So you wait 36 years and then two turn up at once. I am of course referring to Ellen Ripley who NECA have finally brought to life as an Action Figure. Ripley makes her debut in NECA's series 4 of their Alien licence, and arrives in two different outfits from the 1979 Sci Fi Classic alongside a Spacesuit Dallas who makes up the 3rd figure in the series.
Checkout our review of the flight-suit Ripley HERE, or read on for my thoughts on the spacesuit Ripley.
Ripley arrives in the usual plastic clamshell that NECA have been using throughout the Alien series to date. There is a front panel design which shows a 35th Anniversary logo around an Alien egg. Each side panel features an atmospheric photo of the figure. The reverse of the pack shows the three figures that make up series 4 as well as a bio of Ripley from the 1979 film.
Once opened you find Ripley as well as a plethora of parts and accessories, I will look at these a bit later on. This version of Ripley obviously uses the same essential space-suit base that we have had in series 3 Kane and in series 4 Dallas. That being said it is a very nice sculpt with lots of little details built in including webbing, straps, pockets and pouches. NECA have also made some minor changes to the Ripley suit, which are obviously screen accurate. The helmet light has gone, as has the holster and the panel that covers the groin area on Kane & Dallas. There is also a minor change to the name plate on the front which on Ripley contains what looks like a sculpted relief design.
The head sculpt is different to the flight-suit Ripley which surprised me as I expected NECA to use the same sculpt for both figures. It is a good likeness for Sigourney Weaver and to me is the better of the two, although it still suffers from a flat expression. This is a shame when you consider the sculpted expressions that NECA have got onto prior releases like Hudson and Hicks. The hair is sculpted with the obvious need to allow the helmet to fit over the top, that means there is a weird floating feel to Sigourney's hairdo. The helmet comes in two pieces again and I would be wary of paint rub if you try and squeeze the neck collar in over the head. It is however pretty easy to pop off the head and then add the collar. As with the other spacesuit figures the top section slots neatly into the collar and a couple of flexible pipes push up into sockets on the helmet.
Paint is pretty plain as the whole suit is white with a bone / off white colour added to all the trim to give the suit definition. It is all very clean but if you look closely they have still put in a wash to bring out the definition of the suit. Throughout the suit are some spots of colour. There are two red valves on the back pack and some grey panel details. There is also a triangle logo on Ripley's rear end - the same logo you can find on Kane & Dallas. The head is perfectly painted, again much better than the flight-suit and the eyes on this are really striking.
Articulation was always going to be restricted by the suit. Ripley can rotate her head and look up and down, even within the confines of the helmet. Arms can be extended directly out from the body, supported by clever, flexible shoulder pads. The elbow joint allows some bend, but not a full 90 degrees. The hands are then on what looks more like a ball joint so they swivel and turn really nicely. There is a torso joint, neatly hidden by the chest panel, and that allows Ripley to turn to either side. The hips are much more moveable than they look, and I bet you could get Ripley almost into a splits position. Like the elbows, the knees bend but not enough to get into a kneeling position. Feet are on rockers that allow you to stabilise the feet on the surface to keep Ripley standing.
Ripley is packed with the Nostromo Spear Gun and two spears that sit into a hole in the gun barrel. The gun is painted and weathered with a metallic dry brush and is then trimmed in red. Spears are done in silver and gold.
Ripley once again is supplied with Jones the cat. And once again NECA have done a different sculpt for Jones vs the flight-suit pack. Jones is essentially a static piece, but there is a joint in the neck that allows the head to move round. Jones is sculpted in what is best described as a "hissing" pose and is nicely painted with green eyes that are really neatly done. My niggle with this version of Jones is stability and I have found it really difficult to stand, and when I do get it balanced it doesn't seem to stay that way for long
There really is not a lot wrong with this figure. It is faithful to the movie, has more articulation than you would expect when you first look at it and the head is much better than the fight-suit version. Even with a wobbly cat there isn't enough to lose Ripley a full star, so she joins the 5 out of 5 club.