REVIEW: NECA ALIEN Covenant Xenomorph.

  • Manufacturer: NECA
  • Released: 2017

The Xenomorphs appearing in ALIEN: Covenant are David’s first successful Act of Creation so it’s easiest to consider them to be ‘Alien V1.0’ and are his first true successful attempt at crafting the ‘perfect organism’. As such, they’re flawed. This animalistic version behaves wildly, is a little ungainly and lacks the nuanced predatory talents, intelligence and patience of later Aliens. NECA, on the other hand, have been making Aliens for years. Each series of figures they’ve produced brings with them a new and improved feature, or articulation or sculpt. What do you get when you apply NECA’s evolved technique to David’s rudimentary level biological achievement? Let’s find out!

Firstly, the box is cool. The window shows us exactly what’s inside upong a glance. That’s always great – plus you can open up the box without the need to destroy it. Even better. So it’s a great box and being able to use it to display the figure once it’s been opened is always welcome. Now let’s rip into it and check out its contents. Well, not literally, that’s just a manner of speech. OK?

The Covenant Alien is super sleek and sexy. Well, as sexy as a figure that looks like it’s had its skin peeled off of it can possibly be. This iteration of the Alien lacks a lot of the biomechanical integument that is often considered a signiture feature of the creature. This is the first stage in a greater evolution of the xenomorph and it’s indicated as such by the lack of any skin.

NECA have done a fine job of bringing all the critical details to life on this figure and when standing fully upright it reaches a height of 10 inches. The arms, legs and other physical characterstics are well sculpted and articulation is generally good all round. Some people may be a little disappointed that the figure cannot crouch down as low as desirable to mimic the pose as we witness this Alien frequently adopts an animal like quadrupedal stance and they’ve modified their figure to be able to do so.

I didn’t feel the need to modify the figure in this way but I wasn’t pleased with the way the dorsal appendages were all bunched together in a cluster. I did soften them in hot water, adjusted them so they would be more parallel and then set them that way by running them under cold water. You may detect differences in how the how the appendages appear in the accompanying photos and if you notice it, it’s actually the same figure just slightly altered.

The figure is cast in a murky grey, like that clay plasticene stuff you had as a kid and your attempts to be creative always ended up mixing all the colours together into a kind of dreary color.  A a lot of black has been applied to it to fill in the many details and help highlight the figure’s surface. It’s a simple but effective finish that reminds me of the older McFarlane ALIEN figures. Mind you, the figure does lack the blue coloration on the veins we’d previously seen in promotional material for the figure. No great loss, there. You won’t notice the absence unless someone mentions it to you. umm… Whoops.

Articulation is relatively good for NECA on this item. Firstly, let’s get the bad news out in the open, first. The legs don’t bend at the hips anywhere near you may desire (Hence the user modifications) which is a bit of a bummer but all the other points of movementare very welcome. While the figure may not be able to crouch down on its haunches it is very capable of bending backwards and perform a convincing ‘arch yoga position’. Not many ALIEN figure can pull this backwards bending pose and being able to do so more than just improves health and flexibility in your figure. It means the Covenant Alien can crabwalk on its six fingered hands. Crabwalking is good. If not for emulating the deleted content from the first movie, it demonstrates the level of versatility in the figure.

Another great piece of articulation on the figure is the head’s ability to fully rotate 360 degrees passed the shoulder arches. Normally Alien figures made by any company you care to nominate can’t manipulate the elongated crescent head passed the shoulders and such a rotation is severely restricted. That’s not the problem here with this figure. For a bonus pose, set the figure up in a crab walk configuration, rotate the head 180 degrees so it’s facing backwards and the result is a disturbing abomination that bears considerable appearance to what you’d expect to see if Xtro was used as a Xenomorph host.

You don’t know Xtro? looking it up. Very disturbing stuff indeed.

To complete the articulation you will find all the limbs are generously set up for ample movement. Of special note is a ratchet present in each of the ankles to help the digitigrade legs support the figure.  This is very welcome as the thin ankles must be strong enough to support the weight of the whole figure and the use of a ratchet solves this problem.  The figure also has a long tongue. A really long tongue that justifies the elongated cranium accommodating it and can the tongue can move freely to and fro from within the hinged jaw. Nice.

The figure does have one or two flaws. I noticed that this particular sample has a slight separation between the carapace and the head on the creature’s face. This separation appears to be a common problem with the figure but at least it isn’t anywhere near as bad as I have seen appearing on other samples.

The fact that this flaw is common means an inspection of the head through the window is strongly recommended before you make your purchase, if that’s possible. For online purchases, it’s perfectly OK to ask the vendor to check for the imperfection to ensure the selection they will be sending to you is OK.

The other issue I had as mentioned above was the bunching together of the dorsal appendages.  You can just leave them as is or heat treat them with hot water to manipulate them into a preferred orientation.  It’s not so much of an issue, but it is present.  Other than these minor gripes, the figure was free of complaints.

There are no accessories with this figure. Unless you count the box, the plastic tray the figure sits in and the half dozen or so twist ties that secure it in place. It’s just a single figure without any extras.  A display stand would have been welcome but NECA’s display stands included with previous digitigrade Aliens has been lacking in height and, well, id just shit.

As usual, NECA have delivered a great figure with a terrific sculpt and it is generously articulated. It’s a fine addition to your collection of ugly things that your mother looks at questioningly – but doesn’t that lack of understanding she casts at you make owning such a collection completely worth it?

SCORE: 8/10

It won’t crouch down fully on all fours and beware of any openings that may be present where the carapace should meet the upper jaw. Otherwise, you should be happy with this one.

(EDIT: It turns out my sample must be a little arthritic in the hips.  Like me.  Crouching the figure down is possible – but maybe not be possible with all samples. Mine certainly didn’t want to comply with such demands.)

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