To save some time and money the idea of the creature having a stealth
mode was introduced, this meant the creature wouldn’t spend as much
time ‘visibly’ on screen, but that’s not to diminish the impact the
beastie needed to have when he is finally revealed. No, this is a VERY
memorable creation. And as testament to his abilities Stan had turned
the design and build around in six weeks… SIX WEEKS… I’ll say that
again SIX FRICKIN WEEKS!
His starting point had been a picture
of a Rastafarian warrior Joel Silver had given him; and whilst
sketching ideas based around this dreadlocked monster on a flight to
Japan for a press conference on ALIENS, he was sat next to Jim Cameron,
who suggested that ‘mandibles would be cool’… The rest as they say is history!
what we have here is Hot Toys 1/6th figure of this much loved creature,
it’s a design (like Giger’s ALIEN) that is cared for pretty
passionately by it’s fans, so a lot was riding on getting this one
Packaging - ****
A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Dutch and Billy,
two members of the special ops unit who inadvertently fall prey to the
Predator, and Michael also did his own treble whammy of the complete Predator trio here. This box follows the same basic principles of Dutch and Billy, but with a cool twist!
once again the package is designed to be viewed landscape, but this
time it’s the inner box that is on its side, bearing a close up ¾ image
of the Preds head and shoulders. Over this is an embossed/vac-formed
transparent acetate sleeve that bears the ‘Predator’ logo-type over the
printed word beneath, it also mimics the body mesh and lines of the
cloaked Predator. When I unpacked mine it still had tissue and a layer
of cling film to protect it from scratches, nice touch.
inner box is (as with Dutch and Billy) a five panelled flap fronted
design with photos of the figure and his accessories on the inner flap.
Inside the box is the fully assembled and dressed figure… I know, I
know it surprised me too when I first saw photos of the product, this
is the first Predator not to be sold as a model kit, and I get the
feeling I’m in the minority that actually misses the construction part,
the careful unpacking and fevered brow as you align everything and pray
you ‘re not too heavy handed, it’s kind of nerve-racking but so
He lies (well, squats) in a vac formed tray held
down by five twisties, surrounded by his accessories and a very
impressive display, base there’s also a die-cut foam pad to protect his
I love the transparent outer sleeve, and it’s
these kinds of design flourishes that keep HT consistently at the top
when it comes to innovative design in their packaging.
Sculpting - ****
I was recently blown away by Pan Mak's work on Abe Sapien, and he’s done it again here!
in the movie is seen in varying degrees of light, and different masks
were constructed and utilised depending upon what was required of its
performance in any given scene. So Pan Mak had to take the reference
available and come up with the best, definitive version he could.
I’ll by the first to admit, when it comes to keeping all us fan boys
happy, he was on the proverbial ‘hiding to nothing!’ but I am still
very impressed by this!
His earlier work on the Elder from Predator 2,
that was in fact wearing the same outfit from the first movie with a
few modifications is still a hard benchmark to top, but with this new
offering, for me at least, he has certainly just about managed it.
the last few Predator releases he comes with two sets of mandibles,
both closed and roaring, they swap out easily and make a dramatic
difference when fitted. The new trick here is the base plastic used on
the mandibles, this time around they’re a semi opaque material that
does a great job of mimicking the real tusks as seen in the movie, it’s
just translucent enough to give the impression of real enamelled teeth
as the light passes through them.
The rest of the head has been revised, and the problems the fans all pointed out on the ¼ scale bust
have been addressed. So the over all dimensions of the face aren’t as
long and the heavy brow ridge has been straightened so it’s less of a
pronounced V shape. The rear edge of the top crown has also been bought
forward slightly making this, for me at least; the most impressive HT
Predator head sculpt so far.
As I said, the Elder 2 is
very, very close and the Wolf from AvP:R should also be mentioned in
despatches, but this is still an exceptional depiction. The Elder does
have the edge in a few ways, he just looks so cool, and he stands so
well, everything hangs naturally and he has that ‘older dude who’s been
round the block a few times’ air about him. It doesn’t hurt that he
also has the coolest and most highly detailed dreads, not only did they
have the bonus of multiple beads and trinkets, but they also had that
cool kink at the end of them near the head, this meant they hung at a
slightly better angle helping them look weightier… and they’re blue!
enough about the Elder, we are here to talk about the original, but
they are so closely linked aesthetically it’s difficult not to almost
make this a comparison review at times.
