#0369: Drake & Alien Arachnid

DRAKE & ALIEN ARACHNID

ALIENS VS MARINE(KENNER)

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Drake. Drake, Drake, Drake, Drake, Drake. Drake, in case you’re wondering, is a character that does actually appear in the movie Aliens. He’s a marine with a decent amount of screen time. That being said, he’s nowhere near as prominent as characters like Hudson or Vasquez, so his inclusion in the proposed Operation: Aliens cartoon, as well as his place in the first series of Aliens figures by Kenner is a bit baffling. But, here he was, so I guess that’s that. Let’s have a look at Kenner’s second Drake, released alongside the Alien Arachnid in 1996.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the KB Toys Exclusive Aliens Vs. Marine line, done to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Aliens.

DRAKE

DrakeVSArachnid2So, I can kinda get Drake’s place in the original line, but his spot here is still weird. There were five sets done for the 10th Anniversary. Of those five, three were used to give a US release to the Marines that were supposed to be in 3rd series of the original line. That left two slots, which were given to Hicks and Drake. Hicks is the most pivotal Marine, so he makes sense. But why Drake was chosen over Ripley, or even Apone, is odd. Anyway, the figure is about 4 ½ inches tall, thanks to his slouch, and he features 6 points of articulation. He makes use of the Series 1 Drake sculpt in its entirety. While it’s not a bad sculpt, it share very few common traits with the Drake of the movie. He’s completely unarmored, wearing a headband, and his hair is quite a bit longer than his movie counterpart’s. At the very least, it’s an expressive sculpt. It looks pretty good, and it certainly stands out from the rest of the marines and their more static sculpts. The paint on Drake is pretty good, probably better than that seen on Hicks. Like Hicks, his lower half has been molded in that swirly green plastic to simulate camo. It works better here, mostly due to Drake’s lack of armor. The rest of the paint is all pretty well applied. There’s a little bit of slop on Drake’s Bandolier, but other than that, everything seems to be nice and clean. Drake included his trademark smartgun, as well as a bayonet to go on the end. Because stabbing the aliens with acid for blood sounds like a wonderful idea. The bayonet doesn’t fit on the gun on my figure, but that’s probably just an issue with mine. Drake also had a feature where turning his waist simulated gunfire.

ALIEN ARACHNID

DrakeVSArachnid3The Alien Arachnid is yet another of Kenner’s aliens they made up for the line. Some of their designs were great. Some were bad. This falls somewhere in between. The figure is about two inches tall, 4 inches long, and 5 inches wide. The figure really only has 1 point of articulation, at the neck, as the rest of the movement is tied into the action feature. The Alien Arachnid is definitely meant to play up the bug-like nature of the aliens, but “arachnid” isn’t the term they want here, I think. Arachnids have eight legs, and this figure only has six, which would actually make it and “Alien Insect.” I guess that just didn’t have the same ring. They could have just added an extra pair of legs to make it work, though. The Arachnid’s sculpt is passable for the time of release, but it’s not really anything special. The figure has a rubber head, which makes the details there a lot softer. Kenner seemed to take this into account by making the rest of the figure’s details softer to match. The end result is a somewhat cheap looking figure, which is too bad. The Arachnid’s paint is similar to the King Alien’s; the figure is molded in a semi-metallic black plastic, with lots of silver highlights thrown in. The highlights still go a little overboard, but they aren’t terrible. The Alien Arachnid included no accessories, but it featured two action features. The first was a water-spitting feature, done by squeezing the head (after filling it with water), and the second is a lever on the back which pops the back legs up and down and moves the front legs back and forth.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The original Kenner Aliens hit before I was of an age to collect toys, and these anniversary sets hit before I was into Aliens. Like Hicks and the King Alien, this set was part of a lot I won on ebay. I actually had the original Drake at one point, but I lost him at some point, so I can’t really do a direct comparison of the two. Honestly, it’s a bit of a toss-up as to which of the two is “better.” Drake is one of the cooler marine figures, even if he was a bit off-model. The Alien Arachnid is better than the King in my opinion, but still not one of the better ones Kenner offered. All-in-all, this set is okay, but nothing really amazing. But, it’s also one of the cheapest of the 10th Anniversary sets, so if you just want something cheap amd fun, you could do a lot worse than this set.

