#1863: Broken Tusk

BROKEN TUSK

PREDATORS (NECA)

“Mankind’s two ultimate nightmares come together in mortal combat, and whoever wins—we lose.  On the remote planet Ryushi, a small ranching community becomes an unwilling participant in a deadly ritual: extraterrestrial predators have seeded Ryushi with alien eggs in order to create the ultimate hunt.  But what the Predators don’t know is that an alien queen egg is amongst those they’ve sent as potential hunting stock, and when the Predators arrive, the hunters become the hunted amidst a monumental swarm of aliens, and they may need to turn to the very same humans they regard as little more than potential trophies to give them any hope of survival.”

Just over 1000 reviews ago, I had a brief discussion of the Alien vs. Predator movie.  From the moment Predator 2 revealed a Xenomorph skull amongst the collection on the Predator ship, the “Alien vs. Predator” concept has been out there, permeating just about every form of media.  While the movie was awful (although, it was sweet, sweet bliss when compared to its sequel), there have been a number of far more successful takes on the concept, including Dark Horse’s comics version, which actually served as a heavy inspiration for the movie, but is better in just about every facet.  NECA, always anxious for new venues for Predators to release, has slowly been adding various comics-based Predators to their ongoing line.  The latest is Broken Tusk, aka Dachande, the comic’s equivalent to the movie’s “Scar,” as a moderately heroic Predator that assists the humans in defeating the Xeno menace.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Broken Tusk is one of the three figures in Series 18 of the Predators line from NECA.  All three are based on the AvP comic, though somewhat adapted to the more realistic style of the rest of the line, which is sensible.  The figure is just shy of 9 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  He uses the larger and more posable style of body introduced with Series 14’s AvP movie Predators.  It gives them quite an imposing stature, and his articulation makes for a very playable figure.  The underlying sculpt is the same basic one seen on the others, with the armored parts being the major change-up.  Broken Tusk has a rather unique armor design.  In the story, he’s injured during the battle with the Xenos, so the humans have to help patch him up.  The end result is a blending of the classic Predator aesthetic (including a Jungle Hunter-inspired faceplate), with more utilitarian human tech worked in on the torso, and then a bit of found materials (including a very cool Xeno head).  As we’ve become accustomed to with this line, the gauntlets have extending blades on one side, and a fold-out panel on the other, which is always a fun feature.  As amazing as the sculpt is, what really sold me on this figure was the paint scheme.  In the comics, he’s colored in a more traditional Predator sort of sense, with lots of browns and greys, making him as a whole look quite similar to the standard Jungle Hunter.  Of course, that describes a lot of the NECA Predators so far, so this guy would have been just one fo the pack.  As cool as the sculpt may be, with those same colors, he might end up unfortunately forgettable.  So, instead, NECA’s played up the human-ally aspect of the character, and given him a color scheme modeled after the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  It’s pretty darn cool, and I love have they’ve even made the patterns on his skin look like the camo pattern from the Marine uniforms.  It’s definitely very clever.  Broken Tusk’s accessories further the melding of the styles, with his more Predator specific two-part staff, and a more human-inspired rifle as well.  Both weapons are very nicely sculpted and well fit to his hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m a more moderate Predator fan, but I’m a huge Aliens fan, so anytime NECA melds those two lines, I’m on board.  As soon as this guy was shown off (TWO Toy Fairs ago), I knew I wanted one.  It’s been a long wait for him, long enough that I’d thought maybe he just wasn’t coming.  But then, Series 18 just sort of dropped in my lap, and boom, here he was.  Fun’s a word I used a few times in this review, and it’s an apt description for him.  I just really like him, in both concept and execution, and he’s a fantastic accent piece for my rather expansive collection of Colonial Marines.

I picked up Broken Tusk from my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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#1597: Poncho & Cloaked Unmasked Predator

PONCHO & CLOAKED UNMASKED PREDATOR

PREDATOR MINIMATES

One of the best things about the original Predator was Arnold “Dutch” Schwarzenegger’s mercenary team.  They’re sort of like the uber macho man equivalent to the Colonial Marines from Aliens, a memorable pack of characters whose sole purpose is to make the alien look scary and tough when it kills them all.  Unfortunately, since Predator’s still mostly a Schwarzenegger vehicle, most of the merchandise tends to focus on him.  Thankfully, we have Minimates to swoop in and save the day, though, and it’s through that channel that we’ve been able to almost complete the team.  Today, I’m looking at my personal favorite member of the squad, Poncho, as well as another Predator variant.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Poncho and the Cloaked Unmasked Predator were released as part of the specialty assortment of Series 4 of Predator Minimates.  The Cloaked Unmasked Predator was packed with both Poncho and Anna, Poncho being the 3-per-case heavy packed figure, and Anna being the 1-per-case chase.

