Alien Big Chap vinyl figure
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
|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
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?
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
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.
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
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’.
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
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
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.
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!
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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.