Alright guys, I powered through what I feel are the weakest sets in this series. Tomorrow, the good stuff kicks in!

#0368: Corporal Hicks & King Alien

CORPORAL HICKS & KING ALIEN

ALIENS VS MARINE(KENNER)

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After the failure of the proposed Operation: Aliens cartoon, Kenner was left in a bit of a bind. They had already created much of the merchandise for the show and paid for the rights to the characters. They made the best of what they had and released the figures under the Aliens banner, passing them off as an adaption of the 1986 movie. This left the Marines in an unfortunate position, having no real pull with kids who hadn’t seen the movie, and not really resembling the characters from the movie enough to entice people who had seen it. When the third series of the line hit, US retailers weren’t interested in the marines, leading to their exit from the line. The line ended not too long after that. In 1996, it was the 10th Anniversary of Aliens, so Kenner responded by putting out a series of two packs, each featuring a marine and an Alien. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s release of Corporal Hicks and the King Alien.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This two pack was released as part of the 10th Anniversary Aliens Vs. Marine line(by the way, “Aliens Vs. Marine”? Like, is there just one Marine at a time?). The sets were released exclusively at KB Toys.

CORPORAL HICKS

HicksVSKing2Hicks is probably the most important Marine in the movie, so it’s not surprising to see he was a part of the tenth anniversary series. His figure is 5 inches tall and features 6 points of articulation, which is actually 1 point above the standard Kenner articulation of the time. The figure is a head to toe repaint of the original Kenner Hicks. It’s one of the more faithful sculpts of the original line, so that’s pretty good. Some of his armor has been tweaked a bit, but he’s really not too far off. The head actually is a pretty decent likeness of Michael Biehn, which is fairly impressive for a figure from this time period. The sculpt also has some of the best proportions of the line, with nothing looking too out of place. Hick’s paint is passable, though it could be better. His torso, pelvis, and legs are molded in a swirly green plastic that sorta simulates camo. This works pretty well for the legs, which should actually be camo, but the torso ends up looking wrong. Some additional paint really could have helped here. Hicks includes a large missile launcher, two missiles, and a claw/gun attachment. These are the same as the accessories included with the original Hicks, just in slightly different colors.

KING ALIEN

HicksVSKing3The King Alien! One of the most memorable… oh wait, sorry, that’s not right. What the heck is the King Alien? Near as I can tell, he’s toyline escalation. We’d had the Queen Alien, and an even meaner looking Flying Queen. Where do you go from there? King Alien, apparently. The King Alien is about 6 inches tall and features a whole 4, count ‘em, 4 points of articulation. The King Alien is a complete re-use of the King Alien from Series 3 of the original line. That figure had totally new pieces, which surprised me. I had actually expected there to be re-use between this figure and the queens. The sculpt is alright, but not really anything special. It’s a rather boxy sculpt. It sort of follows the Alien aesthetic, but it seems a little strange, even for them. The figure is also incredibly stiff, thanks to the limited articulation and slightly awkward sculpt. It’s not all bad, though. The sculpt is fairly detailed, and it does have some nice texture work. The figure is molded in a slightly metallic black plastic, with additional silver details painted on to give the figure a bit more dimension. It’s all pretty well applied, though the silver details do get a little heavy in some areas. The King Alien includes no accessories, but he does have a spring-loaded pincer feature, activated by pressing a button his back, as well as a water spraying feature, activated by squeezing his tail (and adding water, of course).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I missed out on the original release of these sets (I was collecting toys, but I had yet to see Aliens). I recently won an ebay auction which included a full set of the figures. This set is probably the weakest of this series. The first Hicks figure had a more satisfactory color scheme, in my opinion, and the King Alien isn’t one of Kenner’s better made-up aliens. At least the original King Alien had bright neon colors to keep him interesting. This one ends up suffering. It’s not a bad set, but it’s not surprising that this is the cheapest and most easily found of the tenth anniversary figures.

