Reaction Figures Alien Toyline Review
For years I had seen the pictures of “what could have been” regarding an Alien movie toyline from Kenner way back in 1979. Well it’s now 35 years later and thanks to Super7 & Funko, we have more than just pictures of pre-production mock ups. We have fully carded 3 3/4″ figures!
Staff member Adam McIver already showed you the carded early bird set HERE. What we’re looking at today is the regular release figures. There aren’t many changes and they’re just to the card backs. The blue borders are now black, all the black trim lines are red and the backgrounds of the figures on the back are now yellow instead of red. All the other aspects appear to be the same between both releases.
As you can see, the cardbacks are pretty much just like the early bird ones (Still with no actor picture for the Ash figure) The original press release for these figures said they were going to be making them just like they were originally going to be released. I’m not sure if Super7 & Funko had access to what the packaging was originally going to look like (or if Kenner ever even got that far along in pre-production) but the cards definitely have a vintage look with all the classic Star Wars aspects we saw on the vintage toyline.
All of the figures that come with hand held accessories (Ash, Dallas & Ripley) have those accessories taped to the inside of the bubble on the right side of the figure.
To start off our look at this toyline, let’s check out the Captain of the doomed USCSS Nostromo, Captain Arthur Coblenz Dallas.
Dallas appears in a blue jacket, pants and tan shirt. I liked seeing Nostromo on his back like the outfit in the movie has, however, that outfit was a brown/tan jacket with white shirt and pants. Dallas never wore all blue but I suppose this could have been a decision made by the toy designers so that Dallas and Ripley would seem to be wearing matching uniforms.
Close up of Dallas shows a fairly detailed face (for a vintage styled figure) Unfortunately, the paint apps on my Dallas’ eyes were a little off but it’s really only noticeable up close.
Dallas comes with a flamethrower weapon. Like the figures, it’s made in a simplistic vintage style. Rather than be dark blue like many of the vintage Star Wars accessories, this one is a light blue color.
I chose Obi-Wan to compare Dallas to mainly because it’s a bearded figure, but it’s also the closest in age (’77 to Dallas’ ’79) Looking at the two I can see the body sculpt for Dallas appears more detailed with the buttons and string design on the front, but Obi-Wan’s face looks more detailed and the hair doesn’t look so blobish.
Dallas works alright as a vintage styled figure. He may not be screen accurate in the color department, but he’s got a nice sculpt and you can tell who it’s supposed to be (mainly because of the beard)
Next up is Science Officer Ash:
Ash the android is seen here in a fairly screen accurate vintage styled representation.
Ash’s face sculpt is ok (again, it’d be fine by vintage standards) the biggest problem for me here is the paint. It gives the figure a chalky look. I really think if the heads were cast in their flesh tones rather than painted, they’d look better and be a little more accurate to the vintage look.
Ash comes with the Alien tracker he made in the movie for his accessory
The tracker has many of the details from the one in the movie, but I have a slight problem with the circular sculpt side. It looks like a light. The grid pattern is typically used for head lights and looking at the screen prop, that detail looks more like a fan case with circular lines going around it instead of a grid pattern.
I compared Ash to Bespin Luke mainly for the body sculpt. Again, Ash gets bonus points for smaller details like buttons but I feel he falls a little short with the pockets. On Luke, they look like they have volume but on Ash, the flaps of the pockets look drawn on. Kinda like they sculpted a box on his chest then just made lines for the raised details like the flaps. You can see this same problem in the knees of his pants, it’s just got lines dug into the sculpt, not an appearance of mass like Luke has.
All of my sculptural talk out of the way, Ash still works well (and at least he’s more screen accurate than Dallas)
Our next figure will be the heroine of the movie, Warrant Officer Ellen Louise Ripley:
Ripley has her blue Nostromo jumpsuit
Like the other figures, the headsculpt is so-so. I think the hair probably hurts it the most as it’s very blobish like Dallas’ hair. The eye’s paint job is still slightly off from the sculpt, but not as bad as Dallas’ paint job was.
Ripley comes with the same flamethrower that Dallas comes with.
