Despite being an R- rated property, there has always been something about the Alien franchise that has made it particularly toy-worthy, and has encouraged toy makers to try and market the film to kids, who always seem to be a receptive audience to a good man versus monster story. I've talked about my personal experiences with the Kenner toy line (both here and here) that was based off of both the movie Aliens and a never-produced cartoon series; currently we’re seeing the never-produced Kenner line from the original 1979 film being made. Kenner tried again and put out a modest line for 1997’s Alien Resurrection, and companies like Galoob recreated various characters and vehicles in their Micro Machines line. When action figures started being recognized as not just being for kids anymore, McFarlane Toys and Hot Toys also put out various creatures and characters from the film in a variety of scales and styles, and Mezco even put out some super cute versions of the film’s stars in their early Mezits releases. Finally, NECA, who seems to truly be working to earn major cred with all fans of 1980’s action, is getting a crack at Aliens. The first series of figures includes a Warrior Xenomorph, Corporal Hicks, and Private Hudson (played by Bill Paxton), who I’m looking at today. I’m never sure if I think Bill Paxton is a good actor or not in his early roles, but I do know that he’s an actor whose presence I always enjoy in films. He just has a certain charm about him. He’s also one of the only two actors (along with Lance Henriksen) to have been killed by an alien (Aliens), a Predator (Predator 2), and a Terminator (Terminator). Pretty cool, huh? Anyways, there has been at least one other Hudson figure released, but it was largely a repaint of Apone, and certainly doesn't look much like Bill Paxton, although the figure does look to be in distress. While this might be the only Bill Paxton figure I ever get to own, perhaps NECA will someday give us figures of Paxton's character as the punk leader from Terminator, Jerry Lambert from Predator 2 (although Danny Glover is the priority, here), and Dane from the criminally underrated Navy Seals (a movie I'm proud to say that, along with Street Fighter and Aliens, made up my entire LaserDisc collection). Ready to check this figure out? Then join me after the break….
blood spitting Rocky) but I feel they can add a lot to a display if done correctly. It sounds like NECA has another version of Hudson on the way, so if you really want a more neutral version of the character, wait around a bit. Still, this is my preferred choice.
The first thing I noticed about Hudson which is different from other recent NECA movie lines like Rocky, Rambo, and Predator is that he features painted skin rather than having skin molded in a color matching his flesh. I thought that method worked really well on those lines, and was hoping to see it here, too. Still, the painted skin looks good. It's done incredibly well. My only problem is that it leads to some problems with the arm joints (which I mentioned above). This figure features an amazing paint job, however, especially on his outfit and his armor. The camouflaged elements of his outfit look startlingly real, and the paint work factors in the worn nature of these garments. The body armor is also incredibly impressive, as not only does it feature realistic detailing, but it also features all of the little graffiti elements that Hudson has adorned his armor with. On the front of the armor is a simple printed "Hudson," the name 'Louise' with a red ribbon underneath, and a skull with a knife through the skull and the word 'glory' underneath. On the back there's a little pair of googly eyes on the right shoulder and the words "Contents under pressure; Dispose of properly." Heck, on his right shoulder you can even see a tiny USMC logo. The detail is amazing and tells a story in and of itself.
-M41A Pulse Rifle- The standard weapon of the USCMC, that was featured heavily throughout Aliens. Molded in a nice solid plastic and featuring some intricate paintwork, this weapon is dead on accurate to it's big screen counterpart. The sling is made of a rubbery material so that you can easily sling it around Hudson.
-TNR Shoulder Lamp- Attaching into the figure's back via a plug on the device, the TNR Shoulder Lamp's bulb is mounted over Hudson's left shoulder. The unit features a small wire that can fit into a small port on the back of Hudson's armor, and a handle so the device can be used handheld if needed. Again, it's super detailed. Just be careful removing it from the figure.
-ME3 Portable Welder- Look on the left side of Hudson's web gear and you'll find this little piece. It's actually removable and features a little paint app of the visor you would look through when welding. Very cool little extra that is easy to miss.
-Motion Tracker- Exactly like in the film, this motion tracker will let you know that trouble's on the way. Well, it does that through a sticker attached to the "view screen." Like the M41A Pulse Rifle, it's made out of a solid plastic with plenty of painted details, and features a softer sling so that Hudson can drag it along with him.