NECA’s Kenner Ripley Exclusive is the Best Kind of Throwback
In 1992, Kenner released a series of action figures based on the sci-fi film franchise Alien. This was just ahead of the release of Alien 3, but Kenner's plans focused primarily on the action-packed 1986 sequel, Aliens. With its army of Xenomorphs battling against the force of the Colonial Marines, it was a much better match for a toy line than the upcoming third film, even though kids couldn't technically watch any of the movies in the series. Now, some 30 years after the release of Aliens and 20 odd years after the toy line collapsed, NECA is back with a reminder of what once was and shall never be again.
Well I guess technically since NECA is releasing a Kenner-fied Ripley, has already released some Kenner-inspired Predators, and plans to do the same with the xenos they make, the second part of that last statement is only partially true. While NECA has picked up the torch and carried farther than anyone could possibly have imagined, the figures they make are generally for the adult collector. Kenner's original '90s line was aimed squarely at kids, which was a whole thing in that decade. Aliens, Robocop, Police Academy and more all got toy lines, and some got cartoons, which would be almost unheard of for an R-rated feature in the current climate.
But back to the point, this new Ripley figure is a perfect amalgamation of NECA's current craftsmanship and the winking nostalgia to action figure history. Ripley was one of the first mass market female heroes marketed in a line geared for boys. While it's true GI Joe had its share of military leading ladies, Aliens was first and foremost Ripley's franchise. No disrespect to Scarlett and Lady Jaye, but they're hardly the first names anyone thinks of when it comes to GI Joe. When you think Aliens, you think Sigourney Weaver and Ripley.
NECA's figure is a slight rework of the previously released Aliens Ripley, complete with adapted paint app to match that of Kenner's original. She's even got that classy neckerchief and an all-new Smart Gun, which may not be as big and bulky as the one from the '90s, but is still a welcome sight.
Along with Ripley, NECA will finally be able to release long-awaited figures based on Vasquez and Newt. We don't know much about them just yet, but these toys will likely fall more in line with the movie-styled figures the company has already released versus the Kenner variants. Those won't be out until later this summer, but next Tuesday will offer our first glimpse at Aliens' other famous faces in figure form.
The NECA Aliens Kenner Ripley will be available for sale at Toys 'R Us (both in store and online) and in store at Hastings while supplies last beginning on April 26.