#2063: Dutch & Linn

DUTCH & LINN

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (NECA)

“Terror grips the city of San Drad as it is overwhelmed by a mysterious outbreak of aliens.  The cybernetically-enhanced Major Dutch Schaefer and Lt. Linn Kurosawa of the USCMC are surrounded by a swarm of Xenomorph drones when a pair of unlikely allies – Predators – appear and offer a temporary alliance.  Now it’s a battle to end them all as human and Predator join forces against unending waves of deadly Xenomorphs!”

In 1994, with the golden years of both franchises firmly behind them, Aliens and Predator decided to meet in the middle, and dive headlong into the world of Alien Vs. Predator, in all its shapes and forms.  While it would take us another decade to actually get a movie made out of that concept, one was in the works, and a script was drafted for a mid-90s release.  Capcom was contacted to make an arcade game to tie-in with the film, and when the film fell through, decided to go ahead and release the game anyway.  Players could choose between four playable characters on their trek to mow down Xenos.  There were two variants of Predator, and then there were Dutch and Linn, who I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Dutch and Linn are a two-pack release as part of NECA’s game-based Alien Vs. Predator line.  They hit shelves between the Predators and the Aliens, which I guess makes some sense.  Both follow NECA’s trend of video game figures filtered through the lens of pseudo realism.

DUTCH

Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer was no stranger to that whole Predator thing, being the main protagonist of the first movie and all.  He’s also no stranger to the NECA thing….being the protagonist of the first movie and all.  And, given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ’90s stardom, it’s no surprise that there were plans to include him in the film crossover.  Whether he would have actually been cybernetically-enhanced in the movie is anyone’s guess, but it was a cool game concept.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Unsurprisingly, this Dutch figure makes use of the molds from NECA’s previous Dutch figures.  As I noted when I reviewed the Contra figures that were also built on this body, it’s a strong starting point, and still remains one of NECA’s best bodies.  Dutch gets a new, slightly less Schwarzenegger-looking head, plus a new belt and knee/elbow pads.  And, of course, most notably, he gets a new right arm, replicating his big robot arm from the game.  Boy is this a thing of beauty.  It’s a clean sculpt, and it’s got working pistons and joints in all the proper spots.  It could have easily been badly articulated or overly fragile, but it’s neither one of those things, and it even manages to be pretty well balanced on the figure, so he won’t fall over as much as you might expect.  Man, is that a cool arm.  Dutch’s paintwork follows the usual NECA classic video-game trend, with actual painted shading and lighting, simulating the way the sprites in the game are painted.  It’s surprisingly subtle on Dutch, and adds a pop to the figure without making him look weird from non-highlighted angles.  Dutch is packed with an extra, slightly more relaxed hand for his robot arm, as well as a fire-effect piece to plug onto the end.

LINN

Lt. Linn Kurosawa was a brand new addition for the game, though given that she was given the Aliens connection, one has to wonder if at some point in the process she was meant to be a returning Aliens franchise character.  Whatever the case, she’s just as prominent in the game as Dutch, and a natural choice here.  The figure is 6 1/2 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation (including a balljoint on her pony tail; that’s pretty darn cool).  Though she’s a new character, she’s not all-new pieces.  She’s instead built on some of Pvt Vasquez’s parts.  Given they’re both USCMC, it’s s pretty sensible bit of re-use.  Like Dutch, there are still plenty of new parts, including a new head and torso, as well as new dressing for the arms and legs.  If Dutch is NECA’s best male body, Vasquez is their best female, so Linn’s got another good starting point.  The new parts are all pretty good, though she doesn’t have anything that immediately stands out the way Dutch’s robot arm did.  Still, a pretty solid sculpt all around.  The paint on Linn is certainly bright and eye-catching, though I did notice that it seemed a little more prone to slop and bleed over than Dutch’s.  You might want to keep an eye on that.  Linn is packed with a katana, and a handgun, with right hands to match each of them.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve not played the game these two are based on, but I’ve always liked the designs, especially Dutch.  While I passed on the rest of the game figures, I liked these two enough in-person that I didn’t want to pass on them.  Dutch is probably one of my favorite NECA figures, truth be told.  That robot arm is just so much fun!  Linn may not have the wow factor that Dutch is, but I didn’t feel like I was gipped by having to buy her as well.  All-in-all a very fun set.

