Review: Diamond Select ALIEN MiniMate Tribute Figure.

  • Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
  • Released: 2015

It’s just a few days now before the big event of the new ALIEN: Covenant movie is released worldwide.  So while we find ourselves in this ‘Eye of the Storm’ quiet period between ALIEN Day and the big Release Day I thought I’d squeeze in a little review of this Little Chap, the San Diego 2015 Diamond Select ALIEN MiniMate figure.  …and boy!  Is this little guy ever soooo cute!  It hurts.

Look at how tiny this fellow is?  He’s around 3 inches tall.  A little less, maybe; but for such a tiny figure he is feature packed with up to 16 points of articulation – well, that’s what the promotional material will tell you, anyway.  Either way, he’s highly posable and extremely well detailed for such an ugly runt.  Don’t hold that against him – it’s not his fault he’s based on an 8 foot tall ambulatory engine of destruction.

This figure was Diamond Select Toys way of paying tribute to the original 1979 Kenner ALIEN action figure that appeared on toy store shelves 35 years earlier.  It’s not just the figure that’s cool, but his packaging is also a  marvelous homage to the older figure.  This little MiniMate was distributed in a tiny 3 inch tall box with a window, logo and slogans that mimic the original packaging.  Right down to familiar slogans appearing on the retro themed box that read “As seen in the movie!”, “Relive the exciting action of ALIEN with the creature itself” and “AGES 4 AND UP” emblazoned on the packaging.  This is the Kenner box in its most diminutive form and it is awesome for it.

Not only is the tiny box a great homage to the package for the original box but a couple of other features present on the vintage figure also make their appearance here.  Most notable is the glow in the dark paint work that is present on the skull like face and select details observable along both sides of the head.  Charge this little tyke under bright lights and plunge the room into darkness and it will indeed glow in the dark.  Just like the original figure did.  Sweet!

Unlike the original Kenner Big Chap this little guy also has glow in the dark teeth – as does the tip of his tongue.  It’s a nice touch, not essential in any way but welcome all the same.

Not so welcome is one of the other features of the original figure that definitely isn’t so desirable and also makes its presence here.  Unfortunately, the dolphin like carapace upon the head has a tendency to fall off.  It just sits there on top of the head.  A slight bump and the dome is rolling around on the ground next to the figure.  This item is small, too; and transparent.  So if you’re not careful, loosing it is too easy.  I don’t think this was a feature the manufacturer actually wanted to replicate with such accuracy.

Having the dome fixed permanently in place would have been highly desirable.  As it is, the dome can annoyingly come away from the figure at a touch.  Add the fact that this item just invites you to fiddle and play with it makes this oversight all the more exasperating.  You can see in the photos how loose fitting this feature actually is and is the figure’s one big issue that drops its rating on my cards.

Aside from the glow in the dark paint upon the head the figure boasts occasional silver painted details on its little retro body.  It’s a nice way to bring out the features on the body in a highly stylised fashion.  It works well in this very LEGO like figure and the highly stylised presentation makes it completely forgivable that the figure only has 5 fingers per hand instead of 6.

As mentioned in the promotional material, the little MiniMate boasts 16 points of articulation.  That’s double the number of points of movement present on the older 18 inch tall figure.  Not bad for a little guy.  Articulation is present at the neck shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and tail and more or less does exactly what you expect it to, considering the diminutive scale of this figure, that’s actually substantial.

Other points of separation are present on the figure and they also count as ‘points of articulation’.  Arms and legs can easily be removed, presumably for the purpose of mix and matching them with other Diamond Select MiniMates (This is the only item in their 2 inch range I own so I wasn’t able to test this idea out.) so the versatility of this figure is quite high.  Only the tongue on the figure lacks any movement and it is fixed in place inside the open mouth; and that’s not a big deal of itself when the rest of the figure offers so much other movement.

A small, round display stand is also included with the figure.  I found that the single peg present on the base of the stand was slightly too large in diameter to fit into either of the holes found in the soles of the figure’s feet.  The fitting was just too tight and I really didn’t want to force it onto place.  As it is, the figure has little to no trouble standing without the stand and you can pose it without the need to use the tail to prop it up like a tripod.

For a while there, these items were selling at an inflated price on Ebay as they were originally San Diego Comic Con exclusives.  Recently I have noticed prices on them have dropped quite a bit.  Now might be a good opportunity to pick up one of these cute little tribute items before the inevitable hike in prices starts to climb once again.

His only downside is the dome won’t stay in place – and that’s a big issue – and the included display stand is next to useless.  Otherwise, would I recommend this fellow to you?  Yeah sure, I certainly would.  He doesn’t take up much space unlike an original Kenner figure; and he’s decked out in about as much detail and articulation you could ask in a figure that’s marginally bigger than your thumb.

To avoid losing the dome, it’s best you just keep the whole figure in its box.

Score: 7/10

Way too cute to not have in your collection and a wonderful little tribute item to boot.

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