NECA has been hitting on all cylinders with their Aliens figures recently, offering super-articulated versions of everyone’s favorite xenomorphs. But this month also sees the release of the S.H.MonsterArts Alien fromÂ Alien vs. Predator, courtesy of Bandai’s collector-oriented division, Tamashii Nations. I’m hoping to get my hands on one to review in the near future.
There is one thing that’s always bugged me a bit about NECA figures: the 7″ scale. Why don’t they produce figures in the more popular 6″ scale? I don’t know for sure, but NECA started their Reel Toys line in the early 2000s as both a competitor and a complement to McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs (which had started closer to a 6″ scale but then soon crept up to a 7″ scale, probably to allow for a bit more detail). In those early days, NECA wanted to appeal to Movie Maniacs collectors, so they went with the 7″ scale to make sure those collectors would feel comfortable placing their Reel Toys figures alongside their Movie Maniacs. Eventually NECA had produced so much of their own product in the 7″ scale that switching to a 6″ scale would risk alienating their own fan base.
To get back to Bandai, I was initially intrigued by the prospect of S.H.MonsterArts Aliens and Predator figures. I knew they would likely be in an actual 6″ scale, and would conceivably offer even better articulation than NECA (albeit at three times the price). But I was disappointed when the first two S.H.MonsterArts Alien and Predator figures were based on the two worst films of either franchise – Alien vs. Predator (the Alien) and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (the Predator). While I still plan to get both figures – mostly to sate my curiosity more than Â anything else – I’m not particularly fond of those designs. So it seemed that NECA would remain my one and only place for figures from my favorite Alien films.
But then Tamashii goes and announces thisÂ – an S.H.MonsterArts “Big Chap” from the originalÂ Alien.
The tail alone has eighteen individually-articulated segments.Â At 180mm it’s exactly seven inches tall, which makes it in proper 1/12th scale with lines like Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, and the upcoming Funko Legacy Firefly.Â The NECA Aliens are nine inches tall,Â but I’d certainly sympathize with any collector who thinks the NECA stuff is close enough and doesn’t feel the need to drop $60 on a figure just to have it be slightly more in scale.
And that’s the obvious difference here – this thing will cost as much as three NECA figures. It has a bit more articulation, extra hands, diecast parts, and it’s in a 6″ scale. So the question is, is that worth an extra $40 to you? I’m sure there will be plenty of reviews to help you make up your mind.
There is another potential catch, too: as of right now, no U.S. release date has been issued for this figure. It’s possible there may not be one; NECA may own the U.S. rights to produce Alien toys, and something like that happened with the S.H.Figuarts Iron Man and Hasbro. If that turns out to be the case, you’re talking about international shipping fees on top of that $60 cost.
That said, I’m not sure that will be an issue. I don’t think NECA has theÂ masterÂ U.S. toy license for Alien/Predator. And Tamashii probably wouldn’t have bothered creating a special English-translated page if they weren’t planning a U.S. release.
Finally, one important thing to remember is that whatever Bandai ends up producing, it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see any Colonial Marines or Dutch. And that’s where NECA’s dedication comes in.
Thanks to the Fwoosh for the heads-up.