I picked this set up from All Time Toys, where it can still be purchased here.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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#0793: Dutch & Jungle Predator

DUTCH – JUNGLE EXTRACTION & JUNGLE PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED

PREDATOR MINIMATES

Dutch&Pred1

‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, Ethan was…reviewing a thing not at all related to Christmas. Because it’s the day before Christmas and not the day of Christmas. We’re not there yet. But hey, what better way to get into a festive spirit than a super advanced species of alien hunters doing battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the middle of a jungle? It’s got all the conventional trappings, right? Well, okay, maybe not. But, ummm, Predator Minimates.  Those are cool! Let’s look at some of those! Because I want to, that’s why!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jungle Extraction Dutch and the Battle-Damaged Jungle Predator are the Toys R Us exclusive set from the first series of Predator Minimates two-packs, which were just released back in November. This set has the notoriety of being the only two-pack in the first series not to share either of its figures with the first set of blind-bagged figures.

DUTCH – JUNGLE EXTRACTION

Dutch&Pred3This isn’t the first time that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gotten a Minimate; he actually got quite a few of them back in the Terminator 2 line. However, this is one of the first three versions of Dutch (all packed in the first series of two-packs), so that’s neat, I guess. He’s based on Dutch’s look right after the first encounter with the Predator, right after he’s taken off his jacket, but before he takes off the tank top (seriously, the easiest way of identifying where you are in Predator is to see what state of undress Schwarzenegger is currently in). The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation, which are both standard for the line. Dutch has five sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, vest, belt, holster, and knife sheath. Most of these pieces are shared between the three Dutches. The hair and vest are definitely new, and the belt and sheath might be, but I’m not 100% sure, and the holster is the same holster we’ve seen a lot recently. Regardless of origin, the pieces are all very nicely sculpted, and they do a nice job of capturing the look of the character. In particular, the hair does a much better job of capturing Schwarzenegger’s look than the T2 ‘mates did, so that’s nice to see. Dutch’s paint is great in theory, but a little iffy in execution. The colors are great matches for the source material, and all of the detail lines look great. The Schwarzenegger likeness is pretty spot-on, and the face paint for the camo is handled with some pretty great subtlety. Unfortunately, my figure has a spot on both the torso and the upper right leg where the paint is missing, leaving the white plastic totally exposed. The torso spot is easy to overlook, but the one on the leg is really glaring. For accessories, Dutch includes a rifle, a handgun, a knife, and a clear display stand.

JUNGLE PREDATOR – BATTLE DAMAGED

Dutch&Pred2The original Predator, or Jungle Hunter as it’s “officially” known, has quite a few minutely different looks, which can’t all be conveyed by the same figure, necessitating a bunch of variants. Oh, what is a toy company to do? One of the noteworthy bits about the Predator was that it bled a vibrant green blood, which had a glow to it. It looked kind of cool and led to Dutch’s immortal line “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” At the end of the movie, the creature takes a fair bit of a beating at the hands of Dutch, which leaves it splattered in its own blood. It’s a somewhat distinctive look, so it makes sense to see it show up here. The Predator is built using non-standard pieces for the head, hands, feet, and upper left arm, as well as add-ons for the torso/shoulder armor and the belt/skirt. These pieces are all-new (though their shared amongst the various versions of the Jungle Hunter), and they do a pretty decent job of translating the design into ‘mate form. They aren’t perfect, and I’m not 100% sold on some of the design choices, but the overall look is pretty good. The paint work on this figure is pretty great, with plenty of texture work, and some awesome color choices. The bright green for the blood is also pretty cool, and it adds a nice bit of difference to the figure. The Jungle Predator’s only accessory is a clear display stand, but given the number of sculpted parts on the actual figure, this is somewhat forgivable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I picked these guys up at a nearby TRU (while looking for NECA’s 7 inch DC figures). I was already planning to get a case of the singles for the main Predators, but I knew I needed a Dutch. I figured this Dutch was as good as any, and the Predator wasn’t a duplicate, so the set was fun enough. I’m at best a moderate Predator fan, but I like these two well enough, and I definitely look forward to the rest of the line.