HicksVSKing4

#0367: Zauriel

ZAURIEL

JLA

Zauriel1

In the 80s, DC Super Powers came onto the scene and made its mark as the definitive DC toyline. Most DC collectors tend to agree that the spot was usurped by DC Universe Classics just a few short years ago. In the time between those lines, there were a few attempts to recapture the magic of Super Powers. The first was Batman: Total Justice, a line that featured a few Justice League members and villains, while also trying to cash in on Batman’s popularity. Sadly, it only lasted two series before ending. A few years later, another attempt was made, this time under the title JLA. It made use of many of the Total Justice sculpts and added a variety of new characters. The character Hawkman was originally present in Total Justice, but at the time of JLA, several botched reboots let to him being deemed “off-limits.” This led to the creation off Zauriel, who filled Hawkman’s position as dude with wings, both in the comics and in the toyline.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zauriel2Zauriel was released in the 3rd series of JLA. At the time, the line was exclusive to KB Toys. Zauriel is 5 inches in height and he features 7 points of articulation (courtesy of the wings). Zauriel is shown in his armored look, which was the look he was sporting in the JLA comics at the time. While many of the figures in JLA made use of old parts, Zauriel is mostly a new sculpt. The only pieces re-used are the wings, originally used on the Total Justice Hawkman. The sculpt is okay, but not spectacular. Total Justice figures were infamously pre-posed, and this was passed on to JLA. Zauriel stays true to this trend. His legs are rather oddly posed, and the proportions are a bit strange looking. Aesthetically, the sculpt isn’t bad. The armor is pretty well detailed, and the wings look tremendous. The paint on Zauriel is pretty decent. Everything is cleanly applied; there’s no real issues with slop or bleed over. Zauriel included a fiery sword and a JLA logo display stand in white.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Zauriel is a more recent addition to my collection. For whatever reason, I never bought this figure while it was still at retail. I remember seeing it a few times, but I never bought him. I guess I just was unfamiliar with the character. I can’t say I’m super familiar with the character even now, but my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, had one marked down to $2.99 the other day. For that price, I figured it was worth it to get one of the few JLA figures I was still missing. Zauriel isn’t really a standout figure or anything, but he’s a decent enough figure.

#0366: Willow

WILLOW

BUFFY PALZ

WillowPALZ2

In the early 2000s, the block figure was in a real upswing. Kubrick had been on the market for a while, and it seemed everyone wanted to get in on the action. Minimates just did okay with their original, larger scale figures, but found a real hit when they launched Marvel Minimates at a smaller size. Up and coming (and , sadly, now-defunct) toy company Palisades launched their own line of block figures, known as PALZ. They managed to get the block figure license for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and they used it to launch the new format. Amongst the earliest releases was Buffy’s best friend Willow Rosenberg, who I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WillowPALZ1Willow was part of the first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer PALZ. Each series of PALZ were based around a particular season of the show, and each figure was based on a specific episode of that season. Willow is based on her appearance in the episode “Nightmares,” a first season episode where the nightmares of all the students at Sunnydale High come to life. Willow is built on the female PALZ body, which means she stands about 3 inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. Since this is my first review of PALZ, I’ll review the PALZ body here. It’s not unlike the Minimate body, though it is taller than the basic one and the arms, hands, and feet are noticeably squared off compared to the smoother edges of a Minimate. PALZ are generally made of a more brittle plastic, as well, making them much more likely to break. Not a bad base body, but not without issue. Willow features additional pieces for her hair, skirt and jacket. Everything fits together quite nicely, though her jacket is difficult to get on and off without risk of breakage. The paint work on Willow is pretty good. In particular, I’m impressed by the fact that the polka-dot pattern of her dress goes all the way around. That’s some serious attention to detail! The laces on the shoes are also a nice touch, and the faces on both sides of the head bear a decent resemblance to Allyson Hannigan. What’s that? Why are there two faces? To allow you to give Willow her alternate look of course! Willow includes a spare torso, arms, skirt and hair piece to allow you to depict her in her kimono look from “Nightmares.” In addition, Willow includes a back pack, a computer monitor and keyboard, and a tombstone (just like the rest of Series One).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Willow was part of a large set of Buffy PALZ I got not too long after getting into the line. The story behind how I got them is rather neat. I’ve mentioned my membership at the Minimate Multiverse on this site before. Overall, that site is devoted to Minimates, but there is a decent discussion of other toylines, block figures in particular getting a lot of the focus. The other really cool thing that the Multiverse has is a pretty amazing trade forum. So, when I got into Buffy PALZ, I went there to see if I’d have any luck finding any. I came across a really great guy who goes by the handle Buttheadsmate, who had listed that he had duplicates af just about every PALZ ever made, so I got in touch with him to ask about possibly getting a few of the Buffy PALZ I was most interested in. He responded that he’d need a little time to have a look around to see what he could find, but that he’d get back to me. Not too long after that, he got back to me, offering me an almost complete set of Buffy PALZ for an incredibly good price. I was a poor high school student at the time, so I told him I’d need to double check on money. To that he responded that he knew I was good to repay him, and he really just wanted to send them to me. So, with nothing given on my part, he sent me a huge collection of PALZ, pretty much completing my collection in one fell swoop. All he asked in return was that I help in procuring the occasional TRU exclusive Minimate set, as he couldn’t get them in England. I was so very impressed by his generosity, and I went on to find out that I was far from the first member he had done such a thing for.

