REVIEW: Medicom Real Action Heroes ALIEN Figure.

  • Manufacturer: Medicom
  • Released: 2008

The Medicom Real Action Hero ALIEN is heralded by many fans as one of few figures that best captures the ambiance of the onscreen Alien in a scaled down form. This 12 inch figure released in 2008 is becoming difficult to find and as a result has substantially escalated in value. It was packaged in a large black box with a gatefold flap closing the window through which the figure was displayed. The glossy all black presentation of the box with its ovoid ALIEN logo on the front is a great display item in its own right – and its contents is appropriately just as impressive.

The figure itself is a unique treatment of the Alien. Accurately cast in rubber, the body of the figure is fitted with an internal armature to give it support and posability. The unseen armature is where all the articulation for the limbs is to be found and provides the exterior full body ‘wet suit’ figure with a complete and seamless finish that is unbroken by ugly lines created by joints and hinges that are absent on the surface.

The net result is a figure that exhibits the ability to cleanly adopt multiple stances with an unspoiled display that is very pleasing to the observer. Due to the nature of the full body rubber skin here’s no interruption at locations where limbs connect to the torso. The arms join at the shoulders and elbows without a pause in appearance. More significantly the flow of the body along the full length of the torso, across the hips and down the thighs to the ankles is a single continuous set of unbroken lines providing a perfect presentation of the ‘perfect organism’.

The provision of a flexible integument to the outside of the figure where it’s needed across critical joints on the body is confidently complimented by harder plastic finish on the ribs, hands and on the head, all being separate features from the full body rubber suit. These body parts are appropriately applied by using inflexible plastics in these locations where no bending is required and only through handling of the figure will you notice the use of these alternate materials. This is due to the consistent use of the limited color palette and matching details throughout the figure. Indeed, the Medicom Real Action Hero ALIEN figure is one mighty fine addition to anyone’s collection.

The fidelity to the accuracy of detail is very high. This is indeed one of the better sculpted figures of the Big Chap you could hope to find. Not only are the details of the physical appearance correct and accounted for but the figure is well proportioned and consistently scaled across the full height of the figure.

My only real negative critique of the sculpt is to be found on the tongue. The tongue on this figure lacks a small cavity that should be visible behind the teeth mounted at its extremity. Instead, this area is filled in and solid.  It’s such a minor detail and as such easily concealed when the mouth is closed – but it is annoying considering how well the rest of the figure unabashedly flaunts its fantastic appearance. It’s a fine example of how you have to look hard into this figure to find any fault in its presentation, that’s for sure.

The only other criticism I have regarding this fine item is to be found in the hands. The 6 fingers are splayed apart and while this isn’t exactly screen accurate it does lend a very creepy ambience to the figure with its large hands reaching out towards an intended victim with more fingers than a human form should have. The very thin, cruel and nasty looking fingers are used to great effect despite the minor anomaly of pairs being separated. Very cool; but not quite right

Paint work on the figure is minimal as is common with many figures that emulate the Big Chap. The teeth and tongue are coated in a pewter finish as is the finger and toe nails. The paint applied to the nails on these extremities is sharp! This looks good with well defined and clean edges. I’ve seen a lot of sloppy treatment on the nails for some ALIEN figures and the application present here is definitely one of the best.

A wire core tail provides all the flexibility needed to pose the prehensile appendage in any position desirable and a clean, clear display stand with a pair of C-clamps is included to help hold the figure upright. It’s nothing elaborate but it is a neat, tidy stand with a simple and unobtrusive finish that fully performs the task for which it is intended.

Externally, this figure is a dream come true. It looks fantastic and is as screen accurate as you could ask for in a 1/6 scale figure of this nature. As this figure does possess it’s very own ‘skeleton’ in the form of an unseen armature, it’s a feature worthy and deserving of mention. The armature is very capable of being manipulated into many positions and this a great component of the figure.

Another feature of this arrangement is the tendency of the rubber skin to fold and buckle especially at the abdomen when manipulated. I’m not too bothered by this ‘problem’ as its deformation emulates the nature of the material used in the original suit for the actual movie.

It’s just too bad then that the combination of the outer rubber skin and internal support system don’t function together as fully intended. The rubber ‘skin’ provides a lot of restriction to the internal armature, limiting the figure’s ability to hold a maximum amount of poses. The joints in the armature just can’t resist the rubber wanting to return to its natural state when the limbs are manipulated forcing them to settle and return closer to default positions and fail to hold many desirable poses.

This incompatibility between the internal structure and the rubber casting limits the ability of the figure to be the best it truly can be. It’s unfortunate the joints inside the figure are easily forced return to a basic posing due to the outer material influencing it in this way. The smooth contacting surfaces of the joints could have benefited from ratchets to strengthen them.

Placing ratchets on each of the internal joints would have been a simple and easy fix to this problem rendering the joints to be more confident thus enhancing the number of positions the figure would be able to hold. As it is, it still has a great range of posability but nowhere near what it should be capable of achieving.

When initially released in 2008, almost 10 years ago now, one of the commonly expressed concerns for the figure among fans was the rubber coat’s longevity. For a figure made of such material, the fear of it perishing rapidly over time or even tearing prematurely was a valid concern. This particular sample shows no such deterioration and it looks as good now as it did the day it boarded the truck for distribution to sales outlets almost a decade ago. This is important because it means the life expectancy of the Medicom RAH ALIEN item will equal – and possibly exceed – that of other figures where such concerns have never been expressed.

If you own one of these things, you are in possession of something to be proud of. As far as ALIEN figures goes, this is a damned fine example and it’s definitely worth having. It’s too bad these things are now climbing wildly in value and difficult to come by at a decent price if you want one.

SCORE: 9/10.

Being limited in its ability to be posed in a maximum number of potential positions and lacking in accuracy only in regards to minor details such as the filled in tongue and splayed fingers of the hands are the only factors hampering a full score on this item. Otherwise, this figure almost perfectly achieves exactly what it sets out to do. That is, emulate the form and motion of a man inside a rubber monster suit.

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