#0763: Jungle Disguise Dutch

JUNGLE DISGUISE DUTCH

PREDATOR (NECA)

DutchJD1

I love Aliens. It’s my favorite movie. NECA Toys has been making some pretty awesome toys from that movie recently. But, before starting on their awesome Aliens line, NECA took their first stab at total awesome-ness with the other big alien franchise from the 80s, Predator. They actually started things off with the franchise’s third film, Predators, before eventually making their way to the first two films. Since the Predator films came before a time when things like actor’s likeness rights for merchandise were included standard in actor’s contracts, NECA had to stick with the titular Predators. They did manage to get Arnold Schwarzenegger’s likeness rights, and promptly put out a whole bundle of figures of his character Alan “Dutch” Schaefer, based on his various appearances in Predator. I’ll be taking a look at his smelly, gross, oh-god-I-hope-that’s-mud covered “Jungle Disguise” figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DutchJD2Jungle Disguise Dutch was released in the tenth series of Predators figures from NECA. Series 10 was the second series following the addition of Dutch to the line, and was one of two versions of the character from this particular assortment. The figure stands 7 ¼ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. Dutch is based on his appearance during his final, one-on-one battle with the Jungle Hunter. At that point, he’s covered himself in mud in order to mask his body heat, to get the upper hand. It’s kind of a distinctive look for the guy, so it’s not a shock to see it turn up here. The figure uses the forearms, and lower half of Series 9’s Jungle Patrol Dutch. Those pieces were pretty good there, and the re-use makes sense, seeing as he is the same guy in the same basic gear. The head, upper arms, and upper and lower torso are new to this particular figure, and they are, simply put, fantastic. The torso and arms are very nicely textured, with all sorts of cracks and leaves and such. The strap hanging on the torso is a separate add-on piece, which fits well in place, and can be removed, if one were so inclined. The head is an area where NECA could have cheaped out and used the Patrol Dutch head, but they didn’t. The face has texturing of the mud, to match the torso and arms, and the hair is even properly plastered down at the sides. And, on top of that, the Schwarzenegger likeness is dead-on. The paintwork on Dutch is pretty awesome too. It’s got some great subtleties to it; there’s a whole level of detailing, below the brown of the mud. This is most evident on the pants, which have full camo detailing, with matches up with all of the other Dutch figures, below a thin layer of brown. And, he’s even got a bit of red on his lip, from where the Predator hit him. Seriously, the level of detail on this paint is super great.  Dutch is armed to the teeth, as is befitting of him from this sequence of the movie. He’s got his assortment of hand-made weapons, including a spear, a bow, three arrows, and a torch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I started picking up NECA figures, the Predators line pulled me in pretty quickly. That being said, I totally planned on limiting myself to just two figures: Jungle Hunter and Dutch. I ended up picking up the Jungle Extraction Dutch first (and he’s a fantastic figure in his own right), so I figured that would keep me covered. Then I got City Hunter and the Hive Wars Predator, and…my resolve kind of broke. But, this guy was expensive by that point, so I didn’t get him. I ended up finding him for a reasonable price at this past Shoreleave, and my Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on buying him for me. So, now I have him, and he’s really, really cool. Easily one of NECA’s best.

DutchJD3