Review: Medicom Be@rbrick ALIEN, 2015.

  • Manufacturer: Medicom Toy Corporation.
  • Released: 2015

Be@rbrick is a long running series of figures based on a common teddy bear template and come in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 4cm (1.5 inches)  to 70cm (27.5 inches) tall.  The standard height of these cute little plastic effigies is known as the 100% figure, measuring at just 7cm (2.5 inches) tall.  An insane number of these figures have been created since they started appearing in 2001.

Dozens – if not hundreds – of variations of this single figure have been released for collectors to gobble up.  These figures are also blind box items so buyers are never exactly aware of what they are purchasing.  The 7cm, 100% ALIEN version featured in this review is from Series 31.  It is just one of 11 diminutive re-skinned teddy bears featured  as part of this particular product wave.  The train is about depart the station for ‘CrazyTown’.  All aboard, please.

Enough of the preamble, on with the review.  The pot bellied ALIEN Be@rbrick figure is a great departure from other action figures. It closely resembles a LEGO minifig but with the caricature of an Alien stamped on its coal black teddy bear form.  To all intents and purposes, this item is one of many that exist in Medicom’s line of Horror themed Be@arbrick figures.

It’s an ugly little sod; yet, oh so cute at the same time, with it’s Alien elements applied to its surface in silver white and bone paint.  It’s a stylised detailing that includes much of the Alien’s exoskeletal features ranging from the empty lidless eyes, jaws devoid of fleshy cheeks right down to the exposed ribs of the torso.  Considering the large and prominent teddy bear ears featuring on these figures, I imagine this is what Mickey Mouse would look like if you took to him with a potato peeler and removed a couple layers of skin.  Skinless and cold, the Alien ambience contrasts dramatically with the cute appeal of the teddy bear form to which it is applied.

It’s this odd juxtaposition of qualities and features that make this item so intrinsically  unusual and yet strangely appealing.  Qualities that conflict dramatically to deliver an appearance that is well beyond any normal expectations in the real world.  An Alien teddy bear.  Cute and horrifying at the same time.  Disparate ideologies of safety and danger imposed one upon the other.  This unexpected combination of otherwise completely unrelated objects not normally associated with each other creates the unique and strange corporeal form of this figure.  Principles of  Surrealism at its most fundamental are at play here.

The simplicity of the arrangement is what makes it work so well.  We can easily discern the teddy bear form in the 3D space it occupies and yet the Alien embellishment stamped across its 2D surface is no less recognisable.  It’s this use of opposing space that generates the weird quality without compromising either of them; and yet as a whole it generates a very cohesive figure.  Apparently, the teddy bear morphology is ideal to accommodate just about any kind of skin you may choose to apply to it.  Including terrifying monsters designed by the late H.R. Giger.

Articulation on the figure is strictly dictated by the teddy bear form.  As such, the Alien’s unique mouth parts completely lack any movement and are merely painted onto the figure – just like all other aspects of the creature.  Nonetheless, the item is well appointed with enough moving parts adequate for a figure that is in effect a re-purposed 2.5 inch teddy bear with an ugly facelift.

There are 7 points of movement present on the figure that allow a good range of poseability.  The arms and legs are attached to the torso with ball and socket joints while the head is attached to it with a spindle.  Spindle attachments are also used to attach the hands to the wrists and all 3 of these swiveling parts possess full 360 degrees of rotation.  There is no articulation on the ears.  A sad thing, actually considering ALIEN action figure with ears are in the extreme minority.

Much like the details present on any Alien’s otherwise prominently crescent shaped head only the most meager semblance of a tail is painted onto the figure.  The same is true for the 5 dorsal appendages that most Alien figures will display on their backs.

Such features that don’t fit onto the teddy bear figure’s basic template and they are approximated in 2 dimensions only and only permitted  to occupy limited space on the surface of the figure.  To say the least, this item is one odd addition to any ALIEN fan’s collection.

There’s also a small, narrow collectible card present in the box this figure was distributed in.  It appears to be rather pointless actually, but if you don’t mind some additional clutter in your life, then the token is present, anyway.  I guess it’s meaningful if you are a collector of Be@rbrick figures.

This particular ALIEN treatment of the figure had multiple releases.  It was also released in 400% (28cm / 11 inches tall) and 1000% (70cm / 27.5 inches tall) variations.  Be prepared to fork out wads of cash for these larger items if you want one.  There was also another variant of the figure with details matching the smooth faced and orbitless creatures seen in ALIENS.

If you want to know more about the weird and wonderful range of Be@rbrick collectible figures, you can start here on the BE@RBRICK database.  Be amazed. Be very amazed!

Score: 6/10

It’s not great but it is a fun and very strange item.  Outside the Be@rbrick collector scene it’s an oddity, an anomaly and a novelty.  Why would anyone do this to a teddy bear?  Somehow, I’m glad they did.

Read more HIDEOUS PLASTIC reviews.