Figure Friday: ALF by NECA is a Melmacian’s Dream

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug and NECA’s got your hook up. This week, Figure Friday looks at a figure that I have been anxiously awaiting since he was announced: ALF. Yes, the titular Alien Life Form from the hit NBC sitcom has been given the Ultimate treatment in a bizarre turn of events. Had you told me a year ago that I would be desperately hunting for an ALF figure at Target I would have thought you were nuts and yet, here we are in the craziest of timelines.

For those unfamiliar, ALF was in the same vein as Pee-Wee Herman; skewed towards kids with a wink to the parents. It hit me at the perfect age where I was moving from Sesame Street and Mister Rogers into sitcoms and afterschool programming. I don’t have any specific memories of the show itself. It was typical sitcom fodder; but the puppet became a pseudo celebrity. He was cross marketed like Max Headroom and Hulk Hogan. ALF showed up on damn near every NBC show, including Blossom and Matlock. He hosted The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Willard Scott. He had not just one, but two separate Saturday morning cartoon shows that aired back-to-back. There was a good four-year stretch where NBC basically replaced the peacock with the Melmacian. After the series ended in 1990, ALF still managed to stay relevant enough to warrant a tv movie in 1996 and his own “hit” talk show in 2004. These days, ALF shows up for nostalgic cameos on shows like Good Morning America or Saturday Night Live. There’s been talks of a reboot, but I don’t think the demand is really there, which is why I was surprised to hear that NECA would be making an ALF figure.

I first saw this figure at Power Con last year and was blown away, but it wasn’t available to purchase at that time. When I heard reports that ALF had started hitting Target stores, the hunt was on! I haven’t been this excited to get a figure in a long time. Once I got him out of the box, it exceeded my expectations. This figure has no business being as good as it is. There’s no reason for it. I haven’t heard demands for a highly articulated ALF. There haven’t been social media campaigns drumming up support. NECA could have easily released ALF as one of their Toony Terror animated style figures with limited articulation and that would have more than likely satisfied any demand from most figure collectors. Instead, they’ve given us nothing short of perfection.

ALF is made with a combination of both hard and soft plastic which allows for a nice posing experience. NECA has done a nice job articulating the smaller scaled frame. The joints are well hidden and the fur does a pretty decent job hiding the cuts. ALF’s upper body is on a ball peg allowing for a nice range of motion. You’re not going to get a great ab crunch, but with his squat legs, you can hit a mean super hero pose. He’s also balanced so well that he has no problem standing on one hand. It doesn’t need to be that good, but it is. His head features hinged upper and lower jaws on a ball pegged neck that provides a lot of movement. You can convey a ton of emotion with ALF. He’ll be the darling of figure photographers for years to come.

The sculpt work on this figure is fantastic. The detail work is really pulled out with an excellent paint wash. It’s tough to take a monochromatic figure and make it look interesting, but between the sculpt and the paint the different shades of brown breathe life into this Alien Life Form.

In terms of accessories, NECA has gone all out. A HAM radio, a cat sandwich (you read that right), a bowl of popcorn, a can of not Pepsi, a bag of slime balls, a framed picture, sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt pulled directly from the animated series. He also has multiple sets of interchangeable hands providing a number of posing possibilities. I didn’t even know what some of these accessories were, but the fact that they’re included shows the love for the character that the designers must have. That passion has delivered an exceptional offering, setting the bar extremely high for any future figure of the year contenders. If NECA can do a Muppet style figure this good – I’ll take all of the Sesame Street gang next, please!

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