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Newborn

Alien Resurrection
by yo go re

I'm pretty sure we've used this joke before, but if the whole "action figure" thing doesn't pan out, the team at NECA could transition the company to making industrial-grade turd polish.

Two hundred years after Ripley's death, military scientists are attempting to clone Ripley in order to extract the Queen embryo that was in her body when she died... and on the eighth attempt, they succeed. Contaminated with Ripley's DNA, the Queen gives birth to a grotesque human/alien hybrid called the "Newborn."

The Newborn was a character NECA repeatedly said they weren't interested in making, because the movie wasn't great and the monster design was awful. But years pass, and with everything else already updated, they finally turned their attention to Alien Resurrection.

The concept for the Newborn originated in Joss Whedon's original script treatment, though there it had a much different appearance: it was white, with front legs that bent like a spider's, back legs like a dog or kangaroo, a set of pincers on the sides of the mouth, and creepy red veins running along its head. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet was the one who requested something that looked more like an Alien/human hybrid (which honestly makes more sense in the context of the story). Originally it was going to have Ripley's face, but then the movie Species came out, so that idea was too close to Sil. And thus we get the final design, which looks like a rotten skull with sunken black eyes. It honestly feels a lot like the AvP Chrysalis Alien, so it's not nearly as unprecedented in the species as detractors claim.

Kyle Windrix sculpted this figure, so you already know it's going to look good. The Newborn's body is distinctly different from a typical xenomorph - for one thing, it appears to have skin and muscle that's grown over the usual exoskeleton. You can imagine there's still a normal(ish) xeno inside there, just getting coated because of its weird new DNA. The arms are a little longer than usual, and its hands are more humanoid than you typically see (only one thumb, for instance), but it still has the oddly bent legs and the flares on the hips, even if it doesn't have any tail at all.

What it does have is visible genitals. Being weird and French, Jeunet insisted on the monster having both male- and female-styled genitalia, so the Newborn has what is xeno-biologically known as a "peengina." (Not to be confused with the similar-yet-distinct "vaginus.") The studio decided that was a bit much for the latest installment of their family-friendly movie franchise, so most of the movie was shot around it, and the one full-body shot we do see was digitally edited to make things less... blatant. This toy, though, is right up in your face. So to speak. It's even painted a rusty red, contrasting with the hideous, sickly sallow color covering the rest of the body.

The Newborn is a massive figure, standing a good 11¼" tall if you pose it straight up, but still towering over humans like Ripley in its more natural squat. It has a hinged jaw, a balljointed mid-head area, swivel/hinge shoulders, double-swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, and swivel/hinge hips, knees, and ankles. Because of its weird design, NECA included a display stand for it: nothing scenic or thematic, just a black doll stand with an articulated arm. Articulated and extendable. Articulated and extendable, with an add-on piece to make it even longer if you need. Hey, it works better than the Dog Alien's, and that's all that matters.

I've got a soft spot for Alien Resurrection. It's no Aliens, granted, but it's also no Alien³ - so a nice, middle-of-the-road entry, in other words. I'd rather watch that than either of the AvP movies, to be sure. So NECA finally trying its hand at the movie's massive monster, the much-maligned Newborn? Hell yes! I'm all set now until they finally do that modern Predalien.

-- 07/02/20


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