REVIEW:KONAMI ALIEN TRADING FIGURES VOLUME 1 by Alun from SFMuk Admin's blog

As with the Futura Star Trek models reviewed elsewhere, these model kits are not your standard assembly models. Instead they are prepainted models that come in just a few parts (typically 3 or 4) that were sold exclusively in Japan as trading kits. The original retail price was 300 yen for a single randomly packaged models. These figures are from Alien and Alien3 only, but as this is described as Volume 1 it is likely that futher items will appear from Aliens and Alien Resurrection.


There were 8 kits released in Volume 1. Each is contained in a sealed box and it is not possible to identify the contents from the outside. 7 are regular kits and freely available, and are shown below. The 8th one was a rarer kit and was included in lower numbers and is consequently much rarer. The chase figure is the Space Jockey from the original movie, which I did not manage to get in my sets, and so is not reviewed here.


Original Alien


Very nicely done with a clear section for the top of the head. Under this a pattern has been applied to show shapes when it is snapped into place. Looks accurate (at this scale), although I would have preferred to see the tall above it rather than tucked between the legs like a naughty dog, although this  is actually accurate. This was a consistant part of the Aliens' "attack posture" in many of the films. They make a visual point of it in the first film when Lambert is attacked (and then cut away to her screams, implying some truely disturbing ways to die. Much more effective than an easy gore shot). "Overhand" attacks with the tail barb were only consistantly used by the Queen. Athough I think the Alien3 creature did use it's tail for a fiegning attack at one point, the tail has primarily been a "sneaky weapon" and an anchor when dangling from above to grab people. This model stands approximately 3.75" tall.






Chestburster


The stage of the Alien lifecycle that burst out of John Hurt's chest. Again nicely done with a decent wash to bring out the details.






Chestburster Dog Alien from Alien3


This is actually only the chestburster form of the Alien3 creature, it's head carapace was fleshy and opaque. Halcyon released a 1/1 vinyl kit of this called the "Dog-Burster", although this figure has more accurate preportions, the detals and textures on the Halcyon kit are lovely.






The Facehugger


Again well done, although I'm not keen on the silver nail varnish. None of the movie facehuggers had silver fingernails. The "Aliens" versions didn't have fingernails at all.  This looks like it could possibly be about 1:6 scale, so could be useful for diorama purposes with other 1:6 scale models.




Narcissus Shuttle


Ripley's method of escape in the first movie. Looks accurate when compared to the Halycon version that was released way-back.






New Alien (Dog Alien)


This is possibly my favourite of the set with it's crouched pose and menacing look. Again the tail is curled under though.  Note that it has none of the "biomechaniod" detail to it, just bones and complex skin. ADI when making the third film alien went back to one of Gieger's original paintings for the first film (even though he made new designs for this one) which had smoother, more organic detail. Note also the back of the head and the fingers: the fourth film dropped the "glans" at the back of the head carapace in favor of a flat underside, and the fingers were reduced to a singe bone structure each instead of the "two fingers fused" look that had been consistant up till then. The quadropedal stance was the hallmark of the third film creature as well, although it was used a little in "Ressurection". On a side note, they (like EVERYONE else who's ever done this subject) have given it a completely innacurate paint scheme, but I think that's okay because I like the commonly used colors better than the accurate ones. Other defining features are the abscence of the "stovepipe" organs on the back, the smooth-topped vertibrae (continuing throught the tail), and the shape and size of the tail barb. If you look at the chest, you should see a single smooth sternum, instead of the vertibrally-segmented sternum seen on all the other versions.






Nostromo


The towing vessel seen in the first movie and was blown up by Ripley at the end. Models of the Nostromo are extremely rare (being only released in vinyl and only turn up on ebay once in a blue moon and make a lot of money) so to get one even at this scale is good news. The detail is excellent and the detail parts (antenna, landing gear) come on 3 small sprues. The only problem is that the points where they are cut free notice a little bit, but could easily be touched up.






Conclusions


My opinion is that these are excellent models, and there isn't a dud one amongst them. The pose isn't what I would do with a couple (really only to do with the position of the tail) but this could I'm sure be corrected easily. They are better in terms of detail and paint work when compared to the Furuta models, each of which has it's bad points and could do with some correctly or addition to the painting. I look forward to Volume 2 being released.


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By SFMuk Admin
Added Nov 20 '13

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