Captive Queen Alien
Alien vs. Predator

This last summer, the latest film in the Alien franchise hit the screen.  Interestingly enough, it was also the latest film in the Predator franchise.  It was what fans had been clamoring for ever seen glimpsing an alien skull on the Predator ship in the second Predator film - an Alien vs. Predator movie.

Whether it lived up to the hype is decidedly up in the air.  Some folks loved the film, while others loathed it.  It seems that few people were in the middle, but since it hasn't hit rental yet, I can't say one way or the other.

However, I can talk about the latest bust from Palisades, based on the film.  The Predators have themselves a little game farm, designed for training and hunting.  This Queen Alien is 'captured', and none too happy about it either.

The bust has just started shipping, and you should be able to pick it up for $70 - $80, or less if you check out some of my sponsors below!

Packaging - **1/2
I didn't even shoot a picture of the box this time around.  I could claim that it was because it's not really that important, or it's nothing surprising or different - but I'd be lying.  After I got all done shooting photos and put everything away, I realized I forgot.  My bad.

But the box won't surprise you, so all is not lost.  It has photos of the bust on the exterior, with some basic text.  If you've purchased Palisades busts before, you'll have some idea what it looks like.

However, I do have one MAJOR complaint.  Rather than using the hard Styrofoam insert, they went with that damn soft stuff this time.  You know what I'm talking about, because when you pull it out of the box it breaks off little pieces that end up everywhere.  I hate the soft material, since I end up having to vacuum after I open the damn thing up, and then never can quite get every little piece.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The queen is captive, and she's definitely not happy about it.  She'd clearly like to make that apparent to anyone in the vicinity.

The sculpt has a tremendous amount of small detail work, and does a great job with the multiple textures of her head, body, and spiny back.  The chains that hold her to the base are sculpted deep into her flesh, and you can almost feel her pain, or at least imagine yours if you got too close.

The base is done in a style based on the film, with the look of an ancient civilization.  This stark contrast with her appearance works very well, and offsets the upper half of the bust nicely.  It's also very wide at the bottom, ensuring that you won't topple her easily.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are interesting, although whether you like them or not may be up to interpretation.

The quality is excellent, but there isn't a lot of small detail work.  The majority of the Queen is a silverish color, with a darker wash to highlight the detail.  The green blood oozing from her puncture wounds looks great, and is my favorite part of the overall color scheme.

The work on the base gives it an ancient, worn stone appearance, and fits in nicely with the designs of the film.

My score is a little lower than usual simply because this color and this style is not my preference.  In this very silver color, she doesn't fit in particularly well with the previous Alien busts from Palisades, and that throws things off slightly on the old display shelf.  Also, her color and the color of the chains is so close that it makes them appear as one, rather than as to very different entities.

Because of the fairly consistent color, this Alien lacks the cool clear drool, another feature that I really liked in previous busts.

Design/Quality - ***1/2
I already picked on the paint ops, but now let's talk about the design of the bust itself.

This is a very dynamic pose, with the Queen screeching in protest and writhing against the pull of the chains.  Some of the chains aren't quite as tight as others, but that actually helps add to the perception that she's pulling to one side over the other.

The quality is the usual Palisades work, with a lot of polystone going into this mini-bust.  Do be extremely careful with the chains though - I have a sneaking suspicion that there's some pewter added in there to allow the chains to be so thin, but you can still break them if you're not careful.  And pewter does not superglue as well as polystone.

Value - **
This is a very expensive mini-bust in comparison to their past work.  The larger Queen Alien they produced last year (pictured to the left with the new Queen) sold for less than $60.  I suspect part of this new higher price is the expense of the license for the new film.  The run size on these busts is 5000, which seems to be fairly common these days.

I do have at least one sponsor though that has this new girl available for less than $60, and at that price you can add at least another half star to the value rating.

Overall - ***
This bust doesn't fit in quite as nicely with the previous mini-busts produced by Palisades, so she looks a little out of place.  But it is a tremendously dynamic pose, and big fans of the new film should be pleased with the style and design.  The price tag is a tad steep from most retailers, but higher prices seem to be something we'll have to live with for awhile.

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

Where to Buy - 
These may show up at Media Play and Suncoast stores, but your best bet is on-line:

- Fireside Collectibles has an excellent price on this - just $60, plus if you use the disc1 coupon code, you get another 5% off!  At less than $60, that boosts the value score another half star!

- Killer Toys has it listed at $70.

- Alter Ego Comics has her for $72.

- Southern Island has the bust for $80.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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