Alien Big Chap vinyl figure
Hot Toys

Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from 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."

Jeff Parker checks in with his look at the latest Hot Toys Alien - tell us all about him, Jeff!

A big thank you to Michael.

Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy writing reviews, why else would I do it in my spare time… but some reviews like the one I recently completed for the TDK Batman DX02 can be pretty time consuming, by the time I’ve researched, roughed it out, written the final draft and then finally edited it, not to mention taking all the photos, well, it can sometimes feel like you’re back doing a dissertation. Especially when you’re working on a figure like the DX02 that simply has soooooo much to say about it!

Every now and then it’s nice to get a more ‘relaxed’ item, where artistic licence is writ large, where there’s no right or wrong, where you just either just like it or you don’t, and that’s often what vinyl toys are all about.
So here we are again with another figure of the ALIEN, but this one is a much more irreverent fun item, I’d say it has a much wider demographic of possible customers as it could sit happily on a hardcore Xenophiles shelf or a more casual fans desk at work, so depending on which of those camps you frequent… will it appeal to you?
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys

Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys

Packaging - ***
This is a pretty no frills affair; it’s a simple oblong corrugated cardboard box with a large window that displays the figure. The outer box is dense black with a smattering of stars and is labelled as ALIEN- BIG CHAP. The back has the concept illustration by Khoo Fuk-Lung, James (KFLJ) he’s the guy that designed and art directed the project supervising Joseph Tsang (JT) on sculpting and painting duties. Inside the figure is held secure by a clear vac-formed double tray with no twisties.

So, as I said, it’s not gonna challenge some of Hot Toys finest 1/6th figures in terms of ground breaking design, but it’s certainly serviceable enough and protects the figure well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Vinyl figures are all about interpretation; some people love’em and some just don’t get it. I personally sit on the fence, there are plenty of designer vinyl figures I have loved in the past, but likewise I do sometimes find myself scratching my head with some of the more obtuse ‘vinyl for vinyl’s sake’ creations.

However when it comes to ALIENS it’s all good, Medicom gave us a cool interpretation last year, and many other companies have tackled Giger's finest over the years, giving him there own particular artistic vision.

Here KFLJ has managed to make the monster look like a rather cute foetal stage xenomorph, as cute oversized heads aside, this thing actually looks like the baby stage between the chest-burster and the early stages of the adult. He’s been sculpted in the fan-favourite signature pose crouching with its head bent forward and the tail coming right under his legs and up under the face to curve up next to his domed head.

All the details you’d expect are here, but in a deformed and stubby style. I’m especially liking the huge domed head with it’s semi opaque hood, through which we can see the skull beneath, but as much as like this element it’s still a shame that it has a rather prominent seam running around it’s edge. It’s certainly not bad enough to make it a deal breaker, but if it could have been totally smooth it would have looked just perfect. The body itself has lots of great details on the ridges and bio-mechanical appendages. The rib cage where it meets the sternum and the abdominal areas look really nicely observed, but ironically you’ll never see them unless you use a torch.
The dorsal spike is exaggerated to be the prominent feature on his back, overpowering the ‘breathing’ tubes to the point of making them look small and stubby.

Lastly there’s that nasty ALIEN grin, which seems to have its origins in the classic primate fear grin, I don’t know if it was ever in Giger’s mind to ‘ape’ this (sorry) but the human nature of the front teeth always makes it seem that way to me.

So to sum up, he’s cute enough that your wife, girlfriend or significant other will probably let you display it (my wife wants one for her desk at work), but he comes with enough of the details to make it instantly apparent that this is indeed Giger’s nightmare creation, but in a ‘cute’ way, kind of ‘Xeno-lite’.

Paint - ***
I guess simple but effective is the best way to sum up this paint app. The base plastic used is a dark metallic grey over which are some darker washes and some very subtle airbrushed striping on his shoulder plates. The teeth and foot claws are picked out in a mottled, dirty steel colour, note that the hands are sculpted without nails/claws at all.

The dome is semi opaque and is air-brushed in black around its edge to make the inner skull a little less visible, but if you look closely there’s still plenty of detail evident. This is painted in a bone like ivory colour that has some brown mottling airbrushed freehand into some of the sculpted areas to help exaggerate the details of the underlying sculpt.

This paint app certainly does its job in terms of enhancing the figures form, and it shows many nice touches, but in terms of the super-accurate and detailed work we are so used to seeing from Hot Toys, then this isn’t their finest hour.

Articulation - N/A
There is actually just a modicum of movement at the neck from side to side and the shoulders can rotate almost fully, but this is down to how it’s constructed rather than intended articulation, so I consider this a moot point!

Accessories - N/A
I guess a vinyl face-hugger might have been cool, and if this sells well enough maybe we’ll get that… or even a chest-burster as a separate vinyl figure in the future, but for now he comes with a big fat zilch!

Outfit - N/A
C’mon, what did you expect, some dress up options… that said, in this pose he’d look pretty snazzy on a pair of skis with a bobble hat on!

Value - ***
Big hunks of vinyl always seem to come at a premium price, and this follows that trend. The official RRP from Sideshow was $79.99, so no where near as expensive as some recent 1/6th figures, but neither is it obviously as big, articulated or accessorised!

However by browsing over some of Michael’s sponsors you can make a slight saving and find it for $76.99. I think if this had been more in the $40 to $50 bracket it would have seemed like a much sweeter deal, but you can see a lot of work has gone into this, and the ALIEN licence from 20th Century Fox couldn’t have been cheap, so the ball’s in your court!

Overall - ***
If you are a completist Xeno freak then this is a no brainer, mine is posed in front of my 1/6th power loader alongside a couple of ALIEN busts. I like it a lot, the details are well executed and it’s a loving nod to Giger's fantastic beastie, but the only real sticking point is price.
I know many designer vinyl collectors are used to paying quite frankly huge amounts for the latest must have piece, but to me personally it does seem a little on the steep side.

Where to Buy -
Sideshow did have him for the RRP of $79.99 but he sold out from them quite quickly. After searching around a bit, he doesn’t seem to be available with many of Mikes sponsors, I did find it with Big Bad Toy Store  for $76.99.

But apart from that it’s time to hit eBay, where I’m seeing prices of between $75 to $99, so stay frosty, and happy hunting people.
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys
Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys

Alien Big Chap vinyl figure from Hot Toys

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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