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Bad Blood and Enforcer Predator
NECA
01-21-15


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."
I would first like to give a big thank you to Michael for letting me write a guest review for his site, I’ve been running my own site, Mike’s Toy Blog for a few years now and I was in part inspired by his excellent site to start my own. This is hopefully the first of many guest reviews for the site.

The Predator: Bad Blood comic book series was a four part series released during 1993-1994 and also included a three issue prologue released in 1993; the whole story was collected in the Predator Omnibus: volume 3, first released in 2008. Having bought the omnibus in late 2012, this is how I first came across the story and characters that these two figures are based on.  


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The story revolves around a Predator that has killed other predators and while being chased down, after he has crash landed on earth and goes on a killing rampage, while eventually being hunted down by not only a special CIA Team, a team of mercenaries lead by an ex-CIA operative out to clear his name, but also being hunted by another Predator as well. With one hell of an epic final confrontation, the story was a great read and featured some excellent, but quite gory violence.   

NECA has been doing a terrific job with their Predator series, first starting with movie licenses and then moving on to making homage’s to Kenner’s line of Predators and now continuing that trend with Predators based on Dark Horse Comic’s issues as well. Although not every release is a home run, overall they are making quality predator figures. I’m reviewing two Predators from the most recently released wave, being the Enforcer Predator and the “Deluxe” Bad Blood Predator.

Packaging - ***
The two Predators come in standard packaging for Predator figures released by NECA so far, which is the clear plastic bubble and insert stuck to a card backer.  The use of the comic graphics and bright colours on the front really make it stand out; on the back there is a small blurb about the story, which is the same for both figures and once again excellent graphics from the comic. NECA do a good job of capturing a certain vibe for each release, whether it’s a retro vibe for their Kenner homage or in this case a more comic vibe for these figures which are definitely eye catching. The packaging did a great job protecting the figures from damage.

Sculpting - ***1/2
One thing I love about NECA’s Predator figures is the sculpting.  You can tell a lot of work went into creating both of these figures, especially for the Bad Blood Predator as he features a lot of newly sculpted armour parts, like his extra wrist blade or the skulls he has for his knee pads and other various pieces of bone. It all looks really good and quite close to how the Predator looks in the comic. The added pieces make him look quite bulky and increase his overall size when compared to Enforcer.  

Enforcer Predator features a new mask, but the rest of the figure is reused from the updated Predator 1 mould – not that that is a problem, it’s a great base body, there are still a couple of small tweaks, like the symbol added to the chest strap or the disc thigh armour  placed on the right leg. It looks a bit odd that there is a gap between the leg and the groin with nothing joining the two together; it can be a little distracting.

I’m not sure how many people realise this, but for the Predator’s head without the mask, there are a lot of components that go together to make the head complete, the mandibles, upper teeth and lower teeth as well as at least two parts of the head are all separate parts, this is something that always impressed me about the mask-less heads, that a lot of work had gone into them, something you might not notice at first glance.  

Paint - Bad Blood **   Enforcer Predator ***
This is where NECA can be hit or miss for me. I’ll start with the good, Enforcer Predator has great paint application, I love it when they use a plastic as the base colour and then add washes and paint on top for details and armour etc. For me this is when NECA’s Predator figures look their best. For the most part the paint on Enforcer is quite clean and crisp I like the brown dry brushing on the dreads to make them look like the comic character.

When they put too much paint on the figure, like with the Bad Blood Predator, it really makes it look worse then it could. The yellow base paint kills it for me, it’s thick and in some places a little sloppy and I feel it really hurts the figure. The details like the blood on the hand or chest look great and the markings on the head and chest are neat too. The armour looks like it could use a little more of a wash to bring out the details just a little better.

I really don’t know why some Predator figures are done one way and some the other, but I really prefer it when they use the plastic as a base colour and go from there. I think that’s when the figures look their best; it’s like day and night to me.  

Articulation - ***1/2
I  really enjoy playing around posing NECA Predator’s. I’ll be constantly playing with them and trying to find the best pose for a figure; it’s one of the things I think makes them so good, just being able to pick them up and fiddle with them. You can get both Predators into almost any Predator pose you would want and they will hold that pose with little to no issue in most cases.

I noticed however both Predators had issues with their heads. Enforcer’s dreads make the head want to pop off the neck post if you tilt it up too much and thanks to the bulky armour on Bad Blood you can hardly move his head much at all. I feel these are only minor issues and don’t distract from the fun I had posing them up.

Both Predators have different bodies but they both share the same or similar amount of articulation like ball jointed heads, hands and feet or double jointed knees for example.

Accessories - Bad Blood ***1/2  Enforcer ***
Both Bad Blood and Enforcer come with a good number of accessories; obviously Bad Blood, being deluxe, comes with more stuff. With both Preds the weapons are all taken from the comic, with Bad Blood having his sword, spear, trophies and one of his dreds that was cut off and Enforcer having his spear, throwing disc and med-pack. All of these accessories look great and the paint on them is quite neat as well, with little to no slop. You also get a couple of extra hands with each figure, which are mainly used to hold different accessories.

Fun Factor - ***
I’m not sure how many people remember the comic series these two are based on. However they both still look pretty cool and make great use of NECA’s two base bodies. Plus there’s nothing wrong with having a few cool looking Preds that stand out a little from the normal more subdued movie versions.

Value - ***
This is a bit of a tricky category for me, for those collectors who don’t know, if you want to buy something in Australia, you are pretty much paying double the price. NECA figures are normally cost between $35-$40 and don’t even ask about something like Hot Toys! So “street smart” Aussies will buy overseas as even with shipping and currency conversion it ends up being cheaper, then buying from a local store. I was much happier with $24 and $17 respectively, obviously the cheaper the better.

Things to Watch Out For -
Nothing too much to worry about, if you can pick one up in person it makes it all the more easier to choose the better paint application. Just be careful when putting some of the accessories on Bad Blood as getting those skulls and trophies on his belt can be a little tricky because the belt is so thin.

Also the hands can be a little hard to put in at first. I found it much easier when heating them up with a hair dryer first before attempting to change them as sometimes the ball joint in the wrist would want to move around making it a chore to swap hands. 

The one thing I really dislike about most NECA figures with ball jointed ankles is that they always get really loose really quickly. All my NECA purchases have had this problem and it gets a bit frustrating when one or more figures want to fall forward or backwards and take other figures with them.

Overall - ***
Both these Predators are great figures, although I feel Enforcer just pips Bad Blood overall in my opinion. If you are a NECA Predator fan it’s well worth picking these two up as they are great to add to your tribe. If you are a casual Predator fan I think these guys may be a little too niche; however they are still good if you want something a little different from the norm from your NECA Predators.  

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint – Bad Blood **   Enforcer ***
Articulation - *** 1/2
Accessories – Bad Blood ***1/2   Enforcer ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has them for $18 each.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $22 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other NECA Predators include the Water Emergence and Jungle Disguise Dutch, the Jungle Hunter Predator and Jungle Patrol Dutch, and their cool 1/4 scale original Predator

Of course, there's also high end Predator figures from Hot Toys, which are truly outstanding if you can afford them. Check out their City Hunter Predator, their Samurai Predator, or their Classic Predator from Predators. They also did their own sixth scale version of Dutch.

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Mike Richardson.

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