However, lets get
back on topic, considering the scale these new dreads still look very
impressive and I’d recommend a quick heat treatment, gently warm the
dreads with a hair-dryer then carefully place an elastic band around
the whole head to pull them in. Leave it like this for as long as you
can, the longer the better. I haven’t done it yet in my photos, as I
wanted to show how he looks box fresh and unmodified, which is still
pretty darn good, but with minimal work and a bit of futzing he can
look even better. I did spend quite some time poring over my old
‘Winston Effect’ book, if you have it check out pages 103 through to
107 and hold your figure up next to the pages, you’ll see this is
pretty spot on. One other criticism thrown at this figure is that when
masked the head looks too big, well, I can see where the critics are
coming from, however if you look at the source material those ol’Preds
had pretty mahoosive noggins to incorporate all the RC servos, micro
electronics and bladders, in fact if you have the Stan Winston book I
cited above there is a pic of KPH standing in water with the armoured
mask removed. All of the Preds Facial detail is cut away, obviously
this is to help the actor see, but it also illustrates that in the real
world that mask would never physically fit over the face and look the
way it does on screen. The only other real option would have been a
second head with the mask permanently attached, but I’m sure the cost
of this would have made it prohibitive, as it would mean a lot more
production time on build (two sets of dreads to do) and also paint
apps. So, I think HT went with the most realistic option open to
them, and I’m highly impressed.
Paint - ***3/4
and every predator brings with it, its own unique set of problems when
it comes to producing an accurate representation in the paint
application. So far the Predator 2 and Lost Predator
have had the most complex paternation, but you can bet your bottom
dollar that this is the one that will get the closest scrutiny. I
reviewed the ¼ scale bust a few
months ago and I gave that a 3.5 star rating, so I’m pleased to say
even though this is smaller in scale, it still manages a more accurate
paint job, especially around the eyes. The spotting that carries
further down the sides of the face to the mandibles is also better
observed and the warmer richer browns also graduate further onto the
top dome. The only area that seems a little off is the interior of the
mouth, here the red tones do seem a little too deep, from most of the
reference I’ve found it looks like it should be more of a salmon colour
that softens and graduates as it comes out to the tusks.
as with all Preds the paint doesn’t finish on the head, in fact the
entire body is painted from the tips of his clawed feet to the top of
that crowned head, the base colour is a beige, mushroom tone with
softer brown airbrushed areas and even darker brown spotting. The
application is again up to the usual HT standard, and by that I mean
Articulation - ***1/2
Knowing how important this figure is to the fans HT have given him a
newly modified body, this can be a blessing or curse depending on how
much of a pedant you are. I personally love the way he looks thicker
set compared to the earlier Predators, here he’s more like an extreme
bodybuilder. However to gain this visual impact of having a build akin
to Mike Tyson, the pay off is he has lost some of his height. Most of
this is due to a slight reduction of the torso and chest but chiefly
it’s the shortening the neck. This shorter neck not only looks better,
but the slight redesigning and re-engineering makes it far more
poseable, being able to look down and tilt to the sides much more
acutely. The shoulders are a totally new design as well more similar to
the earlier AvP:R Wolf Predator (but not the same); you can see a
comparison pic in the review here.
from these revisions all the rest is the same as the previous Preds we
all know and love, so it’s basically a Predatorized True Type with all
the double knees and elbows we’ve come to expect and you’ll get
virtually all of the poses you could want, with a little work he can
even achieve a much deeper squat than before.
Outfit - ****
The Predators biggest fashion influences seem to come from Kirk Douglas as Spartacus as
he likes that minimal, plenty of flesh on show with just a hint of
armour, adding a few leather straps here and there for good measure… so
yes, he wouldn’t look out of place at a Scissor Sisters gig. Just don’t
spill his beer!
The basic outfit is identical to the Elder 2’s,
you can even see some of the finer details in the sculpt on things like
the knee pads, buckles and shoulder canon are from the same moulds…
However, this is just as it should be because Stan Winston used the
suit from the original Predator for the Elder in Predator 2 with just a
few mods here and there. So what we have is sandals sculpted to the
feet with separate stuck on soles, shin guards, knee pads and thigh
covers, then we have an armoured cod-piece over a small suede
loincloth. Next up is his chest armour that sweeps around the back with
a mount for the medi-kit, this slots into hole on the back. On the left
hand shoulder he has his plasma-caster
mounted, unlike the Elders this is fully articulated and has a slightly
wider mid section so it can sit further from the head, there are also
some small wires attached to the actual plasma-caster for added detail.
