Predator Mez-itz

Our favorite college bum, Sean Teeter, is back tonight with a guest review of the Predator Mez-itz.  I have found myself liking the Mez-itz style more and more these days.  Take it away, Sean!

When I made the decision to add the first set of Alien Mez-Itz from Mezco to my collection, it took me about five seconds to add the Predator set as well. After all, we need to get ready for that Alien vs. Predator flick coming out later this year. Time to gear up boys and girls. It can’t be any worse than House of the Dead . . .

Packaging - ***
I was disappointed with the blister card packaging Mezco used on the Alien sets. Here they redeem themselves with a very nice trapezoid box. The front window shows the three different Predators off nicely. Each one has its own slot in the plastic tray and is packed in front of his accompanying display base. Plus, it’s collector friendly for those of you who want to take them out and put them back. The back has some graphics featuring the figures. The one thing missing from the package is these guys’ names however. According to the Mezco website, they’re the Hunter, Battle Ravaged Predator, and Big Game Predator.

Sculpting - Battle Ravaged Predator *** ½; The Hunter & Big Game Predator ***
While the main bodies of the Mezco Mez-Itz are all pretty simplistic, the devil’s in the details. All three have the same cylindrical legs, torsos, and banana arms with U-shaped hands. 

All three Predators share the same shoulder armor, hair, and back-mounted laser turret sculpts. The guns look really nice and are patterned after the one used in the original Predator movie. The chest armor is a little different on the Hunter figure, and is more like a set of shoulder straps as opposed to the left-side plating on the others. 

The head sculpts are different for each one. The Hunter is clearly from the second Predator movie, and has the more angular helmet with sharp brow ridges and vents behind the eyes. He still has the same shoulder gun as the other two however, even though it was different in the movie. The Big Game figure is based more on the original Predator, and has a softer sculpt and thicker ridges.

The Battle-Ravaged Predator gets a bump in the ratings because he’s the only one sculpted without his mask on. The sunken eyes and screaming mouth really work for him, and have some great detail, right down to the teeth. He has a great pissed-off look that’s sure to make him the bad ass among other mini-figs.

Paint - Battle Ravaged Predator *** ½; Big Game Predator: ***; The Hunter ** 1/2
Both the Battle Ravaged and Big Game Predators share the same basic paint scheme. They have a dirty wash on their bodies, silver highlights on their armor, and a black fishnet suit pattern painted on their legs, torso, and left arm. The Big Game hunter’s helmet has a nice dirty silver wash to it. There’s some bleeding on the body but it isn’t bad.

The Battle Ravaged one has drops of green blood splashed on his torso and left leg. And of course, the painted details of his head are much nicer than the other two due to his unmasked sculpt.

The Hunter seems a little blah in comparison. The dirty wash is only on his legs, and the fishnet only appears on his torso. His arms are speckled. Plus there’s some heavy bleeding to be found here and there.

Articulation - ***
In comparison to other figures like the Art Asylum Minimates, these guys are a little lacking in the movement department, but they do have some extras on them worth mentioning.

Each Predator has eleven points of articulation: ball hips, cut waist, ball shoulders, cut wrists, ball neck, cut gun base, cut gun turret, and a swivel on the shoulder gun itself.

Each of the body joints are slightly limited in movement due to the sculpt, and as usual these guys lack the knee and elbow joints found on other mini-figs.
The gun articulation is pretty nice however, and allows you to point the thing almost anywhere you want. 

Accessories - The Hunter *** ½; Battle Ravaged & Big Game Predator ***
Unlike the Alien set, each of these guys has they’re own little accessories in addition to their display bases.

The Battle Ravaged Predator comes with a set of wrist blades, his bladed Frisbee, the Frisbee’s holster, and a display base. The blades can snap on and off the little guy’s wrist pretty easily and look decent. I just wish they were a little longer. The disk is designed a little differently than the one it’s based on so that the Mez-Itz figures can hold them. Instead of having a series of holes for the Predator’s fingers, there are two large slots in the middle. The disk also has two gaps on the edges, opposite from each other. This makes it look a little like a circular double-bladed axe. The holster is really a little ring that slides over the top part of the Predator’s lower half, if you were to pull him apart. Since it is removable, I listed it here. All of these are done up in silver.

The display base is also pretty nice. It’s directly inspired from the end of Predator 2, when Danny Glover is on the ship and sees the wall of skulls from previous hunts, including one from an Alien. On this one there’s an Alien, a human skull and spinal cord, and another creature that looks similar to a Predator. Do they hunt each other? Who knows, maybe it was a paintball game that went awry . . .

The Big Game Predator also has the same weapons as the Battle Ravaged version. His base is a mound of human skulls. I personally think that the Big Game Predator should have been packed with the Battle Ravaged one’s base to live up to his name, but either one works well.
The Hunter also has the same weapons as the first two, but they’re done in bronze. In addition he also has his spear. The base is done up like the top corner of a building and has two stone bird heads protruding from each side. In fact, this appears to be modeled after the Predator Triumphant statue, also produced by Mezco. 

Durability/Quality - The Hunter **; Big Game and Battle Ravaged Predator ** ½
All three of these figures have the same basic problems: they pop apart pretty easily at the waist and shoulders. The Hunter’s hands are really brittle in comparison to the other two, as I soon found out. I tried popping his spear into his hand only to have the whole claw split down the middle. WTF? Cheap plastic does not make the College Bum a happy camper.

Value - ***
These guys are going for around $14 or so, and with the amount of extras they’re certainly worth it. They’ve been popping up at Sam Goody’s, Spencer’s, and Hot Topic anywhere from $14.99 to $16.99. 

I got mine at Tower Records for $12.99, an excellent price. Spend a total of $20 or more and you get free shipping!

Aisle Sniper has them for $14.99, as well as the Alien 3 pack for $11.99, and the Aliens 4 pack for $14.99. They also had the stealth version of the Predators in for $9.99, but appear to b sold out.

Overall - ***1/2
In the end I have to rate these three figures together as a set, especially since you’re not going to find them for individual sale in stores. Mini-figs aren’t for everyone, and I only picked these up because they fit in with items already in my collection. They display pretty well with the Alien sets out there, and have some fun little accessories. They also look pretty cool displayed alongside the McFarlane Predators, almost like they’re Predator Preschoolers along for the “Bring-Your-Child-To-Work Day” thing. 

I don’t foresee myself picking up any other Mez-Itz or mini-figs for the time being, but I thought that the Predator and Alien sets were worth a shot. I’m glad to see I was right.

Figures from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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