Alien Chest Burster mini-bust

Palisades Toys has released the latest mini-bust in their line of Alien and Predator sets. First it was the basic Alien, then the Queen - now we're treated to the Chest Burster.

You remember this little guy - he made eating salad a whole new experience in 1979. The visual of him bursting from the victim/host's chest is part of our cultural framework now, and is one of the best known moments in sci-fi or horror movie history, right up there with the shark eating Quint or Norman Bates chopping through a shower curtain. It's therefore fitting that we have this version of the Alien immortalized by Palisades.

This statue is limited to 3000, and retails for around $40. You'll be able to find them at your local comic shops or specialty stores, and I've included some on-line links at the bottom of the review.

Packaging - ***1/2
Palisades uses their standard window box for this statue, and it works great. It is certainly sturdy enough to protect the statue, yet it gives you an excellent view of the piece without opening it up. The box itself has the edition number as well as the bottom of the bust, but there is no COA.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt is very well done, with just the right amount of detail and gross out factor. The creature doesn't have much for eyes, which are the windows to the soul or lack thereof. That means the sculptor had to go to the secondary characteristic, the ferocious mouth and teeth as the centerpiece of the design, and making them as disgusting and scarey as possible was critical. They pulled it off well, and this is definitely the chest buster you feared as a kid.

Paint - **1/2
The paint ops aren't sloppy, there's no bleed or inconsistencies. No, with this figure it's all about the blood, or the difficulty in making red paint look like blood.

There's plenty of detail highlighted by the paint ops, and the overall color choices are good. I'd have to watch the film again to double check on the shirt color, but that's getting a tad nit picky even for me.

But there's a lot of blood, as you might imagine in a scene like this. It's all over the Alien, the bits of flesh, and well, everywhere. But blood is a tricky substance to make 'real', particularly in this scale. Blood from out near the skin is usually thin, particularly when smeared, but blood deep from within the body can be thicker, and in a serious injury like this you expect some clumpiness or inconsistency. That's tough to do with paint, and while there's plenty of red, I had a hard time imagining it as actual blood.

The shiny quality of the entire bust is probably also to blame, since it makes all the pieces, whether they are Alien or human, seem as one single entity. It takes away some of the variety of the material that is involved, and some of the realism.

Design - ***
The Chest Burster is doing exactly what you'd expect - bursting a chest. It's not really the only option they had, since he did scoot around on the table a bit, but calling him the Table Scooter just doesn't quite have the same impact. And then he'd get confused with the Superhero Scooter, and it would just end up a mess.

The material of the shirt makes up the very base, with various bits of flesh and muscle protruding along with the Alien. I'm not sure all aspects work - sometimes it's very hard to tell what's Alien and what's poor unfortunate human who put his face where it didn't belong. But for the most part, they've captured the feel of the source material very well.

Quality - ***1/2
This bust follows Palisades usually high standards of quality. It is very heavy, and it's unlikely to break easily. I wouldn't go dropping it on the floor or throwing it at the dog, but it is well made, and the design avoids any extremely small or easily broken pieces.

Value - **1/2
There's an unwritten rule that mini-busts cost between $35-$40. If you can pick this one up for $30, add another half star to the rating. While I like this statue, it's a tad high at $40, and I'm sure you can find it for $35 without too much trouble.

Overall - ***
I like this statue, but not quite as much as the unmasked Predator, or the Alien Queen. The detail and paint ops on those two have me a bit spoiled, but if you're a big fan of the films you'll want to grab one of these to complete your set. The Chest Burster is such an integral part of the story that it wouldn't be the same without him.

Where to Buy:
Your local comic shops should be getting this in. On-line:

- Aisle Sniper has them in stock and ready to ship for $40.  They also have most of the previous busts.

- Big Bad Toy Store has a fantastic price at $32, plus onlyl $5 for s/h, but it says they are currently sold out.  You might want to give them a call and check though for that deal.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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