Updated: May 11
Review : Xenomorph (Alien Isolation) NECA, Alien Series Wave/Series : Series 6 Released : January 2016
Price : £19.99
Alien Xenomorphs are always a big draw in any release wave, and it seems so far that the demand for this Isolation version of the Alien is outstripping the other two figures - army building being another contributing factor. I therefore would assume this Xeno will be one of those figures that has a very fast rise of price on the secondary market, so if you are reading this around the time of release (Jan 2016) and aren't sure what to do - then have a read, and if you like what you see I would go and pick this figure up ASAP before it vanishes from sale.
The Isolation Xeno arrives in the same sized blister pack as the two Amanda Ripley figures, with the Alien Isolation logo header card and name insert. The image of the figure fills a good proportion of the back card along with the paragraph of text that positions the plot of Isolation.
Out of the pack, and the position of the Alien is reminiscent of that scene in Aliens when the Xeno's unfurl and unfold themselves from a foetal position. Once out of the box the figure does something similar as you extend the tail and stretch the legs and arms. One of the rear tubes/spikes is packed separately in the box and has to be slotted into position. This piece has always been supplied fitted on previous Xeno's but often falls out - so I guess packing it intentionally as an accessory stops customers thinking the figure is broken?
In the simplest of terms, the Isolation Xeno was designed to cross the gap between the 1979 Big Chap and the 1986 Warriors. The head and dome is very much a Big Chap head, where as the rest of the body - particularly the legs - are from the Warrior figure. There are more detailed changes than this, with the extrusions on the Warrior's arms removed, and with some spikes added to the elbow and knee joints on the Isolation Xeno.
As with any NECA Xenomorph, the sculpt is immense with all kinds of gruesome detail from the feet all the way to the head. The head is always the crowning glory, and on the Isolation Xeno this is absolutely the case with it's milky white transparent dome which is much better visually than the original NECA Big Chap.
Paint wise the Xeno is quite basic in terms of a dark black base colour, and a glossy wash / finish added to both bring out the sculpted detail of the exo-skeleton, but also to add that wet greasy look we see in any of the films.
Articulation is good, but in a way is starting to feel dated. Starting at the head, and the Isolation Xeno retains the articulated jaw and the moveable inner jaw which although fiddly to get hold of can be pulled out from the jaw. The head is on a ball joint and can move pretty well to either side. Arms are on ball jointed shoulders, and being quite thin that gives them an almost full range of movement both up and down and out to the side. Elbows are then jointed and the wrists can rotate.
Legs are a bit more clunky, with that slightly off hip joint we have seen on Xeno's since series 1. This means the legs don't so much bend but rotate out or in to expand or withdraw the stance. The knees are double jointed, but are quite "weak" in terms of holding the weight of the upper body which is much bulkier than the legs can perhaps support.
The tail remains the rubber design over a bendable wire piece and can be positioned almost anywhere around the body. This gives a good variety of poses for the figure, but physics do kick in sadly and any pose other than the tail resting on the floor as a support simply see the figure overbalancing and falling over.
NECA have obviously recognised this stability issue with the Xeno model and like the Dog Alien have included a clear stand with the Isolation Xeno. This stand is well enough designed but is perhaps a tad too short to be able to support the tail area and keep him upright, I would have also liked to maybe have seen a joint in the clasp so it can be tilted.
All in all I like the design of this new Xeno and it will fit neatly into the Hive display as a whole. Stability continues to be a hurdle that NECA still haven't satisfactorily fixed although each release gets better and the stand is a welcome alternative to a crouching position. I score the Isolation Xenomorph a 4 out of 5.