In 1979 audiences everywhere learned that “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream” with the release of the iconic sci-fi horror classic, ‘ALIEN.’ A few years later in 1985, up and coming director James Cameron took us back to that universe with an all new action-packed twist on the series with ‘ALIENS’; a film which is still highly regarded as one of the best of its genre to this day. Now, to celebrate forthcoming 30th Anniversary of ‘ALIENS’, Diamond Select Toys has released an all new set of single-packed Minimates figures based on the film! But how do they hold up? Do they capture the gritty action-packed tone of the original film? Let’s take a look at this single-packed series of ‘ALIENS’ Minimates!
What are Minimates?
So first off, for the uninitiated, what’s a Minimate? Minimates are DST and Art Asylum’s ongoing line of mini-figures that are based on anything and everything you can imagine! Each figure (well, most of them) stands 2-inches tall and has interchangeable parts that work with almost every other Minimate, making these guys great for customizing and making your own original figures! Minimates have been in production since 2002, so with over a decade’s worth of figures on the market, it isn’t hard to see why the line has such a huge fan base!
This series of single-packed ‘ALIENS’ Minimates comes packaged twelve figures per-case, with each case being comprised of three human figures and nine Alien Xenomorphs, so if you planned on snagging a case of these you’ll be well prepared for an ALIEN invasion! The case for this wave of figures includes three human characters and three variations of Xenomorph ‘Alien Warriors’ with a case pack in ratio of (x1) Carter Burke, (x1) Pvt Wierbowski, (x1) Crew Chief Pvt. Spunkmeyer, (x4) Alien Warrior, (x3) Attacking Alien Warrior, and (x2) Battle Damaged Alien Warrior. This will make a few of these figures a little harder to come by, while making army-building your ALIENS a much easier feat!
First up we’ve got civilian Carter Burke! That’s right folks, you can rest easy knowing that there is finally a Minimate of Paul Reiser available! This Carter Burke Minimate comes packed without any accessories to speak of beyond a basic clear display stand, but he does have a VERY movie accurate outfit on. The clothes make the man, and attention to detail on this figure really went into the clothes. In particular, It’s really enjoyable that he’s even got his digital watch on his wrist as a removable accessory! He’s a really nice figure of this movie’s character that we all love to hate.
Crew Chief Private Spunkmeyer
Spunkmeyer here is great! While he wasn’t necessarily one of the films biggest characters, this figure is an excellent representation of him. Spunkmeyer comes wearing his flight gear, including a flight helmet that you can remove to reveal that Spunkmeyer is sporting a painted on crew cut! It’s the little things like this painted on short hairstyle that makes this figure stand out from the rest; It’s a really nice touch. His flight uniform is pretty standard here, and doesn’t stand out too much, but it’s different enough that he will stand out a bit amongst other future ‘ALIENS’ figures. Spunkmeyer comes packed with a pistol and a regular clear display stand.
Private Wierbowski here is the first look we get at one of the fully geared up Colonial Marines, and wow is he awesome! Pvt. Wierbowski comes sporting his full Colonial Marines gear, including his padded chest piece and helmet! The armor itself is a bit bulky and hinders his movement a bit, but it’s fully removable to reveal a fully articulated Marine uniform underneath! Unlike Pvt Spunkmeyer, Wierbowski here is unfortunately just bald under his removable helmet.
Once again, one of the major things of note that really make the difference on this figure are the accessories. Wierbowski’s helmet has a built in eye-piece and headset just like in the film, as well as a flashlight affixed to the upper right side of it, and and his pulse rifle is spot on to the ones from the movie! It’s really great to see such tiny yet perfectly spot on renditions of these iconic items from the film. If Wierbowski here is any indication of what we can expect from the Colonial Marines in the upcoming figure two-packs in early 2015, then we’re really in for something special with this series.
This guy here is the real meat of the set. The next three figures all share the majority of their parts with one another, although each has their own slight differences. First up we’ve got the standard Xenomorph ‘Alien Warrior’ Minimate. The sculpt on these guys is truly exceptional! Just looking at the amount of detail that has gone into the sculpts of the ALIEN figures here really shows just how much effort Diamond Select Toys is putting into this series of Minimates.
