The latest Aliens two-pack in NECA’s ongoing collection brings us another Colonial Marine versus another battle damaged Alien Warrior, but Hudson and this Xenomorph are a clear step up from the last set. What we get here remains basically the same– the Marine is a variant of the single-release figure, with a new head and helmet, while the Alien sports some new gun shot wounds to represent battle damage.
While the new Bill Paxton portrait follows suit with Hicks’ shouting expression, his likeness is much strong than the one in the previous set. Not only does this face read clearly as the actor, the expression works perfectly for the volatile character… he looks great! Never one to cheap out on design, NECA eschewed the smooth Hicks helmet for an all new sculpt, designed to look like Hudson’s cloth-covered headgear. I love the little details like that, especially the tic tac toe pattern scrawled on top of the helmet.
Hudson includes the same gear as previous Marines– his pulse rifle, a tracker, a welding torch and a shoulder lamp. They remain great pieces, but having collected this line from the start, I’d have loved to see a little more variety in the weapons… another flame thrower or a grenade would have been a nice surprise over the tracker, but what we get is still cool and plentiful.
I also like this new Alien a lot. While the damaged sculpt this time isn’t as dramatic as the exploding head of Hick’s target, I feel the new creature lends itself to army building much better. This Xeno, like the Series One figure, has a brown-tinted paint job, and the two explosions of acidic blood are much more subtle in color, keeping with the lighting seen in the movie.
Aside from those gunshot wounds, this is the same great Alien Warrior sculpt we have seen before, and it retains all the articulation of the others. This is the sixth figure to share basically the same sculpt in this series, but it’s such a well done piece I really don’t mind at all.
My only real complaint is the glued-on helmet– I don’t see a reason why NECA didn’t design the headgear to be removable, which would make for an easy way to further customize your Marines, or army build your own squad. The helmet isn’t tough to remove– just heat the figure’s head in hot water or under a lamp for a few minutes and it can come right off– but this seems like an unnecessary step to have to take when it could have just as easily been a separate piece from the start.
I think the two-packs are a great way to get a little extra mileage out of the characters in this universe, and the new Hudson variant is a great addition. I can never get enough Alien figures for my drone army, and the new blast effects help set this figure apart visually from its fellow Warriors. And between this “Hudson goes crazy” portrait and the previous “Hudson freaks out” face, we now have the two most iconic looks of the character in this collection.
It looks like this will be our last Colonial Marine for a little while, but I’m sure NECA will revisit this corner of the Aliens universe eventually. In the meantime, what we have here are a few great new figures to add some variety to your collection, and expand the Alien and Marine forces on your shelf.