WillowPALZ3

Guest Review #0013: Legion

LEGION               

MASS EFFECT 2 (DC Direct)

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Today’s review is written by Tim Marron.  Check out more from Tim over at Tim’s Blarg and Timsical Thoughts.  Take it away Tim!

If you recall I reviewed the DC Direct figure of Tali from the Mass Effect series some time ago. This time I’ll be taking a look at essentially her synthetic Geth counterpart, Legion, for he is many. It’s still just a single figure though, but whatever. Semantics.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This figure is based on Legion’s debut appearance in Mass Effect 2. The sculpt is all new, and given the slightly more intricate design of the character, it’s pretty well done. Sadly, as with Tali, the rest is a bit of a downhill trend. Legion has 14 points of articulation but they all feel like they were added after the fact as opposed to cleverly incorporated into the figure’s construction. The range of motion in each of the joints is not terrific either so its practically impossible to get him (it?) into anything resembling a natural pose. At a glance, the paint looks fine, but when you get down into the details the problems get a little difficult to ignore. There are a few spots of bleed over as well as some areas that just look poorly handled, namely, the detailing inside the hole in Legion’s chest which is covered in blue polka-dots. Sure, it’s meant to look like all the little lights of his internal mechanisms, but they don’t conform to any sculptural pattern, they’re just a regular evenly spaced dot pattern laid over a very irregular surface. Legion comes with a sniper rifle and a stand. Sharp eyed readers may notice that my figure has a different rifle than what comes in the box. This is because for whatever reason, DC Direct decided to swap Legion’s and Garrus’ rifles so that Garrus came with a gun that, in game, was exclusively used by Legion. Luckily a friend of mine saw the same issue with her Garrus figure and we agreed to trade rifles for the greater good. Legion has his share of problems. He is a decent depiction of the character if you’re willing to overlook a couple of things, but sadly thats all there is really. There’s not a whole lot of action to go with the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got Legion from my local ToysRUs kind of on an impulse. I already had the Tali figure from the same line so I expected it to have its share of problems. Nevertheless, given how Legion and Tali have a fairly important backstory in the game, I felt compelled to get him. Maybe it was how cool he was in the game, or maybe it’s the fact that, to my knowledge, no one else makes a figure of him. I guess he isn’t really all that many.