PONCHO

“Jorge ‘Poncho’ Ramirez was a member of Dutch Shaefer’s rescue team, and was able to speak fluent Spanish with prisoner Anna.”

Poncho is kind of a big deal, because he’s the last main member of Dutch’s squad to make into ‘mate format.  It’s fitting, really, since he’s <SPOILERS!> also the last member of his squad to get picked off in the movie.  Though not as bombastic as some of his squad-mates, Poncho’s always been my favorite because of his dry wit and slightly reserved nature.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for his hat/hair, tactical vest, belt, holster, and sheath.  Poncho’s add-on pieces are completely re-used parts, with the hat coming from Series 1’s Dillon, the belt being shared with his fellow mercs, the vast coming from Marvel Series 55’s Batroc, and his holster and sheath being standard parts.  Apart from his hair texture not quite matching with the movie (a very minor flaw, mind you), the re-used parts work very well, and do a solid job of replicating his design from the film.  Poncho’s paintwork is pretty solid as well.  The likeness of Richard Chaves is definitely there on the face, and the general work is all quite clean and sharp.  Poncho is packed with his HK94A3, Desert Eagle, knife, and a clear display stand.  It’s a little sad that the “explosives expert” doesn’t actually come with any explosives, but it’s a decent selection nonetheless.

CLOAKED UNMASKED PREDATOR

“A standard piece of equipment for any Yautja hunter is a full-body cloaking device, which renders the Predator all but invisible to human eyes.”

Remember when I reviewed the standard Jungle Hunter?  And his battle-damaged counterpart?  Well, this guy is the same as those two, just molded in clear plastic.  Woo.  In all honesty, he’s really not a bad ‘mate.  They actually printed all of his detail lines in white, which is certainly a nice touch.  As with the other Jungle Predators, his only accessory is a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked these two up during Luke’s Toy Store’s Black Friday sale.  I kept meaning to pick this one up, what with Poncho being my favorite and all.  He’s pretty cool, no doubt about that.  I can’t say I’m super thrilled about the Predator variant I had to purchase to get him, but at least I didn’t have to contend with the blind bags.  Now I kind of want the rest of the team.

#0843: Chopper Predator

CHOPPER PREDATOR

PREDATORS (NECA)

