Updated: May 12
Review : Amanda Ripley, Flight Suit (Alien Isolation) NECA, Alien Series Wave/Series : Series 6 Released : January 2016
Price : £19.99
Before I start this review I must admit to have not seen or played any of the Alien Isolation game. In fact, with the Archives (and my own collection) focusing on Movie & TV figures - and having already skipped the Genocide figures - I was considering missing Series 6 completely. In the end, the figures managed to sell themselves and in my opinion they do fit within the Aliens Cinematic figures really well and are sensitive to the designs of the 1979 original movie in particular.
The first of the Isolation trio that I will look at is the Amanda Ripley figure in flight suit. Amanda comes in the standard Alien/NECA clamshell packaging with Alien Isolation logo on the header card and an insert at the bottom of the blister to detail the characters name. Alongside this on this name card is a green lined image of Amanda in her spacesuit.
It is interesting that on this series NECA have abandoned the side inserts which usually sit either side of the blister and include atmospheric shots of the actual figure. Whether this is for the Isolation wave only, or a more permanent change we will have to wait and see. The rear of the blister is taken up predominantly by an image of the actual Amanda figure, and overlaid onto this is a short paragraph that sets the scene for the Isolation Video Game. Underneath all of this is the usual "also available" section with three flashed inserts of the full wave - Amanda in Spacesuit and the Isolation Xenomorph being the other two.
Once open, Amanda comes packed in her blister and is flanked by her kit bag, weapon and a version of the motion tracker that was used in the 1986 Aliens sequel.
Out of the pack Amanda stands 6 3/4 inches high. As you inspect your new figure you may get a sense of Deja Vu, this is down to the big re-use of parts from her mother - the 1979 Alien Ellen Ripley that we saw in Series 4. The entire jumpsuit torso and legs is a direct re-use of the Ripley figure, with the only variance being some retooling of the arms which now have a much shorter sleeve. The colours have obviously all been changed, and that means that Amanda has visually more detail - particularly round the back - where the paint used is more contrasting vs the original blue's used on Ellen.
The trainers are a direct re-use as well, I suppose footwear taste can run in the family. Amanda also sports a decal logo's on each arm and these are screen accurate to the game. Talking about accuracy though, there are some issues with the re-use of the Ellen 1979 body - most noticeable the black vest which in the game is much lower cut and then has a pendent worn on top.
The head is obviously a brand new sculpt, and is a good likeness for Amanda from the game and for Kezia Burrows, who was the motion capture model for Amanda. The hair is sculpted in a ponytail with a couple of strands loose down the forehead, and over the hair piece is sculpted the head piece with camera and microphone.
Paint application is great, as we would expect from NECA. The hair has a variation of colour within it to give depth and the headset is very neatly painted on top of this, with no bleed or splashing - there is even some tiny red detailing on the camera. If you do look very closely at my figure, the skin tone of the head is still visible on the alternative side (right as you look) of the headset - so its not an absolute perfect job right across. Facially the eyes are very neat and so intense and the face itself has some oh so subtle shading variations towards the cheeks and chin and of course on the lips.
The brown jumpsuit has some wash applied to dirty it up slightly, but more so to bring out the detail of the folds in the cloth. Pockets are picked out in black with a gold zipper on each. Round the back, the stitching that runs from the middle of the back down to her bottom is a very stark cream colour with zips either side also in gold. The under shirt is a green colour and perhaps is a little shiny if I am nit-picking, and that vest is then a flat black. Trainers, like Ellens, are a cream finish with red line detail round the top of the sole.
Articulation is identical to her mother. Arms are on ball jointed shoulders which allow a good range of movement, although like Ellen I would be concerned about rubbing of those shoulder decals when the shoulder withdraws into the torso when raised. Elbows are swivel and pivot and the hands are on pegs so both rotate and flex up and down to a small degree. There is a joint just below the torso which allows the top half of Amanda to twist, but not by much.
Legs start with a hip joint which doesn't really move very much at all. Amanda will never sit or crouch. The knee joints are perfectly hidden, something NECA is doing really well at present, and these do bend to about 45 degrees. This means you can get some running positions or action poses in conjunction with a stand if you want something more dynamic in your display. The ankles rotate, and this is essential to getting Amanda balance when she is holding out her weapon or the scanner, or both.
Looking at the accessories now, and starting with the kit bag. The bag is nicely designed and has been painted in a two tone black & grey design with plenty of wash on the grey to dirty it up. It carries a US flag on the top right quarter, and this is painted really well. Buckles and buttons are picked out in silver and the strap itself a cream. The whole thing has been sculpted to go on Amanda's right shoulder only, and once hooked over it sits nicely. There are three round straps at the base of the bag which you would thing should hold something - but am not exactly sure what.
The weapon packed with Amanda is a direct re-use of the flame thrower that came with 1979 Ellen. In the game, based on some quick Google research looking at screen-shots, Amanda picks up and uses lots of different guns and although the flame thrower is one of them, perhaps a different pack in would have increased the uniqueness of this release. That being said the flame-unit has had a repaint to a slightly lighter grey with the white and red tanks still in place. Silver detailing is used on the strap clasps, and the barrel - with the whole gun having a black wash to weather it. The strap doesn't quite fit neatly over the shoulder and head, and wont go over the shoulder alone neatly when the kit bag is also in play. The gun does fit neatly into Amanda's right hand.
Although reminiscent of the Aliens Motion Tracker, the one packed with Amanda is a more compact design and therefore a new sculpt for NECA. The unit is coloured in a dark green finish with a black wash to dirty it up. The screen has a decal applied to mimic the one on the film/game prop with the concentric circles expanding outwards and some data readings either side. There is no shoulder strap, with the unit being hand-held only in Amanda's left hand.
All in all, I love this figure. As I suspected from the early images, she is sympathetic in design and execution to both the 1979 and 1986 movie's and like Windrix won't look out of place in an Alien themed display despite never appearing on the big screen. Yes, she is a mainly recycled figure with just a new head sculpt - but in a way that is quite innovative. If recycling and not being 100% accurate in places was the difference between getting this figure or not seeing it released at all - then I applaud them.
Although not as iconic, Amanda is as good a human figure as any in the Alien series to date - on par with her mother. Unless you are majorly offended by re-used figures, there is very little to complain about with Amanda and I think a 5 out of 5 score is more than fair.