Friday, November 20, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 16, 2009

Released over twenty years ago, the movie Aliens still stands as a benchmark in film making.  Made in a time when digital visual effects were not the go-to technology, the beautiful practical effects in the movie Aliens still stand up today.  Effects including creatures and vehicles were all done with extensive use of miniatures and animatronic puppets.  This combined with unparalleled art direction add up to a gritty and realistic look for the film that only contributes to the excitement of this classic action sci-fi thriller.
Director Jim Cameron drove the art direction in the film to create a believable world.  The military hardware in the film looks modern but still reflects the style of Vietnam war era technology.  Fitting for a movie where a well equipped squad of marines is essentially wiped out but a primitive foe.  The weapon and vehicle designs set a new standard for the science fiction genre and the designs are so pleasing that they remain the favorites of sci-fi geeks nearly a quarter of a century later.

This brings me to today's offering.  From my previous post on the Aliens Action Fleet APC I hinted that some of the most spectacular examples of Aliens toys come out of Japan.  Three years ago Aoshima released stunning die cast metal models of the Dropship and APC.  A close look at these vehicles will reveal details that might make nitpickers cringe.  This is an interesting artifact of having an accurate model of a movie vehicle in your hands.  For example, a close examination of the Dropship, which is a VTOL aircraft like a Harrier jump jet, and you see that the thrust nozzles are not centered on the aircraft.  This would make the Droship nose heavy and unstable.  This shows you that absolute perfection in engineering design is not critical for a successful movie vehicle.  To create something believable on the screen is an entirely different matter.  

That aside, the Aoshima Aliens toys are by far some of the most stunning models of movie vehicles you will ever see.  The Dropship is over a foot long and weighs in at over two pounds!  It has all the moving parts seen in the film.  As a companion piece, the APC is finely detailed and it stows neatly in the cargo bay of the Dropship.  To give a sense of scale, the vehicles each came with tiny detailed figures of the colonial marines.

This is not a toy to be missed, so stay frosty, move on into the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities, and secure the area by checking out the Die Cast Metal Aliens Dropship and APC.

Full steam ahead...

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