Hot Toys AvP:R "Wolf" 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."

I don't know how he's doing it, but somehow Jeff is keeping up with all the latest Hot Toys releases.  Tonight he checks out another of the new Predator figures - what's the scoop, Jeff?

Well, last week I covered the PredAlien, my personal favourite of the three AvP: R figures so far, but following up a close second is this guy ‘The Wolf’, as I said last time, named after the ‘cleaner’ character Harvey Keitel played in Pulp Fiction.

Now the Preds in the first AvP were built like Mike Tyson, the Preds in the original and Pred 2 were more of a Mohamed Ali build, but this guy is more like the Bruce Lee of the predator world, lean, mean and vicious to the core.

In the movie we first see him on the Predators home world, picking up the distress signal from the Pred ship that crashes on earth, within seconds, like a trained assassin he’s assessed the situation, chosen the tools, weapons and armour he’ll need and has boarded his ship and blasted off to neutralise the situation (it actually turns out he didn’t assess the situation quite as well as he could have… but he’s still pretty cool, well for a butt ugly Predator).

Packaging: ***1/2
The box is in it’s construction the same as all the Pred boxes that came before, metallic slip sleeve, flap fronted, loads of neat pics, yadda, yadda, yadda!

But then you slip the vac formed trays out.

Hot Toys Predators, Mmmmm, its construction time!

I know some don’t like it, I know some are down right terrified of it, but now into my 5th Predator, I love it!

Each Pred brings with it, its own set of challenges. With AvP Scar everything was a challenge, it took my Pred ‘cherry’ if you will, so putting it together was a task taken cautiously. Then came Pred 2, his trunks (or at least doing them up) and getting the knee guards on was the poser here, and lastly the Pred 2 Elder… shin guards… say no more!

But this time around it was a cake walk, I almost felt cheated that I didn’t swear, throw something or want to shed a private tear at any point.

I did choose to warm the plastic loin cloth before trying to struggle it over his hips, and I fiddled a little getting the thigh armour as tight as I wanted, but it was all pain free and pretty straight forward, I didn’t even break the instructions out till I needed the springs (admittedly, that’s because I didn’t spot them at first in my excited frenzy to build the beast). The only modification needed was to take some fine string or thread and loop it through the front of the netting shirt then loop under the groin and thread through the back as well, this stops it from riding up when posing (STOP PRESS! I just found a length of black elastic in with my instructions; this is obviously for tying the netting suit down).The instructions also say you need to tie the strings to the belt, you don’t they come already applied.

To hang the whip I just slotted the barbed hook through one loop and the handle through the other, job done.

Sculpt: ****
The over all design of this figure seems to have again divided people. He’s a smaller frame with a more wiry physique. But it’s this very difference that makes him look so cool next to the other Preds, and exhibits, that like humans, these guys come in all colours, shapes and sizes.

The body has quite a few modifications to suit these new characteristics. The tops of the arms have been remodeled and the shin armour and gauntlets are now sculpted onto the limbs to heighten the streamline look. The paint and modeling on these is still up to HT usual standards, my only slight misgiving is that the blade gauntlet can no longer spin/twist on the arm so you can’t get the blades to face forward, as they are permanently side mounted. The tops of the legs where they meet the groin have been re-designed as well, it’s still a ball joint but much better hidden.

Now on to the juicy part, the head. This is up there with the Pred 2 Elder in my opinion, a fantastic bit of sculpting by Pan Mak and LM Ray (who did what bits, I don’t know, but they did a great job) that really showcases how far things have come at HT since the first AvP, Preds release. Nothing short of astounding, the detail on the ‘unharmed’ side of his face is great but the acid scarred side is even better, he’s obviously lost a tusk and mandible in a previous Xenomorph encounter and the detail as it goes into his mouth is breathtaking, the dreads are again like the Pred 2 figures, i.e. soft and rubbery, but the angle at which they turn down from the head as soon as they come out is even more acute, making them appear even weightier, and streamlines the heads silhouette when viewed from the front.

He also comes with three hands, two right (one in a whip gripping position the other a general grip for the spear etc) and a left in a relaxed position. All are sculpted well showing his textured Pred skin and studded armoured panels.

A lot of his outfit and accessories are sculpted too, but more on that later.

Paint: ****
Because of his Harvey Dent like, Jekyll and Hyde face… what am I saying, Hyde and ‘Hydier’ face, he needed a paint job to show the difference between his normal Predator complexion and the scarred and pitted side ravaged by acid, and these paint apps do that fantastically. The normal side is a buck skin/beige colour, and the scarred side is more of a green/pond scum colour. The fine detail work inside the mouth, on the tusks and gums is phenomenal, as is the work on the eyes. His right ‘undamaged’ eye is dark with an orange/yellow iris where as his damaged left is milky, you can see it has been fully painted and then over-painted with the opaque white, which makes for a very convincing effect.

Like all the previous Preds his whole body is painted to show his unique colouration and markings. And the work on the shins and gauntlets, where flesh buts up to leather and then in turn metal is executed crisply and with a high degree of realism. I could spend another hour trying to describe the intricacies of this paint job, but I’ll let the photo’s do some of the talking, suffice to say these are outstanding paint apps on a very complex figure.

