Hot Toys Aliens


"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."

Hot Toys has been busy pumping out the cool sixth scale figures, and Jeff Parker has been doing his best to keep up with the great reviews!  Tonight's covers the very interesting recently released PredAlien - take it away, Jeff!

Alien vs Predator: Requiem (AvP:R), like its predecessor has fans divided. Some hate it for dragging both the Alien and Predator franchises down to a ‘B’ movie ‘Dracula vs the Wolfman’ kind of monster flick, where as others just take it square on the chin, knowing we’ll never get a seminal masterpiece like Scott’s original Alien or the shock value of the original ’Arnie’ vehicle Predator, but just get their kicks seeing their favourite aliens back on the big screen.

I like to think I just took it for what it was, but have to admit I still came away slightly deflated. But I’m not here to give a film critique, I’ll leave that to those better qualified. I’m here to talk toys, sorry did I say toys, I mean collectables…art to some.

I’m lucky enough to have all three AvP:R figures sitting on my desk in front of me right now. It was a hell of a job deciding which to go with first. I know the buzz surrounding the Predator (Wolf, as he’s become lovingly known, after Harvey Keitel’s ‘cleaner’ in Pulp Fiction) has become quite huge; and let me tell you here and now he is one fantastic figure. But when I had all three there to choose from, and I’d played around with them for a while I realised I couldn’t do them justice if I tried to cram all three into one review, and in reality the PredAlien (PA) hybrid quite frankly has blown me away.

Packaging: ***1/2
Now the PA stands an amazing 18” in his stockinged feet, but I was surprised to see all three of these come in the same sized boxes. This one has a large photo of the figure on the foil slip-case with a number of smaller poses on the back. Once you’ve slid the sleeve off you have the flap-fronted box where you’re greeted with another large close-up of the PA and on the back there are images of all three creatures from the range.

The flap opens to show a full-figure photo of the PA with a brief bio underneath, facing this are the die-cut holes just like all the other alien boxes so far. Slip out the tray and you’ll see he/she is, as I said arranged just like the previous aliens, half constructed. All his/her rear breathing tubes are already in place so you just need to ‘snap-on’ its left leg and arm, left foot and then choose which hands you want, there are four to pick from, two rigid and two bendy. I like both for different reasons, so, like my Aliens’ warrior, I chose one of each for mine.

So a nicely designed bit of packaging that is not only attractive but should ensure your figure gets to you unharmed.

Sculpt: ****
I really do sound like a broken record, but HT just seem to get better and better, I shall get to Wolf and the AvP:R Alien drone as soon as I can, (I have to say the new drone is in my opinion the weakest ‘Alien’design so far, that’s nothing really against the HT figure, well, apart from the fact it could’ve done with bigger more accurate feet) but it’s more down to the actual design chosen for the movie.
This, the PA is, however, AWESOME!

I, like many, studied the prototype when it was first unveiled and my only real issue was with the dreads, I felt they ‘over’ ‘Predatorised’ it, and I still feel they are perhaps a Predator trait too far. But that is my issue with the character design. I am here today to look at the sculpting as interpretation of, and accuracy pertaining to the actual screen-seen creature, and this is amazing. Joseph Tsang (JT) the sculptor has created a small work of finely engineered art, it feels more like a finely crafted stop-motion model than an action figure.

The basic construction of the body is very similar to the Aliens that have gone before, so we get a rubber/silicone covered, multi-articulated torso. I particularly like the way the creature designers have given the PA ribs that look like the bony articulated legs/fingers on the face-huggers. Onto this torso ‘snap’ the ball-jointed shoulders and hips; the elbows and knees have rubber covered joints that can bend to about 90 degrees. The hands slot onto pegs like before and the feet snap into ball-mounted cups. All the joints are nice and stiff; and they need to be for his size and weight. The feet are more elaborate than the old Aliens, as they are in more of an arched position. In the movie the PA kind of walks on tip-toe.

The true area of expertise is, however, the head. The silicone body extends seamlessly up the neck and fixes to the rigid parts of the head. We then have the outer ‘Pred’ mandibles fixed on either side of the mouth proper, these can move in close to the head or be pulled out, where they can also be opened for the classic roaring pose, the inner jaws can be pushed forward and as you do so the mouth automatically opens for them to extend out till they lock. The dreads are made of the same material used on the newer Predators and they hang fantastically, and even sway as you move the figure, but the standout detail is the transparent domed head, through which you can see the skull, it’s just freakin’ beautiful!

