Packaging - ***
I opened the figure too soon to take some good MIB shots, but the packaging
works just fine. The Queen herself is packaged in a crouched/
flattened pose, nice and compact, while the poor victim is displayed with
the Chestburster extended from her torso in the box. It's as
attractive and compact as you'd want this set to be, and quite
durable. I accidentally dropped the box twice in the packing lot after
purchase, and it held up perfectly with nothing broken inside. The
design and graphics are great with the Aliens logo on the front and
portraits of the Queen and victim on the box sides. There are a TON of
twisty ties, and you have to practically destroy the inner box to get the
Queen out of there, so that's the only negative.
Sculpting - ****
As usual, McFarlane usually excels in the sculpting category, and the Queen
is no exception. Every little crevice of bony exoskeleton is rendered
beautifully, and as far as I can tell, looks exactly like the film version.
Some have argued that the Queen, though huge, is still too small, but I
think they're comparing her to the taller Predators, who are supposed to be
about 7 feet tall. Compared to the human victim figure, the scale
looks right. For the record, the Queen stands approximately 12"
tall from head to toe, with the only obvious seam lines running down the
sides of her torso.
The victim herself is a great likeness of the actress from the film, and has
a very expressive, realistic face. The machinery on the walls next
to her is perfectly done and creates a nice sense of atmosphere, with little
severed cables and fallen pieces of the ceiling. Unfortunately, the
design for the Chestburster "action feature" leaves a long length
of plastic sticking out from behind the diorama, so you can't put it up flat
against a wall, and if you remove the Chestbuster, there's a gaping black
circle in her torso. It's more of a design flaw than a sculpting
flaw, but worth mentioning.
Paint - ****
The Queen has a nice muted color scheme, with little bits of gray, brown,
light blue, and even tan dry-brushed over her skin detail. It really
brings out the intricate sculpt. Additionally, the Queen's lower head
is cast in clear plastic and painted to allow light to shine through her
teeth! The victim is an appropriate sickly pale skin tone with washes
of green slime and dirt all over her. She really looks like she's been
down there for a while. The most impressive paint job on the base
machinery, which is spattered many, many times over with dirt, rust, and
grime to create a very realistic metal appearance.
The Queen features FOUR ball-jointed shoulders (the two smaller arms can
actually be popped off and on easily at the shoulder), slightly ball-jointed
hips, ball-jointed neck and lower head, twist wrists, slightly-ball-jointed
waist, base of tail twist, and a long bendy tail.
Several areas of articulation on the Queen
use a soft rubber to allow movement. The tail is a soft, spongy rubber
bendy with a sturdy wire inside for posing. Elbow twists would have
been very useful, and I was a bit disappointed that the jaws could not open,
and the lack of elbow articulation is quite limiting
The main neck is actually soft rubber with a jointed mechanism inside,
similar to the Singe the Dragon figure from Dragon's Lair. It's a bit
annoying, since it doesn't like to hold its position very well, and tends to
snap back into the default pose frequently. The lower head is also
ball-jointed, and the strands of skin attached to the jaws are also made of
this soft rubber. My experience with this soft rubber has been
negative in the past, since my Crouching Tiger figures rubber costumes have
began to decay over the last year. I'm not sure how well the Queen
will hold up over time, but the rubber parts work fairly well for now.
She has the tightest hip joints I've ever seen on an action figure, to her
benefit...she's very heavy, and has metal wires running through her
legs and out of the soles of her feet. These wires connect her to the
base, and hopefully provide some stability for lengthy display. The
inserted wires allow no articulation for the ankles and knees, but they hold
her steady and will (hopefully) eliminate droop for the forseeable
future despite the massive upper body weight.
The victim has only neck and right wrist articulation (well, she really
can't do ANYTHING stuck to the wall, right?). The Chestburster slides
in and out and rotates. Again, if you don't want the chestburster in there,
you can slide it out the back of the diorama to remove it. The green
slime covering her, as well as her torn shirt, are also made from the same
soft rubber that the Queen features.
Accessories - ***
There's not many pieces here, just the foot base for the Queen and the
victim diorama. Both bases can be snapped together in various ways on
two different hinge joints under the floor. Personally, I would have
included a third display base option that connected to the Queen's upper
body to help take the weight off her legs. I've had her on display for
only one evening, and already she's starting to lean to the side a bit. Stability
is a huge issue with this figure, and a third base or support column for the
upper body would have been ideal.
The victim diorama looks wonderful and provides a nice background for your
Alien/Predator displays (add the egg floor base from the Alien vs Predator
set for a REALLY cool diorama!). You don't get much in quantity, but
the quality is there. As many fans have stated, the inclusion of a
Ripley figure or a Power Loader instead of the victim diorama would have
been preferable (even Newt, Bishop's upper torso, or an Egg Sack would have
scored more points with fans) but I think McFarlane is saving as many
characters as possible for future Movie Maniac offerings.
A big plus: instructions for assembly of the base are included in the
box, unlike some recent McFarlane boxed sets.
Value - ****
I bought my set from a local collectibles show for $20, though standard
retail looks to be anywhere from $25-$30 for this set. The Queen
and diorama are so massive, it's probably still a good deal at $30, but even
sweeter if you can find it for $25 or $20.
Overall - ***1/2
The set is only hurt by use of soft rubber pieces that may decay over
time, stability and weight issues, and some missing upper body articulation.
It's edging extremely close to a **** star rating, even with these minor
problems, and is really a crown jewel for any collector of Alien/Predator
merchandise. Here's hoping we see a Power Loader boxed set in the
Movie Maniacs series next year! And maybe Hicks or Vasquez too.
Game over man!
Where to Buy -
These are popping up at specialty retailers like Electronics Boutique and
Media Play. On-line options include:
- new sponsor, Killer
Toys, has an excellent price on the set, only $18.95 plus shipping!
Sniper has them in stock and ready to ship for $24.99. That's where I
Toys has the good price I've seen at only $22.99 plus shipping. I've
bought from them many times, and always gotten great service!