BILLY, CHUCHILLO, EDWIN, CITY PREDATORS, JUNGLE PREDATORS, & THERMAL PREDATOR
I really can’t just do one Minimates review, now can I? That would be wrong. One of the newest additions to the stable of Minimates licenses is Predator. Seeing as they added Aliens last year, this wasn’t a super huge surprise, but it was still pretty cool to see it actually happen. Like Aliens, they kicked off the line with a set of single-packed ‘mates, prior to moving onto the usual two-packs. However, unlike Aliens, these singles were blind-bagged. I, of course, went all-in on said blind-bags, so I’ll be taking a look at the lot of them today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
All of these are part of the first series of blind-bagged Predator Minimates. There were eight unique Minimates in all in this first set, available in cases of 18 blind-bagged figures. The humans and the thermal predator are unique to this particular assortment, with the others finding their way into the first series of two-packs.
Billy is the first member we’ve received from Dutch’s squad of super-macho-men from the first film. He’s the squad’s tracker, which is a tad stereotypical, since he’s also Native American, but he never really steps into offensive territory, fortunately. Billy’s really only got one look in the film, and this is it. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. He’s got four sculpted add-ons: hair, vest, belt, and sheath. The hair and vest are both new to Billy, and they’re both fantastically sculpted, and pretty spot-on matches for Billy’s look in the film. The belt and sheath are both the same as those seen on Dutch; they’re both good sculpts, and it makes total sense to reuse them here. Billy features some great paintwork, all-around. The camo on his paints is pretty well handled, and the face looks sufficiently like Billy; it’s definitely got that terrifying stare down. Under the vest, there’s a fully detailed torso, which even features the wound from where Billy slashes his own chest before his stand-off with the Predator towards the end. That’s an awesome touch! Billy includes an assault rifle, a machete, a small knife, and a clear display stand.
Well, now we can officially add Danny Trejo to the list of people who have Minimates, which is pretty cool. Oh, right, I should probably talk about the actual character, Chuchillo. He’s Danny Trejo’s character from Predators. He’s pretty much the same as any Danny Trejo character, but this time he’s fighting Predators. That’s about it. Chuchillo has one add-on piece, for his hair, which is re-used from the Marvel Minimates Series 42 Thunderstrike figure. It’s a decent match for Trejo’s hair from the film, so it’s a fine choice. Everything else here is done with paint. The detail work on the various parts of the figure is all pretty sharp, and the Trejo likeness is absolutely spot-on. There’s no denying who this guy is, which is good, because aside from the face, he’s just a dude in normal clothing. Chuchilllo is packed with a sub-machine gun and a clear display stand.
I can honestly say, I never expected to get a Minimate of Topher Grace’s character from Predators, and certainly not in the first assortment of characters. Guess that’s why he’s the one-per-case figure. This is actually Topher Grace’s third Minimate, as he got two previous ones via the Spider-Man 3 ‘mates. Edwin has two sculpted add-on pieces for his hair and his hood. The hair is the same one that was used for all of the Dutch ‘mates, and the hood was first used on Walking Dead Series 2’s Amy. They’re reasonable enough matches, though Edwin’s hair was a little spikier in the movie. Edwin’s paint is perfectly reasonable from a purely technical standpoint; the colors are pretty good, and all of th various detail lines are well-handled. Unfortunately, he’s just another guy in totally normal clothing, and unlike Chuchillo, he doesn’t have a spot-on likeness to sell him. I really can’t see any Grace in there at all. Edwin’s only accessory is a clear display stand.
Now, we finally get to the actual “Predator” Minimates, starting with the main creature from the first film, the Jungle Hunter. There are two versions of the Jungle Hunter in this set: masked and unmasked. They’re pretty much the same, the only difference is the head. The unmasked version is more or less the same as the Battle-Damaged version; the only real difference is the paint and the addition of the plasma caster on his shoulder. The masked version obviously gets an all-new head, in addition to the plasma caster. While I do tend to prefer the Predators masked, I’m not sure I like the masked head quite as much; the dreds seem a little shorter, which looks a little goofy. The paint on both of these guys is pretty good (and mostly identical). The figures (obviously) lack the blood detailing of the battle-damaged version, but they also lose the gold rings from the dreds, which is sad to see. Both Predators are packed with a clear display stand.
THERMAL JUNGLE PREDATOR
There’s one more Jungle Hunter variant in this set, though this one’s a fair bit different than the other two I looked at. Sculpturally, he’s the same figure as the basic masked Jungle Hunter. The real change here is the paint, which is wildly different from the rest of the Predators we’ve seen. This one is meant to depict him as though he were being viewed through the Predators’ signature thermal vision. Now, why the Predator is looking at another Predator, I can’t begin to tell you (apparently it’s from a video game), but I honestly don’t care, because the end result is this pretty sick looking Predator variant.
Say what you will about Predator 2, it didn’t disappoint on the main Predator design. While the City Hunter isn’t quite as much of a classic as the Jungle Hunter, it’s still a pretty strong look. The City Predator has six sculpted add-on pieces for the shoulder armor, belt/skirt, hands/gauntlets, and feet, as well as non-standard pieces for the head and upper left arm. Surprisingly enough, absolutely none of these are re-used from the Jungle Hunter, which is nice, since they’re designs were different in the movies. If anything, I’d say the City Hunter translates a little better to the ‘mate aesthetic. Unlike the Jungle Hunter, the basic City Hunter’s masked and unmasked heads are both included with the same figure, and they are both fairly decent recreations of the source material. The overall paint on the City Hunter is quite good; the colors are nice matches and he’s got a ton of small detail work, which all looks amazing. However, my figure also has a substantial amount of slop on his left gauntlet, which is quite annoying. In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, the City Hunter includes a Kambi Stick and a clear display stand.
CITY PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED
Of course, even if the normal City Predator has both masked and unmasked heads covered, we can’t very fairly leave him with only one variation in this set, right? Enter this version. Unlike the Jungle Hunter, the City Hunter actually takes a fairly substantial beating over the course of Predator 2, including losing a hand about ¾ of the way through. So, this figure showcases the character as he’s seen in the last quarter of the film. Structurally, he’s mostly the same as the regular version, albeit with an all-new stump piece in place of his left hand. It’s the same as the normal piece, just cut off before the hand, as it should be. His paint is also mostly the same, with a few changes. Obviously, there’s the green blood splattered all over the place, to indicate he’s been damaged, but he also is sporting the breathing apparatus he wears while fixing himself up, after losing the hand. I actually don’t remember it all that well, but it’s been shown on a few of the City Hunter toys. It’s a cool feature, and it helps to differentiate him from the other City Hunter, so it works well. Unlike his pre-battle version, this figure’s only accessory is a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Since I wanted a full set of the figures included here, my best purchasing option was buying a whole case of these guys. Fortunately, Edwin was the only single-packed figure, which meant I got two mostly complete sets, allowing me to split the case with my buddy Tim. Ultimately, I think getting a complete set is the best way to get these guys. On their own, there are a couple of figures here (Edwin and at least one of the two basic Jungle Hunters) who might be a bit disappointing. However, as a full set, the lesser figures are easily balanced out by some really strong figures. Billy, the Thermal Pred, and the City Hunter are all really strong figures, and the rest are well enough made to make the whole set feel pretty cool.