Review: 2004 SEGA ALIEN Kit Figure.

  • Manufacturer: SEGA
  • Released: 2004

SEGA – or Service Games as they were originally founded as – have a long history of games from slot machines to the latest video title releases.  They’ve also made other cool stuff like this terrific vinyl ALIEN figure from 2004.

Standing at 12 inches tall, this is one of my favorite Alien figures.  Surprisingly, it’s actually a kit.  Released in a clear plastic bag with all of its pieces loose inside, the figure needed to be assembled.  The folded cardboard tab that kept the bag sealed was largely written in Japanese is long gone and as such, I have no idea if this item is a vending machine prize, a blind box item or some other curiosity that Japanese markets like to present to their consumer market.  I suspect it’s not a standard shelf stocked item.  Honestly, I’d like to know more about how this item was sold in Japan.  One day, I’ll find out.

Anyway, the figure itself is very well detailed.  All of the Alien’s features you would expect to be present on the item are to be found here.  From the eyeless skull lurking below the carapace right down to the cruel barb on the tip of the tail, all the details are here.

Well, almost all of them, anyway.  There’s a couple curious design decisions inherent in this figure that defy answers.  Most notable of these anomalies is the long stiletto elbow spurs present on each of the arms. These spurs should be short, narrow appendages that terminate in a widening cup like feature.

Instead, this figure boasts long, tapering thorns finishing to a point upon each elbow. Anyone familiar with the physical features of the Alien will admire the superb detailing found throughout this figure and be suitably bemused as to why why the elbow appendages are so anomalous to the otherwise near perfect design.

Another minor oddity is to be found on the flat surface of the curved shoulder arches.  Some details are curiously missing from these surfaces  It’s not anything that dramatically diminishes the completeness of the figure – once again – it’s just an odd design decision when the rest of the effigy so accurately mimics the original creature in almost every way.

These are the only criticisms I have about the figure’s features and presentation.  The rest of the figure is not only well detailed but the morphology, dimensions and proportions of its features are as authentic as you can expect. Some will argue the hands are a little knobbly looking or that the tail spike is inaccurate but I don’t have too much issue with those.  They’re passable without too much complaint and I personally think this is a terrific figure despite any of its very minor discrepancies.  The bulk of the detail is a superb replication of the original Alien.

As I mentioned earlier, this figure was originally a kit sold and the purchaser had to assemble it.  None of this process was particularly demanding and the figure was quick to assemble in a snap together process that took mere minutes.  Making the process easier was the fact that all pieces were loose in the back with no need to separate them from runners or sprues.  It’s a kit, true but there was no need to modify or prepare any pieces like it is necessary with other ALIEN kits (I’m looking at you, Halcyon!). The completed kit appearing in these photos has had no additional work done to it.  It’s a solid presentation just by assembling it.

I remember only having one issue with this kit when I purchased it.  Everything went together extremely well and fast but I had trouble slotting the tail into place.  I ended up having to soften the tail nub in hot water to ease it into place, cool and allow it toharden.  The process worked well and it’s never fallen off since.

Once assembled, There is very little in the way of articulation on this figure. The arms can rotate 90 degrees from resting on the creature’s thighs to holding them outstretched in front of it with ease.  …and that’s the total sum of articulation throughout the figure.  There is no movement to be found in the figure at expected points you may expect like at the neck, midriff and tail; which are joints where the kit was assembled without the need for glue to hold the parts in place.

The jaws are moulded into a closed position on the head and no hinged or spring loaded system is in place whatsoever to display the mouth to be open.  Of course, this permanently closed state means the toothy tongue this beast is known for is not present in this figure.  While the lack of the tongue may disappoint some, it makes for a neat and clean finish for the face which is unspoiled by such hinged mechanisms present in many other similarly detailed Alien figures.

All good castings of the Alien display an abundance of detailed integument. Tubes, ribs and other mid to high relief features are present on this item.  In this regard, the largely raw gun metal grey vinyl figure needs very little in the way of paint to highlight its many features.

Here, paint is observable on the head beneath the transparent carapace with the skull face and other details accented in a bony hue.  Aside from this feature, silver paint is applied to the teeth along with finger and toe nail extremities.  It’s a spartan level of detailing for a paint job but when a sculpt is this good, it’s not even necessary to attempt to highlight it any further.

My only real complaint with this item isn’t with the figure itself  but regards the display stand that comes with it.  This is a wide ovoid base display stand with a flat surface that comfortably accommodates the figure standing on it.  The figure has a pair of holes on the soles of each foot and this makes for excellent fastening of both feet to the 4 pegs to be found on the display stand base.

The connection is confident and strong and unlike other peg based display stands that offer less security this one works very well and the figure stands upright with ease.  Especially for a mid size figure of 12 inches tall.

So far the display stand checks all the right boxes.  Unfortunately, the neat and unobtrusive base is complimented by a crummy post at the back of the stand.  This post is too high and instead of resting the Alien’s lower dorsal appendages atop of the post’s T piece, it has a tendency to force the figure forward  by pressing up against those appendages, threatening to topple the figure over.  I ended up taking to the rigid metal rod with a pair of pliers and removing a quarter inch so the figure’s appendage could more comfortably rest on the top of the post.

In this regard, the post is genuinely an odd feature.  It doesn’t look all that attractive, it forces the figure to stand forward on the base and if you remove it completely, it leaves a messy finish on the base where it becomes obvious something is missing.

These 2004 SEGA items are becoming harder to find now.  Ebay really is the only place I’ve seen one lately. To my understanding, this particular figure was distributed in 2 variants.  The other version was brown – I’ve not seen one myself but I have heard mention of it on more than one occasion.  This is a great figure.  If you can find it, pick it up.

Score: 8/10

A few small anomalies and a lack of articulation don’t detract enough from this older ALIEN figure being a surprisingly good item and possibly one of the best ever made.

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