Hot Toys Corporal Hicks

Jeff Parker steps in tonight with a guest review of the new Hot Toys 12" Corporal Hicks from the classic flick Aliens.  What's the scoop, Jeff?

Thanks to Michael, and happy new year to you all. Any collector of 1/6 figures must surely be excited, it's shaping up to be one hell of a year. Sideshow have the 12" Star Wars and LOTR licenses, and the company seems to go from strength to strength. On top of that they are now distributing (sadly only in the U.S) for both Medicom and Hot Toys. Obviously this wont effect the exclusive Far East licenses, but hopefully a lot more previously hard to track down and tricky to ship figures will make the Sideshow website a one stop shop for a lot of American collectors. I was hoping to get all three Hot Toys marines to review at the same time, but the Vasquez figure was put back (at least) a month and my own budgetary limitations (two small children, Christmas and a bigger mortgage) mean I shall have to be a lot choosier over the figures I throw my hard earned at, and between Hicks and Apone it just had to be Hicks. As Hot Toys managed to land the Aliens license I live in hope they might get the Alien license as well. Wouldn't a Nostromo cosmonaut be cool, and we could finally get Ripley as well, in her jump suit and with the space suit she pulls on at the end would be nice! But back to the matter at hand, if my collecting must now be more selective, was the latest in the Movie Masterpiece Collection the right decision....God yes! Read on. 

Packaging - ****
Exactly the same in style as the first two Terminator figures released. Printed pearlescent sleeve over a flap fronted box. This box is slightly oversized compared to the Terminator release, and the other obvious difference is that the window is cut to patches, just showing the various weapons and his body armour. You don't get to see the whole shebang till you slip his tray out. It now becomes obvious this isn't your run of the mill release. For what ever reason, and I've read it was something to do with licensing, the basic naked figure has to be constructed before you put all his kit on. Mine proved tricky, as the pegs and holes on the top of the shoulders didn't match up at first. But with perseverance and patience I got there in the end. All the different bits are housed in two separate trays with a third formed tray going over the whole thing to hold everything in place securely. There is a lot of kit here and thankfully they supply a sheet of instructions to help you along your way. And another thing to note, even though this figure is packed with a lot of kit AND the figure is in pieces, not one twisty is needed....nice! 

Sculpting - ***
Now if you go back and read my Hot Toys Terminator Kyle Reese review, you can practically just cut and paste it here. I pondered on the fact as to whether they would use a similar sculpt for this figure, as Michael Biehn played both roles.......well they've used exactly the same sculpt. I said last time I liked the sculpt and I still like it, but it would have been nice to get a slight variation, even if it had only been the hair. This hair sculpt suited 'Reese' fine but for Aliens Biehn wore his hair in more of a long crop, I guess they decided to save a few pennies thinking we would all display him in his helmet and I guess they're right, but had the hair been changed I'd have given them an extra 1/2 a star. The other area in sculpting is his armour, but that's a whole different ball game so I'll cover that in outfit.

Paint - ****
Again read my Hot Toys Terminator Kyle Reese review, the hair tone here is slightly different but apart from that these two are virtually the same. However, where as that was pretty much where the paint ended on the other figure this guy has a lot more. All the separate armour panels are painted in camo and very tight it is too. I'll let the photos do the talking here, but suffice to say it all looks pretty hot.

Articulation - ****
I know I sound like a broken record, but just read the Kyle Reese review again, as this is an identical body. The only difference being you have to build this one yourself, to some people this might be an annoyance but personally I enjoyed sitting on my lounge carpet with various bits of this figure strewn around as I built him (I ought to warn you it took me just over an hour from start to finish to put it all together, I'm sure it could be done a lot faster but I took my time got it right and thankfully didn't break any pieces).

Accessories - ****
Like the two earlier releases, this guy is laden and seems to be totally movie accurate. He comes with a shotgun with holster, a pistol, a screw driver (I think intended to help you put him together, but just happens to be to scale so I shoved it in his pocket), a combat knife and sheath, ammo to stick in his bandoleer, a motion tracker, a shoulder lamp, a gizmo (hangs from his idea what it's for, apparently a 'burn up machine' I just read on line), a wrist band, a watch/personal locater, locater receiver (just a small black tube, but it is totally accurate and even has 'range, meters' printed on it, and the all important 'personal friend of his' the pulse rifle. All are scaled and sculpted perfectly. Many have articulated elements and are painted fantastically...a kit bashers dream come true and as good as any painstakingly made custom pieces I've seen. He also comes with a stand, exactly the same configuration as the Terminator figures.

Oufit - ****+
Now I know 4 stars is the max in these reviews, so I can't go sticking another 1/4 at the end, but if Michael allowed it I would. This is just soooo accurate! From his boots and camo fatigues all the way to the tiny padlock hanging from his chest panel. Everything is here. Just the helmet alone is a work of art, with it's side mounted camera, articulated armadillo neck protection, ear guards and mic. Everything fits well and is painted well. You have to work for a while finding the perfect place to get the helmet to sit on his head and be firm when pushing it on. But once you're there it all looks great. And in my opinion has become an instant classic, representing (as many of Hot Toys military figures do) a perfect scale replica of the real thing. For all you purists out there, and I know there are a few, his shirt sleeves will seem a little long, as in the movie Hicks appears to be bare armed under his armour, so you'll either have to roll those sleeves up real tight (a shame as the tiny Colonial Marines patches that are applied will disappear) or if you are really brave just plain cut em off! 

Fun Factor - ***
This is definitely a construct and display item, preferably behind glass (dusting his armour will prove a task in itself). I'm not saying you can't play with it but he has many fragile elements, but when you go for this degree of accuracy, on a complex figure with this amount of detail, lets face it. it's gonna be fragile. Now lets hope Hot Toys follow these up with an Alien or two, there's still no sign of the Endoskeleton that was meant to go with the Terminator release, so don't hold your breath!

Value -  * **1/2
I still don't know what numbers these were made in, but most traders seem to be having problems getting hold of them and few got the number of units they hoped for. So the price seems to be around the $120 mark and upwards, I've seen some as much as $220 on eBay, but you'd be foolish to pay that when so many others are still available at lower prices. All I can say is if you see one at a price you can afford without selling a kidney snap it up while you can. It's shot high to the top of my favourites list....maybe not my all time favourite, but it's certainly the most accurate.

Overall - ****
Don't worry I'm not going soft, two four star ratings in a row (the other being the Medicom Stormtrooper) I feel both these figure deserve their high marks. The level of care is just astounding.....roll on the Predators release. Things to watch out for!No actual problems, but just be careful with all those tiny accessories and his armour as you'd be gutted if you heard that all too familiar 'doink' as a piece comes away in your hand.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - * ***
Outfit - ****+
Fun Factor - ***
Value - * **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to buy
Like the last two Hot Toys releases I got mine from Andy at Popsalute on eBay. He's always a busy man, but always reliable. As I said last time drop him a line, say you read about him here and see what kind of deal he can offer. But as always trawl the internet and shop around...there are some bargains out there.

- check Killer Toys as well.  They don't have this listed, but did carry the Kyle Reese, so may be picking it up.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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