Alien 3 Ripley has arrived in NECA’s latest wave of Aliens action figures.
Oh, Alien 3. You might be the most unfairly judged film in the Aliens canon. The movies that came before you were both fantastic. Pretty much everything since your release in 1992 have been garbage. Yet you exist in a weird middle ground, existing right on that line between the two sides… but thankfully, NECA’s latest series of Aliens action figures is a far more obvious success than your source material.
The new wave, the eights series of figures released, is dedicated entirely to Alien 3, and includes an all new Ripley figure (sporting the shaved head she famously rocked in the back half of the movie), along with the Weyland-Yutani Commando, and two variants of the Dog Alien– a re-release of the brown-tinted creature, and an all new deco with a dark grey finish.
As I mentioned earlier, this entire wave is a big win. NECA found a way to have their cake and eat it too… AND share some with collectors, in terms of the Dog. The straight re-issue is the perfect remedy for anyone who missed the figure when it was first released about a year and a half ago. And the grey version affords we
obsessed devoted completists a new film accurate colorway to add some variety to the display shelf. I honestly can’t find any fault in a strategy this inclusive.
But the real gems of this wave are the all new figures… and we’re going to start with our star, Ripley. Crash landing on Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161, perpetual survivor Ellen Ripley had to quickly adapt to fit in amidst the convicts she shared a rock with (actually due predominantly to the space lice which infested the prison planet), leading to her dramatic new look, complete with a shaved head and prison fatigues. NECA’s action figure captures the look of Sigourney Weaver’s character in this film perfectly, from the likeness to her worn, torn, and less-than-perfect workman-like wardrobe.
The sculpt of this figure is incredible– it might be the most accurate Ripley figure we’ve seen yet from NECA– and each detail of her on screen appearance is present, from the rips in her pants to the quilted pattern of her jacket. The portrait is stellar, and the paint apps are remarkably natural, especially the bruise on the figure’s cheek.
One thing Alien 3 reversed from the heavily-armed Aliens was return this franchise to a place where the humans were very much outgunned, so obviously we’re not seeing any pulse rifles or flame throwers included with this Ripley. But that isn’t to say she’s light on accessories– Alien 3 Ripley includes a flashlight as well as the larger torch she uses during the movie, as well as an alternate set of bare arms, which allow you to display our hero with or without her inmate jacket. It’s a smart bit of engineering, and a welcome one, as NECA could have easily offered jacket Ripley and tank top Ripley as separate figures. Including parts for both looks in a single package is just perfect for a budget (and space) conscious collector like me.
Equally great is the Weyland-Yutani Commando, the troop-builder thugs who appeared late in the movie. What these goons lacked in screen time, they made up for with an awesome design, and NECA has replicated their layered, silver and white armor perfectly. This costume has long been a favorite of NECA’s Brand Manager Randy Falk, and it makes sense, drawing influence from character designs from each of the previous films to fit brilliantly into this overall universe, while maintaining a totally unique identity.
The figure is great, packed with detail and loaded with useful articulation. I love how naturally the Commando can be posed holding his pulse rifle with two hands, and even more I love how, despite the seemingly-limited duo-chromatic pallet of this uniform, the paint apps on this figure add depth and realism with multiple tones of white and silver throughout.
It’s the helmet, though, that really makes this guy shine. There is so much depth built into the figure’s head– with the form-fitting mask beneath that weird half-cage, half-plate shield, and the recessed eyes which can be covered by either an open or closed visor– that the result is more than hyper realistic and screen accurate… it’s a true marvel of figural sculpting.
While the Weyland-Yutani Commando is obviously a fantastic release overall, there is one issue with the figure. In addition to the modular visor accessories and the pulse rifle, the trooper also includes a sticker sheet, which is intended to let you customize their helmets as seen on the soldiers in the movie. I applaud this cool concept, which not only build toward film accuracy, but harkens back to the heyday of GI Joe vehicles and their beloved sticker sheets… but the sticker paper NECA used here is simply not up to snuff. I picked up two Commandos thus far, and the sticker sheets on both have been flawed, to say the least. The decals are simply not easily removable from the backing paper; I destroyed my first sheet trying to peel them off, and opted to keep the second sheet intact because peeling at its corners suggested it was just as futile. This is a great, super fun concept, but the customizable decals intended for this figure end up feeling frustratingly pointless, at least on both my figures.
Overall, NECA’s eighth series of Aliens action figures is one of its strongest yet, with two amazing new additions to the overall line, and two very smart recasts of the elusive, previously-released Dog Alien. The outstanding sculpts and added amenities on both Ripley and the Weyland-Yutani Commando make them absolute must-own figures, for anyone who’s into the Aliens franchise. Aliens Series 8 is available now from NECA via their eBay store, as well as Toys R Us and other specialty retailers.