Chopper1

Alien vs. Predator is NOT a good movie. It’s pretty terrible from start to finish. However, it’s failure as a film is more punctuated by the fact that there’s actually a lot decent ideas (or at least the beginnings of decent ideas/concepts) that are completely dropped in favor of making the film as generic and forgettable as possible. One of the most disappointing aspects of the film is it’s handling of the second titular character, the Predator, or more accurately to the film, the Predators. The movie presents us with three unique Predators. They look cool, and their super imposing, and you’re super excited to see what they can do. But, they spend the first half of the film cloaked, and when they finally engage the Aliens, two of the three are taken out in the space of 5 minutes (by the same Xeno, no less!), leaving us with only the least distinctive of the three Predators to carry the rest of the film. Fortunately, NECA’s currently in the process of making super cool toys of just about every Predator ever, so the AvP Preds have gotten new life via action figures. Today, I’ll be looking at my personal favorite of the trio, Chopper Predator.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chopper2Chopper Predator is part of the 14th Series of NECA’s Predators line, which is the first of a handful of series (in both the Predator and Aliens lines) based on AvP. The figure stands almost 9 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Chopper uses a new base body for the Predators, introduced in this series, and shared with his two series-mates. This new body is much larger than previous Predators, and also offers a much greater range of motion and posability. The body is nicely proportioned, and it has a ton of really great texturing and fine detail work. Seriously, every part of this sculpt is covered in texturing, which makes him look really cool. While a lot of the body is shared with the other two Predators, Chopper does get a unique head, forearms, and plasma caster. The head depicts Chopper’s bio mask very nicely; the texturing on it really makes it look like the real thing. The “hair” is a little bit unruly, but it’s made from Chopper3soft rubber, so it can be managed.  The forearms are the real star here, since the large blades are what he takes his name from. The gauntlets have some fantastically ornate work on them, while still being nice and sturdy, and the left one even has a flip-up display. The actual blades are well-handled, and surprisingly sharp; they’re included in both semi-stowed and fully extended lengths, which is a nice touch. One of Chopper’s more distinctive elements was the pair of skulls mounted on spikes on his back, which this figure replicates as best it can. They’re included as separate pieces; one is slotted into the base of the plasma caster, and the other is supposed to pop into the little clip on Chopper’s back. I say “supposed” because mine included the clip included on Celtic and Scar, rather than the smaller unique clip that Chopper was meant to have. Chopper4Fortunately, a carefully shaped and cut twisty tie was enough to keep it in place! The actual skulls are just as awesomely sculpted as the rest of the figure, and replicate the in-movie look very well. Chopper’s paint work is another pretty great area. There’s some nice variance in the sheens of the various parts of him, with the skin being shinier than the armor and cloth. He’s also got some fantastic accent work on the armor, which gives it a nice worn in look and adds a lot of depth to the figure. There are one or two spots of bleed over, but the overall work is good enough that they don’t jump out at you. In addition to the two Chopper5sets of blades, and the skulls on spikes, Chopper also includes a Combi Stick (in retracted form), a pretty brutal looking knife, and a shuriken looking thing (which he can’t hold, what with having two fists. It’s the thought that counts!). That’s incredibly impressive given that prior Predators were lucky to get more than one accessory!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Despite not caring for the film, I’ve actually been anxiously awaiting this series’ release ever since they were announced. I was always bummed that Chopper was so under-utilized, and even more bummed when he was the only Predator left out of McFarlane’s tie-in line. I bought Chopper from All Time Toys, after catching their post on their FB page that this series was in stock. I’m so happy to have him, and he’s hands down my favorite Predator to date. NECA did an amazing job on this one!

NecaSnow1

 

#0824: Predator Minimates

BILLY, CHUCHILLO, EDWIN, CITY PREDATORS, JUNGLE PREDATORS, & THERMAL PREDATOR

PREDATOR MINIMATES

PredatorMates1

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

PredatorMates3Billy 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.

CHUCHILLO

PredatorMates4Well, 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.

EDWIN

PredatorMates2I 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.

JUNGLE PREDATOR(S)

PredatorMates5Now, 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

PredatorMates7There’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.

CITY PREDATOR

PredatorMates8Say 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

PredatorMates6Of 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.

PredatorMates9

#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

#0513: City Hunter

CITY HUNTER

PREDATORS (NECA)

CityHunter

For me, my NECA collecting is widely due to their current, super-awesome, handling of Aliens. That line is definitely one of their signature lines, but the line that really, truly defines NECA is their fantastic Predators line. The line first began as a tie-in to 2010’s Predators film, before gradually moving on to the designs of the creatures from the other films in the series. Like a lot of properties from the ‘80s, the Predator franchise has a really strong, really distinctive first film, before switching to films that are of a noticeably lower quality. Predator 2 definitely isn’t up to the first film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s really not the worst thing ever, and, more importantly, the main Predator design is really cool. So, let’s have a look at one of NECA’s versions of that character!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CityHunterWilsonThe City Hunter, as he is officially named, was released in the 4th Series of NECA’s Predators line. As noted in the intro, he’s based on the primary Predator featured in Predator 2 (there were actually quite a few secondary Predators featured.) The figure is just shy of 8 inches in height, with 24 points of articulation. City Hunter is appears here sans-bio-mask, meaning it’s after his first run-in with Harrigan, however, he still has both hands, so it’s before they do significant battle. Structurally, the figure shares a number of pieces with the Predators that preceded him, however, he has a character specific head, as well as some unique armor pieces. He also has a brand new pelvis, hips, and upper legs, as the figure is one of the first in the NECA line to sport the ball-and-disc-style hip joints that would eventually become standard for the line. Probably the best part of the sculpt is the figure’s head, which gives a great look at what lies beneath that Predator mask. The mandibles have been sculpted as a separate piece and glued in place, which not only gives the figure a great bit of dimension, but also allows for the mouth to be really detailed. Beyond just the head, every piece of this figure’s sculpt is covered with some sort of texturing or detailing, just like the prop-suit from the movie would have been, and it all looks pretty fantastic. City Hunter’s paintwork isn’t quite as good as his sculpt, but it’s not terrible. The colors all match up pretty well with the colors from the movie, and for the most part the paint stays where it’s supposed to be. The figure also has the appropriate sheens on his skin and armor, to help differentiate them, which is definitely cool. However, there’re a few areas with a bunch of slop, and, most notably, the painting of the fishnets is, at best, erratic. It results in an overall decent effect, but it doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. The City Hunter is armed with one accessory: the smart disc. While it’s not as cool as the Combi-Staff, the piece is significant in the movie, and it’s nice to see it here. He has a little trouble holding it, but it can be stowed in his side holster quite nicely.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting pulled into NECA’s Predators line with Dutch and the Jungle Hunter from the first movie, I hadn’t really planned on getting any of the other Predators. But, a re-watch of Predator 2 reminded me of how much I really liked the City Hunter design, so I ended up tracking this guy down on Amazon. He’s a really great figure, and he shows of the best qualities of the line very well. Now, if only there were a Harrigan to go with him!

