Aliens has always been a delightfully bonkers film property to recreate in toy form. The first try was a quickly-recalled deluxe figure and a canceled line of 3.75″ figures back in 1979, followed by the less movie accurate and far sillier Aliens series released by Kenner in the early 1990s. Since then, NECA has released an impressive wave of highly detailed, movie accurate toys, while Super7 broke on the scene with a wave of Alien toys based on the canceled 1979 figures (launching the ReAction brand in the process), and Mega Construx has trickled a few Xenomorphs into their Mega Heroes mini figure line.
But now, the terrifying cinematic creatures are returning to mass retail, as the subject of the latest Walmart exclusive line of toys from Lanard, makers of the quite fun and highly affordable Kong: Skull Island, Rampage, and Jumanji 2 toy lines.
Like past Lanard lines, the Alien Collection features a few different tiers– the basic packs include one Alien, one human, and some sort of accessory, each of the three being vaguely based on one of the first three Alien movies. These $10 sets include: a yellow Big Chap Xenomorph with a research scientist (a recast of an old Corps astronaut, now cast in colors similar to Dallas’ pressure suit) and a Facehugger with egg; a blue Xeno warrior with a Colonial Marine and Sentry Gun; and a red Dog Alien with Weyland Yutani Trooper with a really fun Weyland Yutani-branded mini bike. There’s also two $15 vehicle sets, a Power Loader with Marine and green Xeno, and APC with a Marine. And the crowning jewel of the Collection is a 12″ Alien Queen, featuring 20 points of articulation and a cool jaw snapping action feature that extends her inner jaws.
The Alien figures are remarkably well done, considering the low cost of these sets. They sport detailed sculpts and a fair amount of articulation to strike different poses, at least enough to differentiate between the similar sculpts. I appreciate smaller details, like the different proportions of the Dog Alien, and the smooth dome of the Big Chap.
As for the humans, they’re the weakest link of these toys. There’s not even much internal consistency between them– the Weyland Yutani henchman and scientist are markedly taller and more articulated than the 5 point of articulation Marines, which are equally dwarfed by the roughly 4.5″ tall Aliens. What I can say is, the Marines’ guns look pretty cool, and I appreciate that they at least feature a uniform color scheme of olive drab, tan and black uniforms.
On their own, these sets are a lot of fun, despite the drawbacks of the human figures. However, what really makes Lanard’s Aline toys special is how well they integrate with the 90s Kenner toys. The Xenomorphs fit quite nicely in scale with Kenner’s wild Alien creatures, and even the silly primary color decos match the bright, wild designs Kenner released 25 years earlier.
Meshing the Lanard and Kenner toy lines also means the great new accessories can be used with the vintage Kenner toys, so the Space Marines now get an in scale Sentry Gun and Alien Egg to interact with, and an APC that– while a bit small for the 4″ figures– still looks really good in a display. And while Kenner made their own Alien Queen figures back in the day, Lanard’s figure is not only more screen accurate, she actually scales much better alongside Kenner’s human and Alien action figures.
Whether intended or not, Lanard’s new Alien toys are the perfect compliment to Kenner’s much beloved vintage toy line. Even on their own, they’re a lot of fun, a set of highly playable toys with some great new sculpts, more articulation than we’ve seen to date from Lanard, cool accessories that add to the play value, and– of course– those great, low price tags. These figures are a blast regardless, but when you consider the entire Collection will only set you back about $80 at full price, Lanard’s Alien Collection quickly becomes one of the cooler new toy lines to hit Walmart shelves in a while.
And the best part? Apparently Lanard is hanging onto this property, so if these first toys sell well, we might see even more budget priced, fun Aliens toys in the future! Look for Lanard’s Alien Collection at Walmart stores everywhere.