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Lanard Aliens Collection 2021

It was right about a year ago–1/28/2020–that I happened across Lanard‘s Alien Collection figures for their 2020 output. They had a 12" Queen, 3 Xenomorph packs, a Xeno + power loader, and a vehicle. But that was then.

[I’ve titled this post with Aliens plural. The named branding on the boxes is singular, but I go interchangeably with the plural for the general historical branding that came out of the films and such. The Alien vs Aliens semantics as a sweeping/universal brand is–to me–a subject for some other post another time.]

I never really had use for nor cared about the human characters in the Alien playsets last year. I bought them FOR the Xenomorph figures. And in a world where a similarly-scaled figure is routinely $13 or more, $10 for a Xeno, a human, AND accessories…I was always more than happy to pay $10.

lanard_aliens_7inch_drone_front

Now we get significantly larger Alien figures–7" or so–with accessories–and we’re STILL at the $10 price point!

This also certainly beats the $26-$30+ for NECA Aliens figures. (All the more given that–at present–I’m personally refusing to buy any NECA product EXCEPT what TMNT I can actually find until I have "completed" my set of the basic TMNT releases.)

lanard_aliens_7inch_drone_back

Having fun Aliens with good sculpts from Lanard absolutely scratches the "Aliens itch" for me and at a price point I’m much happier with!

Plus at the lower price point and basic sculpting…there’s a lot more room for me to do some decent "army-building" and "customizing."

lanard_aliens_7inch_warrior_front

Thoughhhhh thus far the extent of my customizing is essentially "aim black spray-paint at a figure." I spray-painted several dupes last year including a Queen and have been pretty satisfied with the end result.

lanard_aliens_7inch_warrior_back

That said…I’ve also appreciated the brighter colors in large part for the nostalgia of the old Kenner figures. Said nostalgia also led to me purchasing a couple of the vintage figures last year to add to my shelf of Xenos.

lanard_aliens_7inch_runner_front

Unfortunately, I’ve more or less run out of space on the Aliens shelves…especially with the inclusion of Predators in the mix.

Though I should be able to squeeze these 7" figures in without TOO much trouble offhand.

lanard_aliens_7inch_runner_back

Fitting multiple additional Queens in are a whole different matter–given their bulk…and their tails!

lanard_aliens_7inch_red_queen_deluxe_12inch_front

This new deluxe Queen being red works on MULTIPLE levels!

Firstly, it’s a new color to differentiate from last year’s purple Queen. Secondly it’s another brightly-colored figure like the rest of this line. And thirdly, it works given the ALIENS: GENOCIDE comics & novel history with the Red Aliens developing and fighting with the typical Aliens.

lanard_aliens_7inch_red_queen_deluxe_12inch_back

I’m not particularly impressed with the sound effects of the figure and don’t really get the "light up" purpose. But considering the price point is EXACTLY THE SAME as the no-electronic version, and I’m basically just DISPLAYING the things, it doesn’t bother me! I’d much rather "have to" ignore sound effects that are manually-activated than having to "ignore" something visually-displeasing.


While the Queen alien is basically a slightly-enhanced re-issue of the purple; and these other 3 are essentially just scaled-up versions of the smaller ones from last year: I’m quite happy with them, and look forward to getting a few more.

I’m also VERY happy with them seeming like they’ll be quite plentiful/available in general DESPITE being Walmart-exxxxxxxclusive. Until the 2020 stuff was clearanced out, I feel like throughout the year I rarely–if ever–saw the Lanard Alien Collection pegs bare. Which is QUITE the opposite of other lines such as the Retro GI Joe where I think I’ve only 3 times seen ANY figures whatsoever present.

Even better than just these Alien figures is that Lanard ALSO has Predator figures! (Which I’ll likely be covering next!)

lanard_aliens_7inch_blogtrailer

Final Faction

Seems to be getting to be an annual tradition for me, unexpectedly "discovering" some new toy line in January of a new year.

In 2019, it was Lanard’s Primal Clash line of dinosaur-riding soldiers.

Last year, in 2020 it was again Lanard but with an Alien Collection.

Now in 2021, it’s Dollar Tree‘s Final Faction.


During the first weekend of the new year while browsing a local Dollar Tree store, I happened to notice some generic "GI Joe-like" figures. I’m not sure what actually caught my attention…perhaps the packaging, perhaps the logo alone, perhaps the sheer quantity of figures on pegs. Maybe it was the Mech character. Whatever the case, I ended up flipping through figures on the pegs to see what the assortment was like, and noticed that the back of the cards showed several characters.

While there were none of the alien/villain characters…they had all 5 of the "good guy" Alpha Team 1 characters, so I figured for the whopping $5 to get one of each figure, not bad…and bought ’em.

final_faction_assortment1_alpha_team_1

There was a QR code on the back of the cards referencing some cartoon–and maybe that was also a selling point for me?–but the overall packaging was a definite draw.

Each character has a unique card front, which seems like a definite rarity in "dollar-store toys." Even better, each card has a unique back with a "profile" and the classic "clip and collect" note…hitting a huge nostalgia point for me.

The scale of the figures is great, too–3.75"/4" so they’re right on-par with most other figures, and likely could fit right in with modern retro GI Joe or even Star Wars figures.

Another bit of nostalgia/classic-ness is that in addition to the basic figures themselves, there are multiple accessory packs. Most of the characters come with accessories as-is, but these packs let you outfit the group with even more weaponry or add onto the A.C.R.M. and such.

