Hot Toys Power Loader with Ripley

Alien is one of the greatest horror flicks of all time, in my personal top ten without a doubt.  And Aliens did something that only a handful of other sequels has ever done - matched or outdid the original.  Aliens joins movies like Toy Story 2 and Empire Strikes Back in a very short list of outstanding sequels.

Hot Toys has been doing a terrific job with their Aliens and Predator lines.  The most amazing addition is the huge Power Loader, with a Ripley figure included just for grins.

This has been shipping for a few weeks now, but it took me awhile to get around to shooting it.  Jeff Parker did an earlier guest review, but I wanted to weigh in as well, since this is one of the coolest toys released in 2007.

It's not cheap though.  I paid $250 through Sideshow, but you can find it some places in the $225 range.

Packaging - ***
The package is HUGE.  I can't impress on you just how huge it is, until you see it in person.  The package photo to the right shows the front of the box with a 12" figure standing in front - and he's dwarfed by the box.  The figure comes in a ton of pieces and requires assembly, so set aside an hour or so to get him out all together safely.

Sculpting - ****
I'm not counting Ripley in any of these Sculpt, Paint or Articulation scores.  I'm counting her as an Acessory to the Power Loader, as that is actually the focus here.

The realism of this item is outstanding, Not only is there a tremendous amount of detail, but the pieces are engineered to work extremely well together.  Hot Toys has shown this kind of engineering before with the Robocop and Endoskeleton, but it's still impressive.  Every piston works, allowing the joints to move much better than you'd expect. 

The texture gives the visual impression of metal, with the sculpted details enhanced by the paint.  The scale is also pretty good, with the Power Loader almost as big as what was seen in the film.  It still looks a little small, but it's much closer than I expected.

This thing really is massive, and until you see it in person, you can't appreciate how big it is.  Photos simply do not do this thing justice.

The Ripley figure fits nicely inside the carriage, and the straps for the chest and feet work well.  You can strap her in tightly, although you will have to regularly adjust the straps as they don't hold particularly tight long term.

The plastic is somewhat lightweight, and you do have to be VERY CAREFUL when putting it together or moving the limbs.  This is a very complex item, with lots of little parts, and it is NOT an item to try to force anything.

Assembly wasn't too bad, but I do have a bit of trouble keeping the left hip attached.  It tends to pop off when posing.  The hoses required using the enclosed instructions, and you'll want to be very careful with the small pegs they attach to.

This guy stands 17 inches tall not including the antennae, and ?12 inches or so wide, depending on how far out you put his arms..  And if we ever get a full size queen in sixth scale, this thing is going to be the ultimate accessory.

Paint -****
This is a terrific example of a fantastic sculpt backed up by a fantastic paint job.  There's just the right amount of weathering, damage, and rub marks to give the impression of an actual piece of heavy machinery. 

While the basic color is the yellow, they've added a blackish color to imply dirt and oil, but used a nice silver in areas where the yellow would rub off due to wear.  That makes it appear as though the yellow color has worn off to the bare metal, and it works to excellent effect.

In areas where there are labels or printing, the quality is top notch.  Nothing looks toy-ish or cheap.

Making something like this truly look real requires an amazing paint job.  I'm happy to say that Hot Toys really pulled it off.

Articulation - ***
This thing is jointed everywhere, and most of the joints work better than I expected.

The arms are particularly impressive.  The 'claws' move in and out along the plastic rod, while the wrists turn and move forward and back.  The elbows are pin style, but the shoulders are an unusual style of double pin that allows the arm to move forward and back, but also out to the sides.  Just make sure you get the joint lined up properly to avoid damaging it.

The large pistons for the arms work cleanly, if a bit tightly.  Part of the assembly process will be getting these in just the right spot.

The hips were my biggest issue.  While I had trouble getting the left one to stay attached, that wasn't my biggest issue.  My only disappointment with the figure was the lack of range of movement toward the outside.  It seems like they SHOULD move outward, but mine rub on the circular hip joint too much.  I can force it to, but it almost breaks when I do, and I'd rather not push it.  The hips could have been a bit better engineered.

