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Carter J. Burke & Xenomorph Warrior

Aliens
by yo go re

Perhaps the real monsters were the friends we made along the way!

Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke had little interest in helping the colonists of LV-426. His desire to become rich by using xenomorphs as biological weapons overrode and concern for the safety of others during the mission.

Yeah, and before it, too. Consider: in the first movie, The Company had already detected the signal from LV-426 and had already determined it was a warning, not a distress beacon, but they still had the Nostromo subtly adjust course enough that it would detect the signal and be forced to investigate; even with the subsequent corporate coverup and the passage of at least 50 years, there would have been some record somewhere in Weyland-Yutani's files, so it's not unreasonable to assume when Burke heard the ship had finally been found, and heard Ripley's story, he knew she was telling the truth; thus, him sending Newt's parents out to investigate the area was premeditated murder, no matter what he tried to claim later.

Burke the jerk was played by Paul Reiser, who did such an excellent job portraying the slimeball that his own parents cheered when he got what was coming to him. This figure, made well before the advent of photo-printed faces, has a good likeness, though (as Rustin pointed out) a smarmy, duplicitous face would have served better than the scared one here.

Logically, this "Hadley's Hope" set shows Burke in his adventuring clothes, not the plain suit he wore in the workplace. That means dark pants, a plaid shirt, and a tan vest. Ready for those cool Acheron nights! You can get the vest off if you choose to, but he's never seen without it, and the way they did his tucked-in shirt doesn't look great when you're viewing it unencumbered. The shape of his forearms is odd, but they can't have been assembled backwards, because he's got his watch sculpted on the left wrist. His pants bunch realistically where they come down over his boots, and overall this is a nice "civilian" figure that reminds us fashion won't change all that much in the next 150 years or so.

Burke doesn't have any accessories, because what could he? A facehugger to unleash on Ripley and Newt? Well, an alternate head of course (hat tip again to Rustin), but even his hands are molded open because they know they're not going to be holding anything. He does have all the articulation, though, moving at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and head. The joints are quite stiff, but thankfully nothing broke - something tells me getting a replacement for this 2017 Toys "Я" Us-exclusive would be a long shot. And like we said above, the way his shirt is designed leaves us with a big flash of white whenever you move the chest joint. The only way they could have avoided that was to paint more plaid under there, which would probably have been expensive.

40th Anniversary Collection aside, NECA's made no secret of the fact that when it comes to Aliens, humans don't sell. Not as well as the xenomorphs, at least. So rather than trying to put the star of Mad About You in a clamshell by himself, they paired him with an Alien. Which might technically make that Burke's accessory? Sure, let's count it!

Surprisingly, NECA found a way to make this Alien slightly different. It's not just a normal warrior drone, but rather one based on James Cameron's original concept for his Alien. No, that doesn't mean it's an albino (or even an Albino); originally, the sequel xenos were going to have amooth domes, like the Big Chap, but a darker colorscheme. How do you get a darker colorscheme than "it's already totally black, what more do you want"? Uh... we'll get back to you on that. The idea was changed pretty early in production to the lumpy blue/brown xenos we know and love fear, but this is what could have been.

The Concept Warrior is based on the Aliens Ultimate Alien figure, which we haven't fully reviewed, but features a lot of upgrades over the existing mold, including superior articulation (several improved joints, and the one that are the same have better range of motion) and a newer sculpt.

The difference between the Ultimate and the Concept is the head: this one has the Alien 1 dome over the head, instead of just the Alien 2 bumps. It's a small change, but definitely one that sets this xeno apart from every other one, if only in a way that nerds like us would notice.

Since neither Burke nor the Alien have accessories, there was a little room in the budget for an extra: the sign that identifies Hadley's Hope.

The sign measures about 5" x 6¼" and is detailed like metal that's been battered by gale-force winds hurling rain laced with carbonic acid, with a few ragged scraps of corrugated metal around the edges. It's got the big block letters reading "HADLEYS HOPE" (without an apostrophe, just like in the movie), the population count below that, and the apparently hand-lettered "have a nice day" over the top. All the lettering is larger on the toy than it was in the movie, but then, the sign is a lot smaller than it seemed there - almost like NECA has generously made a diorama element for the Minimates.

With a unique Alien and one of the few human villains the series has ever had, this is really cool two-pack. NECA probably has no plans to ever revisit Carter Burke, which is a shame - it's not that we want an Ultimate version (though finally getting an alternate head would be delightful), it's just that, given some of the original designs they've created over the years, imagine how fun it would be if NECA were to come up with their take on what a "Kenner" Burke might have been.

-- 11/21/20


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