Super7 x Funko Alien ReAction The Alien Super7 x Funko, 2013
Day #852: February 7, 2014
The Alien 34 Years in the Making
Alien ReAction Figures
Item No.: Asst. 3813 No. 3796 Manufacturer:Super7 x Funko Includes:Removable dome Action Feature:Slide-out jaw/tongue Retail:$15-$20 Availability: December 2013 Other: Available on blue (early bird pre-order) or black (retail) cardbacks
Ever since I was aware of The Alien creature, I wanted a figure of it. Seeing the jumbo Kenner figure at collectible shows for very high prices meant that wasn't going to happen for quite some time. I didn't get one until Kenner's Aliens line in the 1990s, and when I saw this Star Wars-adjacent figure in Tomart's Action Figure Digest #23 I was a little bummed that it didn't get made. Given the nature of an alien phallus monster that mouth-rapes its victims and destroys them from the inside-out, the decision to not produce toys made good sense - but it also makes sense that it's here today, boasting action features - one of which does not work worth a damn.
Naturally, this is the shining jewel of the series and possibly even the whole ReAction line - there's so much pent-up love for this figure that it's impossible to be anything short of fantastic. I certainly love it.
For those keeping track, Super7 also released a faux prototype version of this figure last year as a convention exclusive. It is arguably more interesting - to make a fake prototype styled after the infamous "Blue Harvest" prototypes - than a fake production figure, but this final painted product is so amazingly heartwarming that I can't imagine anyone born between 1969 and 1979 wouldn't want it. A clear version of this figure was given to pre-order customers direct from Super7, and is pretty fantastic.
Trying to replicate something from a classic era is exceedingly difficult because no matter how nitpicky you are, your fans are nitpickier and your factory in China probably just doesn't care. The Super7 x Funko Alien is a marvel, a miracle, and one damn unlikely collectible given that fans have never been all that vocal about this style of product. Baby boomers won't shut up about their music. Gen X-ers have a raging... interest for Mego-style figures. Children of the 1980s just seem to love everything - there hasn't been a ton of demand for more of this kind of simple figure outside Star Wars circles, and even there it's a minority within a minority. Despite the comments above - or maybe because of them - I see this as the most essential figure in the line. The paint apps are clean, it looks perfect on your desk, and I can't imagine you'll ever see a better take on this creature. I don't care what Hot Toys or Sideshow or Neca does - the simple authenticity of this creation cannot be beat.
The 4 1/2-inch figure is very similar to the prototype images we've seen, although there are a few differences which may be merely the result of photography, or bad memory, or squinting. For example, the Super7 x Funko dome is a frosted texture, while it seems the original images were a glossy, clear finish. The Super7 prototypes, as well as the Kenner ones, seemed to have a slightly blacker finish of The Alien's skin. The big disappointment to me was that the gorgeous packaging boasted "His evil brains glow in the dark!" It turns out that they don't - it could be Funko's factory, as they do numerous glow-in-the-dark pieces and while I love Funko, I'd be lying to you if I said their glowing toys were the glowiest. I see absolutely no evidence of glowing on this Alien figure, and I've exposed him to my bright photo lights, black lights, and of course the Sun. It's possible this was an error at the factory, but it seems like someone, somewhere, just didn't get it too perfect. Were it not called out on the cardback, it wouldn't be an issue - but they did, so there it is.
Having said that, it looks and feels legit. The v-crotch is like Kenner's Ewoks. The arms swing forward, the tail rotates. The dome pops off easily, giving you access to a lever which extends the "jaw" - which looks more like a tongue, exactly as Kenner designed it. It's a lot like their early, awkward lightsabers. The creepy creature's claws can grab its prey easily, and the plastic selected allows the figure to remain skinny without exhibiting any of the "gummy" or "rubbery" nonsense we've had to deal with on many other modern action figures of this size. If you leave Super7's Alien on a shelf, it will remain standing months later. If you put it on a display stand, it'd probably keep upright during a minor earthquake. Even if it does not perfectly replicate all of its intended features as outlined in the Super7 playbook, it's a damn good "retro" figure in its own right. Were this a completely new design fabricated to mimic classic Kenner characters, it would be impossible for me to have anything to say about it (other than the glowing) because its exceptional level of sculpted detail and general feeling of being a genuine classic design can't be ignored.
This figure - and indeed the line, and the possibilities it represent - touch on a sort of a longing that I assume Mego fans must have felt in the early 1990s as they constantly went on about how that style of figure was the best and Toy Biz, Hasbro, Charlee Flatt, and the cover of ToyFare kept telling us how great it was. For Mego, I have no feelings. For Kenner, it's the exact opposite - I get it. In college I still bought new figures and the things that tended to get me the most excited were toy-like figures. Kenner's Aliens: Hive Wars were one of the last great lines, with Jurassic Park III being the last true "Kenner-style" toy line before a big freeze. I didn't appreciate those dinosaur-compatible figures as much as I should have - none of us did - at the time they felt like hacky, second-rate figures. Heck, I bought mine in BOGO packs at Walmart for $1 in the middle of the night after they were dumped. Those figures feel a lot more special today than some of the others I've grabbed since then, and this new wave - especially The Alien - really tug at the hearstrings. I can't convey just how much I wish this was in my toy box as a kid, creepy as it is, just so it could menace Luke Skywalker or attack the astronaut in the Alpha Star. It feels like it belonged in my childhood, like very few other figures do.
As I've mentioned in other reviews, this quintet of figures (and Zica's newly-sculpted Six Million Dollar Man) kick open the door for a completely different kind of action figure - one cheaper to make, with a narrower but arguably more loyal and clued-in audience. They can trade on decades of pent-up demand for unproduced lines (like Dark Crystal) or previously unexploited licenses (like Back to the Future) and there are people like me who will line up to buy them. I cannot picture a more interesting direction for the hobby to go in, as there are limits to how "perfect" and "realistic" a figure can be due to costs and manufacturing techniques. The best of the best Marvel Legends figure is only the best temporarily - Hasbro will eventually improve on everything Toy Biz ever considered. With this retro style of figure, there are a lot of possibilities. Cheap, fun possibilities.
Additional ReAction Figures Alien Images
Notes: The brown cardboard boxes are different. The brown box marked 3813 contains 1 set of black carded figures - this is an "inner" as it ships from Funko. The 3813.1 box shipped from Super7 with a carded set of 6 blue card figures inside. Blue cards were shipped to people who ordered the set for $100 direct from Super7 at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 or through the Super7 web site after the show. The group shot above is of the opened black card set, which cost $65.00. The blue card set included a bonus clear grey Alien figure available nowhere else at this time and is expected to be exclusive to this release. If the 16bit.com sample is opened, we'll update this photo.
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