Signature Series Alien Queen

You know, there just isn't enough Alien merchandise out there. I'm pretty sure they haven't made asthma inhaler covers yet, and I'm positive there aren't any ice cream scoops. They've still got a way to go to catch up to the Simpsons, at least when it comes to licensed crap.

One of the companies producing merchandise is Palisades. They've had a great set of busts and statues, and one series is called the Signature Series. As you might expect from the name, this line of statues is supposed to be the signature look for the monsters.

The first release was the basic Alien from the first film. I reviewed him back when he hit, and I wasn't thrilled. I have him in my office at work, and everyone agrees that he looks like he was just about to grab his victim, and sneezed.

The second release is the Queen Alien from Aliens. I've been looking forward to this one, because I know Palisades can do better than they did on the first try. You're best bet for picking her up is online of course, although some comic shops might carry her. Expect to pay around $200.

The third release will be a Warrior Alien, also from the film Aliens. That one should be out in the next month or two as well.

Packaging -  ***
If you like big, huge boxes, you'll be very happy. The graphics are based on photos of the actual statue, with some basic text info. The Styrofoam core is the good kind - thick and sturdy - not that crappy kind that falls apart in your hands. The box is numbered (as is the statue) for the limited edition of 1500.

Palisades doesn't do COA's though, and that would have been a nice extra touch.

Sculpting - ****
Comparing the sneezing Alien to this Queen is like comparing Cindy Crawford to me. Oh, sure, we have the same last name and sexy legs, but that's about where the similarities end.

The Alien Queen has excellent detail work, and is much more accurate to the source material. It's not dead on, and the Alien purists will notice some differences even in the mouth and forehead.  But it's much closer to reality than the first Alien statue, and the excellent design and style will allow you to overlook the more minor issues.

The scale is off slightly of course, since she's done in sixth scale technically, but is still smaller than you might expect. She stands 20 inches tall on the base, and is quite impressive with other 12" figures, but still doesn't tower over them the way you might expect.

The tail seems slightly off as well. It tends to be the same size from body to tip practically, which goes against my assumption that it would be much thicker at the body. Of course, I don't recall seeing it really well in the film, in any clear shots, so this could very well be exactly the way the model was originally.

But I can live with the slight scale compromise considering the quality of the overall work. The pose is very dynamic, with fluid movement implied in every limb. She's ready to tear your heart out, and it looks like she'll enjoy every minute of it. Her mouth, claws and tail are all posed to strike, and I love the angle of the head and neck. Just in terms of the sculpt, this is one of my very favorite Alien statues.

Paint - ***
Aliens of all shapes and sizes tend to have one thing in common - they're slimy. Well, they also tend to rip your face off and use your corpse to house their unborn, but that has little to do with the paint application. The slimy part has a lot to do with it though, and companies are always working on ways to get the look across in plastic and resin.

Here, Palisades has gone with a very glossy finish on the entire statue. It's not a bad choice, but if you have her extremely well lit, it does come off as less realistic. However, use some mood lighting around his display, and she comes across much more realistic, even with the very consistent finish.

As you might expect, there isn't a ton of detail here. She's predominately a single color, with the heavy gloss finish. There's a few small detail areas, such as the silver nails and teeth, and these exhibit a little more slop than you might expect at this price point. There's also some very nice highlighting on the top of her 'crown', which gives her a little more color and visual appeal. But she could use some more translucence to the paint on her body, just to make her seem more 'alive'.

Some folks are also reporting issues with dust and dirt actually in the glossy finish. Unfortunately, you won't know until you open it up whether or not you have a perfect paint job or not, and that's an issue Palisades will have to address in such a high end item.

Design - ***1/2
The sculpt is excellent, and the overall design is damn close. I already mentioned the cool, fluid, aggressive pose, and the base is designed to flow with the rest of the series. The legs attach to the base with metal pins, so it's less likely to break or tip. The front of the base is labeled Aliens this time around of course, and the bottom has relevant information like the edition number.

The statue actually arrives in pieces - one overall body, the base, the tail, the two larger arms, and six spikes for the back. These all attach with the same metal rod design, and the ends are cut to fit specific holes. Be careful though, since the small resin spikes are very easy to break, especially if you try to force something, and it takes some effort to get some of them to stay put. Once in place, you'll want to be careful handling the statue, because they can fall off, and that could be a disaster.

Value - **;
The previous statue and upcoming Warrior are both running in the $125 - $150 range. That is more likely the sweet spot for this statue as well, and at anything under $150 it would be **1/2, under $125 it would be ***. Great work costs money, but the market for high end collectibles is also getting very packed. Generally cost isn't a major factor, because the number of items to choose from is so limited, but with so much out there begging for your dollar now, cost will start to be more seriously considered in any buying decision.

Things to watch out for - 
Be very, very careful attaching the spikes to his back. While they are designed to only fit in certain ways, it would be very easy to force them and damage them. Take your time!

Overall -  ***1/2
If you were disappointed with the first Signature Series statue, do yourself a favor and at least give this one an oogle. The Queen Alien, although a little small in scale, makes up for all the silly design and sculpt issues of the previous version. The paint here is the only weak link, and even that is not a serious issue, but rather more of a situation of personal taste. Cross your fingers though and hope you don't get a dusty version! Even if you do, I suspect that Palisades customer service will do everything humanly possible to make it right.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***
Design - ***1/2
Value - **;
Overall -  ***1/2

Where to Buy -
I've never seen these big statues in any brick and mortar stores, but you have plenty of online options:

- Fireside Collectibles has her for $190, the first Alien for $150, and the upcoming warrior for $155.

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has her for $190, and the upcoming Warrior for $160.

- Alter Ego Comics has her for $200, the first Alien for $120, and the upcoming Warrior for $160.

Related Links:
The most closely related review is the one of the original Alien in the Signature Series.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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