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Medicom Alien


It's a new review from Jeff Parker on another unique import item - the Medicom Alien from almost a decade back!  Think of it as a blast from the past - let's set the wayback machine, Jeff!

Let me start by giving a big thank you to Michael, to a lone toy collector sitting at his computer (with a monitor covered in toys) all the way over in th U.K. it's sometimes nice to be able to go to a web-site and see you're not alone in your insanity! So what better way to kick off my New Year than with a vintage figure! Well, I say vintage, as you will see I don't think this guy has exactly matured like a fine Chateau de Rothschild, but I guess in nine years, toy quality has made a few leaps. Now this fella hails all the way from back in 1996. Well, if you cast your mind back to 96 you'll be aware that there wasn't a whole lot of Alien merchandise about (in fact I don't think there was any thing at 1/6 scale until the awful Hasbro/Sears exclusive 'Alien & Corparal Hicks') so this guy was a real 'must have' for fans of the 'then' trilogy. The only thing being that he was as rare as rocking horse sh** and had a price to match. Fast forward nine years and I've finally got one (for a reasonable price) on eBay. Was he worth the wait?





Packaging - 1/2
It really doesn't get much duller than this. A plain black window box with four text-only stickers. I fail to see how you could make this box any less inspiring, a real low point. It's only and I mean ONLY saving grace is the use of T-bar elastic bands, five of them so at least he'll go back in the box without a fight.

Sculpting - **1/2
I keep having to remind myself this is from 1996. The problem is, with the wealth of really great Aliens available now in 1/6 scale, most notably from McFarlane and Sega Toys (Japanese vending machine models), you can't help but compare them. The one thing really in this figures favour is he's that all important thing-'poseable'. What they've done is take a base black Medicom body (not as articulated as their current ones) and dressed it in a rubber/plastic/silicon (how the hell should I know) suit, not unlike the Sideshow 'Creature from the Black Lagoon'. Each part of the body, in effect, has a sculpted sheath to cover it, some bits fit better than others and, it has to be said, there is some slippage, so making sure all his Alien 'armour' is facing in the right direction can prove tricky. That said from what I remember of my Bob Burns book, looking at the bits of 'actual' Alien costume he has in his museum, and looking at the pictures of him dressing up in the costume back in 1979 they seem to have done a reasonable job of mimicking how the panels fit together. It's a shame they've gone for the ribbed 'Cameron' Alien head as opposed to the far superior (in my opinion) 'Scott' smooth transparent Alien head as designed so fantastically by Giger. I think the reason for this is that at the time this came out, Medicom also released a Predator as a companion piece (much the same as the recent McFarlane range); but where as the recent stuff was to coincide with the 'AVP' movie, these were riding on the tail of the Dark Horse comics franchise tie-in (and their illustrators 'in general' seemed to have a preference for the ribbed head. But I knew which sculpt it was when I bought it so I shouldn't let it be an issue. 

Paint -**
Apart from a flash of silver paint on the teeth theres nothing. A bit of subtle toning on the body might have been nice, but he works fine in plain black.

Articulation - **1/2
By 1996 standards this was par for the course, but in these enlightened times it doesnt measure up. Also mine has a lot of weak joints (explainable as the figure needs to come apart at virtually every joint to get his costume on), but still annoying.

Accessories - Bupkis
Nil, nothing, nought, null and void, nadir, zero, ziltch, it is barren, it is a desert in here, a big fat bupkiss! Not even a stand, and he could really do with one. 

Outfit - **1/2
Most of the points I'd make really are covered in sculpting, so I'll give it the same score. The few things I would draw your attention to again are that as I said earlier some of the 'armour' particularly on the legs and arms has a tendency to slip about, that coupled with the loose joints means if you are intending to keep your figure long term and can't see a time when you might sell him on, a few drops of glue here and there (I find if you have any of that weird sticky rubber glue as used on magazine covers to hold free CD's etc in place is great, just peel it off keep it in a pot and next time you have loose jointed figure pull the loose joint apart and stick a little ball of this stuff in, push the joint together again, and - Hey Presto a much tighter joint!) will mean you have a far less frustrating time getting him to stay in certain poses. 

Fun Factor - **
Despite the mauling I seem to be giving this guy, it might be hard to believe, but I do like this figure. And as I've always had a thing for the Alien I think he'll look great with my other Xenomorphs on display. That said, because of his slippy armoured, loose jointed body you'd be hard pressed to get much 'play' out of him.

Value - **
Because of his rarity/collectability they always seem to go for a high price (especially when in a mint, unopened box) Mine had been displayed and the box is in 'OK' condition and so I got him for a much better price than I would have paid for a mint one, and at $98.00 (49) on eBay it was far cheaper than the 220.00 ($435.00) I've seen him on sale for in London.

Overall - **1/2
I've found this quite a difficult one, as I said I do like the figure but would be lying if I didn't say I'm a tad disappointed with it. I'm glad it's in my collection but it has to be said I think it's the weakest Medicom figure I've got to date.

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - 1/2
Sculpt - **1/2
Paint - **
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Bupkis
Outfit - **1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy: 
Well, as this figure is 'vintage' you might find it at some speciality shops or from traders at conventions etc, but on the whole your best bet will be to keep an eye on eBay.





Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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