#0156: Hive Wars Predator

HIVE WARS PREDATOR

PREDATORS (NECA)

HiveWars

I’ve looked at NECA figures before.  Most notably, they’re responsible for the current Aliens line, which I love!  I’ve yet to look at the line that really put them on the map, which was their very impressive Predator line.

HiveWarsBoxed2HiveWarsBoxed1Initially, the line started as a tie-in to the 2010 Predators, and was just the characters from that movie.  However, NECA ultimately transitioned the line into one based on all the movies in the Predator series.  This led to quite a bit of success, but there are only so many Predators in the movies, so as the line continues, NECA has to go to some different sources for figures.  Most recently, they’ve turned to taking designs from the Kenner Predator toyline from the 90s, which proves for some … different designs.  I’ll be looking at one of those figures today.

I don’t tend to mention packaging in my reviews, but I feel this one deserves a mention.  NECA’s gone to great lengths to recreate the original Kenner packaging, down to doing their own logo in a more Kenner style.  It’s really cool and almost made me think twice about opening the figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

HiveWarsvsXeno2The Hive Wars Predator was released in the 10th series of the Predators line.  He’s actually based on the sole predator released in the Aliens: Hive Wars line released in ’98 by Kenner.  There he was just called “Warrior Predator”, but seeing as that’s not the most distinctive name, NECA’s gone for more of a tribute to where he originally appeared.  H.W. Predator here stands about 8 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation.  Part of the idea behind the Kenner waves was that NECA could do some part reuse, but H.W. still has a new head, forearms, and calves, at the very least, possibly new hands as well, but I’m not versed enough in the Predator line to know for sure.  The figure seems to share he reused parts with the most recent release of the Jungle Hunter (Predator from the first movie for those of you not in the know), which works pretty well.  The new pieces are all very well handled, with lots of really great details.  I particularly like the arm blades and how much larger they are than any of the movie Predator’s.  The paint is perhaps the most essential piece here.  The unique color schemes are what really set the Kenner figures apart.  In H.W.’s case, that means a whole lot of blue.  It certainly makes him stand out from the rest of the line, as blue is a rare color amongst Predators.  The paint is pretty clean overall, with a decent amount of washes to bring out the sculpted details.  H.W. is armed with a shoulder cannon, which is a reuse from the Jungle Hunter and a brand new spear thing, which is very well done.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I got into NECA’s Predator line, I picked up Dutch and the basic Jungle Hunter. And that was all I was going to get.  Then, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get the City Hunter from Predator 2, so I got that one, but that was definitely it!  No way was I getting any more Predators.  I just didn’t need them.  I wasn’t going to falter on this one.

So, then I picked up this guy.  Yeah, it was a moment of weakness, but in my defense, he’s not technically a Predator figure.  He’s actually an Aliens figure.  And so far, I’ve been a completist of NECA’s Aliens stuff, so I certainly couldn’t pass this figure up in good conscience.  Yeah, that’s what I’m going with….

Predators