Action Figure Review: Corporal Dwayne Hicks from Aliens by NECA (Confirmed: Epic)
Hudson is right at 7 inches, maybe a hair over. He's exactly the same size as Hudson, and will easily fit in with the rest of your NECA figures so you can assemble your 80's action Dream Team. Yup, I have a shelf in my living room that has Dutch, Rocky, Rambo, Hicks, Hudson, John McClane, Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang, the T-800, Apollo Creed, Aliens, Predators, the T-1000, Conan, and Kyle Reese. Am I missing anyone? Throw me a Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China and John Matrix from Commando and I think I'll be sound as a pound.
Michael Biehn likeness. He's not as expressive as Hudson was, but he does seem to be in the middle of some type of Biehn-esque action. My only comment would be that the hair looks a little too thick, but I'm not sure how you'd capture thinner hair in plastic. Since they're wearing uniforms, Hudson and Hicks share a number of parts--as far as I can tell they share torsos, waists, legs, feet, right arms, and hands. Most of those pieces are decked out in standard military fatigues; they looked great on Hudson and look good here on Hicks. While Hudson's uniform had rolled up sleeves and a wrap on his left arm, Hicks' uniform is sleeveless, so he has new shoulders and a new left arm. Where the figures really differ is the web gear. Hicks' body armor and web gear are completely unique to him. While it would seem that the body armor could be reused, Hicks' armor has a different crotch guard from Hudson's, and features a small sculpted lock over the painted-on heart on his chest as well as the bullet hole on the left shoulder. The web gear features some shotgun shells on his right side, and different pieces of gear and pouches in different places. NECA really could have gone the cheap route here and used the same body hoping no one would notice, but they didn't. Good for them and good for collectors.
The paint lives up to the sculpt and enhances it. Besides just the camouflage pattern of Hicks' pants, the little bits of wear and tear on elements such as his knee pads and body armor is impressive. Like Aliens, the NECA figures really have a worn and lived-in look to them. I mentioned in my review of Hudson that his body armor told a story in a way. Hicks' does as well. Across his chest he has "HICKS" stamped in black. Underneath is the above-mentioned lock over a red painted on heart. On his left shoulder is the bullet hole, written around which are the words "Born Again". His left shoulder has a very simple tattoo of "U.S.C.M. 527-19-5251" On his back, there's the partial word "Life--" which disappears under a bracket, and a red Asian character. I couldn't tell you what it means. Most of the actors in the movie got to customize their own armor, but Michael Biehn did not. Actor James Remar was the original choice to play Hicks and even filmed some scenes before he left the production. He still appears in the movie, but only from the rear so that he's unrecognizable.
Hicks comes fully armed, although he does share a few accessories with Hudson (which makes perfect sense). Hicks includes:
-ME3 Portable Welder- Look on the left side of Hicks' web gear and you'll find this little piece. It's actually removable and features a little paint app on the visor the marines look through when welding. Very cool little extra that is easy to miss.
-Ithaca M37 "Stakeout" Shotgun- Quite an antique weapon for a space marine (and supposedly a family heirloom according to Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the film), this is the weapon that Hicks keeps around "for close encounters". It's molded in a nice gunmetal colored plastic and features what looks like electrical tape on the handle. *Fun Fact*- Michael Biehn's character Kyle Reese also used a version of the Ithaca M37 in another James Cameron film: Terminator. Perhaps Reese is a descendant of Hicks and this same weapon got passed down for generations. You never know! Generbeener, we need some fan fiction about this right away!
-Shotgun pouch- This is a leathery looking sack that Hicks uses to tote around his shotgun. It's a well-designed and functional accessory, but be careful with the strap. It looks like it could easily tear, so my recommendation is put it on and leave it on.
Hicks doesn't come with accessories as detailed as Hudson's, but he still has a fairly substantial complement of gear to use for alien killing fun. Other than my concerns over the shotgun holster's strap potentially breaking, things seem stellar overall.
Want more Aliens reviews? Well, we've got a few for you: I've also looked at NECA's Private William Hudson (Bill Paxton's character) and the Xenomorph Warrior. From the 1990s Kenner lines, I've looked at: the Alien versus Predator 2 pack, the Series 1 Space Marines and the Power Loader, and the Series 1 Xenomorphs. I've also looked at some of the Prometheus figures from NECA: David 8 and Deacon. Big Bad Toy Store has sold out of series 1, but they do have a ton of new Aliens figures available for preorder, including a two pack of a new Hicks figure with an exploding Alien Warrior and series 2 with a "blue" Xenomorph warrior, the alien from the original film, and a new Marine, Sgt. Windrix.