Updated: May 11, 2020
Review : Trilobite vs The Engineer (Battle Damaged) NECA, Prometheus Wave/Series : Prometheus Deluxe 2-Pack Released : November 2012
£44.99 (retail at time of release)
Pros : Trilobite is the star of the set with really well articulated metal armature tentacles
Cons : The paint on the burned head is a bit too linear and there are some articulation issues in the legs of the Engineer
I personally missed out on the first Prometheus releases, coming into the whole NECA Aliens line a few months later with their Hicks & Hudson releases. Over time I have worked to fill in the gaps in my collection and the latest addition is the Trilobite vs Battle Damaged Engineer 2-pack from 2012.
I purchased the set loose, so the packaged images for this review are stock photos.
The Prometheus line arguably set the tone for the NECA Aliens packaging being in a clamshell to mirror the Predator line. While other lines from NECA are now moving to window boxes, the Alien (and Predator) lines have remained consistent to the clamshell in the past 6 years. The Trilobite set comes in a wider clamshell to accommodate both figures. The Trilobite is spread to the right taking up two thirds of the window. In the final third is the Engineer.
The clamshell sandwiches a thin sheet of glossy paper which serves as the card back and the figure back drop. A second sheet is inserted to fold up on the front window and carries the Prometheus logo and the character name. The set was exclusive to Toys R Us in the United States hence the silver Toys R Us exclusive logo on one of our stock photos.
The stick you see in the images between the two figures is not an accessory, it is the feeding tube of the Trilobite which slots into the underside mouth piece.
The rear of the packaging carries a brief background text about the Engineer that we encounter in Prometheus and his battle with the Trilobite. We then get a large image of both figures posed in battle. There are smaller triangular images snapshotting further poses above this main image.
We will look at the Engineer first, and the first thing that strikes you is the intensely sculpted head in a screaming pose. This is perfectly executed as a sculpt and you can see the full details of the mouth including the teeth and tongue. One side of the head is the milky white skin of the engineer and the other side is horrifically burned. The burned part actually looks and feels like the flesh has been burned away and it is painted a deep charcoal colour and this blends into scorch marks around the ear.
While the sculpting is done well, the paint is perhaps a little two neat. There is a very distinct contrast between burned and unburned side infact there is a very straight line down the nose. In the movie this was less pronounced and the burned area a lot less darker.
The head is finished off by very detailed and expressive eyes - these are well painted and the burnt side is actually blackened and swollen.
The Engineer stands 9 inches tall, significantly taller than the Humans that make up the Prometheus line. The entire body is reused from the single release of the Engineer. The detail across the body sculpt is impressive with intricate sculpting where ever you look. The right of the chest (as you look at him) has been tweaked to include more burned flesh to distort the rib cage area and parts of the shoulder.
The single release Engineer for me was always a shade too pale, and this battle damaged version is actually a shade too dark - somewhere between the two is a perfect Engineer as seen in the movie. Granted the battle damaged version has been burned in fire so you would expect some blackening and this s achieved by some distinct washes that have enhanced the recessed parts of the sculpt.
When you compare both Engineer versions side by side the battle damaged version stands out as the more visually impressive overall.
Moving on to the Trilobite, and this thing is a huge lump of tentacles. The construction is basically a central body from which seven ball jointed legs protrude. Underneath this central mass is the mouth which is surrounded by six leaf like protrusions (that look very similar to the Stanger Things Demogorgon). The central feeding tube slots into the centre of this, and we have a mass of thinner strands surrounding this - all flexible and fully maneuverable.
The legs are each a rubber piece over a metal armature. That means they are fully poseable, but do therefore have to have the holes to allow the metal armature to move within the rubber without splitting it. Stretched out end to end and the Trilobite is pushing 17 inches from tip to tip.
The body is painted in sandy brown with variations towards the end of each tentacle. The undersize blends to a more pink flesh tone around the mouth and inner tentacles.
It is difficult to put a number of points of articulation on the Trilobite as it is predominantly articulated by means of the fully flexible armature. The true joints are at the point each tentacle meets the central mass where a ball joint is present. These can be prone to popping off a little too easily.
The Engineer is a little easier to categorise for articulation. He comes with 14 points of articulation which start at the ball jointed head. The arms are ball jointed shoulders with a single rotating elbow joint and rotating wrists. This gives full arm movement out tot he side, above the head and an elbow that actually bends beyond 90 degrees for grappling the Trilobite.
The torso also gets a ball joint which has a fair bit of movement within it allowing the upper trunk to be leaned forward, backward and twisted from side to side - again great for action shots.
The Engineer articulation fails at the legs sadly. NECA have used a ball jointed hip and then wrapped that in a flexible rubber groin section which is designed to move as the legs move. In reality this works if the legs are going wider to the side, but there is no discernable forward movement without rotating the legs at the hip to an unnatural angle. The knees are then a single joint only and these will not bend to a full 90 degrees. The ankle rockers then allow the feet ot turn and be pivoted to aid standing.
While you won't have the Engineer doing the splits or sitting down, there is enough to have him battling the Trilobite and he stands particularly well with no obvious loosening on the joints considering this figure is now 6 years old.
Of the pair, the Trilobite is obviously the star and it is a nice variation to an Alien universe collection that is obviously dominated by the Xenomorphs. With the wide ranging articulated arms it is also very fun to pose attacking your Engineer or other Prometheus figures - and of course thanks to the recent release of the "Lost wave" there are now more of them to go after.
The Engineer is an improvement on the single release, and I do like the head sculpt a lot more. There are some questions over the paint job, but he certainly looks the part on display particularly when posed being attacked by the Trilobite
With any review of a figure that has been out a number of years and that is only available on the secondary market my review score does try to take out price as a consideration. While this set won't bankrupt anyone, it has peaked recently thanks to the Lost Wave release and there doesn't seem to be a shortage of them in the market.
Having played and posed with both figures for a while now I am happy to score them a 4 out of 5, with perhaps a few more or tweaked paint apps away from being perfect.