Jeff Parker is back tonight with a guest review of a rather unique set of
figures - take it away, Jeff!
Hot Toys (HT) have given us some of the
best, if not THE best representations of the Aliens and Predators over the
last few years. If, like myself, you’re a collector of quality 1/6 figures
it’s highly likely that one of HT products has made it’s way into your
collection, and I bet it’s one of your faves.
Figures like the T800 Endoskeleton, Robocop, ED-209, Jack Sparrow and the
huge Power Loader have cemented HT place as the most innovative 1/6,
high-end collectable company of the moment.
But things can always change!
Sideshow Toys (SST) has unveiled some impressive new figures into the 1/6
arena recently, showing they are still a contender not to be underestimated.
And one of SST many strengths has always been its diversity. Not only do
they bring us quality 12” figures (most of the time) but they create a lot
of statues, prints and 1/1 scale props and figures.
And so HT are now
beginning to show their diversity as well, they’ve started small, with
Chubbies, Busts (Rambo being the first), Statues and now the Cosbaby line as
well. Firstly they brought out the Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) range,
and now we have the AvP ones also.
Figures like this aren’t going to
appeal to everyone, it’s kind of a niche market, but it’s an ever-growing
niche market. There are plenty of people into vinyl figures, Kubricks etc,
and plenty of people who will literally collect ANYTHING from a title/licence
they are into (sadly I fall into this category when it comes to Aliens and
Michael suffers with the deadly ‘Batman’ affliction, all us fan-boys tend to
have at least one line like this!), so I HAD to have the Aliens, and lets
face it those Preds are pretty cool in a cute way, and when the price is
this reasonable, I though why not push the boat out and get the whole set.
At this point I think it’s worth wondering just ‘what’ a Cosbaby is, I’m
guessing the oversized head and cute features are the ‘baby’ (my
powers of deduction are
astounding) and the ‘Cos’ comes from the phenomenon of
‘Cosplay’ meaning a Cosbaby is in
effect a baby dressed up as a character… well that’s the way I see it
These come blind boxed, but if you’re lucky your re/E-tailer will sell them
either opened, so you know what you’re getting or with a little nifty
sticker on the side next to the pic of the relevant figure within. There are
six designs in all, and they are-
- Alien Warrior
- Grid Alien
- Scar Predator
- Chopper Predator
- Celtic Predator
- Alexa Woods
At the end of the day blind boxing is just what it says, you can’t have
windows, bubbles and the like or it wouldn’t be ‘blind’, so we get a simple
rectangular box, with the AvP logo and plenty of images of the other figures
in the range. Inside the figure is in a plastic bag with various sealed
compartments for his/her accessories (should he/she have any), nothing
hugely special, but it does its job.
Sculpt: Aliens ****, Preds ***1/2, Alexa ***
These stand a mere 7.5 cm tall (or if you’re still living in the Dark
Ages/the UK 3”). But don’t let their diminutive stature fool you, HT have
packed plenty of detail in there. You can see the full line up
here, and as you can see, these are super detailed, but also very much
of the ‘deformed’ style that’s become very popular through the vinyl
explosion over the last ten years or so. The first line HT bought out was
the POTC, viewable
So if you like Kubricks, Mezits and so on, or you just collect Aliens and
Preds these are for you, I started comparing these to the other lines
mentioned above, but soon realised there was little, if no point, as the
aesthetics are all so very different.
The two Aliens are exactly the same sculpt, nice work on the head,
especially around the mouth, he also has his tail, rear breathing tubes and
spike and sculpted hands and feet, apart from that the basic construction on
all these is the same with all the detail coming from sculpted sheaths that
fit over the painted base body. Though they arrive ready constructed, with
care you can strip them down to see all the base parts…should you… want… to,
I need to get out more!
As I said these are deformed versions of the Alien, but if a few
face-huggers had managed to impregnate a bunch of Ewoks, this is probably a
pretty accurate depiction of what would’ve burst out of them (Oh, if only!)
The three Preds also have the same basic sculpt, but differ in a number
of places, most obviously they all have their own individual masks, Scar is
my personal favourite, as it’s simple lines are closest to the ones worn by
the Predators in the first two movies, but in terms of detail the Celtic
wins hands down, The combination of wrist gauntlets and blades is also
different but mixes and matches if you know what I mean, for example Celtic
and Chopper share the same left arm, Scar and Chopper share the same right
arm where as Scars left and Celtics right are unique to them. All other
elements are the same, even the faces under the helmets, Scar has his, you
guessed it, scar painted on his brow, but lets face it Predators are not
meant to look this cute, so I’d guess most of you will display them with the
masks on, the fact they come off at all is just a bonus to me.
It’d be nice if HT follow up with Cosbaby versions of Preds 1,2 and the
AvP: R Wolf as they will all need significantly different sculpts and paint
Lastly we get Alexa Woods, our heroin from the movie, they’ve made her uber-cute
with a very cartoony head. The styling seems to be somewhere between cute
Manga and Disney, much like the POTC Cosbaby figures, but it don’t take
Sherlock Holmes to realise she’s gonna be the hardest sell, and will
probably only get picked up by people who purchase the whole line, if you’ve
gotta make a choice out of the six figures, I guess she’d be sixth. But
that’s down to the characters popularity, not the quality of the figure, she
is the least visually interesting of the set, but they’ve still done a fine
job of translating the screen seen character into the Cosbaby style.
