“CPL” HUDSON & SCREAMING ALIEN
The first series of Aliens Minimates covered a lot of bases in terms of major characters, but there were definitely a few key characters missing. Fortunately, the Toys R Us assortment and Series 2 are doing their part to fill some of those holes. The TRU series has added two new marines, including today’s focus, the shell-shocked Marine Hudson, who is packed with another Alien Warrior variation.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two were released as part of the TRU assortment of Series 1 of Aliens Minimates. As of now, both figures are exclusive, but Hudson is already slated to appear in Series 2 at specialty stores.
So, let’s get something out of the way right now: Hudson isn’t a Corporal, he’s a Private. The package totally gave him the wrong rank. But, I’m probably one of the few people to actually notice such a thing, so, whatever. Hudson is probably one of the film’s more memorable Marines. He’s got a fair bit of screen time, and, whether you like it or not, his panicky personality sets him apart from the rest of the crew. Anyway, he’s pretty important to the film and the line would feel very incomplete without him, so it’s good to see him turn up here. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Hudson features additional sculpted parts for his helmet, chest armor, and boots. These parts are all the same as those used on the Series 1 Marines and Weirzbowski. This is sensible, given that the armor was standard issue in the film. Hudson continues the trend of the removable shoulder lamp, which is a nice option to have. His is a little looser than previous versions, but it stays in place alright. The armor is all stuff we’ve seen a few times before, but it’s no less impressive than it was before, and it still does a great job of translating the real deal into ‘mate form. Hudson’s paintwork is pretty decent, but it does have a few nits here and there. The basic armor detailing and underlying fatigues match up with the rest of the Marines, which is good. The chest armor has most of Hudson’s distinctive graffiti; it’s cleanly applied for the most part and helps set him aside from the others. Hudson wore a cover on his helmet in the movie, which featured a slightly different camo pattern and an 8-ball on the back. However, the figure just has the standard issue helmet. It’s not the worst thing ever, but it is just a little disappointing. The likeness on the face isn’t spot-on to Bill Paxton, but it’s a lot closer than the other Marines in the line, so that’s good. On the accessory front, Hudson has an extra hairpiece, a standard issue pulse rifle, a facehugger, and a clear display stand. The rifle and facehugger are the same ones we’ve seen before, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The hair is one of the standard male hairpieces, first used for Marvel Series 27’s Ultimate Iron Man. It’s too long to really work for Hudson, and it’s definitely painted too lightly to be Paxton’s hair. But it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.
Well, I guess it wouldn’t really be an Aliens set without another Alien, right? So, here’s this one. But this time he has a new hat—err, I mean, he’s screaming! That’s sort of different. Different enough when you’re dealing with army builders, anyway. For the most part, this figure is more or less the same as the other Aliens. It has sculpted pieces for the head, torso, tail, hands, and feet. The pieces are as well sculpted as always, so that’s good. This figure uses the “attacking” head, but it lacks the inner mouth piece, giving it the screaming appearance hinted at in the name. The figure’s paint is pretty much identical to all the prior Warrior and Attacking Aliens the line’s offered. There’s plenty of painted texturing and such, which keeps the figure visually interesting. As far as accessories go, the Screaming Alien only includes a clear display stand. However, this is totally on par with prior Aliens, and it’s totally reasonable, given how many sculpted parts the figure has.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When it was announced that Hudson and Vasquez would be available in both this line-up and in Series 2, I had planned to just wait for the later release. Then I saw these guys at my local TRU and I caved. Big shock, right? Hudson’s a pretty good addition to the line. He has a few minor issues, but he’s an important character, and he’s good overall. I’m curious to see if the Series 2 release might fix one or two of the issues here. The Screaming Alien isn’t really that different from the other Aliens, but it’s different enough to add a little bit of variety to your horde of Aliens. And isn’t that the dream?