The Alien Warrior here has most of the standard Minimate articulation, with a few minor exceptions and with a few minor additions as well. The Alien Warrior lacks a few of the smaller articulation points, like the ankle swivel, but they make up for it with added height to the figure when it’s standing fully erect. The main body is a basic black torso, but has an additional sculpted torso piece on it that features the spines on the Xenomorphs backside. The spines aren’t necessarily articulated, but they are adjustable so that if for whatever reason they look as thought they are sticking out funny, they can be readjusted to sit as you’d like.
One of the coolest things on these figures is the fully articulated tail! It would have been super easy to just throw on a solid tail piece as a waist attachment or even just running off the back end of the chest attachment. But DST has taken these to the next level by giving the tail two points of articulation that give it a solid range of motion! It makes it much easier to make your Alien Warriors stand out from one another in a crowded display when you can pose as many different parts of each figure as possible, so this tail is a major plus!
As mentioned earlier, the Alien Warrior features a ton of parts that were sculpted entirely for use on these figures. The Alien Warrior sports a brand new fully sculpted head, hands, chest attachment and feet! It adds a lot to the figure to see all of the tiny details sculpted into the molds of these 2” scale plastic Minimate figures! The newly sculpted feet pieces might not make the figures are articulated as some of their counterparts, but they add in a decent amount of extra height and add an extra bend to the ankle so that the figure is more screen accurate. I really love the sculpts of the head and hands as well! Even the pieces that aren’t sculpted, like the main parts of the arms and legs, have a highly detailed paint pattern on them, so that nothing looks amiss on these wonderful figures!
Attacking Alien Warrior
Next up we’ve got the ‘Attacking’ Alien Warrior Minimate! This figure is almost 100% identical to the Alien Warrior figure, with one major difference – a brand new head sculpt! The ‘Attacking’ version of the Alien Warrior features an all new head sculpt that has open jaws and a second descending mouth that looks as though it’s creeping out to attack it’s enemies or prey!
Much like the standard Alien Warrior, the Attacking Alien Warrior has a fantastic sculpt with a ton of detail. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between these figures, so we won’t delve into the details of this figure as much, suffice to say that the freshly sculpted head with open jaws and a descending mouth a certainly enough of a difference to make it worth picking one of these up as well as the standard Alien Warrior. If you’re only going to buy one version of the Xenomorph Alien Warrior Minimate, the Attacking Alien Warrior is probably the best looking of the three released in this wave.
Battle-Damaged Alien Warrior
Last but far from least, we’ve got the third and final Alien variant, the Battle-Damaged Alien Warrior. This version is slightly different from the other two versions, while still being a lot of the same. The parts are almost all identical to the last figure, the Attacking Alien Warrior, but while the jaws are open on this version, there is no smaller descended mouth jutting out. There are also some very special paint applications this time around.
While the sculpt on this figure is the same as the last one minus the extra mouth piece, this figure sports a special ‘battle-damaged’ paint job, where its got splotches of green ‘acid blood’ all over it in a seemingly sporadic pattern. There’s acid blood on the head sculpt, torso, arms, and legs! Pretty much, the entire figure has random splotches of bright green paint on it to simulate the damage the Alien would acquire during a battle with the Colonial Marines.
This figure is a really neat effect and interesting way to do a variation of an already awesome figure! It’s also the short-packed version of the Xenomorph, being only two-per-case versus the three or four packed versions that are likely to be more sought after anyway. It’s a way to give a third variation of the Alien Warrior without having a ton of Battle-Damaged figures piling up and shelf warming while people wait for the wave to be restocked so they can get a normal Alien Warrior figure.
Overall, there isn’t a single bad thing to be said about this entire wave of figures. It’s definitely a major perk that they’re single-packed, so you can pick and choose exactly who you want to own, although all six figures in this wave are pretty worth picking up. Having opened a complete case for this review, it’s definitely safe to say it’s worth grabbing a full set of these bad boys for your display. With the impending release of the ALIENS figure two-packs in the coming weeks, it’s certainly worth stocking up on Xenomorphs to battle the Colonial Marine forces!
Whether you’ve got one Alien Warrior or nine Alien Warriors, the human characters here hardly stand a chance. Remember, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream”!