#0365: Havok

HAVOK

X-MEN (TOYBIZ)

Havok

So, it’s been a whole year of reviews. I already did the big discussion of that earlier, but I wanted to touch on it here. For my very first review on this site, I took a look at Night Hunter Batman, my very first action figure. For the big one year review, I needed to come up with something special, so I’ve chosen to go with Havok from Toybiz’s X-Men line in the 90s. I’ll get into why I chose this figure shortly.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HavokWilsonHavok was released in the “Invasion Series” of Toybiz’s X-Men line. The series hit not long after the third season of X-Men: The Animated Series, which featured Havok’s sole appearance on that show, so he makes sense here. The figure is a little over 5 inches tall and features 8 points of articulation. He’s based on Havok’s 90s appearance, which he sported in the 90s X-Factor and the aforementioned cartoon. It’s a bit of a departure from Havok’s traditional look, but it was what he looked like at the time, and it definitely fits in with the rest of the 90s X-Men line. Havok comes from the line when it was at its bulkiest, so to speak. The figures were originally much thinner, but eventually they bulked up as the line continued. Eventually, they reached sort of a breaking point, which was right around this series. As such, Havok’s sculpt is a little on the hefty side, but it’s not far outside of what he looked like in the comics at the time. The sculpt was all new to this figure, and as far as I know, it wasn’t used for any future figures. It’s certainly a well detailed sculpt. The coat has lots of really great folds and details, and the face is just perfect for Havok. Admittedly, the figure does have some odd proportions. The waist is really thin, the thighs are pretty big, and the arms stick out pretty far. That being said, he’s based on a 90s design, and odd proportions tend to go hand-in-hand with that time period. Can’t fault them for being accurate. The sculpt is topped off with a pretty decent paint job. It’s not super detailed, but its clean and well applied, so that’s good. Havok includes an action feature: when his upper torso is twisted right, his right arm goes up, and when the torso is released, it springs back. The figure also included a small energy blast piece that can be placed in his right hand to work with the action feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Havok is an important figure to me because he was my one of my two first X-Men figures (the other was the previously reviewed Eric the Red.) The “Invasion Series” was released just as I was getting into super heroes and action figures. For Christmas that year, my Dad got me these two figures, which in turn brought me into the world of X-Men. Thanks to this being my first official X-Man, Havok has to this day remained my very favorite member of the team (I own all but one of his action figures). While this figure has, perhaps, not aged as well as some of the other figures in this line, I still love this figure. It’s also one of the few figures I have more than one of, as I picked up a spare over the summer from Yesterday’s Fun (The spare is seen in the picture with Wilson 4). Man, this is a cool figure!

One year later…

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Well look at that, it’s been a year.  Okay, if I’m honest, it’s been slightly over a year.  Today marks review number 365, but thanks to a few fill-ins from my buddy Tim, it’s actually taken me 369 days to get here.  Sorry about that.  Still, I made it through a whole freaking year of this!

In one year, I’ve managed to write 197,432 words about 527 unique action figures (and I’ll be bringing that up to 528 figures and 198,005 words later today).  If I were to publish the contents of my reviews in book format, I believe you could officially classify it as a “door-stopper.”

In one year, I’ve managed to get 13,683 total views from 75 countries all over the world.  I’ve gotten 56 followers, and I’ve had 73 comments in all (Not counting those made by yours truly).

The most prevalent line of toys to be reviewed was, unsurprisingly, Minimates, which made up 82 of my 365 reviews.  It’s worth noting, that of the 528 figures reviewed, they represented a total of 190 of those figures.  Going by current numbers, I have reviewed 19.5% of my action figure collection.  It’s important to note that my collection hasn’t stopped growing.  When I started the site, I had just clocked in at 2400 figures.  In the last year, that number’s gone up by almost 300.

While not every review has been a gem to right (or to read, I’m sure), I powered through them, and I think the overall product has been pretty good.  One year in, I’m just starting!

So, thanks to all of you who have stuck around through this first year, thanks to those who joined us part of the way through, and welcome to those who are just joining us.

