Whoo-weee Aliens! Aliens and Predators! And they're ultra articulated (not
super, ultra-articulated) YouBuyNow.com
sent us these sets to try out. If you love Alien or Predator,
or the battle between themor you simply love excellence
in action figure designyou'd be a fool to not pick
First off, I was a late comer to the whole Microman, Micronaut, blah blah scene. I knew they were ultra articulated, but I didn't like the translucent plastic. Then they started applying their amazing bodies to licensed characters. [Ed note: Stupid joke warning:Do you think if my "character" had a license that Jessic Alba would apply her amazing body to it? Doh!] That was stupid. Anyway, I fell in love with the Microman Batman, Batgirl and Catwoman. These figures were fantastic. Between the awesome poses and amazing amount of accessories, the detail and sculpt and paint were all wonderful. I don't really get an extra kick out of female action figures. They never look good. Enter Microman Catwoman... meowrrr.
So now Takara has made characters from last year's Alien vs. Predator and thus made some of the coolest figures ever. Now that's quite the declaration I know. However I will take this opportunity to present my case. Let me count the ways. I took a look at the Warrior Alien, Queen, and Scar Predator.
Articulation vs. Sculpt
If you look at other Alien figures, or any figure where likeness is the most important feature, you would think that decent articulation is impossible to achieve. Takara proves that you can marry sculpt with functional articulation without ruining the overall look. If there is a golden ratio between the two, and if it were mathematically justifiable, then Takara has the formula. The ball jointed shoulders sit on a larger ball joint, allowing the arms greater flexability. The knees and elbows are double jointed allowing for more natural bending. The ankles and wrists allow a wide range of movement between hinges, ball joints and twisting joints. All the while, this functionality is neatly hidden within the segments or armor on each of the creatures. I couldn't ask for anything more in the articulation dept. If I had one complaint about the articulation, it would be that one or two of the Alien's shoulder joints are loose. But all the other ones are pretty tight, and hold a pose really well. One other aspect of note is the mixture of materials. They have really soft rubber for some pieces, and the blend with the plastic parts very smoothly.
Accessories Growing up, when my brother and I decided which action figures to blow our money on, we were concious of the amount of plastic our buck was buying. If a figure was smaller than the rest of the line, the company would make up for it by loading them up with accessories. If the figure had minimal articulation or less play features, they would load them up with accessories. It was viewed as an act of guilt. Instead of selling the figure for cheaper, you just get more stuff. Can I break for a side note? Remember when the original Ninja Turtles came out, they had loads of extras? They had two of each of their weapon (if not more), they had throwing stars, that triangle stabby thing, a rack to hang them on, etc. As the line progressed, we never saw that dedication to accessories in that line again. It was kind of like "We have you hooked, we know you're going to buy Outer-Space Raphael regardless."
Anyway, Takara loads their Microman figures up with stuff, independant of plastic in the figure, they go with whatever is appropriate. The Alien comes with a facehugger (which will nicely fit on other scale figures), a chest burster, and an egg. The egg has two tops. One clenched tight, the other splayed open. You can switch these tops easily.
The Queeen comes with these tiny, tiny little figures of scale Predator and two eggs. They's small, but it's amazing what they accomplished with paint. Now this set actually contradicts what I said earlier. The Queen is a bit larger than the other figures, and it comes with less accessories. But it doesn't feel like a cost thing. And really, the queen doesn't have that many appropriate accessories in the movie. It would be cool if they had some of those chains you could strap her down with. To get an idea of how small these little guys are, check this out.
Also, it may be tough to see in the photos, but the queen's head has this crazy blue-green-black pearlescent look. Very nice. I also want to add that her "high heels" are articulated. If you remove the top of her head, you can access the lever that makes her tongue come out.
The Predator comes with the most accessories. He's got two versions of his staff, short and extended. Huh huh huh huh huh. Ok, I'll quit. He also has his sword sheathed and unsheatheduh and this has a peg to plug in by his calf. He comes with two sets of his retractable forearm spears. On his right arm, there's extended and retracted, and each slides in nicely to his forearm armor. (Aren't you glad I didn't say "protection?") Ok, gotta straighten out here. He's got his throwing star both in closed-up-like-a-clam mode, that clips on his belt, and completely spread-eagle mode.
Alright, alright, did I mention that he's got a detachable face? He comes with an unmasked face that can plug in where the mask goes. They pop on and off pretty easy. He also comes with a variety of hands for a variety of jobs. Grasping, punching, and making this infamous gesture from the movie. These two, are easily swapped. His over-the-shoulder blaster folds up nicely, and holds a pose.
Oh, I can't forget the teeny tiny skulls that you string along an included piece of fishing line to make his necklace. Not only are these things sporting a cool sculpt, impressive at that size, they even had a paint app! Whereas a different toy would have these sculpted on, Takara goes the distance.
Overall Joy The excitement from this set comes from overall happiness versus a low level of complaints or suggestions. I love the articulation and the accessories, I love how they look exactly like Aliens and Predators. There are very few things I'd change. But here they are.
I mentioned earlier that the Alien had a loose shoulder joint. This won't be true for every Alien out there
The knee joint on my Predator broke. I don't recall it breaking, so it could very well have broken on its way to me. But I'm not sure. My cat sure had fun checking these guys out. He really liked licking the chrome accessories the Predator came with. Odd.
Ok you have the replaceable head on the Predator so he can be unmasked, why no Grid Alien head you could swap with the Alien? Maybe a planned Series 2? That would be nice. But it seemed logical to me
Wow, that's it. Here's something else I love. I love how the Predator looks better than the movie version. I don't know if it was the lighting or what, but in the movie, the Predators looked more like dudes in bulky costumes than anything else. It really felt like I was watching a guy in a costume. Whereas even in the 70's Alien and Star Wars, it was easier to suspend disbelief. This Predator action figure seems to have better proportions than the AVP guys on film, and that's pretty stinkin' cool.
I not only had fun posing these guys in multiple positions, but posing their fight scenes was fun too.
You can get these figures, plus the Celtic and Elder Predators from YouBuyNow.com
Some other cool things to check out if you like Alien and or Predator: