Palisades Micro Alien and Predator mini-busts

Palisades continues to crank out the great toys, and with all their excellent announcements at Toy Fair, it looks like they'll be getting a lot of my business in 2004.  One of their newer ideas was to downsize their already successful Alien and Predator mini-busts.

Since those were 'mini' though, what would these be?  At roughly half the size of the originals - that's half in all respects - these are called 'micro' busts.  The Predator's are about 3.5" tall, while the Alien Queen is slightly bigger at almost 5" tall.

The smaller size means a smaller price tag, something many collectors can appreciate.  At a SRP of $30 (which you can beat at many on-line retailers), they are about half the cost of their larger cousins.

They've started with the Queen Alien and the Masked Predator, with an Action Figure Express exclusive of a 'stealth' (clear) version of the Masked Predator.  Since he's a limited run exclusive (only 500), he's not as cheap, running $45.  While I haven't seen any announcements of further micro busts, I'd be surprised if we didn't get some additions to the line up in 2004.

Packaging - ***
Each bust comes in a sturdy, well designed box with graphics showing off the individual busts.  They foam packaging is well done, but there's no COA.  Each of the busts is numbered both on the bottom of the figure and on the bottom of the box.

Sculpting - Queen Alien ***1/2; Predator ***
The difference in the score here is probably due to my own preference for the design and overall style of the Queen Alien. She's one mean looking little lady, and you wouldn't want to find her next to you some cold morning.  There's an amazing amount of detail, particularly for such a small scale, and they did a terrific job of shrinking down the larger mini-busts and not losing the look.

The Masked Predator is well done in that regard as well, but he's not my favorite of the series at twice the size.  With the mask on he just loses so much personality, and I'd rather have a micro version of the exceptional unmasked version, or perhaps the defeated Predator.

Still, you can't complain about the level of detail and quality in the smaller sculpt.  Looking at the photos you can see that if you didn't get a scale comparison, you couldn't tell this smaller bust wasn't the larger version.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint ops on both these busts is terrific, with lots of detail, and very clean application.  I'm particularly impressed with the bronze metal appearance of the Predator's mask, and the silver teeth of the Queen.

Of course, the Stealth Predator has no paint ops, but I love the clear approach nonetheless.  I've always been a big fan of clear figures, and I can remember how happy I was when I got my clear Predator in the mail from Kenner.  God, my life is dull.

Design/Quality - ***1/2
I love the design and quality of these busts, but there's nothing really new here.  If you saw the larger versions, then you know exactly what you're getting in terms of design on these.

The scale might throw some folks though.  When you think of something being half as big, you don't realize just how *small* that really is.  I was pretty surprised when I opened up the first one, but when I had them with the larger versions, I realized they really are about half the size.  I think it's that the whole bust is half as big, and we have a tough time visualizing that.

I've included a bunch of scale comparison photos for just that reason.  Now you won't be quite as surprised!

Value - Alien, Predator **1/2;  Clear Predator*1/2
At the much higher price point of $45, you just knew that the clear version wasn't going to do as well in this category.  This is a micro bust that's really only important to the completist.  If you really like the 'stealth' idea, you might want to skip the regular version to save yourself some green.

At $50, I think the larger versions are a tad expensive.  At $60, they are **1/2 star values.  Therefore, these micros really shouldn't be more than $25, and you can probably find them at that price with a little looking.  Get them for $25 or less, and add another half star.

Overall - Queen Alien ***1/2; Predator ***
If you've avoided the regular Alien and Predator mini-busts because a) they're too expensive or b) they're too big, then these micros are a great choice.  They take up far less shelf space, and yet look just as amazing as their big brother and sister.  I hope we see the Warrior Alien, Defeated Predator, and others in this same format.

Where to Buy - 
I'm betting on-line is your best opportunity for these.  The clear Predator is only available right now as an exclusive through Action Figure Express.  The others can be found on-line:

- Killer Toys has the Queen for $30, and the Predator for $23.  That's a great price for the Predator!


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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