Packaging - ***1/2
I think I've beat the clamshell horse to death at this point. Then re-animated him and beat him to death again. Still, if McToys would just spend a little more time on the text of the inserts...
Sculpting - ***1/2
The first version of this figure garnered four stars in this category. While this one still shows the excellent detail work, it's really only the head sculpt that's new, and that is driving the overall sculpting score.
The head sculpt is solid, but this is masked version. Unfortunately, the masked versions simply aren't as cool as the unmasked. There's also far less detail to a masked head than an unmasked one, but what's here is nicely done.
The helmet shows a bit more pock marking than I'd expect in reality, almost as though the metal finish has been corroded. It's worth noting because it seems to have more texture than the rest of the armor, and on close examination doesn't quite match up.
Still, it's the usual above average performance from McToys. If we hadn't had the other Predator figures, and haven't seen the level of excellence rise from both McToys and other companies in this category in just one short year, he'd probably still be a four star figure in this category.
Paint - ***
The paint ops are a little better this time around, since we don't have the unmasked face with it's high gloss finish staring back at us. The mask takes care of that issue, but the overall body still has the gloss finish. The color scheme is darker this time though, making it a little less annoying.
The armor is darker as well, more of a pewter color. The details stand out nicely due to the use of a wash, and overall the quality is what you'd expect from McToys. There's supposed to be a bloody version, but I haven't seen it yet to be able to confirm.
Articulation - **1/2
The articulation isn't what it could be on this figure, as proven by Mcfarlane's own Predator 2 figures. He scores a half star lower than his ancestor in this category, because the bar is always going up, and because I've grown to dislike the lack of positioning with the right arm.
This version has neck (ball jointed, but with just a little up and down movement), shoulders, cut elbows, wrists, waist, ankles and hips. The right arm is unable to come in toward the body however, and the legs are forever frozen in a crouch. I didn't have any trouble keeping him standing though, once I found the sweet spot.
Other Features - ***
He has three additional features, for lack of a better term. At this price point, they are a very welcome addition.
The cannon on his shoulder is articulated, and can be aimed up or down. The joint is a little weak, but works fairly well.
He also has retractable blades in his right arm band, and they slip in and out with a simple lever. They look good, and the bright silver is a nice contrast to the darker colors of the armor.
Finally, his control pad in the left arm has a cover that opens. It's very solid and nicely hinged, unlike the version on the previous Predator 2 figure. It's my favorite extra feature on this figure (and on his predecessor), and is a hidden highlight.
Accessories - ***
Last time I complained "where's the human skull?" Thank goodness we got one this time around! The skull is extremely well sculpted, with a nice, attached, spinal chord. It's painted in an appropriate blood red, and fits very nicely in his left hand, although the hand sculpt wasn't altered.
The rope 'trophy' belt that came with the original figure is still present, only this time it's an accessory. Previously it was already wrapped around his torso in such a way as to make removing it pretty much impossible without scissors. Now it can be carried or worn over the shoulder, but can't be placed around his upper body in quite the same way. It has all the same skulls, and not surprisingly, looks just as good as it did the first time around.
There's no base included, but one wasn't advertised with this figure.
Fun Factor - **1/2
This figure looks good on the shelf, but kids could have fun with it too. Not as much as they can with the more articulated Predator 2 figures, but there's still fun to be had. Give them an Alien, give them a Predator, and watch the conflict ensue! Who will dominate the Lego domain?
Value - **1/2
If this wasn't a redeco, at $10 he'd get at least another half star. But considering that 90% of this figure is already on my shelf, he takes a value hit. Obviously if you skipped the figure the first time around, you can add more to this score.
Overall - **1/2
If you picked up the deluxe boxed set, like I did, you're need for this figure will drop drastically. The head sculpt is different of course, but it's a masked version - do you really need another masked Predator? The unmasked are just so much better, and we already have the removable mask version from the Predator 2 set.
I almost went three stars here, like I did with the Alien. The Alien
has that damn ankle problem, but that MIGHT be limited to the one I
received. He has more sculpting changes than this figure, making him stand
out a little more on the shelf than this figure does. The overall score
was really a tough call, and in the end came down to the fact that while this
figure looks good, he's not that much different than what we've already gotten.
Still, the sculpting and paint ops are above average on the Predator, and the inclusion of the human skull and spine give this guy enough uniqueness to make him attractive to the hardcore Predator fan. Bring on the 12" versions!
Where to Buy -
Stores that carry the other McToys lines, particularly Movie Maniacs, should be getting these in. On-line:
- Killer Toys has them for ten bucks. They also have the other 12" and regular series AvP stuff up for
pre-order at excellent prices!