In order to review NECA's Series 2 Sergeant Windrix it is important to understand how and why the figure was developed and released.
Kyle Windrix is a figure sculptor who works at NECA on a number of ranges. His brother, Craig, was diagnosed with a stage 4 stomach cancer and as a tribute to him and his bravery they immortalised him in plastic as a Colonial Marine from one of his favourite films, Aliens.
The figure hit stores in January 2014, and sadly just a few weeks later on the 6th of February 2014 Craig passed away. A proportion of sales from the figure were donated to the Windrix family, and Sergeant Windrix became a permanent fixture in many Alien collections the world over.
Windrix is packed in the same clam shell packaging as the other Aliens figures. Being part of series 2, the rear of the packaging showed the other figures in the wave - the 1979 Big Chap and the 1986 blue Aliens Warrior.
I have only seen a few pictures of Craig Windrix, but NECA certainly hit the sweet spot with the likeness. The rest of the figure is a re-use of the Hicks/Hudson body albeit with different arms which are sculpted in full sleeves.
The same modular armour is installed over the base body but is essentially the same combination as used on Hudson, even down to the iron wings on the front strapping.
Painting is crisp as usual. The skin tone is a lot cleaner than the series 1 marines, but captures the detail in the face sculpt. NECA gave Windrix his own armour graffiti with a bowling bowl, penguin and head on his rear armour. And the words DAO in a heart on the chest. The arms also contain a lot of decal detail with sergeant stripes and the USA flag on one side and a blue and yellow logo on the other.
Unlike the series 1 marines, Windrix does really well on articulation. The head rotates and looks up and down to give a good range of head positions. The shoulders are on ball joints, but the elbow freeze that stopped Hicks & Hudson bending their arms has been fixed and Windrix can achieve those elusive 2-handed weapon poses.
The legs feel a little stronger across the ball jointed hips, knee and ankle joints and Windrix therefore doesn't suffer from floppy legs and can stand reasonably well although I have still stuck him on a Kaiser stand to get a better action pose.
Like Hudson, Windrix comes with a shoulder camera and motion tracker. His weapon however is a flame unit which adds another point of difference. It also gives NECA more Colonial Marine parts should they choose to treat us with more Marines in the future (likeness rights permitting).
Sergeant Windrix is a great figure, with a sad but poignant back story. The articulation has been improved since series 1 and the tweaks to the sleeves and weapon do ensure he doesn't look like a Hudson figure head swap. Considering all this I give Windrix a strong 4 out of 5 rating.
I would however finish this review a little differently and consider the tragedy of this story that brought us such a great figure. Cancer is a despicable thing that no person should suffer and we should all contribute any way we can in funding research into beating all types of Cancer. Craig's family make donations to the American Cancer Society in his name, and I would ask any one moved by this story to do the same via the link below - or a UK equivalent, Cancer Research.