Lt. Ripley (Kenner Homage) from NECA Toys by "Pixel Dan" Eardley
To celebrate the first ever Alien Day (4/26), NECA Toys did their part by releasing an exclusive new Ellen Ripley action figure with a great Kenner twist. Paying homage to Kenner is not new for NECA Toys, as we've seen many special variations of their action figures released with classic Kenner-style colors and action features. With their Predator line getting a lot of vintage toy love, many fans have been waiting for the day when the Aliens line would receive the same treatment.
To many of us, the Kenner Predator and Alien action figures were our only option to relive moments from the films while playing out int he backyard. And while the original toys may have been far from accurate, there is no doubt that they were a ton of fun. It's funny how that works, isn't it? When the Kenner figures were our only options, we dreamed of movie accurate action figures. Now that companies like NECA Toys are giving us the greatest movie accurate Aliens toys we always wanted, we find ourselves dreaming of the old Kenner toys being revisited.
Ok, maybe not everyone. But that's certainly how I feel. And don't get me wrong, I love the movie accurate toys. But there is just some kind of charm tied to those old Kenner action figures that has me openly welcoming update versions into my collection.
Packaging: Lt. Ripley comes in the same style clamshell that we see many of NECA's figures packaged in. When it comes to the Kenner homage figures, NECA always goes the extra mile to make their package similar to the original figures cardback. The new figure is fully showcased within featuring that classic artwork on the lower portion that looks as though it came straight out of the 90's. The back of the package features a bio and even has a cross-sell of NECA's Alien and Predator toys that is laid out exactly as we saw on the vintage packaging. It's such a gorgeous throwback that it makes the figure hard to open.
Sculpt and Paint: If you have already picked up NECA's standard Ripley figure form Aliens, that you mostly know what to expect with this figure. The major difference here lies in the paint job, which puts Ellen Ripley in a purple shirt and bright blue pants just like that old 5" action figure from the 1990's. To top off her look she's also sporting bright yellow Reeboks, a bandoleer, and a little yellow handkerchief around her neck, which is a new piece sitting loosely around the figure's neck. Even with the wild colors, the figure is still wonderfully sculpted with clean paint and that great Sigourney Weaver likeness.
Articulation: The figure features a decent amount of articulation that breaks down as follows: ball joint at the top of the neck that allows rotation of the head, ball-like joints at the shoulders, swivels at the elbows, standard elbow bend, ball joints at the wrists, a ball joint int he torso allowing the waist to swivel and rotate, ball joints at the hips, swivel and standard bend at the knees, and joints at the ankles. All of the articulation is very tight on this figure, and did require me to slowly work it out to ensure that it moved properly without breakage, but I'm happy to report that none of the joints feel brittle and function well. The sculpt does limit the movement in some areas, including the hips, ankles, and the shoulders. I'd still consider the figure to be on-par with most of NECA's recent offerings.
Accessories: We get one weapon packed-in with Ripley, but it's definitely exciting. The Smart Gun is wonderfully sculpted with a crazy amount of detail. The paint deco is black with a subtle sheen to it that makes it look a bit metallic under certain lighting. Ripley's right hand gets a firm grip on the side handle, but the left hand is more of an open palm. My one wish here is that the left hand could get a tighter grip on the top handle so that you can get a few more poses out of it. You can adjust it to look just fine, and when you do it looks great. But a tighter grip would certainly allow for a few more posing options.
I do sort of wish she also came with the flame thrower weapon that the old figure came with, but Ripley does have one more cool throwback pack-in. Inside the retro packaging you'll find a reprint of the Dark Horse mini comic that came with that original action figure, which is an exciting bonus that really takes me back to opening up brand new action figures like this as a kid.
I was the guy who was keeping my fingers crossed for a Kenner inspired repaint from the moment NECA Toys released the long-awaited Ripley figure from the film Aliens. I know that's strange, but I can't help myself. I love this stuff. And I love this action figure. The classic paint deco works so well on this new, detailed sculpt, successfully making this feel like a modern update of the 90's figure. Toss in some cool accessories and wrap it all up in a retro inspired package, and you've got one fun flashback to the past!
Let's hope that this is just the first of many Kenner style Alien figures from NECA Toys. Bring on that Mantis Alien!
Check out this video review to get a better look at the figure and also check out our GALLERY of in-hand images below.
Special thanks to Randy Falk and NECA Toys for providing Ripley for review