Super7 x Funko Alien ReAction Ash Super7 x Funko, 2013
Day #861: February 20, 2014
Ash 34 Years in the Making
Alien ReAction Figures
Item No.: Asst. 3813 No. 3799 Manufacturer:Super7 x Funko Includes:Motion Detector Action Feature:n/a Retail:$15-$20 Availability: December 2013 Other: Available on blue (early bird pre-order) or black (retail) cardbacks
While not tops on my list of preferred characters, Ash makes for a pretty good figure. As a driving force for the movie's malevolent feel, Ian Holm's character is the perfect fodder for term papers everywhere. Not only does the character place duty above safety, but he works as a metaphor for the film's criticizing of itself - at one point he attacks Ripley with a rolled-up pornographic magazine, literally trying to cram the role of a subjugated woman down the throat of a major step forward for the roles of women in film, particularly genre stuff. Few movies to grace the pages of Starlog have a star without a Y chromosome, so someone smarter and better than I am at this no doubt has crafted some wonderful piece on Alien as a change to a brighter future for women in sci-fi, although, arguably, this brighter future never actually arrived. (See: Slave Leia, Carol Marcus, Megan Fox in Transformers movies. And arguably the shots at the end of Alien too.) But I digress, and I am not an expert in the area of gender roles in film in the slightest plus I could probably go on about this for pages.
Mr. Holm was Frodo for a radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, old Bilbo in the movie versions, a monk in The Fifth Element, and generally just lights up the screen whenever he appears - especially while he aims to bring it down a few pegs. The figure matches the movie counterpart better than most of the figures, as the blue suit over a long-sleeve white shirt is replicated here fairly accurately. The short haircut is 1970s-toy chic, with his pristine outfit standing out from his crewmates in a way that makes a heck of a lot more sense after you've seen the film. While mildly creepy on film, the toy comes off as unassuming and not remotely dangerous - he's just a white guy with a gadget, nothing more.
The figure's quality is pretty good - the plastic feels right, although it's the deco I take issue with. Kenner's prototypes were always completely painted, as you don't tend to mold your paint masters in the correct color of plastic. By attempting to replicate the prototype, it seems Ash's face has been painted flesh, rather than molded in flesh, just like the rest of the line. This gives the figures a slightly more sickly feel, while more or less true to the movie it seems that you could debate if this makes it a truer "retro" figure or not. After all, the prototypes we've seen pictures of were not released products and this is an element that probably would have changed prior to release.
The deco is pretty good, but my open sample here has a knick on the back of his hand - the paint chipped prior to the package being opened. This isn't something you'll notice unless you play with the figure, as the hands at his sides will prevent it from being visible. The other deco includes faux patches, white shoes, and a simple face decoration which pretty accurately sums up the character without giving a dead-on likeness to the actor. You'll also note the actor's face is missing from the packaging - I would assume this has to do with likeness rights, as the figure looks like Ash (and not Ian Holm) while the packaging makes no use of his face.
Other than a Kubrick figure and an unproduced Galoob MicroMachines release, Ash doesn't get a lot of toy love - as villains go, he's a real doozy that got completely overshadowed by one of cinema's most important and freaskish creations. That which he represents is absolutely worthy of study, so much so that I've barely talked about this 3 3/4-inch scale figure's 5 points of articulation and excellent compatibility with similarly sized vehicles from its original era. It is remarkable to think that these characters came so close to becoming toys for children, and it stands as a monument to the movie's quality that we have access to this figure today. While I doubt the figure will hold up to the scrutiny the film receives, it has no problems holding his gear, looks a good bit like his inspiration on the big screen, and is like catnip for anyone that grew up with this era of action figures. Seriously, I can't think of another movie I'd rather have this kind of action figure for, and I have it, and it's really here, and it's on my desk right now. When toys like this get released it's hard for me to get too upset about anything else - if you're over 30, you owe it to yourself to check out the original Alien movie (repeatedly) and if you grew up with those old Kenner action figures, I'm sure this set would be a worthy addition to your home or office. I sincerely doubt that any company in the new rush to make "retro" figures will make anything that gives me warm fuzzies like this line did.
Additional ReAction Figures Alien Images
Notes: The brown cardboard boxes are different. The brown box marked 3813 contains 1 set of black carded figures - this is an "inner" as it ships from Funko. The 3813.1 box shipped from Super7 with a carded set of 6 blue card figures inside. Blue cards were shipped to people who ordered the set for $100 direct from Super7 at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 or through the Super7 web site after the show. The group shot above is of the opened black card set, which cost $65.00. The blue card set included a bonus clear grey Alien figure available nowhere else at this time and is expected to be exclusive to this release. If the 16bit.com sample is opened, we'll update this photo.
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