So that’s pretty much it…

#0364: Charles Xavier & Bone Claws Wolverine

CHARLES XAVIER & BONE CLAWS WOLVERINE

MARVEL MINIMATES

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That’s right, I’m squeezing in one more Minimates review before the big One Year stuff tomorrow. Have to boost those Minimate numbers! Once again we dive into the world of Marvel’s Merry Mutants with another set based on this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that really brought the X-Men back to where they should be, in my opinion. Today, it’s another set of characters from the film’s 70s timeline: Charles Xavier & Wolverine!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Charlse Xavier and Bone Claws Wolverine are a two-pack from the 58th series of Marvel Minimates. The series is based on the film version of Days of Future Past, so these two hail from the movie.

CHARLES XAVIER

Xavier&Wolverine2In Days of Future Past’s 1970s timeline, Charles Xavier has yet to become the man we all know as Professor X. He was on his way at the end of First Class, but it seems he got lost along the way. Charles’s return to his cause is a key part of the movie, and Charles essentially serves as the movies main protagonist, so his inclusion here is essential. This figure is based on the young Charles, who is probably the more important of the two, story-wise. Charles is about 2 ½ inches tall (standing) and he features 14 points of articulation. The figure is based on Charles’s look from around the mid-point of the film, right as he starts to return to being the man we’re all used to seeing. What’s key is that it’s a look he has both while walking around and in the chair, which makes the figure a bit more versatile. The figure was built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair and jacket. The hair is re-used from the Thor movie Civilian Thor, but the jacket appears to be a new piece. Both pieces look good. The hair isn’t spot-on for Xavier in the movie, but it’s not far off. The paint on Xavier is pretty good overall. Some of the colors seem a bit off, most notably the hair, which seems too red, and the coat which just seems too light. The likeness on the face also seems to be a bit off, which is a shame, because the First Class Xavier nailed it. On the plus side, everything is clean, and the details on the funky 70s shirt are really awesome. Xavier includes his wheelchair and a clear display stand. The wheelchair is the key accessory; it most clearly shows Xavier’s return to his proper path when he goes back to the chair. So, it’s pretty important to get it right. It’s an all new sculpt and it’s a spectacular recreation of the chair from the movie, so kudos to DST.

BONE CLAWS WOLVERINE

Xavier&Wolverine3In the film version of Days of Future Past, Wolverine takes Kitty Pryde’s place as the X-Man sent back in time to prevent the bad future. This places him in the lead role for the first half an hour or so of the film, but once Wolverine tracks down Xavier, he takes a back seat to the rest of the cast, and he’s even mostly absent from the climactic battle. Still, he’s an important character, and he’s freaking Wolverine, so it’s no surprise to see him here. Wolverine is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Wolverine’s look from the 70s timeline. As the figure’s title denotes, one of the changes with past Wolverine is the presence of his “bone claws.” Wolverine makes use of the basic Minimate body, with sculpted parts for his hair, jacket and hands. The hair and hands are re-use from the Series 52 Wolverine, which is sensible, seeing as that was the last movie Wolverine. The jacket is new to this figure, and it looks like a pretty great match to his jacket from the movie. The paint work on Wolverine is great apart from one small issue. He had a bit of stuck paint on his left knee joint, which ended up leaving a patch of unpainted plastic on the knee. It’s only noticeable if you have the knee in deeper poses, so it isn’t too bad. Apart from that, the Jackman likeness is the best one we’ve seen so far, and the work on the shirt and belt is incredible. Wolverine includes a spare torso, arms, and hands, as well as a clear display stand. The spare pieces depict Wolverine shirtless (because why not) and they feature some great detail work, right down to the bullet wounds Logan receives right after arriving in the 70s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was able to get Magneto and Mystique from my local comicbook store, they had sold out of this set. Fortunately, I was able to get a set from the always awesome Luke’s Toy Store. Admittedly, this is a set I wasn’t really thrilled by at first. Charles seemed kind of boring, and I didn’t feel I needed yet another Wolverine. After seeing the movie, my opinion changed, and seeing packaged shots of the set completely pushed me over the edge. While it’s not as good a set as Magneto and Mystique, it’s still a pretty solid set of Minimates. Xavier’s worth it for the chair alone, and Wolverine is the best movie version of the character yet!

