Sunday, October 7, 2012

NECA Prometheus Engineer (Chair Suit & Pressure Suit) action figure review

The Aliens movie franchise has seen its ups and downs before but so far NECA's offerings have been nothing short of spectacular for the series. Here we take a look at the Prometheus Engineer action figures both in Pressure Suit and in Chair Suit (Space Jockey) forms. The packaging is classic NECA with a quick move bio on the back and some cool 'Weyland Corp' logos on it for homage to the company in the movies that sponsors everything.Out of the package the figure stand over eight inches tall!

Sculpting is fantastic for both figures. The lighter colored Pressure Suit Engineer is done in classic Geiger style, bio-mechanical-exo-skelenton-ish. There's amazing detail in the texture, ribbing, and ports all over the body. The headsculpt is quite accurate to the movie which is basically a bald Roman-esq nosed human. The lower waist is a softer pvc and hides the hip joints while not restricting the articulation.

Sculpt for the Chair Suit Engineer is super detailed with even more texture done in a raw earthen metal style. There's all sorts of segmented bones, scaling, and the headsculpt looks downright frightening. Both the upper and lower torso are covered in a flexible plastic. The snout of the layered snout of the helmet looks really nice and there's hoses running from the back, torso, and legs. The shoulder joints are so well hidden you can't even tell they are there.

Articulation is excellent and -every- joint is either a universal joint or ball joint, no v-cut hips or swivel joints here. You can get 90 deg of motion or better from the elbows/knees of the Pressure Suit and almost that of the Chair Suit. Both have great ball-jointed necks, waists, and ankles. Both figures can be put in a decent sitting position making me hope for a Space Jockey chair at some point, tho it would have to be pretty huge.

Paint work is exemplary for the figures. Pressure Suit has a great murky wash over the entire body that fades out near the hands and head. The eyes and face have painted detail that really makes the ivory plastic look great, almost like real bone. The eyes are especially life-like with a creepy stare. Chair Suit is primarily a black plastic with gunmetal and silver highlights. It's really well done and brings out the rough texture perfectly. NECA really hit the mark dead-on with these paint apps.

Unfortunately there are no accessories this time around. I would have liked to see a worm-snake-arm-hugger or maybe a canister of the ooze but we got two great looking figures and no problems with them. Their joints are very sturdy and most are very well hidden with the sculpt. Scale seems to be in 6" as the Engineers were quite a bit taller than the humans in the movie so these should work well with your current figure collection.

So what's the verdict on these figures? They're solid awesome toys and if you're a fan of the Aliens, Ridley Scott, or Geiger's designs, get them. For around $15 these are much larger, detailed, and exceptionally painted than the regular fare on the shelves. Our Sponsors Big Bad Toy Store and Past Generation Toys has them and on the pegs at Toys R Us.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Transformers Generations Springer & Cliffjumper Toys-R-Us/Asia exclusive action figure review

The Generations line of Transformers has been going strong for a while now and in Asia there's been a release of repaints with new headsculpts. Three classes have been released in Voyager, Deluxe, and Scouts. Here I take a look at the deluxes Springer who shares the Tomahawk mold and Cliffjumper who shares the First Edition Transformers Prime Cliffjumper mold that wasn't released in the USA. The packaging is bilingual as are the instructions.

Sculpting on Springer is the same as Tomahawk who is a cool looking assault chopper. Unfortunately Springer doesn't have a secondary vehicle alt mode but a savvy customizer can fix that with some wheels. His headsculpt is dead-on Springer and the mold has a very classic feel to the character. You may notice his feet are mistransformed in some pictures. If you weren't a fan of Tomahawk's bird-toes and you can flip them around different ways.

Cliffjumper's sculpt is excellent. The body is a First Edition Cliffjumper down to the black plastic placement. I don't own the original so I can't comment on the shade of red but it has to be close. Both hands fold up to reveal great looking tri-guns. His mold is detailed and like Springer's works for a 'classic' feel. Cliff's head has the trademark horns and domed-sides. There are some odd mold lines and off-set plastic on his lower legs where they meet the knee but it's not too jarring.

Articulation for Springer is excellent with a ball-jointed head that can look almost straight up. His elbows are somewhat limited in their range but his shoulders and legs make up for it. Springer's hands and waist are static. Cliffjumper on the other hand has double-jointed elbows, also a great ball-jointed neck, but his knees don't bend to 90 deg unless you shave some of the red plastic paneling from behind them. He has limited side-ankle movement as well.

Paint for both Cliffjumper and Springer is crisp and neatly applied. The silver doesn't go all the way against the sides of their faces however and may need to be touched up. Cliffjumper's rims, bumper, and headlights look great as do Springer's wing stripes, rotors, and yellow sections. Light piping for the eyes on both figures is excellent due to the back of their heads being molded almost entirely in clear plastic.

Transformation is your basic deluxe style tho Cliff's is a bit more complex being a First Edition mold. Their alt modes are a red muscle car and attack chopper. Both are previous molds and look great. Springer is the only one with accessories and include two C-clamp and 5mm peg missle pods but also his sword. The sword is nicely detailed and has two 5mm pegs, tho you will need to swap a missile pod to the back of the chopper if you want to store it in helicopter mode. While I would have liked to see Cliffjumper with a giant gun just the fact we're getting this mold in the USA is good enough for me.

So what's the verdict on these figures? You probably won't get another chance to get a First Edition Cliffjumper mold in the USA and with some effort you could swap the US release Prime Cliff's head on if you had a spare ball joint. This is also my favorite version of Springer so far and the inclusion of his sword was an excellent choice. You're going to have to hunt these down at Toys R Us or wait till Cliffjumper and Springer are back in stock at Toys R Us' website as they aren't immediately searchable anymore. For Transformers fans this will be a hunt. Wheelie and Swerve are the other deluxes in the assortment followed by the scouts which are showing up.