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Review : NECA Brett Alien 40th Anniversary


The NECA 40th Anniversary Series of figures were released in 2020 and made up of three waves of three figures from Alien (1979). Series 2 was a Summer 2020 release and brought us the first figures of Brett and Parker ever to be released in the line, along with the Alien itself with a new bloody decor paint job.

Packaging 4.0


The Alien line from NECA has predominantly been packed in clamshell packaging to date, with a few recent Ultimate items then boxed. The 40th Anniversary line changes direction from both of these with a window box based on the original Kenner packaging from their 1979 Alien release. This uses a blue background with a black trim and the same logo from the Kenner box with a Big Chap on a red shaped background above a white text ALIEN logo.


The figure window is bordered on three sides and wraps the top flap of the box. The Alien log cuts into the base of the window and below this is the character name and the NECA logo, and this too is inspired by the Kenner logo.


The right hand spine carries the 40th Anniversary logo and character name, while the left hand has an image of the figure topped by the Kenner Alien logo and with another 40th Anniversary logo beneath the image. There is a further figure image on the back along with some generic background text for the movie - rather than the figure.


"IN SPACE, NO-ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM"


"IN A REMOTE REGION OF THE GALAXY, THE UNITED STATES SPACE TUG, NOSTROMO, CARRYING A CARGO OF MINERAL ORE, MAKES ITS RETURN JOURNEY TO EARTH. THE SHIP'S CREW - FIVE MEN, TWO WOMEN AND A CAT - ARE AWAKENED FROM THEIR HYPERSLEEP CHAMBERS WHEN MOTHER, THE ON BOARD COMPUTER, MONITORS A STRANGE TRANSMISSION. ACCORDING TO COMPANY LAW, THE CREW MUST INVESTIGATE ANY SIGNAL INDICATING POSSIBLE INTELLIGENT LIFE. WHAT STARTS AS A ROUTINE SEARCH MISSION QUICKLY ESCALATES INTO A NIGHTMARE OF UNIMAGINABLE TERROR WHEN THE CREW DISCOVERS AND BRINGS ABOARD AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFEFORM."



Under this background text sits a checklist of the other 8 figures in the 40th Anniversary series. These are shown as head shots of each figure but are not shown in a Wave order.


The figure sits against the red inner colour of the box, there is no cardboard insert. The tray slides out by means of the top flap and the figure is held into place with a variety of twist ties which will take some time to unravel. The accessories are taped into place.

Paint & Sculpt 4.0


NECA usually deliver spot on sculpts for their human characters, and Brett is a fantastic likeness to Harry Dean Stanton. This is enhanced to a degree by the paint job with the 5 o'clock shadow and the shading around the nose and eyes. Sadly, the eyes do let the whole face down as they are quite basic in their execution and not quite straight. This actually gives Brett a look of Sly Stallone from certain angles. This has been advertised as face print technology, but it does not feel look as on point as the Hasbro version with the eyes - although the shading and skin tone is spot on.


Brett is wearing his cap which is colored in blue with the golden wings on the peak and the USS Nostromo logo on the centre. This includes legible text and appears to be a decal. The hair is painted on to the skin tone head, and that has left a rim unpainted at the back of the head which is a shame, although not overly noticeable.


The Hawaiian shirt is very well executed too with defined patterns and colours. Over this is the jacket with textured sleeve panels and trim picked out in a darker brown. The text NOSTROMO is applied across the back of the jacket in black text with a couple of symbol patches on the left lapel.


Trousers are the light blue jumpsuit design with textured padded knees. They are sculpted quite baggy on Brett and then dirtied up with some impressive dry brushing of brown.



Accessories 4.0


Brett is packed with the Motion Detector, an accessory that was also included with the 40th Anniversary Ripley. It is cast in a harder plastic allowing real crispness in the detailing and each switch and component is clearly sculpted. The overall colour is a military green, with red and black colouring applied to switches and screens as well as some of the wiring.



Accessory two is the cattle prod that Brett improvises in Alien to battle the Alien and laterly used by Lamber to subdue Ash. This arrives as a one piece item made up of the prod, a flexible cable and the power pack. The sculpt is once again crisp and detailed with clear definition of the switches and component parts. The decor includes blue and yellow trim around the prod as well as green, red and silver switches on the power pack. The power pack also has an articulated handle that is pivoted to help with posing.



Brett has no alternative hands and both accessories are designed to go into the right hand. Said right hand is quite stiff and not easy to pry open to insert the handles of the Motion Detector or Cattle Prod. Once in place however, they are held very well.


That can't be said for the left hand which has to carry the power pack for the Cattle Prod. The left hand has been cast open handed so it cannot hold the power pack, or indeed the Motion Detector securely. Instead, they have to be laid into the palm and balanced in place as there is no gripping power here to hold them in place. Considering the left hand has nothing else to do it is unclear why it has been sculpted in this gesture (lets me know if I am missing something).



Articulation 3.5


NECA are not known for highly articulated figures and the aesthetics of the figure are given priority. Brett weighs in with 14 points of articulation, broken down as follows


Head : ball joint neck

Body : waist swivel

Arms : ball joint shoulder, double joint elbows with swivel, wrist pivot

Legs : ball joint hips, single rotating knees, ankle rockers


The arms are without significant issue and are mobile, able to pose with the accessories assuming you can overcome that left hand issue.


The legs are a little more restrictive, with the hips sat behind that flexible rubber groin piece which avoids the need for unsightly hip joints being on show, but restricts the upper leg movement to some degree. Single knees do not allow for siting or kneeling and therefore Brett will be left posed standing with options between feet together neutral, or wider action stances.



The joints are predominantly tight, secure and many are ratcheted. There are however some issues with the hips when they are swung forward and the ankle rockers. Both have some play and the ankles in particular are problematic for keeping Brett upright.



Summary


It is fantastic to finally expand on the Nostromo crew with Brett and in the main he looks the part with a well sculpted head and outfit, including the detailing on the jacket and cap. I am not convinced fully by the face print technology - those eyes are not well done at all and throw the great work done elsewhere.


Accessories are perfect, but there appears to have been less thought about how he can hold these using both hands with the left hand being a frustration - particularly when trying to hold the Cattle Prod Power Pack. It is also a pity some of the joints are a little too loose to support the figure.



I like the packaging, and for a Kenner inspired line it would work brilliantly. I am just not sold on it being used for the 40th Anniversary movie figures, and I wonder what alternatives we could have had inspired by the original movie poster and aesthetics?


With some work on the eye decor and articulation issues, Brett would have been a top notch release. As it stands I give him a final score of 4.0




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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, NECA, Alien, Ridley Scott, Big Chap, Xenomorph, Nostromo, Ripley, Parker, Brett, Dallas, Lamber, Ash, 40th Anniversary Series

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