Kenner ALIENS Bull Alien Action Figure Kenner, ca. 1993
Day #261: November 3, 2011
Bull Alien Skull Ramming Action
ALIENS Action Figures
Item No.: unavailable at this time Manufacturer:Kenner Includes:Red Face Hugger, Mini-Comic Action Feature:Ramming head, "nodding" action Retail:$5.99 Availability: ca. 1993 Other: Remolded as Rhino Alien, also repainted redder for Kay-Bee as an exclusive
Of the ALIENS toys, the Bull Alien was the weakest of the first three. Standing on four legs, it seems the design was at least inspired by the "Ox Burster" from the excised cut of Alien 3, except this one had some friggin' horns on his head. Each horn is actually articulated, likely for safety reasons, but odds are the figure would have soft rubbery horns were it released today.
In the usual 5-inch scale which Kenner loved so much in the 1990s, the figure has two "feet" and two "hands," the feet are flat and have foot peg holes while the "hands" are more or less feet which can't grip anything. If you futz with it, you can get him to stand on two legs but it doesn't look all that great. The head "nods" with a lever on its back, or at least, it does when the neck is fully extended. The spines on the back are jointed, as is the tail, but it doesn't really add to the play so much as it's likely there to help avoid breakage.
Cast in black plastic, the figure has red and purple highlights to bring him to life, plus silvery teeth. The veiney purple line on the top of the head looks about as obscene as these figures get-- while the symbolism is pretty hard to miss, the design of this release is particularly... inspired.
The ramming feature works well, even if he looks a little goofy with an extended neck. The spring-loaded mechanism is operated by a button on the side of the figure, and it hits with enough force that you can actually knock over your other toys. That's all you can hope for, and I'm pretty pleased it works well after all these years. Modern action features seem to be getting weaker, while this one packs a satisfying wallop.
The little red face hugger is just like the blue and gold ones, except now it's red. It's great for menacing your other toys, and as an accessory goes, it's a nice bonus-- it's fun and you can play with it. The plastic is just rubbery enough to be perfect, its only real shortcoming is that Kenner never bothered to make one that matched the creepy peach color in the movies.
When the line originally hit stores like Target, the creatures were in short supply. I seem to remember this being the first one to hang around, and it's not surprising-- the Gorilla and Scorpion felt more movie-based, while this seemed more fanciful. The sculpting is still quite good, with ridges and all sorts of biomechanical flourishes plus a tip that's ridged for her pleasure. The little-seen belly of the beast is loaded with details, and the scoropion-like tail is a nice, if odd, addition. If you love Kenner's house style and in-house creativity, this is a figure you just gotta get. If not, well, it's not like NECA and other companies aren't tripping over themselves to deliver the most authentic (and expensive) recreation of the creatures from the movies... specifically the first one. I like it enough, particularly as a cheap buy, but I wouldn't make it my first purchase in the line.
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