Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days of Halloween: Creepy Toy Review – Prometheus Engineer - Chair Suit By NECA

I liked Ridley Scott’s Prometheus a whole lot the first time I saw it.
It is by no means a perfect movie. I’m honestly not even sure I can call it a great movie. But it is a massive spectacle with a bunch of interesting characters, some beautiful cinematography, and some interesting themes. I am still thinking about Prometheus and what was actually going on in that movie.
I bought the Blu Ray when it came out the other week and watched the movie again. I still think it;s pretty awesome. I think I even like it a little more, despite the fact that there are a few more things about it that bother me. Like, that I absolutely can’t stand most of the characters. But overall it is still a fascinating movie that I know I’m going to watch many more times. I haven’t touched the special features yet because I haven’t had time, but I am almost hesitant to do so. The ad campaign for the Blu Ray has promised that “Questions Will Be Answered” and I almost just want to keep speculating.
But we’re not here to talk about the movie, we’re here to talk about the toys.
NECA definitely snuck up on me with this one. I had no idea they had the license or that there were even going to be toys. Then they just showed up on the company’s Facebook page one day and I knew I would be buying them. The first series includes this figure and an Engineer in a pressure suit. We’re getting a figure of Michael Fassbender’s David in the next series and I sure hope NECA is planning on producing the giant face-hugger from the end of the movie, not to mention one of the dickhead geologist after he’s gone all monster.
First Glance: This is a large figure, as it should be. It is in scale with NECA’s other offerings in the 6” scale. I was excited the second I saw these guys in the store (I’m speaking of this one and the Pressure Suit version). The mask looks an awful lot like Morpheus’.
Articulation: NECA doesn’t really have any kind of standard articulation or number of joints, but their work more than any other toys feel like they really plan it to be as utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows – swivel/pivot
Wrists – ball joint
Waist – ball joint
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Ankles – ball joint
The head is weird. I’ll talk about it more in the Sculpt section, but the fact that the giant proboscis is tucked into the… uh… chest armor… thing… doesn’t interfere with the movement as much as you might think.
The rest of the articulation is somewhat limited by the bulky armor pieces, but this figure can do pretty much everything the Engineers in the Navigation Suits in the movie could do. He can look like he’s running, he can recline, he can stand. Unfortunately you can’t take his head off because of all the wires and doodads connecting his torso and his head; so he can’t be decapitated. Also, his head can’t explode.
Side Note: I will refer to this figure as “he” throughout this review even though I strongly suspect the Engineers are androgynous or maybe even hermaphrodites.
The wrists and ankles aren’t full-on ball joints, they’re simply mounted on pegs with rounded ends so they have a degree of motion in every direction. Also, the waist is a similar situation – not a full-on ball joint, but a nice rotational range of motion.
All of the points of articulation blend very well with the sculpt.
Sculpt: Wow. Just wow. To have this small model of Giger’s Navigator is awesome. Because regardless of what you might think of Prometheus or any of the other parts of the franchise that Alien spawned, this is the Navigator from Alien. I mean, not the same character, but this is the suit. And it’s awesome.
The head is so reminiscent of Morpheus’ helm from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman that I wonder if Gaiman and artist Sam Kieth drew their inspiration from that original Navigator. Anyway, there is a whole lot going on here. There is plenty of fine detailing on the facial portion and on the helm. The proboscis looks almost spinal and is possibly the creepiest portion of the figure. I like very much how it disappears down into the chest portion. There are also several small tubes and wires connecting the head to the torso. They are a soft but sturdy plastic and I’m not too worried about them breaking or pulling out of place.
The arms and legs of this guy are creepy. Overall this suit really does look like one of the familiar aliens from the franchise, more so than the actual alien at the end of Prometheus, as a matter of fact. The lines and detailing on the limbs are very nice and flow well around the joints.
Coloring: The color design is basically uniform across the figure. The base is a glossy, almost metallic black. There is a sort of silver wash all over. It doesn’t necessarily correspond to the details of the figure, but it also kind of does. I can’t quite explain, but the pictures do. It looks really good.
Flair: The chest piece is actually a soft plastic that flexes around the abdominal joint and the proboscis from the helmet. It looks very much like a xenomorph torso with the ribs and spine and everything. The plastic is flexible, but not so soft it doesn’t hold the proper shape and display all of the bony extrusions nicely.
The back of the piece appears to be some sort of life support pack. This is where the wires and tubes coming out of the head go.
Accessories: The Engineer does not include any accessories. I understand why. It’s because he’s freaking huge and has a lot of little sculpted-on stuff. But it would have been cool to have a decapitated head.
Packaging: Blech. It’s a clamshell. Although I will say even if NECA didn’t already make a habit of putting their figures into clamshells, these guys probably would have come in them. The art is nice and for the first time ever I remembered to take a picture of the credits for the figure:
Nice that NECA does that.
Value: I feel pretty good about paying $17.99 for this guy. He’s big, he’s massively detailed, and he is well articulated.Obviously Ash is not included. He's just there to show you how big this guy is.
Overall: I can’t imagine a way this figure could be better. I mean, within reason. Before Prometheus even existed I wanted a figure of the Navigator. Granted, I wanted the chair, too. But here he is. Yeah – they made pricey model kits and stuff, but I wanted an actual toy. And maybe, if we’re lucky, NECA can find the resources to put together the chair. That would be rad.

