“15 years after the disappearance of the commercial towing vessel Nostromo, the ship’s flight recorder is discovered floating in deep space. Its owner, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, immediately dispatches a team of representatives to Sevastopol Station to retrieve it. Among their number is Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, the Nostromo’s warrant officer.”
It’s no secret that Aliens is my favorite movie of pretty much all time (though Guardians Vol 2 has given it some serious competition, not gonna lie). As I was -6 when the film was released, I never saw it in theaters. I instead caught it many years later when it was released on DVD. On the DVD, the default version is the director’s cut, which adds 16 minutes of footage. There’s a lot of simply cut lines, but a few whole scenes, and by extension underlying subplots, were cut. The removal of Newt’s family and the other scenes at the colony is the biggest excision, but not far behind it is the removal of the pre-inquest scene where Ripley discovers the fate of her daughter, Amanda, who died during Ripley’s 57 years away from Earth. All we get is a name, a picture, and her age at time of death. 28 years later, we got Alien: Isolation, a game centered on Amanda and her quest to find out what happened to her mother. Real shocker here: she runs into a Xenomorph along the way. Who could have foreseen that?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Amanda Ripley was released in Series 6 of NECA’s Aliens line, which was a whole series devoted to Isolation. There were two Amanda figures in the set; this one depicts her in her main jumpsuit-ed look, which she’s sporting for a good chunk of the game. There was also a figure of her in her compression suit, which I never got around to picking up. This figure stands about 7 1/4 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. As it was supposed to be nearer in the timeline to Alien than to Aliens, Isolation took a lot of its design elements from the first film. By extension, each of the three figures in Series 6 borrows liberally from prior NECA Aliens figures. This Amanda figure is built using about 95% of the parts from the Jumpsuit Ripley figure from Series 4, along with a new head and upper arms. The designs of the jumpsuits are close enough that this makes for a pretty decent recreation. If you want to get super nitpicky, the pattern of the seams and “belt” on the pelvis section is incorrect, and she’s missing the leather pads on her shoulders. However, it’s hardly noticeable; you have to be looking for inaccuracies (which, I as a reviewer am paid to do. Oh wait, no I’m not. There’s no money in this. It’d be nice, though, wouldn’t it?). The new pieces blend well with the old, and make her sufficiently different from her mom. The head does a suitable job of capturing Amanda’s likeness from the game; it does seem a tad on the small side to me, though. Amanda’s paint work is decent, but it does have a few issues. The overall application is pretty solid, and the colors all seem to match what’s seen on the screen. She’s got painted skin, which I don’t like quite as much as the molded skin, but I guess it’s alright. There are a few scuffs on my figure, and she’s got a weird splotch of discoloration on her forehead. Overall, though, she’s really not bad. Amanda is packed with a flamethrower (the very same one included with her mother), as well as her self-assembled motion tracker, and her backpack. A great selection of extras all around.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The first Amanda Ripley figure I bought actually wasn’t for me, but was instead for my brother Christian. My exposure to the game was watching him play through it, so I thought it was only proper he get the figure first. Other things took priority over getting an Amanda for myself, so I just never got around to grabbing her. Last summer, the day before Movie Stop went out of business, several of us went to see what was left. Poor Amanda was one of about three NECA figures left, and I ended up getting her for something like 90% off. She’s a pretty solid figure, thanks in no small part to being built on the same body as one of NECA’s best. It’s just a shame we never got a Worker Joe to harass her. Guess I’ll just have to make due with the Xeno….
Hey, look at that; I managed to go this whole Alien-themed review without mentioning my seething hatred for Covenant. Good on me!