Review > Alien (Alien Power, JPW International)

 

Hope you all had a happy Halloween, and that your workplaces are glutted with the remainder candy the trick-or-treaters didn’t score. I actually didn’t do anything fun this Halloween–no parties, no costumes–and I live in Halloweentown USA (i.e., Salem, Massachusetts). Just a bit too busy. But that will not happen next year. Next year, I go for the gusto.

A few weeks back, many of us were enamored of Talyn’s Pic of the Day, which featured a surprisingly cool-looking dollar store alien toy. I was so intrigued I asked Talyn to pick up one up for me–or rather two, since there are two color schemes. Part of their appeal to me is they reminded me of those “Roswell Alien” figures that showed up in stores in the mid-1990s (I’ve still got one).

Crypto

Before we go any further, let me state for the record that these “generic” toys appear to be based entirely on the alien protagonist Crypto of the Destroy All Humans! videogame series (particularly his appearance in the second game). It seems like a pretty random franchise to base one’s unlicensed toy line on, but I’m not going to complain.

I’m also wondering if there was some sort of exclusive Crypto action figure or statue that this figure is a ripoff of, but I wasn’t able to find anything–there was a bobblehead from Funko, but it looks nothing like this figure.

The packaging is a mishmash of 1990s “generic neon alien” visuals, though when I looked closely at the packaging behind the alien itself I saw what appeared to be a chestburster from the Alien films curled up. On the upper right we have some sort of Ultraman-looking robot guy. The toy line is called “Alien Power,” which of course means nothing, but at least it does have some reference to the toy at hand, which is more than I can say for some dollar toys.

The package also says “Save the Planet” at the bottom, which is a bit more ambiguous. Are we being told to save the planet from the very alien we’re purchasing? If so, wouldn’t leaving the alien on the peg be the safest course of action? Or rather, is it the alien who’s being tasked with saving the planet? If so, what planet?*

Sadly, the back of the package offers no further clues. It’s merely cardboard but for a UPC and some text identifying the manufacturer as JPW International, also known for their COUNTER TERRORISM and SUPER SAMURAI WARRIOR action figures.

The sculpting is a mixed bag. I originally wrote, “the body is a pretty cheap, generic space outfit,” but now that I know it’s based on Crypto’s outfit from Destroy All Humans 2, I have to say it’s fairly accurate to the game (though it has the letters “DC” on the torso for no reason I can discern)

But the head has a surprising amount of detail–someone went to some effort to sculpt a very evil-looking alien head. Of course, it’s entirely possible the head is ripped off from some real figure, and if anyone knows whether it is, please inform us, but for now I’m going to keep my fantasy of a promising toy sculptor is toiling away in obscurity at some sweatshop in Zhong Shan City, waiting for a major toy company to be impressed by the surprisingly strong work on these dollar toys and tracking him down.

The detailed head sculpt does clash with the plainness of the outfit, but I think that’s part of the figure’s charm. Overall it’s not a bad depiction of Crypto, though it’s a bit less cartoonish than the character as he looks in the game.

The toy is made from a very light, brittle, cheap-feeling plastic, the sort of thing you expect from dollar toys. The paint work on the suit is serviceable at best, though I give them kudos for giving us two different decos (a better Destroy All Humans! fan than me–in that I’ve never played any of the games at all–can say whether the dark-colored suit shows up in the game).

As with the sculpting, the best paint work is reserved for the head. The head actually appears to have been dry brushed, which really brings out the details of the head. Again, how often do you see dry brushing on a dollar store toy? The only downside is that the dry brushing seems to have hit the eyes on both figures, making it look as if they’ve been scratched.

He’s a loser in the articulation department, though. While most dollar store toys at least give you the basic five, Crypto only moves at the neck and shoulders.

Crypto’s single accessory is a giant gun. I have no idea if it’s based on an actual gun from the game (I made up that “OS5 Disintegrator” name in my pic) but it’s certainly a nice addition. The only bad thing is that it’s so heavy–and Crypto’s so cheap and light–he can’t hold it straight out without toppling over.

One thing you have to take into account here is that this figure cost a single dollar. Sure, these are cheap toys, but at least they’re for a cheap price, too. And the surprisingly good sculpt and paint work on the head gives them a fun charm.

In sum: yes, Virginia, there are Destroy All Humans! toys.

111/200

*I suppose the whole “Save the Planet” thing could be due to a misunderstanding–willful to avoid litigation or otherwise–of the Destroy All Humans! premise.

Comments now closed (13)

IntenseDebate supports the following HTML tags: <a> <b> <i> <u> <em> <p> <blockquote> <br> <strong> <strike> <img>