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Dr. Elizabeth Shaw

by yo go re

We'll say it again: NECA never stops trying.

Thanks to her on-world work, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw has been contracted by Weyland Corporation to further her archaeological research regarding the origins of mankind aboard the Prometheus. Her faith-based approach to science may be unorthodox, but her contribution to the mission is invaluable.

Shaw, here, was designed and solicited back in 2013, when Prometheus was still a thing. Everybody was looking forward to her, thanks to her bright colors and her unique sculpt. Then she (and her planned wave-mate, Fifield) got pushed back in favor of the cheaper-to-produce Engineer variants, but nobody was looking forward to those, so the sales dipped and the interesting humans were cancelled. Boo! But NECA, being NECA, saw the pending release of Alien: Covenant as an opportunity, and finally put them out in very limited numbers. Yay!

"Doctor" Shaw (she's a paleontologist, not a real doctor) was played by Noomi Rapace, best known as the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The likeness here is almost as good as it was on David 8, though the whole thing does feel a little thin (for specific reasons we'll discuss shortly) and the hair should be more red than the brown it is here.

Naturally, the body is a new sculpt, because the only other non-Engineer, non-alien body they had to work with was male. And, as the movie definitively proved in the "med pod" scene, Shaw was not male. Adrienne Smith's work on the space suit is excellent, capturing the smooth blue base of the suit and the unexplained orange piping that runs all over it. She (Shaw, not Smith) is wearing chunky boots, protective plating on the hands and forearms, a simple utility belt, and a backpack that's presumably full of life support equipment. The basics of the suit are similar to the one David was wearing, but it's still a unique beast - recall that this suit and the ones like it came off the super-advanced lifeboat, not the standard ship.

The blue on Shaw's suit is a darker shade, and has a bit of a shine to it - not quite metallic, but definitely not matte, either. Neoprene, perhaps, or whatever the 2093 version of neoprene is. I was unable to compare Shaws at the store when I got her, but the orange paint on all those thin tubes is mostly crisp, with just a little bit of an error on the right thigh. The grey of her "armor" is darker than we usually see on toys, but that helps the light tampos on the chest plate stand out better. It is a very nice looking figure!

The articulation on Shaw does not repeat the mistakes NECA made on David. It's been five years since that toy came out (or at least five years and one day since we reviewed it), so you may have forgotten, but David 8 was one of those toys that came out in the window where NECA was having trouble putting its swivel joints on the correct side of the elbows. Shaw does not share this flaw. She moves at the head, shoulders, chest, elbows, wrists, waist (yes, a chest and a waist - both balljoints - mean she has two joints that provide duplicate ranges of motion), hips, knees, and ankles. Fortunately, the figure is fairly light, so the balljoints in her feet manage to hold her up decently.

Shaw has a big space helmet, but no alternate "skull cap" head to go with it - that's okay, she wore one the first time they left the ship, but went without it later, so that's not an error. Maybe NECA planned to include one, but had to drop it to meet the budget. So be it. However, that's why the face feels so "squished" compared to the real woman: the toy's head had to be narrow enough to fit into the opening at the base of the helmet, and plastic hair doesn't move like real hair. So they cheated it a little.

As with David, the set includes the camera that allows people back on the ship to monitor the team's progress: that's packaged in its own little baggie, so you don't lose it, and can plug into the figure's shoulder or the top of the helmet. She's also armed with her future space-axe, perfect for fighting Engineers.

But the accessory anyone is going to care about is the severed head of David 8. He really learned his lesson - the lesson being, Engineers are grumpy right after they wake up! The sculpt of the head seems to be identical to that on the existing David 8 toy, Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia haircut and all, just plugged onto a new neck. One that gets super raggedy around the shoulders, and has a little bit of spinal column dangling from it. You'll notice that David's insides aren't white, like other androids' are, but rather an unappealing beige. The head is balljointed, so it can look around whilst laying quietly on the floor.

Shaw was allegedly released in mid-2017, but whoever was in charge of stocking NECA product at my local TRU was notoriously lackadasical (which is just a polite way of saying "they didn't do their job"), so I never saw the series. But hey, thank goodness for seasonal calendar stores, eh? I managed to pick her up before Christmas, which was the first - and last - time I ever saw her anywhere. It's really a shame more fans didn't get a chance at her... or maybe that more fans didn't give the Prometheus toys a chance.

-- 03/25/18

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