If you ever played video games in the Nintendo Entertainment System era,* you’re probably familiar with the gut-wrenching feeling that would come whenever the LJN logo appeared on the box art of an otherwise promising looking new game. The former toymakers turned truly awful game developers had a notorious reputation among the worst companies releasing games in the NES era, and their adaptation of Alien 3 was no exception. It’s the game where you play as Ripley, rescuing prisoners while shooting scores of aliens scattered all over the prison on Fury 161. The one where, if you win, you watch Ripley leave the prison planet behind, with a swell sense of self satisfaction.
You know, all those major moments we remember from the movie.
While it’s clear the good folks at LJN never even watched Alien 3 while developing their game, the NECA team most certainly has. And as we’ve seen in the past with some of their Predator toys, just because the NECA team doesn’t love the source material doesn’t mean they’re not going to make a truly great action figure. Alien 3 is likely nobody’s favorite film from the franchise, but NECA’s toy version of the Dog Alien is a remarkable piece, with a beautiful sculpt, loads of articulation and a truly impressive scale, clocking in at about 9″ tall when standing bipedal.
Just like the cinematic version of this creature, NECA has once again brought their A-game when designing the retro video game Dog Alien, and the result is a highly stylized and visually arresting figure. While the Alien was solid blue in the side scrolling in-game graphics, the title screen featured a pixelated image of the Xenomorph with half its face illuminated with light. The action figure took this concept and ran with it, splitting the Dog into a half-blue, half-brown design.
This risky move pays off brilliantly, as we still get our game-accurate blue Alien on the right side, a movie style brown Dog on the left, and a very cool sense of extreme lighting if you look at the figure straight on. The black base coat that unifies the figure works wonders, making this an extremely inventive and totally eye-catching toy. I love the small details which distinguish this figure from its cinematic counterpart, such as the paint apps to signify the glossy, reflective surface of the creature’s dome, taking the place of the shiny, translucent plastic of the previous figure.
Much like the Aliens series figure, the retro game Dog includes a stand with helps support it in a variety of poses. The articulation works well enough that the figure can stand on two or four ;legs with ease, and looks equally menacing in either display format. While a reminder of the terrible LJN game might not necessarily be a good thing, the figure’s box art does a fine job of replicating the look of the vintage box art, as we’ve seen with the rest of the video game line from NECA.
The retro game Alien 3 figure is available now at NECA’s eBay store, Toys R Us and other retailers. You’re probably not a fan of the game, but if you dig the Aliens series, or even just cool, stylized toys, do yourself a favor and check this guy out. Thanks to NECA for giving us the chance to feature this awesome new Alien!
*I’m betting you have, but I needed an establishing sentence.