"I have carefully worked to preserve my collectibles over the years, sometimes even putting an item under glass. I finally got that message, "Don't take it out of its original packaging!"
But not with Kenner ALIENS:
This is my hive. Note the complete lack of packaging! The first Alien to begin this hive is appropriately the Deluxe Queen (bottom left), purchased in 1992. I was 12. These variations of the xenomorph (based on Dark Horse Comics after Alien 3) were my introduction to the Alien franchise. I still remember the moment some kid showed me a couple after school one day. "Where are the eyes!?" I was hooked.
I finally took it upon myself to grow the hive. I was fortunate enough to win three missing xenomorphs from "The Amazing Toyland" in Ohio. The box arrived on February 27, 2012.
Opened! Note the considerate packaging.
There is some aspect of having all these different xenomorphs that is thrilling to me. With the exception of "Atax" (who is hiding within a xenomorph suit, I own none of the space marine characters (not even Ripley). It's all about the bug.
The Night Cougar Alien is freed first. I already own two Panther Aliens, which are the same toy, different paint job. I know immediately that the Night Cougar is superior, indicated by the packaging that calls his parasite "kamikaze" rather than merely "flying."
The Queen Face Hugger is next. I am wary of the Queen Face Hugger (as it seems to be pushing even the Dark Horse universe just a bit) but am immediately won over by its many abilities...
...which I need to consult the instructions to understand.
The Queen Face Hugger also comes with a mini Dark Horse comic (another added benefit from opening the package). The strength in Kenner's Aliens is the odd filtering of the source material. It is not a direct tie-in to James Cameron's Aliens but rather a tie-in to the Dark Horse Comics Aliens (which of course is a tie-in to James Cameron's Aliens). Confusing. What's awesome about Dark Horse (at least to a kid) is how they ran with the idea presented in Alien 3. Thanks to Dark Horse there's an expansive fictional science surrounding the xenomorph, including pure breeds and all these trans-breeds!
Finally. The King.
My immediate theory is that the King is actually a version of the "Rogue" featured in the comic also known simply as "Rogue." In this comic, scientist meddle with the xenomorph DNA and are able to produce a male creature, similar in size to the Queen. Their hope is that it will be peaceful and more susceptible to domestication. They all die.
Night Cougar is introduced to the Scorpion Alien.
The Queen Facehugger is placed next to the Killer Crab Alien. They have strikingly similar paint jobs.
And of course: Queen and King!
The new hive is up and running. At this point, there's only alternate paint jobs out there for me (And I'm pretty much out of room now anyhow)." -Paul L. Petzrick