I’m writing a book about these (Kenner) things so I’m expected to know them inside out like nobody else. So, without too much delay lets disassemble this fascinating new addition to Kenner’s extended family and take a look inside. Where’s that screwdriver..?
These new figures emulate Kenner’s original construction methods almost perfectly. There’s a few minor changes to be found throughout the figure and to anyone who’s dismantled an original figure will be very familiar with what to expect with Super7’s iteration.
Taking the figure apart is simple and exactly the same process as you would undergo to disassemble an old Kenner item. There are 4 screws present in the back of the figure and removing them with a screwdriver is a straight forward task:
Once the screws are out, all that remains is to pry the figure apart with your fingers. Don’t use the screwdriver or a knife as it will bruise the figure and shouldn’t be necessary, anyway. When the torso halves are separated, the rest of the figure easily falls apart, like this:
Now that it’s in pieces we can check it out. Let’s look at the rear torso half first. Inside this piece we can see a number of circular penetrations for the quad appendages on the back to be held in place. There’s a lip around the entire circumference of the piece that matches the front torso half. There’s also a number of posts that help to clamp the figure together evenly when assembled. There are 5 half socket points on the piece that match those on the front torso half and when the figure is assembled these sockets will accommodate both arms, both legs and the head:
Let’s get in really close, now. Looking between the shoulders of the rear torso half we can see the fifth spike attachment point (indicated below). This spike is frequently missing from an aging Kenner item and is here fixed in place using a slot and paired peg arrangement in a manner similar to the original figure.
It’s fitted in such a way that removing it will probably cause some damage to the figure, so I’m not willing to attempt that. I can see well enough how it’s assembled so the practice of its removal isn’t even warranted. The only difference here is the piece is more secure with less innate movement. The plastic around the mounting slot also appears to be thickened which permits less opportunity for breakage:
At the base of the rear torso half, the tail is also fixed in place permanently and I’m not willing to attempt to remove it. Once again, I can see how it’s assembled so any action driven by curiosity is made redundant. The tail is held in place using a peg extending from the tail held firmly in place with a thick, tapered plastic grommit (indicated below). This is a very similar practice that the Kenner figure uses to secure the tail in place, except the vintage item employs a thin, serrated metal washer. The washer in the older figure is frequently corroded and sometimes broken. That won’t be happening here:
Let’s move onto the front torso half, because that’s next on the list. Once again, there’s a matching lip around the outer edge of the piece that matches the rear torso half and secures the figure together with straight and clean finish. Also inside this piece is an abundance of posts, at least 3 different purposes can be attributed to these.
The posts marked with red arrows are points where the 4 screws enter this piece from the rear torso and fasten both halves together in a diamond shape. Other posts with holes present are used to give additional strength to the figure as they align and insert into other posts present on the rear torso half.
The final group of posts, those without any holes present at all, appear to serve no purpose at all and are most likely redundant production artifacts or even moulding sprues, relics of the manufacturing process that don’t need to be removed simply because no one will ever see them or even be aware of their presence. Most people, anyway:The head fits into the shoulders of the figure with a large rectangular nub. To secure the head in place, the upper most posts present in the rear and front torso pieces pass through a hole in this thick peg. A screw completes the connection and this arrangement prevents any rotation of the head whatsoever.
Other than an oval widening of the penetration (indicated below) on the front of the head nub to permit easier assembly of the figure, this is exactly the same system Kenner used in their original toy. Much like the older toy, both halves of the head are permanently fixed together and it is not possible to dismantle it to investigate the jaw activation system any closer:
The figure’s arms are held in place with a length of bungee/elastic cord looped through plastic anchors inside the arms. This method works well and is a marked improvement over the original fitting by Kenner. People repairing older figures often opt for this solution – or something very similar. It works for Super7 here and it’s the same solution applied to this problem by Gentle Giant in their 24 inch tall Kenner tribute Alien figures. It’s perfectly fine for you, too, if you need to reconnect the arms to one of the older figures:
On the back of the figure are 4 almost identical appendages of indeterminate purpose. These 4 limbs/organs – whatever they are – each connect inside the figure to a plate that is pushed into place on the back by a post inside the front torso half. This is more or less exactly the same method used in the vintage toy except Super7 have widened the penetrations so it can avoid contact with internal posts more reliably. The upper most penetration was never centered properly on the original figure and the widening on this piece from the newer figure still displays evidence of the original off centered radius:
The legs are held in place with a spindle arrangement. A wide flat flange provides good reliable contact inside the figure permitting good friction for the legs to be rotated at will. The diameter on the spindle joint is slightly less than the one found on the Kenner figure. It’s no big deal – no one will ever notice. Honest:
This more or less concludes our brief fantastic voyage through the insides of Super7’s new tribute action figure. In many ways, the internal construction of this figure replicates the original in many ways. Some methods are improved like the way the arms are attached yet most features closely resembles the old vintage toy, both externally and internally.
Reassembly of the figure is a simple process of returning all the limbs to the front torso half, squeeze the rear half on top of it and drive home the screws once again.
Interestingly, there have been some minor changes and adjustments made to this item since Super7’s ‘prototype’ version was released last year. Some alterations are obvious by just looking at the figure* and other changes are minor internal issues that aren’t worth documenting without being overly concerned for no real gain.
That’s it for this figure. I think 3 written investigations on my part into this release from Super7 is enough and I’ve gotten a lot of excellent mileage from this one. It’s time to re-assemble my new found friend. So, lets put him back together. Put him back into his box. And put him aside. For now, anyway.
Here are my previous articles investigating this figure:
- REVIEW: Super7 ‘Classic Toy Edition’ 1986 ALIENS Warrior.
- COMPARISON: Kenner & Super7 18 inch ALIENS.
- GALLERY: 2017 Super7 ALIENS Warrior ‘Classic Toy’.
Let’s complete this internal examination with a small gallery of images comparing the innards of the old Kenner item with Super7’s latest release:
And finally, yes, if you were wondering. To a limited degree these parts are interchangeable. It is possible to mix and match select parts to create this curious hybrid:
- Kenner – Head, torso, quad appendages and tail.
- Super7 – Arms and legs.
* The prototype has its teeth moulded directly into the jaws while the ‘Classic Toy Edition’ uses separate chromed teeth affixed to them. The use of multiple materials used in the prototype’s construction more closely match those present in the original Kenner figure.