You can follow virtually every step of Joseph Tsang’s creation of the figure on his amazing (non English) blog site

Paint: ****
Sculpting this good demands a paint job that helps bring all these amazing details out and let them shine, and these fantastic apps do just that. Viewed from the rear the figure has a mostly grey palette where as from the front it is more browny/beige with flashes of reddish/terracotta. But the use of washes and airbrushing alongside some nice tight brush work really bring this figure alive. There’s some nice subtle spotting and paternation on the outer mandibles and the opaque dome, the teeth are picked out in a dull steel/gun metal colour that really add to the sinister edge this character needed.

I just know some customisers are going to get their hands on this and make it even more amazing, but for factory fresh apps, these are up there with the best.

Slight spoiler paragraph-
As we come to realise in the movie, this hybrid is a queen, with a rather unpleasant style of procreation, and so being a queen she has a head shape that has echoes of the classic ‘Aliens’ queen, especially at the rear of the skull. But because we have a cross-species hybrid here we get a more elaborate colour scheme, so some areas are picked out in the beige colour. These areas are nicely picked out and the washes bring it all together. As we know the classic Aliens have what is in effect a chitinous outer shell where as the Predators are flesh, blood and bone, so this creature shows traits of both physiologies, and this paint job captures that amalgamation fantastically.

Articulation - ***1/2
There’s a fine line between getting the sculpt to look just right and satisfying articulation junkies like me! Would I have liked more articulation, you betya, but this is still pretty amazing. I’m very impressed with the poseability of the main torso: it can twist, bend forwards, backwards and from side to side. This caries on up through the neck which again shows a fantastic range. The arms and legs are made from rigid plastic and, as I said, they snap onto double ball-ended posts at the shoulders and hips. This means these joints show a pretty good range, the elbows and knees bend to about 90 degrees; the feet are on double ball posts as well, and the hands are on pegs that can spin and tilt. The tail is thick, like the AvP Aliens with a wire running the length inside, this really helps with balance for posing as it can in effect be used as a third leg. As I mentioned above, the mouth can open to let the inner jaws move forward and the side mandibles, which are a rigid scissor mechanism covered in a rubber skin, can move in close to the face or extend away as they are on small ball joints; these can also open and close as well.

So all in all I’m very impressed, a joint mid bicep would’ve helped, but it would almost certainly have upset the way this sculpt flows, so I think they got it pretty spot-on.

I’ve tried an experiment here with a small demo of some of the articulation, you can view this on youtube here. If you think it’s of use let us know and I’ll try and include them on some future reviews.

Accessories: N/A
He/she doesn’t really come with any accessories as such, and he/she doesn’t need any, as nothing other than women’s mouths (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it) were interacted with. You do however get two sets of hands as I mentioned above, one in a rigid pose the others bendy, but I consider these more of a welcome added bonus to the functionality of the body rather than accessories. 

Outfit: N/A

Fun Factor: ****
This figure is fantastically poseable, and pretty imposing when stood next to your other Aliens and Preds. It was also a joy to put it together after the recent run of Preds, P2, P2 Elder and Wolf it was nice to put a figure together in under five minutes.

I have to say that though this creature’s design isn’t my favourite in terms of overall look, as an action figure construction, it’s the winner by a long mile.

I hope that the love and detail brought to this will now be lent to the original H.R. Giger ‘Big Chap’ when they get to him (please make it soon Hot Toys, there are a lot of people getting pretty desperate out here!).

Value: ***
This figure was retailing through SST for $184.99, you don’t get any accessories for that, but you do get quite frankly a ‘huge’ figure with some of the most impressive ‘hidden’ articulation I’ve ever seen. When stood next to the Wolf figure it literally dwarfs him, showing what a ‘David and Goliath’ battle that final fight was, it’s also nice to see all the detail on these beasts that was virtually invisible in the poorly lit rain-drenched final scenes.

Overall: ***1/2
An amazing figure that demands an appropriate score. The only thing that keeps it from a perfect **** is the price, the factor that keeps so many import figures from a clean sweep. But were it not for the price it would’ve got top marks. For me, I think it’s one of the most impressive figures of the last 12 months alongside the Power Loader, Elder Pred 2 and the Appleseed figures.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - N/A
Outfit - N/A
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to buy-
SST has sold out on pre-order at $184.99. I know a lot of people decided to cancel this guy faced with the dilemma of three expensive figures coming out at the same time, but I have to say, in my most humble of opinions it is (sorry Pred fans) the strongest figure in the set.

Even though SST has sold out, as has Dark Shadow which I usually recommend, you can find it at Michael’s sponsor below:

Amazing Toyz $166.49

There are also a few floating around on eBay for between $145 to $199.  You can use MyAuctionLinks to search for them.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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