Aliens Mez-itz

The College Bum, Sean Teeter, checks in tonight with a review of the new Aliens Mez-itz.  It's all yours, Sean!

I was so pleasantly surprised with the Alien and Predator Mez-Itz I picked up a little while back that I decided to add to them with Mezco’s set from Aliens. I’ve really warmed up to the sculpting design on these little guys, and they display great next to the McFarlane MM6 figures.

So, is this set better than the set from the first Alien? 

Packaging - **1/2
All three figures come packaged together on a large blister card, complete with huge plastic bubble. Unlike the first set, this one has some text and graphics. There’s a shot of the Queen on the front of the card, and the back has some nice photo art with a write-up. I still think that this packaging lacks in comparison to the boxed Predator Mez-Itz.

Sculpting - Alien Warrior & Alien Queen: *** 1/2; Ripley: **
Mez-Itz bodies are pretty simplistic to begin with, but the added head sculpts and little extras really make up for it most of the time. All three figures have the same cylindrical legs, torsos, and banana arms with U-shaped hands. 

The Alien Warrior is the same exact sculpt as the Alien from the first set. There are nicely detailed tentacles coming out of his back as well as shoulder ridges and outer ribs. On his back is a rubber tail. Just like the first one, the detail on the head is exceptional, and contains the only change to the sculpt. The clear dome from the first Alien has been replaced with a darker tinted, ridged dome. The skull structure underneath is harder to see, but the plastic pops off for easy viewing.

The Queen is a new sculpt however. The tail and back tubes are done differently, and there’s an extra pair of immobile hands on her chest. Her feet are also altered to mimic the movie. The head makes me wonder if Mezco is going to help McFarlane launch their own Mini-Movie-Maniacs line. For the style and scale, the detailing is simply groovy. The cranial plate and jutting jaw just capture the character. The one huge drawback is the issue of scale: the Queen is the same size as Ripley and the Warrior Alien. She should be much bigger.

For those of you hoping to have your own pocket-sized Sigourney Weaver, prepare to be disappointed. Ripley’s sculpt is pretty bland compared to the other figures in this line, not to mention that her face doesn’t look anything like her whatsoever. I know that this line isn’t trying for realism, but she almost looks like Michael Jackson –complete with the bony nose! The glued-on breasts also look kind of funny.

Paint - Warrior Alien & Alien Queen: ** ˝; Ripley: **
The Warrior Alien has the same highlights on his body as the Alien from the first set, but they are painted in a metallic blue. The color looks really cool against the black plastic, but is still hit and miss in a few spots. The Alien Queen has a little bit of a wash to her head, but for the most part is the same color her plastic was shot in. There’s some tan edging to her skull plate, as well as black detail on her limbs.
Ripley is the loser here as well. The hair ops are clean, as is the rest of the face. The black straps on the shirt are a little messy. Her pants are awful. The blue paint is so thin and spotty that you can see the base peach color underneath, especially in the back.

Articulation - Warrior Alien & Queen Alien: ***; Ripley: ** ˝ 
In comparison to other figures like the Art Asylum Minimates, these guys are a little lacking in the movement department.
Ripley has eight points: ball joint neck, ball shoulders, ball hips, cut wrists, and a waist cut. The ball-joints are limited by the sculpt, but work okay. There’s nothing to really write the farm about here.

Both Aliens fare slightly better with nine points: ball neck, ball shoulders, ball hips, wrist cuts, a waist cut, and a moving set of jaws. Once again all the ball-joints are limited by the body sculpt. Both figures have the same double jaw action feature that the first one had. On the back of their skulls is a small sliding button. Push it forward and the Aliens’ outer jaws open up, while the inner ones extend out a little ways. It’s a cool little feature and doesn’t impact the movement or sculpt negatively at all.

What’s really missing here are elbow and knee joints, but with this style of figure, it’s not such a big deal. 

Accessories - Alien Warrior: *** ˝; Ripley: ***; Alien Queen: ** ˝
Mezco did a great job on the weapons that came with the Predator set, but the Alien set was lacking. Of course, the Aliens don’t really use anything, so it’s kind of hard to come up with something to go with your little acid-dripping friend.
All three figures come with a base, and Ripley gets her gun from the end of the movie.

The Queen is the loser here. Her base is made up of a sculpted egg-sack laying an egg. While the sculpt is nice enough for this figure, the egg-sack just looks weird by itself. It would have been much cooler to have an attachment point for the Queen’s butt –as is, she can only back up to it. The paint on the translucent part is also a little hit and miss.

Ripley’s base is a generic industrial section, and has some similar sculpting to the Alien’s base from the first set. At the end of Aliens Ripley went after the Queen with a pulse rifle strapped to a flamethrower. The gun here is done up in the same fashion, but the pulse rifle doesn’t really look like the gun from the movie. It would have been cool if the guns could separate as well.

The Alien Warrior is also restricted to a base, but Mezco gets some extra credit for this one. There’s a Mez-Itz styled figure sculpted to the wall, then covered with green slime. On the back of the base is a button –push it in and a bloody chestburster will pop out the front of the victim. There’s also little red blood splatters all over the base as well. The mechanism works pretty well, but the chestburster might need a little help going back in after a while. 

Durability/Quality - ** 
They all have similar problems with their joints. While it was pretty easy to separate the Predator and Alien figures at the waist and shoulders, the limbs fit snuggly enough to stay together. The Queen and Warrior keep falling apart at the waist, and the arms on all three come off way too easy. 

Value - **1/2
That’s if you end up paying more than $15, which is the lowest I’ve seen these guys in physical stores. They’ve been popping up at Sam Goody’s, Spencer’s, and Hot Topic anywhere from $14.99 to $16.99. However, if you can get them for less than that, bump the rating up to three stars. 

I got mine at Tower Records for $12.99, an excellent price. They also have the Predator and Alien set each for the same dollar amount. Spend a total of $20 or more and you get free shipping!

Toynk has them for $13.99, with flat shipping rates: $5.99 for orders under $50; $4.99 for orders over. They also have the Predator and Alien set for $12.99 each.

Aisle Sniper also has all three of them, but at $14.99 a pop. They also sell all three sets in a convenient bundle package, but at $44.97, you are paying the same exact price as you would to buy them separately.

Overall - **3/4
Out of the three Mez-Itz sets Mezco has produced for the Alien/Predator line, I still like the Predator set the best. The Alien set wasn’t that exciting an affair with what you got figure-wise, but I really liked the sculpt of the Space Jockey as well as the little action features in the other two figures.

So, what about this set? As all three of these are sold as a set, I have to judge them together, and I think they’re lacking.
The Warrior Alien is the winner of this set and this should be a warning. When the repackaged figure is the best one, something’s wrong. Of course most of his pluses are drawn from the cool base Mezco did up for him as opposed to his refurbished look.

Ripley looks way too much like Michael Jackson’s bastard love child for comfort, and it’s hard to look at her and think she’s supposed to be Sigourney Weaver. 

The Queen is perhaps the biggest disappointment of the lot mainly because of her size. While I love the sculpt detail, she’s just too damn tiny. I would have preferred that Mezco made her up slightly more in correct proportion to the other figures. The Space Jockey from the first set was also too small, but was at least made to be the biggest figure of the trio. The Queen’s base is also a little goofy to deal with display-wise.

Action feature-wise, the double jaw thing has been done before, but still is a neat idea. I just wish the inner mouth were a little longer.

In the end, this set is really about the two Alien figures more than the shoddy Ripley. You can never have enough Aliens on display, especially alongside the Predator Mez-Itz.  I personally feel that this set is the weakest of three though.

Figures from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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