While the A.C.R.M. profile indicates it’s a singular unit piloted by a single specific character…I see it as something cool for a "good guy army-builder," which seems a bit of a rarity to me.

alpha_team_1_outofpacks

Here are the five unique "good guy" (Alpha Team 1) figures out of their packaging.

They’re not overly-articulated…you basically have the classic 5 points of articulation–arms and legs move, and head rotates. You also have holes for pegged accessories…particularly on the ACRM.

In watching some YouTube review of the figures, someone compared these to Happy Meal toys, and I think that’s a great point/comparison. These aren’t heavy figures by any means, and definitely DO seem to be well on-par with (if not significantly surpassing MODERN HM toys)…but they’re ONLY ONE DOLLAR EACH.

I’m not ever sure you can buy "just the prize" from McDonald’s for $1.

And the lack of articulation–to me–is a benefit. Less articulation is less points for the figures to break. Less moving parts to destabilize the figures in displaying them. Less for whatever meager paintjobs to gum up and incite the individual into accidentally breaking their figure while trying to get an articulated joint to move.

And below are the "profile cards" for these Alpha Tea 1 figures:

profilecards_alphateam1_msgt_steadfast

profilecards_alphateam1_sgt_ruck

profilecards_alphateam1_sgt_steel

profilecards_alphateam1_spc_shift

profilecards_alphateam1_acrm


And what line of toys is complete without some cool villains?!?

We have five "hero"/"good guy" characters…but only three unique Kharn/alien/villain figures.

final_faction_assortment1_kharn

However…these seem to be generic alien/villains. None of them are named characters. So it’s basically three classes of alien invaders. The basic Drone…the much beefier Brute…and then the mechanical Synthoid.

And considering the mere $1 price point per figure…these are excellent to "army-build!"

kharn_outofpacks

I’m content with the Brutes and Synthoids…but I feel like the Drones should at least match, if not outnumber the Brutes and Synthoids combined, quantity-wise…which means I’ll be interested in getting at least 9 more Drones.

The Brutes and Drones come with handheld blasters, while the Synthoids don’t come with any additional accessories.

That’s definitely where the accessory packs will come in–adding onto the Drone and Brute, but interchangeable alternate arms (literally!) for the Synthoids.

Below are the "profiles" of these:

profilecards_kharn_drone

profilecards_kharn_brute

profilecards_kharn_synthoid


I’ve assembled this quick collection with a visit to a whopping six different Dollar Tree stores. I particularly wanted multiples on the Kharn, BUT even as cheap as these are and plentiful if in stock at all…I didn’t want to "clear the pegs" at any of the stores, so snagged several from each store, to leave stuff to be further discovered by others.

Though one store only had the heroes, another only had the aliens, and only a couple had the accessory packs.

final_faction_cardback_alphateam1

Considering the price of even ONE modern GI Joe Retro figure ($12.93 at Walmart IF even in-stock there at all and being ‘scalped’ online for up to $40-something), or the price of a single larger figure (Marvel Legends in the $20-25 range up to $30+ each or $50+ for 2-packs) or NECA singles ($27-30+ for single figures, $50-$53+ for 2-packs, etc) my entire 26-figure collection of Final Faction for under $30 is extremely gratifying. Even allowing for an additional $10ish for 9 more Drone figures (in time) isn’t bad. And a bunch of accessory packs aren’t bad.

Especially considering the sheer quantity and bulk of the collection as a whole vs. merely getting UP TO FOUR figures for any other line.

And while these are Dollar Tree exclusive…based on looking the up on the chain’s website, figures are something like 40 to a case. Forget that 6 to a case or 12 to a case nonsense of stuff at Target or such. These may be exclusive but they don’t seem RARE, and they’re certainly not one-per-store or something that’s disappearing in SECONDS to MINUTES from the store with crowds of people hanging out waiting for the store to open to get in and get ’em etc.

final_faction_cardback_kharn

I saw some $5+ individual figures listed by third-party sellers on Amazon, but that’s somewhat to be expected…being on that platform at all IS going to be third-party and marked up, since these aren’t just available for ANY store to order. (Though $5 + s/h while knowing these are $1 figures is rather steep and DOES technically constitute 500%+ markup from retail price).

But "scalping" and such is a topic for some other post.

These figures are apparently pretty new–from what I can tell, they’ve only been out since November 2020 or so. If your local Dollar Tree doesn’t have them in-stock, presumably they’re coming (or already sold through?). That said…if their site actually FUNCTIONS (it did not, for me, initially, and I’m actually glad it didn’t) apparently you can order certain quantities or full cases of the figures.

I "assumed" there was some whole "season" of multiple episodes out there…but from what I’ve found/seen, there’s really only 1 episode and then a gallery of the figures, and a gallery of the characters.

The episode is listed as "episode 1" suggesting more, but…time will tell.

For price, product, etc…even just a week’s novelty of hunting down these figures in these quantities and a random (if cheesy/laughable) mini-movie as made them VERRRRY worthwhile to me, and I’ve gotten MY money’s worth…even if I get no further Drones…or any more figures for the line, period.

But two particular characters from the cartoon that are not represented are Churro–the dog with a dog-mech, and the Kharn’s specific big-boss. Part of the appeal of these figures is they’re $1/each…but for a larger boss and a dog-with-mech, I’d certainly gladly spend $5 each!

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