Stealth Predator

Back in the day, Kenner did a nifty line of Alien and Predator figures. Okay, so they don't really hold a candle to the sculpting, paint and articulation of the new line by McToys, but they were nifty for the time. They did have one thing the McFarlane line of Predators did not - a clear stealth version! It was a Kenner mail away, and one of the coolest figures in the line.

Not to be out done by anyone, we now have Todd's version of the Stealth Predator, also done as an exclusive, but this time to the McFarlane Collectors Club. The club costs nothing to join, and it's as easy as filling out a web page to sign up, so there is little excuse NOT to be a member. It went on sale April 29th (I believe that was it - the old memory ain't what it used to be) and even with a limit of 3 per person, sold out within a few days. The price was $10 each.

They shipped pretty quickly, and I received mine just today. You gotta admit, I'm pretty damn fast with the reviews - good thing it showed up too, since I didn't have anything else to put up tonight!

Packaging - ***1/2
The clamshells are great. This figure is a tad cramped in this small bubble, but I like the economy of space.

I also like that they went to the trouble of putting together a new insert, something they always do with their club exclusives. The insert proclaims this to be the Stealth Predator, and since the figure is based on the Movie Maniacs 5 deluxe set Predator, they even marked the insert correctly as 'series 5', rather than as part of the newest series.

Sculpting - ****
I had some issues with this particular Predator when it first came out in the deluxe set, but it wasn't with the sculpting. Now, as then, the sculpt is simply amazing. I'm particularly happy with the face and open mouth, but the detail work all across the body is excellent as well. This type of sculpting is what sets McToys apart from the

If I wanted to pick a nit, I'd mention the stance. Unlike the two MM6 Predator figures, this version has no leg articulation. The ankles turn, and there are hip joints, but you're stuck with the crouched pose of the legs.  It's not a huge issue, as he can stand fine on his own, but after getting to play around with the MM6 versions, the lack of leg articulation is much more noticeable.

Paint - ****
This is were I had the biggest issue with the deluxe set version. But you can't have paint application issues when there is no paint! Every piece of the figure is clear, including the rope holding his various trophies - they used nylon fishing string.  You could argue that the clear appearance hurts the sculpting, since it's harder to see and appreciate all the details. You'd be right of course, but then the clear aspect is the entire point of this figure. Here it works very well, and they've managed to avoid too much of the milky white plastic often seen around the joints. This is one of the most transparent of the many clear figures produced that I've ever seen, and I'm surprised that only in the ball jointed shoulders can you see the white plastic that is so common in the joints of other clear figures.

Articulation - ***
I actually gave the original figure a half star more than this for articulation, but then Todd went and produced the MM6 versions. After getting my hands on those and playing around with them, I can see more flaws in the design of this figure's articulation. Still, he's damn good, and had the legs simply been designed with a little more poseability, I would have been perfectly happy. He lacks the chest joint of the MM6 figures as well, but that's one that I don't find necessary.

Accessories - Bupkis
The base was the only real accessory that came with this figure the first time around, and so it's not surprising that we didn't get anything in this limited club exclusive. When it comes to the overall score, I'm not going to dock them too harshly because of it, but some might have a bigger issue with it than I.

He does have his trophy belt around his shoulder, and it is exactly the same as the original - still missing any human skull.

Additional Features - ****
This Predator has three additional features - his extending/retracting blades on his right arm, his moving laser cannon on his back, and his opening control panel on his left arm. All three work very well, and look terrific.

The blades are identical in style and quality to the ones on all of the previous Predators. They look good, and the mechanism works smoothly.

The cannon on his left shoulder is better than the MM6 versions, and is made of a nice solid plastic. It doesn't have the range of motion that those have, but doesn't feel like it's going to melt in your hands either.

The control panel is also better than the MM6 version, with a very solid lid and great hinge. The lack of this well done control panel on the MM6 Predator was a big strike against that figure.

Quality - ***1/2
I had included this category with both the original figure review, and the MM6 Predator review, and so I felt it was appropriate to mention here that I had no issues what so ever with this figure. No breakages handling him, and nothing fell off right out of the package, as can be the case at times with Mcfarlane figures. Still, be very careful with the retractable blades in his right arm.  They are very thin and can be broken extremely easily.

Value - ***
Sure, this is just a repaint of another figure, but I only paid $10 (plus shipping). Since I paid $10 each for the MM6 Predators - and some stores are selling them for $13 - I'd say the cost is comparable. Considering that this is a club exclusive, with a lower run size than the regular production figures, and it's clear (how can you not love a clear figure?), I'm giving it a slightly better value score.

Overall - ***1/2
I've given very few four star reviews this year, as I've raised the bar to match the excellent quality we're seeing from so many manufacturers. Still, this (and the rest of the Aliens/Predators) is damn close. Even without any accessories and at a ten dollar price point, he's a terrific looking figure. Perhaps it's just my natural tendency to like clear figures (I have just about every one produced), but I'm extremely happy to have this well done version of the Stealth Predator on the shelf. And if you think I'm getting to be too much of a Toddite, just wait for my Matrix figure review ;-)

Where to Buy - 
If you missed this one at the Spawn site, you're stuck with ebay or a local show. It is possible that they'll produce more, but you may not want to bet the farm on it at this point.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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