the majesty– it’s instantly obvious she is worth every penny. I have loved NECA’s Aliens toy line from day one, and I’m very glad that the Queen figure wound up just as great as I had hoped. She truly earns her place as the centerpiece of this impressive toy collection, and she is one of the best action figures I have seen in years.