Alien Queen
Deluxe MM6

Tonight you get two reviews of the new Deluxe MM6 Alien Queen.  There is my review at Movie Poop Shoot, plus this terrific guest review from Flash!. Take it away!

Hi everyone, Flash! here, as I'm known occasionally on the Raving Toy Maniac forum.  I'm a long time action figure collector who has always enjoyed Michael's review site, so I finally decided to give something back.  I happened across the Alien Queen boxed set from the newest Movie Maniacs series the other day, and thought I'd be the first to review it for Mike.  Thus, onto the review...

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.

Articulation- ***
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!

- Aisle Sniper has them in stock and ready to ship for $24.99. That's where I got mine.

- Beans 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!

Figure from the collection of Chris Miller.

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