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Scorpion Alien

Aliens
by yo go re

At last, a Kenner Alien I didn't have!

Origin:
Desert planet of Tanaka 5

Colony:
39 workers, one Queen, 23 eggs

Beware:
Spiked body armor, poison tipped tail

Destruct point:
Missiles, grenades blow creature apart

Are there any Aliens that missiles or grenades wouldn't blow apart? I know that's a reference to an action feature this update doesn't share, but it still sticks out as being odd. That's up there with the Gorilla Alien's "well, have you tried shooting them?" Maybe the Lobster Alien or something has an armored shell, and can only be defeated by heat? You know, boiling it, with some nice butter on the side.

Actually, I'm surprised I didn't have the old Scorpion: contrary to what we've said before, it was the "plainest" xeno available until Hasbro's Alien vs. Predator two-pack came out - all you had to do was overlook the excess spikes on its arms and legs, and realize that the silver on its mouth was supposed to be drool, not a doofy overbite. And look past the fact it was brown, but some people think that's right anyway. For what it's worth, the "brown" was more of a harsh metallic copper, which does look good on a xenomorph even today.

Despite its being "plain" by Kenner standards, NECA didn't skimp out on this modern Scorpion Alien. The sculpt is by David Silva and Kyle Windrix; if we had to guess, Kyle gets credit for the existing pieces, while David did the new ones. At a glance, it does look like there are a lot of new pieces - the chest, the upper and lower arms, the legs - leaving only the pelvis and some of the joint interiors to be the same. Upon closer inspection, while the thighs are new (no other sculpt has had large holes going all the way through it, like these require), the large, sharp spikes that seemed to indicate entirely new molds are simply separate pieces glued onto existing work.

The chest comes from the Aliens Warrior, with a serrated ridge added to the breastbone and the tubules on the back changed around: the bottom two have been replaced with spikes, the top two are now curved and end in a sharp hook, and the little "backpack" piece that used to be removable so the toy's head could tip back has been changed to give us two higher hooked tubes at the top. The arms and shins come from the AvP Warrior (which we've reviewed in the form of the TMNT Sewer Alien), with new spikes on the wrists, triceps, and the outside of the calves. The hands and feet were new when the toy came out, but they were designed for the Alien: Resurrection Warrior that was being released a few months later. The tail is new, ending in another curved hook that gives the Scorpion Alien its name.

The head is new, with a ridge of spikes running along the top that make it look like an evolutionary half-step between the standard Aliens Alien and the Kenner Snake Alien. Its inner mouth is loose and falls out easily, but it's not as bad as the Prototype Suit toy, because the neck and chest joints are sturdy, and the outer jaw will stay in place if you close it.

Its articulation is standard, and the joints are tight enough to hold poses, yet not so tight they break if you try to move them. The Scorpion Alien moves at the head, shoulders, top and bottom of the elbows, wrists, fingers, chest, hips, thighs, top and bottom of the knees, the ankles, and the toes. The tail is bendy in addition to having a swivel where it meets the body. The old toy had an "explodes when hit" action feature: press a button on its rump, and its torso would spring apart into three pieces. Duplicating that would have been a lot of fun here, but also would have meant NECA was unable to reuse as many molds.

The Scorpion Alien is a decent figure, with a nicely non-standard design. If you're looking for something that's just a little outside the normal, this will be a great addition to your collection. But if you're hoping for something really outlandish, like the rest of the Kenner Aliens, there's not much to it. Imagine if the Kenner Scorpion had had, say, four legs (like Mantenna) and hands that were more like claws instead of fingers, then imagine what NECA could have done with that.

-- 06/18/20


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