Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Toy Review – Toys R Us Exclusive Prometheus Trilobite versus Battle-Damaged Engineer By NECA

I thought I’d make my final toy review of 2012 a special one. So put on some Al Green or Prince or Barry White or maybe even some KMFDM, pour a glass of wine, and dim the lights. Things are about to get… weird.
I’ve watched Prometheus a few times now. I’m not any closer to understanding everything that’s going on, but I enjoy the movie and it sure is nice to look at. I love the design of every single thing from the Engineers to the spaceship to the spacesuits. Because of that I am thrilled that NECA has the license to make toys from Prometheus and that they seem determined to crank out as many as possible before interest wanes. Personally, I’m really hoping for a playset of the medical chamber thingy with an Elizabeth Shaw figure.
Toys R Us is pretty much your best source for NECA figures. The prices are surprisingly reasonable compared to other toy lines and the stores get them in a timely manner. I can usually pick up new stuff within a week of when NECA’s Twitter feed indicates they’re available. But regardless of all that TRU is going to be the only place to find today’s subject – the Trilobite versus Engineer 2-pack. It’s an Exclusive item that just hit a couple of weeks ago.
Also, the Trilobite has a penis that fits perfectly into the Engineer’s open mouth.
Seriously.
It’s a penis. Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof know it’s a penis. HR Giger has always known it’s a penis. NECA obviously knew it was a penis because they cleverly placed the “Toys R Us Exclusive” sticker over the telltale tip (Coming Soon from Vivid Video: The Telltale Tip – A Poe Porn Parody) in the packaging:
Not only is it a penis, it’s a bendy penis. And it’s detachable.


