REVIEW: 2016 Kotobukiya ArtFX ALIEN Statue.

  • Manufacturer: Kotobukiya
  • Released: 2016

Featuring phenomenal detail and being sold at a reasonable price, the Kotobukiya ArtFX ALIEN Big Chap statue is one worthy figure to have on your shelf. From the top of its smoky carapace to the cruel tip mounted on the tip of the tail, his 9 inch tall frame is one of the best ALIEN figures currently on the market. It’s not perfect – but most people won’t notice or care for the minor anomalies that are present.

Let’s look closer into what is widely regarded by many Collectors as one of the best ALIEN figures in recent years.

The ArtFX ALIEN comes in a decent sized box. Inside, the figure is securely packaged in a plastic clam shell so it’s more than adequately protected against rough transport. The figure inside is in 4 pieces comprising of the upper torso with head attached, lower torso with legs attached; and both arms as separate pieces. It will require some assembly to complete the figure but you won’t need any modelling skills in putting it together.  If you plan to keep the figure on display without stowing it back in its box at a later date you might like to glue the arms in place.  The arms on this sample fell off after some handling of the figure.

Once together, you will find yourself proudly in possession of a figure that looks absolutely fantastic in almost all regards – except for some minor issues – and we’ll get to those below. In the meantime celebrate your purchase. You’ll make a good one if you buy one of these and this is overall an excellent item you will want to show off.

Very few ALIEN figures or statuettes can boast the level of accuracy and attention to detail this item has on display. That attention to detail goes well beyond the anatomical and physical features replicated in great fidelity to the source material it is based on. It extends to the abundance of subtle finishing on the body such as mild warping and creases on the surface that would have appeared on the suit when it was worn by actors and stuntmen. It’s great to see such an intense level of detail being authentically replicated in the figure.

Also aiding in the figures almost perfect presentation is the wonderful stance this item is permanently fixed in. Here we have the creature almost fully upright but slightly stooped over much like the 8 foot tall Alien would have been walking around some of the Nostromo’s low ceilnged corridors and rooms. The stance is one of elegant and commanding presence. The figure looks like it’s taking its time, stalking its prey and considering its next victim. A very contemplative stance laden with potential intent. Of all the figures I have seen of the original creature, this one truly captures the Alien as a concealed menace and lurking predator striking its prey from its hiding spot in a way that most other figures lack.  It’s just waiting for that right moment – and it knows it.

While close to perfect, there’s just a few niggling issues that bother me and those are mostly restricted to the head of the figure. It’s only in a few minor areas that this item loses a 100% accuracy rating in my book and while they’re minor, they do affect how I feel about the figure. A notable feature is the eye orbits visible under the carapace. They are a little lower and narrower than they should be; and the face in general feels just a little slender with the drop off on the carapace occurring a little too sharply.  It’s a tiny issue and most people won’t care or notice but for me it’s a minor lapse in perfection noticeable when almost everything else about the figure is so tight and excellent in just about every way.

The other feature regarding the head I take issue with is how the head is balanced on the shoulders. The head on this figure is mounted a little too far forward on the neck. The original creature has the cranium perfectly balanced on the actors head with the midpoint being the mounting location. Balance was essential to wearing the head and here the back of the head extends well beyond its center of gravity on the neck. It’s a niggle that I can’t just shake off. The balance is out with the midpoint not being used as the point of attachment  and this means the head is mounted a little too far back than it should be.

…and that’s it. Those are the only issues I can nitpick about this item – and really, they are just nitpicks. The detail on this item is exemplary and well applied. It’s crisp, clean and accurate right down to how the fingers are paired. There’s a lot – and I mean A LOT – to like about this item. My only other gripe would probably be its size. It’s a modest figure standing at just shy of 9 inches tall yet the detail on this figure is so absurdly good, it could easily have been scaled up and doubled in size without losing any fidelity. Scaling it up to 18 inches or close to 1/6 scale would have worked and would have been spectacular! All the same, as a 9 inch figure this iteration by Kotobukiya is masterful.

As this is a statuette of the Alien, it has no articulation whatsoever. Once assembled, all the pieces are fixed in place and you will not be able to manipulate its stance. Mind you, when the stance is as evocative as this, you really won’t mind not being able to pose it outside of its permanently fixed presentation. This is a static piece that will arrest your gaze as it almost impeccably captures the creature’s ambience and menace like no other figure available today.

There’s a display stand included in this package as well and you will need it as the figure will not stand upright without it. The ArtFX ALIEN is not balanced very well and will not stand without being affixed to at least one floor grating piece.  I found I had to prop it up with a coin under one of its feet in order to stand it independently. Just use the display stand. It’s easy and more rewarding. Mind you, the unassembled bulk of the stand comes in 4 dozen pieces and is largely superfluous and not needed.

I used a single base plate and both foot pegs to display the figure but you can build a cage around it if you like and illuminate it with a strobe light which is included in the kit; which does look really neat. For my tastes, I really want to be able to see the figure in its entirety from all sides so much of the 40 plus pieces of the display stand didn’t get used. After all, I’m not reviewing a display stand just because it has more pieces than some Lego sets – I’m interested in the figure itself.

There is also an instruction sheet inside the box. You won’t need it to assemble the figure – it’s only 4 pieces and even the arms are labeled ‘R’ and ‘L’ as appropriate. If you can’t figure that out, you’ve got problems. Instead, the instruction sheet does come in handy for ideas in regards to assembling the almost 50 pieces that comprise the display stand. Almost 50 pieces? Yeah. It’s like there’s a Meccano set being included with your statue when you open it up. lol.

The ArtFX ALIEN figure is a recent release from 2016. It’s still readily available and is easy to come by at the moment. It’s also reasonably priced. Mind you, once stock disappears on this item, it will dramatically increase in value due to its high regard by Collectors praising its quality and accurate depiction of the creature. In which case, if you want a very good representation of the creature now is the time to buy one – and this is it. Wait; and you’ll be paying more for one once they start to become uncommon and scarcity drives up prices.

SCORE: 9/10

Not quite the perfect organism – but damn! It sure comes close. Also includes a Nostromo Meccano set.

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