Paint: Aliens & Preds***1/2 Alexa ***
Taking the scale into consideration all six have some great details. The
Aliens stand out the best for me, that might be my Xenomorphic bias, but
it’s also down to the fact they’re the easiest, so there is less to go
physically wrong. It’s an overall black with grey washes to pick out the
sculpting, the teeth are picked out in steel and the smooth dome is a glossy
black with a dark chocolate brown highlight airbrushed on top to give him
that AvP roach like appearance. The grid version also has the green acid cut
lines criss-crossing the dome with more of the green acid blood spilling
down the right hand side into the mouth.
The Preds are a far more complex job, lots of tiny details, metallic hues
and washes on the armour, the faces are nicely done, not up there with their
recent 1/6 Preds but a lot better than a lot of stuff being released by
rival companies at this scale. The face is a base tan with darker brown
airbrushed around the eyes and mandibles, there’s some delicate spotting on
top of the head, the tusks are picked out in ivory and the mouth in pink.
The dreads are base black with a brown wash that picks out the lines between
the details, his dread rings/jewellery are picked out in steel and bronze,
the same bronze that is used to pick out the iris in his eyes. His body mesh
appears to be a printed transfer but it all comes together very well.
Lastly Alexa, her red arctic suit has some nice details picked out, but
it’s a pretty simple job, her face and hair are flat colours and her other
facial details are executed crisply and with no slop.
Articulation - ***
All six of these have identical articulation, and their range of
movement is limited but perfectly serviceable. We have small swivel snap-on
ball joints at the neck, shoulders hips and ankles the waist can turn and
the hands can spin as they are pushed into the arms on pegs. I did think the
articulation was something of a moot point as these are primarily cute
collectables to stick on your desk or shelves, not really to play with.
But while sitting here doing this review on my wife’s laptop my kids have
been playing with them on the floor in front of me the whole time (they’re
not keen on the Aliens as they are too ugly). But the Preds and Alexa have
had a tour of Captain Hooks ship and have now moved into Polly pockets doll
house and had a tea party, it’s looking suspiciously like Alexa might be
marrying Chopper, and Scars got together with Tinker bell, Celtic has been
left on the shelf… I kid you not!
Accessories: Preds & Alexa ***, Aliens N/A
All the Preds have a removable mask, spear and shuriken; Chopper also has a
small pair of skulls on sticks to attach to his back. Alexa has a spear made
from an Aliens tail spike and a shield made from an Aliens head, the shield
is out of scale with the other Aliens as it has to fit in her hand, but it’s
still sculpted very nicely. Lastly the Aliens, these don’t have any
accessories at all, a small face-hugger might have been nice, but alas they
come as seen.
Everything is sculpted.
Fun Factor: ****
Well, after watching my kids with them I guess it has to be a top score, I
shall try and wrestle them from my two girls so I can put them back on top
of my monitor at work, but my wife has asked if she can have Alexa and a
Pred for her workstation, and to avoid tears I might end up having to re-buy
a couple of Preds to keep the peace with my kids… this wasn’t meant to
happen, usually they show little or no interest in ‘Daddies’ toys, sigh!
For under $8 a pop these seem like a pretty good deal to me for an ‘all be
it small’ imported and licensed range of figures. SST had them for $7.50
each, but they’ve all sold out and I can’t find them with any of Michaels
other sponsors, but I’d guess you might be able to pick them up at your
local speciality or comic store.
In the UK you can pick them up at play.com for between £3.99 to £5.99, or
forbiddenplanet.co.uk have them all for £4.99 each, nothing short of a
EBay prices are creeping up already as they become scarcer, my 4 star rating
is based on them being $8 or under.
I was so close to giving full marks, but even though I think the price is about
right and the painting and sculpting is great, my only slight issue was
getting them to stand with both feet flat on the ground. It can be done, but
you might use a few choice words getting the Preds and Alexa into the
position you want without a mask coming off or Alexa dropping her shield.
But apart from that I think these are great, the POTC ones didn’t scream
buy me the way these did, but now I have these I’m thinking of going back to
see if I can pick them up as well. I’d love to see HT carry this style over
to some of their other licences like Star Wars, DC Super heroes, Robocop,
Appleseed etc, etc, as if they can keep the quality this good and the price
stable I can see these giving Kubricks a good run for their money.
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting- Aliens ****, Preds ***1/2, Alexa ***
Paint - Aliens & Preds***1/2 Alexa ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Preds & Alexa ***, Aliens N/A
Outfit - N/A
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ****
Overall - ***1/2
Where to buy-
As I said above
SST has sold out so you’ll have to try your local stores or
try ebay with
MyAuctionLinks where you’ll find them for between $7.99 and $12.99. Good