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Hot Toys Battle Damaged Predator

  

"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."

Jeff Parker, expert in all things Hot Toys, is back tonight to show us the latest release in their Predator series (Predator 2 to be exact), the Battle Damaged version.  What's the scoop, Jeff!

Thanks as always to Michael as we head into my fourth Hot Toys 1/6 Predator review. The first release of the hero Pred from Predator 2 was such a hit he sold out pretty fast. Then he was joined by the elder from the same movie, he sold out even quicker, in point of fact this new improved version has officially sold out on the SST website in both regular and their own exclusive version, but you can still get on the wait-list.

This review is more of an update on the new version, as it is in most ways the same as the classic predator 2 reviewed here.

But this time around he comes with some fantastic extras, apart from the fact he is battle damaged (BD) and all messed up with alien blood to show how Lt Harrigan (Danny Glover) kicked his ass, he comes with some even cooler accessories than last time as well.












Packaging: ***1/2
The exterior of the box is exactly the same as last time, apart from the addition of a foil sticker to let you know this is the BD version. Then the only other difference is with the internal vac formed trays, as he comes with more goodies this time theyíve had to rearrange everything to make space for the extras. So all in all, this box is another nice addition to the range (though it would have been nice to get some new pics of the BD figure on the box).

Sculpt: ****
Again this is about 85% the same as the last version, but he has some very interesting features. Firstly the closed mandibles can now be removed and replaced with some very impressive roaring ones. The swap over is very easy, and once done it looks pretty convincing and relatively seamless if pushed in well, this is a fantastic addition that I hope will be done on all Predators from now on!

Oh, hang on, there is only one main predator left to do, but I guess we might get AvP: R Wolf revisited or maybe some of the lost hunters.

He also has a new left lower arm, which is severed at the mid point slicing straight though his flesh and gauntlet, it shows a nice lot of green alien gore, thereís even a hint at where the bone and flesh differentiate. Mmmmm, alien gore, nice!

There is also some superfine detailing on the sculpting for some of the accessories, but Iíll get to that later.

Paint: ***1/2
Very little has changed here, I still maintain that for a factory paint app the head is great, though I also have to admit Iíve seen some amazing work done on him by customisers, youíll find some fantastic work by Les Walker and others here.

So whether you look upon it as display ready, box fresh (as I do), or as a starting point for your repainting, either way there is some outstanding detail work on the paternation.
The only new paint apps are the splashes of green blood on the base body, mandibles/mouth and the armour, if only it glowed!

Here are some great shots of him with factory paint apps, thanks to Maulfan over at SSF for these. And some incredible work from Edwint here. If they donít make you want one, nothing will!

Articulation - ***3/4
This is exactly the same base body as last time, so as I said then. We have a ball jointed neck post, ball jointed shoulders on a swivel shoulder blade mechanism, spinning biceps, double elbows, universal wrists, chest/stomach, waist, ball hips, double knees and universal ankles.

At first the articulation seems pretty hampered, especially at the hips by the trunks and thigh armour panels. But if you sit and play with him a while and get a feel for how far you can push things, Iíve come to realise you can get him in much deeper squats than I first thought, but proceed with caution at all times. 

Accessories : ****+
Basically everything he had last time, and then some, so go read the old review for the standard set up, and then tag this on.

As I said above you get roaring mandibles and a severed arm stump, but those are additions to the basic figure, as far as actual accessories go we get an opening medi-kit (last time it was fixed shut) the attention to detail in the (sadly non removable) tools inside is amazing, then we get a breathing mask and hose (it goes round the figures back and attaches to the armour) it stays on the face pretty well, but looks best if you use one of the hands to keep it pressed tight. Then we get to my personal favourite accessory, the alien skull, this was worth the admission price alone. I would love for HT to start doing dioramas or expansion packs (a la SST) as a full Pred trophy cabinet would be freakin great, but for now this has made me a happy bunny.

Plus as an added bonus if you get the SST exclusive, you get an extra battle damaged helmet as well.

Last time round I gave this guy a well deserved **** stars, what to do now, I guess like a teacher the best I can do is stick a + at the end.

Outfit - ****
This is all the same as last time as well, unless you count the damaged severed gantlet (but thatís non removable) or the BD exclusive SST helmet, but all the items are exceptionally crafted as always.

I found when dressing the figure the knee guards now slip on a lot easier. I also found the trunks are a lot better with the belt going around the back being a smidgen longer and the clasp/peg on the front of the chest armour can now be opened (last time it was welded shut) so fitting that is now also easier.

Fun Factor: ****
This is another Ďcollectorsí item, not a toy, and though I found him easier to put together this time, it is still to be approached as a model kit and afforded the same respect in terms of its fragility.

Donít worry itís not gonna fall apart in your hands, but neither can you treat it like a GI Joe.

Just put him together carefully, get into the pose you want, put him on a shelf and enjoy.

Value: ****
Last time I gave him ***1/2 based on a price of $130, I have him listed below from a couple of Michaels sponsors for $117 at that price with this many extras itís the next best thing to a bargain.

Canít see them being around for too long though.

Overall: ****
I guess HT realised that with the version 1 selling so fast another was needed, so some people who bought the first one will be a little annoyed that a better version has hit the market just a few months later. Iím becoming something of a Predator and Alien completist and that xenomorph skull really swung it for me.

So we get great sculpting, nice clean paint apps, movie accurate outfit and a ton of accessories with BD extras. Outstanding.

Your only problem now is do you jump on the first release of a character you want risking a better version coming out later, or do you hold fire risking they donít revisit the character and the originals price sky-rocketing on the secondary market, and that Iím afraid is up to you.

The only consolation I can offer is that Iíve seen people splitting up a lot of HT figures and parting out as separates on eBay, the prices individual pieces go for is astounding, so I guess thatís an option if you want to re-buy. 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***3/4
Accessories - ****+
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ****
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
As I said above SST have officially sold out on pre-order where he was $129.99, but you can still try their wait list. Or try some of Michaels sponsors below, there are some great prices there.

Amazing Toyz $116.99

Dark Shadow $117.00

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!

 


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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