Alien Warrior (Takara)

December 13, 2009 | By More

alien warrior

Back in the 80’s, pretty much all I cared about was Star Wars and very little else, although there were very few exceptions. One such extraneous interests were monster movies (which incidentally, not a lot were made and distributed back then), but one Saturday morning I happened to find in the newspaper an ad for a local theatre that was playing a double feature with Nosferatu (directed by Werner Herzog, not the Mürnau  film) and some other movie.

alien poseLong story short, I convinced my Mom to take me to see the vampire movie later that day and we arrived to the theater early, but in time to catch the opening credits of the other film first. It was Alien, directed by Ridley Scott.

Suffice to say that the limp-fanged vampire flick did not hold a candle to the sheer fright I got watching Alien. I loved every second of it.

Now, Alien was a rather weird movie to merchandise for, even though some company actually went as far as to produce an Alien doll back in the day. Most people agrees that it was rather difficult to do toys for, considering it was not what you’d call a PG movie.Alien side

Hop to 2005, several sequels and a crossover later, and finally I was able to acquire a 1:18 scale action figure of the basic Alien, courtesy of the Japanese toy company Takara.

Takara released the Alien Warrior figure (MA-13) in 2005 as part of their Micro Action Series devoted to the Aliens VS Predators spin-off franchise. Along with the Alien Warrior, Takara also produced an Alien Queen (MA-14) and three Predators: Elder (MA-15), Scar(MA-16) and Celtic(MA-17).

burster sideThe Alien Warrior is a multi-piece figure based on the basic Microman engineering, which gives it phenomenal poseability (over 30 points of articulation).  Most of the pieces composing this figure are molded out of a dense, rigid plastic and finished with a few rubber pieces, like the hands, part of the head, the tubes in it’s back and the tail.

The joints on  the alien warrior frequently combine two or more types of articulation, which makes it tricky to determine precisely how many joints are there. At a glance, the Alien Warrior has:

  • Hinged lower jaw. Pretty much self-explanatory
  • Extensible inner “tongue”. It doesn’t really extend all that much, but it’s there.
  • Double ball-jointed shoulders. The torso houses a ball at the shoulder  socket with a smaller ball on it’s surface from which the arms attaches to.
  • Swivel biceps. A little tight but fully functionalhugger inside
  • Double hinged elbows. These tend to loosen over time and use.
  • Peg & hinge wrists. These are somewhat flimsy and rubbery. To rotate a claw you have to pull out the hand and re insert it in the desired position. The wrist hinge works perfectly
  • Ball mounted torso. Not a lot of movement here, but just enough to make small adjustments.
  • Swivel waist. Again, due to the design of the pelvic spurs range of motion is slightly limited.
  • Ball jointed hips. Good range of motion, albeit slightly limited by the sculpt.
  • Upper tigh swivels. Limited to about a 90° arc due to the character design.
  • Double hinged knees. These work perfectly.
  • Hinge and balljointed ankles. These are rather fragile joints, but provide a good range of motion.

Alien dome Oddly enough, the tail has no articulation whatsoever. I was kind of expecting a balljoint at the base of the column or maybe a bendy type of appendage, but possibly that would have raised costs too much and Takara seemingly decided against it.

The sculpted detail is excellent, very faithful to the H.R. Giger designs, with all the techno-organic ribbing and texturing hiding the articulation very effectively. Usually the Microman figures are derided because of the pretty apparent joints they have all over, but on the Alien Warrior the design works just perfectly to hide them.

The Alien Warrior has very little paint on him, just a dash of silver to the teeth and claws (it always creeped me out that the teeth looked like metal), and speaking of teeth, aalien brains nice feature on the Alien Warrior is that the lower jaw can hinge open and the tongue/inner jaw can be extended a little bit. Another unexpected bonus is that the upper head carapace is actually a translucent smoke-colored rubber piece through which the underlying sculpt can be seen if the light hits it the right way or simply removed to show the “brains” of the creature.

Alien eggJapanese manufacturer Takara is known for one thing, and that is accessorizing quite well their Microman figures, often including a vast number of weapons and extra hands. The Aliens d0n’t really use any kind of tools, and this warrior doesn’t really need extra hands, but still Takara saw fit to include a nice selection of extras.

huggedThe Alien Warrior comes packed with the complete life cycle for the species. It includes an egg with interchangeable tops (one closed , one open), a chest-burster and a face-hugger. All of these are made of rubber with simple yet effective paintjobs, and are possibly as fun to mess around with as the warrior himself.  Lastly, an oval display base is included with two different peg sizes, one of which works with the Alien Warrior (I’ve yet to see a figure that accommodates the larger peg) .

alien humanHowever, the overall feel I get from this figure is that it’s something between a display model and a real toy. For starters, calling the Alien Warrior an action figure is possibly too liberal a term, as it would be a rather fragile one.

Given that some of the joint pieces, especially the ankles, are rather thin, they are susceptible to breaking if handled improperly and I shudder at the thought of what could happen if it ever takes a dive from the shelf onto the ground. Also, another disadvantage of using rigid plastic for the joints is that the friction will eventually wear down the contact surfaces, making the figure rather floppy.

Putting those concerns aside, I must say that the Takara Alien Warrior is one the favorite pieces in my collection.

Errex Score: 95/100

AVP Leia

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Category: Other Film, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

Comments (2)

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  1. Maerj2000 says:

    Great review, Engineernerd has pointed me to this site from Anyway, I just wanted to comment on the figure stand. The larger peg is there for the older Microman figures from the 1970s. They were known as Micronauts here in the US.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    Welcome to our comments section, Maerj!

    And thanks for the information. I had a few micronauts back in the day, but only loose ones and nothing that had a stand. I did have the one that had the mummy case, which I really with I still had.