#0363: ATAX

ATAX

ALIENS (KENNER)

Atax

Since Kenner’s Aliens line was originally based on the cancelled Operation: Aliens cartoon, the line did some experimenting with the property. One of the most famous things was adding more diversity to the designs of the Xenomorphs, but one of the other areas that showed some changes was the characters who made up the group of Colonial Marines that faced off against the aliens. While mainstays like Ripley, Hicks, and Bishop remained, a couple of the marines were replaced by characters such as ATAX (which stood for “Alien Tactical Advantage Explorer”), the figure I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AtaxWilsonATAX was part of the second assortment of Aliens figures. The figure is 5 inches tall and features 5 points of articulation. ATAX is one of the marines without a movie counterpart, so presumably his design is based on something from the cartoon. ATAX’s sculpt was unique to him. It’s a pretty solid sculpt, though he does seem a little large-headed. The details in the sculpt are all very well handled, which is really great. ATAX has a more Xeno-inspired look, which certainly makes him stand out amongst the Marines. The paintwork on ATAX is pretty great. It’s better than what we saw on Apone, and this figure has less of a reliance on the decals and such. ATAX’s figure is largely dependent on his accessories, which sadly my figure is lacking. His deal is that he’s supposed to be some sort of an infiltration specialist, so he included several clip on armor pieces to allow him to disguise himself as a Xeno. It’s certainly a unique idea, but seeing as there is never any evidence in the movies that the Xenos recognize each other by sight, I have to wonder just how successful ATAX will be in his infiltration. Maybe that’s why we didn’t see him in the movie…

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I first got into the Aliens line (which was somewhere around the early 2000s, roughly 10 years after it ended), I was mostly focused on just getting characters from the movie. So, ATAX was kind of below my radar. However, when I came across a few Aliens figures while browsing Yesterday’s Fun, ATAX was amongst them and I just couldn’t say no. He’s a goofy figure to be sure, but he’s actually quite well done. I imagine he’d be even better if he had all his pieces…

#0362: Sgt Apone

SGT APONE

ALIENS (KENNER)

Apone

In the 80s and 90s, it wasn’t uncommon for toy companies to get the rights to movies that were a bit outside of the target audience for… toys. Things like Rambo, Robocop, and Terminator 2, all very definitely aimed at adults, were treated to their very own lines of action figures very clearly aimed at kids. Kenner’s Aliens looks like this at first glance, but in actuality they were meant to tie in with Operation: Aliens, a proposed Saturday-morning cartoon based on the 1986 film. When plans for the cartoon were scrapped, Kenner was left with lots of already produced merchandise, leading to them rebranding the line as just Aliens. The Marines offered in the line were based on those that would have been the characters in the cartoon, which means some of them weren’t from the movie. However, a fair number of movie characters made it through, including Sgt. Apone, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AponeWilsonApone was released in the first series of Aliens figures. The figure is 5 inches tall and features 6 points of articulation. Unlike the previously reviewed Ripley, Apone’s design doesn’t have much in common with his movie counterpart. Admittedly, the face does look a bit like Al Matthews, which is nice to see. The rest of the figure is very clearly meant to be based on the Apone design from the failed cartoon. At the very least, it’s an interesting design. The sculpt manages to make it look pretty good. There’s a lot of detail work, especially in the armored pieces on his arm and shoulders, but then there are large areas on his lower half with virtually no detail at all. It’s a mixed look. The paint on Apone is decent, if a bit basic. There are a few fuzzy lines, but nothing too bad. With the exception of the “No Bugs” written on his t-shirt, the rest of the little touches are actually decals, not paint. Apone included some sort of rocket launcher accessory, but I bought mine loose, so he never had whatever it was.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Aliens figures were released in 1992.  That’s actually within my lifetime, but just barely. Needless to say, I wasn’t buying action figures at less than one, so I didn’t start getting the Aliens figures until much later. Apone is one of the last additions to that set; I didn’t get him until just this summer. I picked Apone up from Yesterday’s Fun, while on vacation with my family. Apone is one of the characters who changed the much for this line, but he’s not a bad figure.