I suppose I always knew that I would end up with action figures that could have sex someday. Whether a friend picked up some wacky, anatomically accurate figures from the local porn store or society just degenerated to the point where Target would sell figures of Ron Jeremy and Ginger Lynn. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t expect it to be in the form of a Xenomorph raping a giant.
What’s more, a figure of their crazy alien rape baby is coming out this Spring.
First Glance: I didn’t notice the penis at first glance. Like I said, the TRU sticker was covering it up. So other than that the set looked pretty awesome. The Trilobite is huge and nasty; the Engineer looks to be suffering pretty hardcore. Little does he know what’s coming.
Articulation: Both figures have a ton of articulation. Not all of it is as effective as it maybe could be, but it’s there and it’s impressive. And you can pose them doing… what they’re supposed to be doing.
Engineer
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Elbows – swivel/pivot
Wrists – ball joint
Abdomen – ball joint
Hips – ball joint
Knees – swivel/pivot
Ankles – ball joint
The head has a good range of motion. It’s not the most free-moving ball joint ever, but it does what it needs to. The shoulders are fairly limited as to how far you can spread the arms out, but again – they move as much as they need to. The elbows swivel and bend as much as you might want. The wrists are about as limited as the shoulders, but do work just fine. The hands pop off fairly easily, but they also stay on just fine.
The abdominal joint is great. The upper torso has a good range of poseability. The hips are a bit odd. I thought the design was similar to Masters of the Universe Classics where you can swivel the thigh around a ball joint, but the thigh does not swivel. This means that if you want to bring the leg all the way up you have to twist the thigh outward, making the knee joint weird. Luckily, the knee joint has a great range of motion. The ankles move about as much as you would expect without this actually being a rocker joint.
Trilobite
Shoulders – ball joint
Arms – wire armature (bendy)
Penis – swivel at point of attachment, wire armature (bendy)
The arms or tentacles or whatever attach to the torso with a ball-and-socket that functions as a ball joint. If you move them past their intended range they pop right off, but go back on just as easily. They are a little stiff, but I find that higher-quality bendy stuff tends to be that way. You can get what you need out of them.
Sculpt: Even without the penis the Trilobite is disgusting. The tentacles have some nasty business sculpted in where they meet the body, then taper down to terminate in pincers of varying shapes. The dorsal (?) odd tentacle has some kind of flap thing where it joins the body for added grossness.
The underside of the body is an utter nightmare that reminds me more of Rob Bottin’s work on John Carpenter’s The Thing than anything else. There’s all kinds of vaginal and labial and plant-like stuff going on, with the penis sticking right out of the middle with a bunch of smaller tentacles surrounding it. The smaller tentacles aren’t poseable, they’re just there. But they are quite flexible, so they don’t get in the way of anything.
The Engineer is similar to the single carded release (that I never got around to reviewing – 4 out of 5), but features a new head, upper torso piece, upper left arm, and new hands.
The new head is one of the most amazing sculpts I’ve seen, which almost makes it a shame that it is designed to be defiled. The unmarked features perfectly capture the look of the Engineers, while the acid burned portion is gruesomely pitted. The mouth is wide open to receive the corresponding Trilobite penis, but is fully realized with an interior showing off teeth, a tongue, and other mouthy details.
The upper torso is a new piece with acid burns running from the chest up to the neck and shoulder. The clean portions are full of detail, with all of the trademark tubes, ridges, and knobs you expect from a Giger-inspired design.
The new hands are posed to grapple with the Trilobite. They are posed dynamically and have plenty of detail.
The rest of the figure is a masterful exercise in disguising and blending articulation. I won’t go so far as to say that the joints are unnoticeable, but they are worked into the design of the figure so well that they don’t detract from the aesthetics at all. Plus, they are fairly functional. Compared to a Masters of the Universe Classics figure the range of motion is limited, but for a toy with this much sculpting the joints are pretty amazing.
Coloring: The coloring on the Engineer is so bizarre (but accurate to the movie). There are no real defining points for where his suit ends and his flesh begins, but the coloration suggests a high neckline and sleeves that terminate mid-forearm. The “fleshier” parts are a pale color with s light tint. The suit is a darker beige with a brown wash that brings all of the detailing out. It’s somewhat hypnotizing to look at. The acid burned portions are a thick, blackish wash.
The Engineer’s head is painted just as well as it is sculpted. The mouth has a ton of specific detail. The eyes look awesome as well. The right one is tight and accurate. The left one is pretty horrifying, with a whited-out look in the middle of all that acid burned flesh.
The Trilobite is fairly plain up top. It’s a beige color with some brown highlights. It kind of looks like a ray.
Underneath, though, there's a little bit more color. There is a nasty pinkish hue to all of the gross parts and the bases of the tentacles are a darkish brown. I would have expected some deep, gruesome reds, but I trust that NECA knew what they were doing and had some good references. It's still disgusting down there.
Flair: The lower torso of the Engineer is actually a sculpted piece of soft plastic that covers the crotch joints and extends up under the upper torso where the two meet. This is an extremely well done piece. At a glance it is indistinguishable from the harder plastic of the rest of the figure and it covers the hip joints (an unavoidably ugly portion of almost every figure) in a way that no other design could.
Accessories: I suppose the detachable penis is an accessory. It comes separately in the package, and it is clearly meant as an option. I say this because it is not featured on the back of the packaging or even on NECA’s own website. Somebody knew exactly what they were doing with this Xenomorph dong and they did their best to cover it up from the general public. On the one hand it’s a little upsetting that such a thing would be in Toys R Us, but on the other hand it’s fucking hilarious.
The penis is bendy and has a larger range of motion due to the smaller armature. It is colored to match the underside of the Trilobite and, quite frankly, has an astonishing amount of detail. It gives you everything you could ever want out of a two-inch bendy penis.
Packaging: Blech. It’s a clamshell. It does feature some nice inserts. The background is a very cool design:
And I love that NECA actually credits their artists:
Value: I paid $29.99 for this set and I consider it a bargain. These are two beautifully designed figures that could easily have gone for more.
Overall: This is an exceptional set of particularly nasty toys. Not only are they wonderful to look at, they actually have play value and a functional, interactive action feature. A repulsive and utterly disturbing action feature, but an action feature nonetheless.

5 out of 5

I honestly consider this set a must-have for any action figure collector. The figures themselves are nice, but never before has such a profane thing been available on the mass market. Or any market, really. Not even the pornstar figures that came out a few years ago featured functional anatomy. As nasty as it may seem, these figures are a major landmark in the history of toys and I doubt we’ll see anything like this anytime soon. The next time I’m in Toys R Us I’m going to buy another set to keep in the package.
-Phantom



4 comments:

  1. Shouldn't the rating be "Totally Erect?"

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  2. gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo promethus

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    Replies
    1. I love it. I'm super disappointed that Dr. Shaw doesn't seem to be appearing in the sequel. Or whatever it is.

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