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Dutch and Linn

Aliens vs. Predator (Arcade)
by yo go re

First there were the repainted Predators. Then the Aliens with new parts. And now what we've all been waiting for, humans!

A cyborg created to fight extra-terrestrials. He lost his right arm in the 2nd Alien War, and has since had it replaced with a smartgun rig. He lives only to avenge himself against the aliens!

Yes, this is is ostensibly the same Dutch played by Arnold Schwarzenegger - no surprise the game designers would want him to be part of their crossover, even if it was centuries too early to include Ripley as well. And even if they couldn't get any likeness rights. It's also no surprise NECA used quite a few existing molds for this figure: he's got a new belt, and elbow-and knee-pads, but then the rest of the body is from Jungle Patrol Dutch ("shirty vesty," just minus the vest) with drab brown paint apps all over, done in a more blocky style to better match the game sprites.

The biggest change, however, is the right arm. Like the bio (taken from the game, rather than the boilerplate copy on the back of this package) says, he's replaced his puny human arm with a mechanical prosthesis, one that's huge and industrial. It looks like a piece of construction equipment repurposed for him, rather than something designed to mimic real anatomy: it's a big pile of cubes slammed toegether, and twice the size of his left arm. He wears a backpack to help support it - NECA was really smart with that piece, making it and the upper "rim" of the shoulder a single piece separate from the arm, to preserve the looks and the articulation. There are functioning pistons that move when you flex the elbow, and a hose connected to the backpack.

In addition to the shoulder, bicep, elbow, and wrist joints, the arm has a few other moving parts: a block that slides out of the back of the elbow, and a bundle of wires that pulls out of the front. Also, the gun can extend. None of those seem to come from the game, but they do make the piece feel more like an actual device and not just something plopped onto him for no reason. You get your choice of open or closed hands, and there's a big yellow muzzle flare that can fit into the barrel of the gun. The arm is light for its size, so it won't tip the toy over.

As we said, the game did not get Arnie's likeness, so this toy doesn't have it, either. It's possible NECA could have included one (you could certainly swap a "real" head on here yourself, since the body is reused), but maybe that would have required paying more fees. This definitely looks like a version of the guy in the game (whoever he is), though the hair is a bit blonder than it should be.

Now, this is a two-pack, so let's look at Dutch's partner, the game's new character.

A cyborg who leads the 13th Colonial Marines Corps. She is a master of ancient martial arts with super strength for lethal effect. Always equipped with a Japanese katana, the blade represents her soul.

Don't take the fact that the bio text refers to her as a "cyborg" to mean that Lt. Kurosawa is an artificial person, like Bishop or David: androids are robots designed to resemble humans (from the Latin meaning "man-shaped"), while cyborgs ("cybernetic organisms") are biological creatures with aftermarket add-ons. So technically anybody with a pacemaker is a cyborg. A deaf kid gets aural implants? Cyborg. Your grandma's knee replacement surgery? Cyborg! Since Linn has never appeared anywhere other than this game and that text above is all that's ever been written about her, you're free to imagine exactly how much of her is mechanical. Personally, I think she just has a little battery pack to keep her kidneys functioning properly after experiencing a back injury. Any super strength is just a result of wearing weights while training.

NECA managed to find some appropriate parts to reuse for this Colonial Marine: Vasquez. It's just the arms and pants, but it works. After all, despite the bright orange-with-brown camo pattern, these are still miltary pants. She's new from the knees down, with her pantlegs tucked into her chunky boots. The kneepads and holster on her right leg are new, as is her belt, but the really noticeable change is the metal breastplate she wears. Is that standard issue in the wake of the Second Alien War? Did someone finally design a bulletproof vest that will fit a woman? If her appearances in the background of Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter III stages is canonical, then the big shoulder pad that looks like a marine mine might be an actual part of her body, as much as Dutch's arm. Unless she just leaves it on when she takes off all her other clothes. There's no stud on the front of the pauldron, which looks like a mistake but is true to the game's design.

Lt. Kurosawa is looking pretty stern for this figure, with her eyes narrowed in intensity as she prepares to fight her way through an entire xenomorph hive. Her floating '90s bangs have been done as a separate piece so they can lift into the air appropriately, and beyond the usual articulation, she's also got a full balljoint for her massive ponytail. Dynamic!

She's armed with her katana and a futuristic large-caliber pistol. The ranged weapons in Alien vs. Predator had unlimited ammo, but would "overheat," keeping you from just spamming bullets (or pulse fire) all over the place. The gun looks nice enough, for something made up out of whole cloth, but the sword is her iconic weapon. It'd be cool if she could use both at once (especially since the sword is designed to be drawn to the left side, and the gun to the right), but her left hand isn't shaped to hold accessories; you have to switch the right hand depending on which weapon you want her to use. It's particularly egregious, because we know the Vasquez molds had a tightly closed left hand available - it was holding her smart gun!

Had these figures been sold separately, I likely wouldn't have bought both. Or who knows, maybe I would. The point is, getting the pair of them in one shot is fun. And yes, they've got stylized videogame paint, but it's not so stylized that they won't fit in with the rest of your collection. Two wild new alien fighters!

-- 02/29/20

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