Super7 and Funko seem to be the go-to manufacturers of stuff increasingly made just for me. I'm delighted by Alien M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, even and especially since Set A is kind of ridiculous. It's a 1979 movie done as 1985 figures in 2017 - you have to be a certain kind of film fan, raised in a certain era, with a proclivity to a specific figure format. The keshigomu format minus the eraser functionality was one of the neatest mid-to-late 1980s fads in the toy world, and it's something I'd love to see brought back on a grander scale. Jakks Pacific's SLUG Zombies were probably the best modern take on the format for a mass market, but Super7's owning it for the collector and specialty world. So far we've seen Masters of the Universe and Alien, with Mega Man and Street Fighter II as just some of the lovely figures on deck for 2017. One great thing about this Alien line - it may well be the first licensed figure line to bring you the entire cast in one fell swoop. (You had to do some running around to get all the Minimates.) There are some costume variants left unmade, but there's always the future.
I assume you've seen the movie, so you should already know that Ash was the secondary bad guy in the film - a man-made android who was supremely creepy. While the alien monster attacked with its fangs and pointy tail, Ash was basically a fake human murder machine who tried to kill by ramming an adult magazine down the throat of a female crew member - there's some symbolism for you. The figure keeps the M.U.S.C.L.E. form alive with a big right hand with said magazine and an open left hand that's similar to what you saw on the original wrestler figures. Kane's got a sizable head, bulky chest, and the Nostromo flight suit you've come to expect. The format has no articulation and is cast as one singular piece. This is a figure that seems to tick most of the boxes as to what makes it great. Obviously it's goofy to see Ian Holm's character as a wrestler mini-figure, but that's part of the appeal.
The reason you'll want this set above all others is Ripley. She seems to have been cut from a different cloth from a lot of the other figures, with a smaller build and significantly smaller head. The hands are both gripping her weapon, with smaller arms, fists, and torso. Other than her color there's little to identify her as a M.U.S.C.L.E. product, but on a shelf with the rest she fits in well enough. She has big hair, a bigger gun, and her standard suit. The format rarely lends itself to authentic likenesses, so it looks close enough to Sigourney Weaver for jazz. At this size, you're not wanting authenticity - you want a pink, rubbery figure and that's just what you'll get. She stands, she looks cool, and she's worth the asking price.
There are two versions of the Alien, so take your pick. This is the "normal" version, the other is the "Attack Alien." Our xenomorph pal has giant hands with the appropriate six fingers, a big giant head, and unlike the other regular figures is made of more than one part - the head, back spikes, and tail are one piece with the arms, legs, and body being another piece. They're glued together. It's significantly bulkier than the other figures to the point where they had to let out the bubble on the packaging - it's twice as thick over the creature than over the humans. Despite the giant size, it has no problem standing without toppling over... and its giant fists are perfect for slamming other figures. The dome is appropriate to the movie, and the pose is more or less right on the money - the card back art shows knees that are slightly more bent, but I can't assume this would be good for balance or gravity. What you get is a nifty piece of fake toy history, and who doesn't love an excuse to buy yet another version of the film's title monster?
When you factor in things like inflation, this format of figure got pretty expensive over the last 30 years. The audience also got smaller, and the figure complexity - specifically the Alien - increased. They're still neat, they're still worthwhile, and if you can luck into a golf ball wall display cabinet at Goodwill on the cheap, these little guys display real nice too. Recommended! I just need a bigger display.
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