I feel the body sculpt is good, it may not have as many wrinkles in the clothes as Hoth Leia does, but like the other figures in the Alien line, it has smaller details that you didn’t see much on vintage figures like the zipper pulls and buttons. As I mentioned earlier, the hair is a big problem sculpt-wise and kinda looks like they made a helmet then carved lines into it to show “detail”
Ripley works well with the other figures in the line and looks somewhat screen accurate (at least in the outfit department)
That brings us to the last crew member of the USCSS Nostromo, Executive Officer Gilbert Ward Kane:
Kane is shown in his Nostromo Spacesuit
The helmet is removable
One of the details I like about the removable helmet is that there’s a hose sculpted to the back of it that runs down to the air tank on his back. Well where the helmet separates from the body, the hose matches up pretty well to the sculpted hose on the back of the figure. This hasn’t always been the case with similar styled figures so it’s nice to see this detail work here.
I chose Dengar to compare to because they both look very similar with Kane’s helmet removed. This is where you can notice that this is the nicest sculpted figure of the humans in this line. All the detail work with the armor pieces and ribbing really work well. It’s pretty telling how much work the Kenner sculptors put into this figure when you think about the fact that a year or so later Dengar was made and doesn’t look quite as good as Kane.
The Kane figure really only fits for one scene but I’m glad they made someone in the spacesuit as it’s a very cool looking figure and I love just how well the helmet works. If this was a modern figure I’d be disappointed that there wasn’t a spare helmet piece with a facehugger attached to it or a spare facehugger to go on Kane’s face, but as a vintage styled figure, I’m happy with it just the way it is.
Now on to the main event of the Reaction Alien toyline, The Xenomorph!
It’s pretty clear the Alien received most of the sculptural detail work. All the way around, this figure has detail work worthy of some modern 3 3/4″ figures.
Included with the typical 5 POA all the figures in this line have, the Alien can also rotate his tail to an up or down curled position. This helps in posing the figure greatly.
The head has a removable clear dome piece, which reveals the action slider for his teeth.
The “Teeth” is just a thin piece of plastic with a vague shape like the movie Alien’s “teeth” By today’s standards, this would be ridiculed, but I’m sure if this was out in ’79 all of us kids would be going crazy for this feature.
Greedo was the most detailed alien out of the Star Wars and Empire figures I could think of to compare to the Xenomorph. Let’s be honest, the Xenomorph makes Greedo look more like a cartoon character than he already did. The Kenner sculptors really showed their talent with this figure.
The back of the card mentions the Alien’s glowing “brains” Now while the figure looks to have glow in the dark paint on his head, I haven’t been able to make it glow at all. The pictures above is of the Alien and MOTUC Scareglow next to each other with a fluorescent black light next to them. I moved the black light away for the second picture and as you can see (or can’t see) the Alien is totally black. The clear dome seems to glow slightly under the black light, but that’s common for translucent plastic to react that way. I also tried putting the figure in direct sunlight to see if that was the problem and I got the same results. Perhaps they had to cut the GITD paint at the last minute or perhaps I got a bad figure, I’m not sure.
The GITD problem aside, the Alien is the biggest standout of the line with the great amount of detail in the sculpt and fun features like movable “teeth” I’m glad to finally have an Alien in 3 3/4″ scale. While I still think the 90’s 5″ Alien Kenner made is the best looking one from my childhood, this one would definitely have second place. (We know that all the modern Aliens like the Revoltech one blow these two out of the water, but we’re not talking about them right now)
So that’s the whole basic line of Reaction Alien figures from Super7 & Funko. The original price for all 5 was $100 originally, but then Super7 was able to partner up with Funko and brought the price down quite a bit. The full set on Super7’s site will run you $75. I was able to get all 5 figures from Kokomo Toys for $60 before shipping. At around $10-$15 per figure, I have no problem dropping some money on these figures I thought I’d never be able to own. Now I’ve mentioned disappointment with some of the sculpt work but I accept that that was all done around 35 years ago. Super7 has mentioned making new lines in the Reaction format for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly so I hope they bring a little modern sculpting work to the vintage style they’re resurrecting here.