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Resident Evil Code Veronica
by yo go re

As much as we love the toys NECA puts out, we still have to admit: their Resident Evil toys are not the best. Sure, they're good, but the ones that Palisades did in 2001 are still better.

Alexia is the daughter of the original recipient of the T-Virus, Alexander Ashford. Injected with the virus at an early age, Alexia was placed into suspended animation to allow the virus to slowly integrate itself into her DNA. Recently awakened by her brother in the antarctic facility, subject was apparently destroyed by the S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield after transforming into her final mutant incarnation. Parts of the subjects remains are as yet unrecovered, possible mutations and regenerative capabilities are unknown. Any biological materials recovered should be handled with extreme caution!

Alexia, here, was part of Series 2 of the Resident Evil figures, and was quite hard to find when she came out. I spent years trying to pick one up on the secondary market (having once foolishly missed the end of an auction where she went for less than $2), but couldn't find a price I was happy with. Eventually I just broke down and used Amazon credit to get her, which seems to have been the right choice, since right now loose samples are selling for more than I paid sealed.

Alexia goes through several mutations in the course of the game, and this is her first one. She still looks mostly human, though her skin is grey, she's bare-ass nude, and she's covered in creepy tendrils. In the game these tendrils look vaguely insectoid, I suppose, but on the toy they look like vines - plant matter, not animal.

Her right arm and left leg are completely covered in the stuff, as is her back and just enough of her breasts to keep the censors happy. The back of the packaging credits the sculpt to Alexi Bustamente (which should actually be "Bustamante," but it's probably too late to fix that now), and the prototype and paint to SOTA. Her left foot is sculpted with the toes bent back, suggesting she's meant to be posed with that leg bent at the knee. Both of the wrists are bent down pretty far, as well.

The figure of Alexia that Palisades took to Toy Fair is not the same one that eventually made it to stores - and no, not because somebody set it on fire or anything. As revealed years and years ago on Palisades' site, the first sculpt was done by Big Chief - it was based on a sketch Ken Lilly did, and came out looking very much like the RE figures ToyBiz made in the '90s. You know, the same kind of joints, the same kind of pose, all that. After Toy Fair, Palisades decided they wanted something more realistic, and what began as a general resurfacing turned into a completely new sculpt from the ground up.

The articulation on the final piece is better than the proto would have allowed, as well. Alexia has a balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, T-crotch, hinged knees and hinged ankles. Amazingly, despite being a full decade old when she was finally opened, none of the joints ended up breaking. How refreshing! Since it's not easy to stand securely when you have one foot raised, so while she comes with the same oval brick base as the rest of the line, hers has pegs designed specifically to support that pose.

Remember how we said that Alexia went through several mutations during the game? You've already seen her first; her second could be be described as "giant chrysalis-flower with praying mantis arms"; and her third is sort of a dragonfly thing. Palisades, being awesome, has included pieces to turn Stage 1 Alexia into Stage 3 Alexia.

The figure splits at the waist, which is why she doesn't have a joint there. Then you pop out the arms and remove the head, and you're left with a torso that would make a serial killer proud! Then you just fill her various body-holes with all the extra pieces she comes with: her arms become long double-wings, her legs fuse into a single spinal tail, and her hair(?) rises away from her head to show off more of her pretty face.

The tail, which looks rather like a cross between a dragonfly and a double helix DNA strand, is bendy; the arms retain the swivel/hinge shoulders, but add balljoints for each wing. Unfortunately, there's no way to make Alexia stand while she's in this form; you'll either have to prop her up or invest in one of those doll stands.

Palisades considered making a Stage 2 Alexia body, but it just didn't cost out. And to hear Ken Lilly tell it, apparently something went wrong with the paint apps, but we sure can't tell what. Palisades' Alexia is a very cool toy, but her aftermarket prices are really getting up there.

-- 10/07/12

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