However, the legs move forward and back fine, and the ankles work well too.  Considering the complexity of this figure, I was still quite impressed with the overall quality.

Accessories - ***
The accessory here is Ripley, a reasonably decent version of the chick that made the Aliens life a bit tougher.

Hot Toys already produced a more heavily armed and outfitted version of Ripley, but decided to add in a second figure specifically for this scene.

Ripley has the usually well articulated Hot Toys body, shown here in her boots only.  The body poses well, stands in lots of deep stances, and can hold the controls on the Power Loader perfectly.

You will notice that the wrist broke on the right arm.  This is the third wrist peg I've broken on a Hot Toys figure, and this is clearly an issue for them.  I ended up gluing mine for the rest of the photos.

I had a Hell of a time attaching the head to the post, as it was a very tight fit.  If they decide to go with swappable heads, they'll need to correct that.  If there's only one head though so you only have to attach it once, it's no biggie.

The head sculpt on Ripley is better than I expected.  In person, it looks quite a bit like Ms. Weaver, but I think it's the hair sculpt that's throwing it off a bit.  The short poofy hair is just not something I related to Ripley.

The paint work is quite clean, and while the outfit is very basic - t-shirt, pants and boots - it is very well done.  The t-shirt and pants are dirtied up just a bit to imply sweat and oily.  It's subtle enough to work.

I also really like this boot sculpt too, and the paint work is top notch there as well.

Light and Sound Feature - ***1/2
The battery compartment for the light and sound feature is extremely well hidden, but once you find it (or read the instructions), you'll have no trouble inserting batteries.

The light up feature includes two lighted strips inside the cage, lighting Ripley's face.  Theoretically, it makes it possible for her to see better in the dark, but I'm not sure how that works since the lights point back at her.  It's fairly film accurate though, and looks terrific when turned on.

There's also a spinning red light on the top of the cage.  There's only one button though, so you have to have both the red light and interior lights on at the same time.

I mention a 'sound' feature, although it's not really intentional.  As the red light spins, you can hear the motor running, which I actually like.  It gives a further impression of a mechanical device.  Some folks may not like it though, since it's not film accurate, but rather just part of having moving parts like this.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is a very fragile item - but it hasn't forgotten that it's the descendant of a toy.  Oh, it's not intended for kids to play with, but a careful adult can have a ton of fun posing this thing with Ripley and some aliens, altering the look of an Aliens diorama regularly.

Value - **1/2
Okay, this guy ain't cheap by any standard.  But let's drop $30 - $40 off for Ripley, and you get down around $200.  If you consider the size and complexity of this thing, that's not a bad price.  Oh, you aren't getting some sort of amazing deal here, but I didn't feel like I'd overpaid either.

Things to Watch Out For - 
BE CAREFUL putting it together.  I broke one of the itty bitty ends for the hoses, and haven't decided how I'm going to fix it yet.  There are lots of small parts, and you'll want to take your time assembling the structure.

Once it's together, you'll still want to take plenty of care.  The joints need to be turned in the right direction for them to move properly with each other and with the pistons, so be sure to line things up in advance. Don't force anything!

Overall - ****
I had a few issues with the Power Loader - it all wasn't sunshine and puppy dogs.  The left hip staying attached was mildly annoying, and it's clearly a fragile item.  But the simple fact is that this is the coolest sixth scale vehicle/diorama item we've gotten this year, including things like Jabba's throne.  It makes for a fantastic display, even without a Queen Alien.  Sure, that Warrior Alien is a little small, but put them together on the shelf and you'll impress your friends.  The smart ones, anyway.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Lights and Sounds - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Yoiu can get one right now at Sideshow, or if you'd like a payment plan, you can use their Flexpay option.  Or you can buy it at these Sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics and Amazing Toyz has him in stock for just $225.

- Or you can check out the Ebay action by using to help you find them.

- Related Links -
Other Hot Toys Aliens reviews include:

- a guest review of this same Power Loader.

- the Alien has had a guest review of the newest version, as well as the original. And Jeff Parker did a comparison of the two Warrior Aliens as well.

- and there was a guest review of the other Ripley, Drake and Hudson, and the earlier Hicks


Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!     Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour