Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Dutch, Billy, Predator
Predator sixth scale action figures

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2009-06-29
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot ToysPredator Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Like any sensible, thinking, rationale male human being, I love Predator. It had everything you want in a sci-fi action flick - a fantastic monster design, some great action flick actors, and just enough plot and dialog to hold all the explosions and blood together.

When Hot Toys first announced they were doing figures based on the Predator films, I was as excited as everyone else. Ah, but then it turned out they were focusing first on the later films, and none of those did a whole lot for me. Oh, it's still a damn cool alien design, but I promised myself I'd wait until they got around to doing the classic.

Just like every other promise I make myself, I eventually broke it. It's all Jeff Parker's fault of course, for doing those damn guest reviews on all the various Hot Toys Predators they released. Eventually I picked up and reviewed the Lost version, and I managed to not go any further than that. You have no idea the amount of determination and self control that took. Or maybe you do.

But Hot Toys has finally gotten around to flick we all love - the original Predator. They have released three figures so far: the big bad himself, as well as Dutch (Arnold's character) and Billy (the Native American character played by Sonny Landham). I have my fingers crossed that we'll get Blain and Dillon before they're done.

Prices on these guys are all over the place. I suspect that SRP was around $160 each, but you can find Billy for under $120, while Dutch or the Predator might end up costing you more pretty soon - they are selling quick.

Dutch is becoming hard to find fast, but there's also an exclusive version of him, distributed by Sideshow. This version (reviewed earlier by Jeff Parker) includes the radio headset.

There's also an exclusive version of the Predator, again carried by Sideshow. It comes with a second removable mask (sans light up feature) that is not battle damaged. Both of these are sold out at the site, but you can get on the wait lists.

While this review is of all three figures, I'll be focusing primarily on the Predator, especially in the photos. Jeff Parker did a great guest review of Billy and Dutch, if you'd like even more info and photos on those two.

Predator Billy sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
Hot Toys never does BAD packaging, but occasionally the do something to annoy me.

Here, the Billy and Dutch packages look as good as usual, with nifty cover sleeves with great graphics and a decent text on the interior five panel box.

The Predator gets a bit of an extra special treatment, with an additional plastic slip cover over the regular sleeve. This cover is embossed with the shimmery appearance of a cloaked Predator. It's a cool effect, and certainly sets the package apart.

Unfortunately, this is one of those times they decided to go with twisties, and I hate twisties. You can't get four stars from me with twisties, sorry.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - Dutch, Predator ****; Billy **1/2
Let's start with the great - Dutch is amazing. If you're looking for a fantastic Arnie sculpt, this is it. Man, I so wish we were getting original Terminator figures from Hot Toys - could you imagine how good the Arnie T-800 would be?

This head sculpt is all Arnie at his best, with the trademark skin texturing and finely sculpted hair. The stubbly beard looks amazing, and the scale of the head to the oversized body is perfect.

Dutch has a sculpted skin over his articulated torso, but this isn't the first time Hot Toys has done that. However, they gave Dutch an all new sculpted chest, much larger than the usual, making it look much more like Arnold.

He has three hands, and these are sculpted with gloves. They work best with the gun and cigar, and they are a little too open to hold either the knife or machete particularly well.

Of course he stands great on his own, and is scaled nicely to fit in with other sixth scale figures, especially other Hot Toys lines.

Predator Dutch sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

The Predator is also a work of art. Here you have far more sculpting of course, with the armor and full body. The head sculpt looks fantastic, and the rough machined appearance of the armor looks perfect. The deadly hands are sculpted in a menacing pose, with a second right that's intended for a soft grip, and two fisted hands.

Unlike previous Predators, you don't have to put the mesh clothing and armor on this figure. That's a huge improvement, as assembling my Lost Predator was quite a chore.

Just like previous versions though, he comes with two sets of sculpted mandibles or jaws. One set is wide open, while the other has the fangs tucked in. The tucked in version works great with the included helmet, but the wide mouth won't fit under the additional armor.

While Dutch stands about 12 1/2" tall, Predator has an extra half inch on him. However, that's still a little shorter than the aforementioned Lost Predator. Although he's a smidge shorter, he doesn't look it, because his shoulders actually sit higher. He does not have the annoying long neck of the previous Predators, and that's a huge plus. The head sits much lower on the shoulders, and he looks far better for it. This means the sculpted soft rubber dreadlocks fill in around his neck and shoulders much better, leaving far less of a gap.

There are a lot of tiny parts here too, including small hoses and wires. Be very careful when working with him, as it's easy to damage something with too much force or a quick movement.

Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Then there's Billy. Some folks are going to say I'm being too rough on him, but for me his sculpt fails on two fronts.

First, this isn't Billy. Now, you may recall we had this same conversation back when Hot Toys did their Kane figure from Aliens. They couldn't get the actor's sign off on licensing, so the head sculpt couldn't look like the actual character. The saving grace there was that Kane came with a Alien covered mug as well, and most folks were going to use that head sculpt any way.

Here, there's no saving grace. The box says Billy, but this isn't Billy. It doesn't matter that there's a legal reason - if the box says Billy, the figure better look like Billy. If this is going t be 'some random dude who's skull was ripped out by a Predator', than the box should say that.

That means I'm docking them just as much for this head sculpt as if they had actually tried to make it look like him and failed. Yes, the intent is different - but the final result isn't any different.

If you don't mind that issue, then you should still have an issue with my second quibble - Billy lacks the usual attention to detail that Hot Toys gives their portraits. He has the usual smooth mannequin skin, and the lips, hair and eyes don't have the kind of life-like appearance that we've come to expect. Hot Toys has set the bar high, but that can be a double edged sword.

Billy only has the set of sculpted hands he comes wearing, and these are designed to work with the guns, not really the knives. He can manage to hold them, but it's not as natural as you might like.

BTW, I noticed too late that in a couple of the Predator photos his left mandible was getting a little loose from his face. That's my fault, since it can fit tight. I did find that it loosened up on its own as I was handling him though, so be careful you don't have one fall off and get lost.

I do have one complaint about the Predator, but it's fairly minor and fixable. The blades on his right arm were a bit bent in the packaging, but using some hot water I was able to straight them out.

Predator Billy sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - Predator ****; Dutch, Billy ***
If you have any of the previous Hot Toys Predators, you know how amazing the paint job is. They get the complex patterns on the skull and body down perfect, and manage to make the jaws, mandibles and fangs even more threatening than they already are.

I'm particularly impressed with the spot pattern on the skull of this version. It's not quite a perfect pattern, making it look far more realistic. They varied the edges slightly, as well as the spot size, getting that look just right.  I also really like the slightly translucent yellowish appearance to the outer fangs in both sets of mandibles. Clearly, oral hygiene is not big on their planet. Them again, kissing would be pretty much out of the question with a set of choppers like that.

Dutch's paint work is solid, but nothing like the best work that Hot Toys can produce. The hair line is a bit rough, and the eyes lack the sparkle and life-like appearance you expect from them. In fact, the pupils on mine are not quite round, with some slop from the white riding up on the eye. I was pretty surprised to see that, especially after just getting the Godfather.

Still, the skin tone is excellent, and the paint work on the beard stubble is amazing. They also got just the right amount of camo paint on his face, not overdoing it but still making it obvious.

And then there's poor Billy again. The thicker paint and heavy camo don't do a lot to help ease the slightly less than perfect head sculpt. On top of that, there's more slop here than I'm accustomed to with a Hot Toys product, including poor cut lines between the loose hair strands and the head band, and what looks like a glue spot or odd gloss area on the band itself. His eyes also lack any real life, and again, and the edges of the white aren't quite as clean as we've seen. Hot Toys has set the bar high in this category too - perhaps even higher than in the sculpting category. This is still B work compared to other companies, but it's not up to Hot Toys' own standard.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Articulation - Predator ***1/2; Dutch ***; Billy **
Now, before you get all freaky on me over Billy's week showing here, understand it's because he had a wrist peg snap off right out of the box. If that hadn't happened, he would have score almost as good as Dutch. But it did, and I have to take such things into account. It doesn't help that snapping wrist pegs seems to be a bane for Hot Toys, and this is at least the fourth time I've had it happen with one of their figures. At this kind of price point, it's simply not acceptable.

That being said, Billy's articulation worked pretty well considering the upper body rubber suit. He has the usual excellent Hot Toys articulation underneath there, but the torso is limited at the shoulders, neck and elbows by the thick 'skin'.  Since Billy's arms are exposed, it does help his appearance, but you do have to be careful when posing him. Extreme poses of the shoulders or elbows could result in tearing the skin, and the figure comes with a little instruction paper that warns you of the possibility.

Dutch has the upper body skin too, but he has a modification - his shoulders are not covered completely. The skin is a separate piece on his torso and arms, allowing the arm to fully turn. You still have to be careful with the elbows though.

He also has the same giraffe neck we saw previously with the Hot Toys Rocky. It looks fine fully dressed, but strip him down and it's a bit too obvious. It's one of those situations where you can't have everything - look good in the clothes and have a long neck without them, or look good without them, and have a stumpy looking neck when he's dressed. I'm going to be keeping Dutch fully dressed in my display, so I don't mind the long neck, but your mileage may vary.

The articulation on the Predator is top notch. As I mentioned earlier, the neck is shorter, but that hasn't hurt it's mobility. The other joints all work extremely well, allowing for deep stances and natural poses.The shoulder cannon turns and tilts, the blades slide in and out on his right arm, and the control panel opens up on his left. Not only that, but the cool backpack thingamabob is a separate piece, and pops in and out easily. It even opens up to reveal his medical kit!

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Accessories - Dutch ****, Billy, Predator ***1/2
Another outstanding set of accessories, with all three of these characters well loaded down.

Dutch does the best. He has his M16 with mounted pump action grenade launcher. The pump works, the magazine is removable, the front sight flips up, and even the side of the chamber opens up. The sculpt and paint are excellent - you couldn't ask for a better weapon.

Of course, Dutch needs more than that to take down enemies. He has his 1911 Colt as well, and the magazine is removable too. The scale is excellent, and the pistol fits perfectly in it's included canvas holster.

There's also a large bowie knife, and this goes in a sheath on his other hip. The holster has a fairly large tie down on his leg, with proper plastic buckle, but the sheath only has a thin elastic band that's tied off. Be particularly careful with it!

I don't think Jeff mentioned it, but there's also a small rod that fits in a slot on the front of the knife sheath. I don't remember what Dutch used it for in the flick, but I'm sure a savvy reader will let me know!

EDIT - Jeff did mention it, and it's the detonator!

The knife looks great, and also fits in it's sheath perfectly. The same can be said of the wicked machete style knife that Dutch carries on his right calf.

Dutch comes with two grenades that you can attach to his vest, as well as a second left hand that can be used for gestures...or to hold his cigar. Yes, there's also a cigar! And it can fit in his mouth too. Damn, these guys are good!

In fact, they are so good, that the pins can even be removed from the grenades. I'm telling you, this is the kind of realism you expect at this price point.

Billy has some reuse, including the same pistol, knife, one grenade and machete. He gets his own unique M16 sculpt, including a pump action shotgun mounted underneath, and again the pump works, the clip is removable, and the chamber opens on the side.

His machete holster is attached to his left hip, and instead of a regular holster for the pistol, he has a shoulder harness for it. The holster closes with velcro, which works far better than the usual strap.

He comes with a couple pouches, one large and one small, that can be attached to his harness, as well as two canteens in canteen bags. All the pouches, bags, pockets, etc are real and work just great.

Billy's sheath is a bit of a trick to attach to his harness. There is an included piece of faux brown tape, which you cut into strips and then wrap around the sheath and harness. No, I didn't to it to mine yet, as I can't display this guy for awhile. But if you check the reference pics in this thread, you'll see what I'm talking about. The fake tape is packed with the instructions on the back of the insert tray.

I almost forgot - in fact, when I first posted this review, I had forgot - but Billy has his juju medicine bag around his neck on a string as well.

Predator Billy sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

And while the Predator didn't use a lot of goodies in the first film, he has everything he really needs here. 

First, there's a new diorama style display stand. Yes, Billy and Dutch both have stands too, but theirs are the usual standard black base with name plate. The Predator gets one complete with rocks, stump, puddle of slimy jungle water, and ferns! It's a little small, but considering how good it looks, I'm not complaining. Too much.

You can attach the included support, but if you don't want to have the black stick running up his back, you can skip it and the base looks none the worse. That's because the connection point is well hidden down in the rocks.

In the articulation section I mentioned that the backpack piece pops out, and I consider this another accessory. Inside, sculpted and painted, is his medical kit used to fix his wounds. I hadn't expected this, so it was an excellent surprise!

He also comes with a blood drenched skull and spine, freshly torn from the body. The scale here is excellent, much better than the usual sixth scale skull.

Other trophies hang on two strings around his torso. These can be removed or adjusted to your preference.

He has three additional hands - two fists, and an extra right in mid grip. With these three and the two open hands, you can do quite a few poses.

Finally, there's his battle damaged mask. It fits tightly on his face if you either remove the mandibles or use the closed set. It does look a tad large, but that's somewhat expected. Masks on Predators are like sculpted hats on people - they always end up a little too big.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - ***
The regular version of the Predator includes a battle damaged mask that has a light up laser. Just like in the film, there's three tiny red lights to the side of the right eye.

This is accomplished with the use of two small batteries (included, but you have to install them this time), and a short wire which runs from the mask to the back. You'll thread this wire, very carefully, through his dreadlocks and plug it in. Then turn on the switch to on, and voila!

I did find this to be a bit too dim this time, much more so than past Hot Toys light up features. I may have bad batteries, or it just may be how the designed the light, but in any case, mine is less bright than it should be. It's also very easy to damage, or at least it seems that way. This is one that's nice to have, but I doubt I'll ever have him displayed wearing the mask.

Predator sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Outfit - Predator ****;  Dutch, Billy ***1/2
As I mentioned, the Predator comes clothed this time, so there's no need to add the body suit and armor. It fits tightly, is adjustable so that you can get more extreme poses, and much of it is removable as well. Both the sculpt and paint on the armor is just about perfect, giving it a worn, burnished look that's extremely realistic.

Dutch and Billy have excellent uniforms as well, with one minor exception. More on that at the end.

Both are wearing camo pants, and these snap at three locations at the waist, not just one. There's two snaps at the zipper, and a third a little way down the belt line. This third interior snap helps keep the pants very snug at the waist.

Dutch has on a cam tank top that is made from a stretchy material. It fits the 'arnie chest' tightly, and looks terrific. Over this he wears a brown jacket, complete with real pockets and properly scaled zippers (the one on the arm pocket even works). I did have a bit of an issue with the collar, as mine came out of the package pretty wrinkled and sticking out at an odd angle, but a quick iron over it and that will get fixed.

Over all that, he also has a vest with pockets and loops. This is held together with a couple small velcro straps, and these do have a tendency to pop open. However, the vest looks amazingly good, and the working pockets are a nice touch.

To keep his pants up, Dutch has a belt, as well as a second belt for his knife and gun holsters. Both belts work well, and fit around his waist tightly.

Billy doesn't have quite as many layers, but his outfit is still pretty damn cool. He starts out with his trademark hat, and this is one of the rare occasions where a sculpted head looks better wearing a separate hat than not. There's a thin elastic chin strap, which looks great pulled up around the hat itself.

He also has those camo pants and belt, but instead of a second belt for the holsters, he has a harness over his flak vest, which can hold his various pouches, canteens, and grenades.

The flak vest looks great, but there is a very oversized zipper hidden behind a velcro closure. Keep it hidden.

So what's the problem with their outfits? Both have the same issue - itty bitty boots. The realism of the sculpt is great, but it's sad to see two big guys with such small feet.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - **1/2
Hey, I had a ton of fun with these, and most kids would too...but there are so many small parts, tiny thread, and easy to lose pieces, that I wouldn't recommend it. These guys are for the 'big kids'.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Value - ***
While these figures aren't cheap, there's no doubt you're getting your money's worth plus a little with all the added accessories and exceptional outfits.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -

Everything. These guys have little strings, pieces of elastic, tiny plastic parts, and lots and lots of realistic, minute details. All that realism comes at a price - you have to handle them with extreme care.

That doesn't mean a wrist should break though, like it did on Billy. While fragility in tiny parts is to be expected, it's not acceptable for the core body.

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Overall - Predator, Dutch ***1/2; Billy ***
There are so many cool extra features to these figures that I could have included another 20 photos and not shown them all, from the backpack dealio on the Predator, to the opening chamber on the M16's.

I think this is the nicest Predator they've produced, which is saying a lot. The improvement in the look of the head and neck is a major contributor, and I'm glad they waited til they had things perfected before they tackled the one true original. Only the weak light up feature held him back from a perfect score for me.

Dutch is an amazing sculpt, right down to the new torso and arm skin. I don't think he ended up with a four star paint job though, and that's his one failing. The costume and accessories are amazing, and Hot Toys attention to detail continues to astound me.

And while Billy has a problem looking like...well, Billy, he still shows off all that amazing attention to detail in his exceptional outfit and accessories. Considering that you'll find him cheaper than the other two, he turns in a decent overall score. I supposed that if you pretend Billy turned into a blond surfer who like to say "Yo, dude!" alot, then the portrait won't bother you as much as it did me.

As I said earlier, I could have included 20 more photos of these guys and still not covered all the cool extras and details. While I have my issues with this or that, it remains that Hot Toys is crushing the sixth scale market with every release.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Dutch, Predator ****; Billy **1/2
Paint -  Predator ****; Dutch, Billy ***;
Articulation - Predator ***1/2; Dutch ***; Billy **
Outfit- Predator ****; Dutch, Billy ***1/2
Accessories - Dutch ****, Predator, Billy ***1/2
Light up Feature - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - Predator, Dutch ***1/2; Billy ***

Predator, Dutch, Billy sixth scale action figures by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you'll have to get on the wait list at this point, but Sideshow has their exclusive version of Dutch and exclusive version of the Predator.

- doesn't have Dutch listed, but the have the Predator at $160, and Billy at just $112.49.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered tons of Predator related goodies:

- Jeff Parker did a great guest review of the Dutch and Billy.

- I covered the Hot Toys Lost Predator.

Other sixth scale Predator reviews include:

- Machiko the She Predator.

- There's also the AvP Cleaner, the Wolf Predator, the very cool PredAlien, Battle Damaged Predator 2, Elder Predator, the first Predator 2, and the Scar Predator.

- there's also the McFarlane Scar Predator.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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