Hot Toys Alien 1/4 scale Bust

Alien bust by Hot Toys

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

It's another Hot Toys guest review tonight, this time from regular contributor and Hot Toys enthusiast Jeff Parker. He's checking on one of their new busts - Alien! Tell us all about it, Jeff...

Hot Toys and ALIENS a match made in heaven!
Now as outstanding as Hot Toys (HT) human figures are… and they truly, truly are (have you seen the proto pics of their forthcoming Godfather figure cheez, It is a work of art!) they are most famous amongst many of us geeky fan boys for their work on the amazing Predators and ALIENS!

Soon we’ll finally be getting a 1/6 version of THE Predator that started it all, and it certainly looks like they saved the best for last… I mean, a working helmet laser at 1/6 scale… c’mon!

He has already been done as scale bust, which I liked a lot, not perfect, but a very cool addition to the line, and now finally we have THE ALIEN.

There’s been a degree of artistic licence taken with this, but it is by far, hands down my favourite of all the HT busts to date, and if you could cast this in metal it would make the coolest hood ornament for a Hot Rod ever (always a prerequisite of a cool bust for me!).

Now we all have to wait on tenterhooks to see what the big chap will turn out like when he’s finally unveiled in all of his 1/6 glory, and having played around with recent ‘dragon’ I have very high hopes for him. But enough pontificating about the possible 1/6 ALIEN… well for a while, anyway.
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys

Packaging: *** 1/2
As I’ve gone over in the previous bust reviews, these aren’t the most inspired boxes that HT have given us, as they are primarily designed to protect the contents in transit whilst giving a glimpse of the face through a window on the front, but that said this is my joint favourite bust box so far along with the Jokers. They’ve kept it simple, utilising elements of the original movie poster, but it works very well.

So, we have a large image of the ’light-burst’ egg beneath the ALIEN logo, the other three main panels all carry images of the bust from different angles. Inside he is sandwiched laying on his side between two Styrofoam moulded trays. It means you get a great view of the side-on head when still housed in the box, and the thick corrugated card protects the whole thing handsomely.

Sculpt: *** 3/4
OK, OK I know I can go on a bit about just how cool I think Giger’s original designs were, but hey, they just were, and at the risk of sounding ‘repetitive’ or ‘boring’ anything depicting the original Xenomorph is gonna pique my interest, so when the end result is as cool as this I’m a happy bunny. 

They’ve taken the head and shoulders and pretty faithfully sculpted all the details you remember, but as the original suit was basically moulded bits of rubber, pipes, hoses and anything else they had laying around in the kitchen that day held together with glue, electrical tape and rubber bands, then sometimes it is possible to improve on perfection! What we actually saw on screen and what we think we saw are quite often two different things.
I genuinely think there is room for two 1/6 versions of this figure when they get round to it. One would be 100% faithful to the screen worn outfit, warts (sticking tape) and all, while a second would show how the beast (if I may be so bold), ‘should’ have looked if the creature effects department had a bottomless budget and no deadline.
Now to some purists this could be construed as ‘fightin’ talk… sorry! 

But I love all the interpretations HT have given us of the ALIENS so far (admittedly the ALIENS warrior could do with a re-visit so it had stiffer joints) but for a guy who had all but given up on ever having quality poseable 1/6 figures of these beasts, HT have answered a lot of my prayers.

So if I can drag myself back on topic, what I’m saying is this is a damn fine ‘interpretation’ of how the ALIEN looked. They have taken some ‘invented’ elements to add a very elegant sweeping stand, this could have come straight from Giger’s Necronomicon the nightmarish book of visions that first captured Scott’s eye when he was searching for the look of his ‘alien’. But ultimately 90% of the bust is based very closely on the source material and many of the fine details on the rib-cage, tubes on the head and neck and even on the partially obscured skull under the smooth ‘banana’ dome are expertly carried out, you can even see the inner ‘extendable’ jaw is fully realised, even though it doesn’t actually extend. That sweeping base/stand I mentioned morphs into a plaque at the bottom bearing the ALIEN logo again, this appears to be screen printed directly onto the base rather than a transfer or sticker. So all in all a great job that has me eager to see how the 1/6 version is going to turn out.

Paint: ***1/2
This bust has hardly any paint, and whilst not strictly ‘costume’ correct, if you checked this link you would have seen plenty of details painted on the original suit to add accents to various details, helping these areas show up when filmed on the very dark and moody set. So again what we have here is the ‘dark’ creature as we kind of remember it. I shall take some photos of the special edition Palisades bust alongside it to give you an idea of how the ‘actual’ suit looked, and whilst I love this Palisades paint job, it doesn’t reflect what we saw on screen. Hence my earlier statement that I’d like to see two versions. 

The base plastic used to cast the bust though primarily black seems to have a metallic ‘pewtery’ tone to it, meaning many of the raised areas look burnished and slightly lighter but this might be a trick of the light. The teeth certainly look ‘steelier’ and the bone skull, even though only viewed through the smoked translucent cowl still appears to carry a lot of details giving it the look of antique ivory. So, a simple paint-job, but one that sets just the right tone for this piece.

Articualtion - N/A
Some of the other busts have had limited articulation in the neck, but this is a solid piece with no moving parts.

Fun factor:  ** 1/2
Well, you can’t really play with these, but teamed with the earlier Predator they make for impressive bookends on your Predator and ALIEN books, comics and DVD’s. But lets face it, even if you’re a fan of these beasties, hey, just how much fun can you ‘actually’ have with a figural bust?

Value:  ***
These things aren’t cheap, but at $74.99 it’s reasonable’ish’ price for a bust that stands a full twelve inches tall, and even though sold out at this price at Sideshow you can still find it for over $7 less listed below.
I’ve been over the polystone vs plastic debate before, obviously it doesn’t have the hefty weight, which can give a false feeling of quality and value, but it will drive the shipping cost up as well.
For some people it’s a big sticking point, but not for me. Molded plastic can take finer details and is far more robust, so at the end of the day it’s up to you the buyer, I did some Internet research to find out the cost of polystone and plastic as a raw commodity, but pretty much drew a blank so I can’t tell you what kind of savings a manufacturer would make in their decision to go poly or plastic, other than trying to keep the greater part of the demographic that buys their goods happy in both terms of cost and quality.

Overall: ****
As a fully paid up card carrying Xenophile I love this bust, so what did you expect. I have it displayed next to the Palisades bust, they’re the same beast but like chalk and cheese and that’s partly what I like so much about this creature in its many guises. It’s been the inspirational starting point for so many sculptures, from the movie accurate through to the artistically interpreted the old Takeya one being a big favourite of mine. There is a little bit of me that would have liked an extendable inner jaw, but I’m gonna hold out for the 1/6 delivering on that score.

Packaging: ***1/2
Sculpt: ***3/4
Paint: ***1/2
Articulation: N/A
Fun factor: **1/2
Value: ***
Overall: ****

Where to Buy -
Sideshow have sold out, it was up for $74.99.

I’ve seen it on eBay for anywhere between $70 to $90, or you can use Michaels sponsor to find a good deal as well.

Alien bust by Hot Toys

Alien bust by Hot Toys
Alien bust by Hot Toys

Alien bust by Hot Toys

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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