5 out of 5

I got mine at Toys R Us, but I have been to a couple more since then and they seem to be sold out of Prometheus figures. I would imagine they will get more in, but if you see one I’d go ahead and buy it.

Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween

If you’re new here or haven’t been keeping up, this is where I give my thoughts on SyFy’s “31 days of Halloween” programming. Obviously I haven’t seen everything I’ll be talking about, but that’s kind of what the internet is all about – talking out of your ass. 

Each day I will cover the schedule from the time my post goes live (usually 11 AM) through the following 24 hours. On Fridays I will cover the whole weekend, which is a huge pain in the ass but also kind of fun.

Enjoy!

11:30 AM – 3:30 PM – Alphas – SyFy has made a bit of a big deal out of Sean Astin joining the cast of this show. I wonder if that’s done anything for ratings. I like Sean Astin and all, but he’s more of a, “Oh, look – it’s Sean Astin,” kind of guy than a, “Holy shit! Sean Astin is in this! We have to watch now!” kind of guy. Especially if a show isn’t very good in the first place.
Halloween score – 1
Quality score – 2
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM – Queen of the Damned – This is a marathon of SyFy’s new Original Series about drag queens that dress up as vampires and zombies and stuff. Not really, but I’d watch that before I’d watch this shitty movie.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 2
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM – Hannibal – Did you know they’re making a show about Hannibal Lecter? Yep. And it’s from Bryan Fuller, who made the excellent Pushing Daisies, wrote some of the best episodes of Heroes, created Dead Like Me, and least importantly but most impressively adapted Mike Mignola’s Amazing Screw-On Head into one of the best cartoons I’ve ever seen. He also created the reboot of The Munsters (Mockingbird Lane) that I took a lot of shit for defending back when it was first announced but pretty much everybody that has seen it has said it’s great. So fuck you guys that gave me shit. This show is so cool NBC has cancelled it already and it hasn’t even aired yet. It’s premiering as a sort of movie thing on October 26th. You think Firefly was so rad for only getting one season? Mockingbird Lane only got a pilot, motherfuckers.
Oh – Hannibal is pretty good.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 4
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Alphas – “God’s Eye” – This is what they’re spitting in for creating such a lousy show. I’m kidding. I don’t think Alphas is that bad. Honestly, for all I know it could be great now. I just hated the episodes I watched back when it first came on.
Halloween score – 2
Quality score – 2
9:00 PM – 11:00 PM – From Dusk ‘Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money – I already said I’d give this another chance. Get off my back, SyFy.
Halloween score - 4
Quality score – 2
11:00 PM – 12:00 AM – Alphas – Repeat.
Halloween score - 2
Quality score – 2

TUESDAY

12:00 AM – 2:00 AM – From Dusk ‘Til Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter – The more I think about it, the more positive I am that I really liked this one. Ziggurat.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3
2:00 AM – 4:00 AM – Drag Me to Hell – Fucking RAD movie. Classic Sam Raimi. I can’t believe they aren’t showing this in a better time slot.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – 5
4:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Paid Programming – I don’t know why, but I thought it would be really funny to just put a Limp Bizkit video here:



Halloween score – 1
Quality score – 5 (for paying the bills)
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Hot Set – This show is good enough to warrant more than a tangentially related music video. But here’s one anyway:



Halloween score – 3
Quality score – 3
Come back tomorrow for my recap of the sexy and spooky return of the Sexiest Band In The Whole Muthafuckin’ World!
-Phantom



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