Articulation - ***1/2
The Preds have what is basically a True-Type translated and sculpted into a Predator, so you get a great range of articulation when naked, but the solid armour and attached accessories can hamper the movements a little.

The major mods on this figure are the revamped shoulder and groin joints and the inclusion of the lower arm and shin armour as an intrinsic part of the body sculpt. So as long as you stay aware of his more fragile areas, like the twin shoulder cannons and wrist blades you should find he poses pretty well. I found the redesigned ankle means it’s more difficult for him to lean forward but I still managed to get him to stand unaided fine, any extended shelf display and the supplied stand might come in handy though.

I’ve included a small mpeg showing (rather out of focus I’m afraid) reference of how some of the articulated elements work.

Accessories: ****
Like his Predator brethren, he comes with some nice goodies. You get his helmet, extendable spear, whip, rolled whip (for attaching to his belt), 2 plasma cannons (with multiple joints and articulated elements), bandolier, shuriken (throwing star) and his stand. There are other bits and pieces but it’s kind of tough deciding what’s accessory and what’s outfit. The cannons for example are attached to his chest/shoulder armour, and his blade gauntlet and wrist detonator are permanently attached, like wise he has a couple of ‘retracted’ shuriken permanently hanging from his belt. Suffice to say, the fully kitted up ‘Wolf’ looks pretty amazing and is packed to the gills with his kit. The laser triangulating trip wires (does that describe them OK?) are also permanently attached to his bandolier, as is his ’magic‘ alien disintegrating liquid dispenser.
But will we see another ‘Wolf’, an ‘Uber-Wolf’ if you will. I’d like to see him with roaring mandibles and the sadly missing large ‘cleaner kit’ you can see in this link here.
Perhaps they’ll give us a hand held plasma cannon, opening medi-kit and even a PredAlien chest burster wouldn’t go amiss either.

But this is just me surmising, we might never see another.

Outfit: ***1/2
His outfit is pretty minimal like the Pred 2 and Elder, so it means articulation isn’t too restricted. The loincloth is made from sculpted soft plastic/rubber and it just hangs front and back, there’s nothing going round underneath the groin, he is in effect going ‘commando’. The belt is part of the loincloth and from this hang the two retracted shuriken and the strings for hanging the whip from. The gauntlets and shin guards were covered earlier as they are permanently sculpted to the limbs. The right gauntlet has the classic retractable blades and the left has the opening control panel and bomb detonator.

So the other ‘separate’ garments are the netting one armed torso suit. After putting this on I recommend you tie it off under the groin with the elastic supplied to prevent it from riding up. We then have knee guards, thigh guards (you’ll have to tighten the pleather straps on these), a shoulder guard for the left arm and the chest/back armour (this comes apart at the pack like the Pred 2 armour and all slots together pretty easily). Then slip the bandolier over followed by his collar and bone necklace and you’re nearly there. Now just pop the head on (a little steam or hair-drying is always advisable here, not essential but advisable).

Now get the springs out of the instructions bag. The smallest goes from the chest panel to the left shoulder amour, the two longest go from the mask around to the back of the armour under the left plasma cannon and the four medium sized springs are for the cannons when in an upright position, two go on the rear of each. Once all this is in place you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll people.

The outfit all looks very screen accurate to me and the only reason for keeping from a full mark is that as I said above, having seen how well HT carried out the Pred 2 Elder, I was hoping the loincloth and strapping might be pleather, they’re not, but they’re still executed beautifully.

Fun Factor: ***1/2
Hey, it’s another cool HT Pred to stand with your other cool HT Preds, what’s not to like?
Admittedly the Pred 2 Elder is still my favourite, but this guy certainly looks the meanest and also looks great slugging it out with the PredAlien.

Throw some great articulation, sculpting and accessories into the mix and you have a great figure from any angle.

Value: ***
This figure was retailing through SST for $149.99, but has sold out. For that price you get a nicely finished and well accessorised figure, but had it been nearer the $120 mark I’d have given him an ‘in many ways’ much deserved four stars, but that extra $30 just keeps it from that score.

Overall: ***1/2
The only real downside to this figure is its price, by no means extortionate, but neither a down and out bargain. It’s a price that serious collectors have gotten used to, so you pays your money and makes your choice.

There will always be some hard-core Predator fans to whom this hasn’t quite measured up, because of some obscure detail oversight. But to me it looks like a very impressive and fantastically sculpted figure. I guess a fabric loincloth and more real ‘pleather’ strapping might have been nice, but the sculpting and fabrication on the plastic sculpted elements is so well carried out, only the most disgruntled trained eye could find too much at fault. 

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

Where to buy-
SST has sold out on pre-order at $149.99. I get the distinct feeling having trawled the various 1/6 collector boards, that of the three AvP: R figures this guy is pretty popular and so is going to disappear the fastest, as even one of Michaels sponsors that I usually site has already sold out on preorder-

Dark Shadow - was $149.99 sold out

Corner Store $134.99 pre order

Amazing Toyz $134.99 pre order

They are also showing up on eBay for between $135 to $170, happy hunting.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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