His right gauntlet has two fully extending blades whilst the left has
an opening wrist computer and detonator for his bomb. This gauntlet
also has a soft flexible tube running to the rear of his upper bicep
armour and there is another shorter one running from his left chest
armour over to his left shoulder guard, but these are both flexible
enough to not affect articulation.
He also comes with the usual
Predator adornments like leather straps around his arms, bone and skull
trophy jewellery and a ribbed neck collar. Lastly is the mask/helmet
which has a very cool feature, I shall go over it below as many of the
bits I’ve just gone over in outfit kind of straddle the camp of
accessories as well, I’ll let you decide what belongs where after
you’ve read it!
Accessories - ***1/2
the series of movies progressed so did the Predators arsenal, in the
original movie he was actually pretty lightly equipped compared to
those that followed. So no spears, whips, throwing disks or handguns
No, this is the original; he just uses his wits, some
nifty wrist blades and his ever trusty plasma caster on his shoulder…
OK, he also has a helmet that helps him see in different colour
spectrums and a nice line in compact thermo nuclear devices strapped to
his left arm for when things turn nasty, but hey, we all need a get out
So, what does he actually come with: -
- Removable mask with light-up lasers (battery operated, you’ll find them packed in a bag taped to the back of the tray)
- Fully articulated shoulder cannon
- Extendable wrist blades (right arm gauntlet)
- Wrist computer/bomb (left arm gauntlet)
- Bone necklaces
- Bone bandoliers
- Human skull and spine trophy
- Highly detailed Medical kit
- Interchangeable open and closed mandibles
- Interchangeable hands x 5
- Jungle environment display base
he might not be packing quite as much kit, he does have one of the
coolest features of any Pred to date in the form of his light-up laser
tracker on the side of his helmet. You simply push the mask into place
when he is in closed mandible mode, and then trail the tiny wires
carefully around the back through his dreads. Now the fiddly bit!
is a small white plug you have to align with a hole in the top of his
back-pack/armour, simply push this in, flick the switch (also on the
back of his armour) and three tiny LED lights illuminate fixed to the
inside, right hand of his helmet. It makes for a very impressive little
feature, it’s not quite as bright as the eyes on the Endoskeletons, but
is certainly bright enough to draw your eye. I’d recommend you treat
these fine wires that join the mask to the back-pack with respect as
they are pretty thin and I would imagine pretty fragile!
skull and spine trophy is the same as the one that came with the
Predator 2 figure, but hey, you can never have enough skulls with
spines attached… right.
The other cool ‘unique’ accessory is the
base, it shows a small patch of jungle floor with a tree stump, rocks,
some ferns and a puddle, it’s a similar idea to the one that came with
the ‘cleaner’ Wolf figure but this
one is even more detailed. I love the sculpting and paintwork,
especially on the tree stump with it’s rough bark and splintered trunk,
and the effect on the puddle of water, which uses clear resin is pretty
sweet too. The fronded ferns are beautifully sculpted, but could do
with some more paint detailing as the translucent green plastic they
are cast in is nice, but not 100% convincing as plant matter and can
look a little plasticy, but hey, it’s a bonus stand and still looks
pretty amazing, especially when compared to the standard black stands
we are used to.
There’s also the removable medi-kit, it slides
out of a slot on his back-pack and has a tiny flip open door that shows
lots of tiny pieces of apparatus. There are some great finely observed
details here, but none of them are removable. Lastly there are the
extra hands, two fists and gripping right hand to hold the skull and
So, to sum up, as I said at the beginning this guy
isn’t packing as many goodies as some of his brethren, but makes up for
it with some unique features.There’s a link here to some very cool
shots over on the Sideshow Freaks forum, I’d like to thank Dedguy for
them, they’re on pages 48 and 49, amazing shots!
Fun Factor - ****
have any of the other HT Preds then this will probably strike you as
the best of the crop. Many of the finer details are far more accurately
observed, plus they have given much better consideration to the armour
and the way it interacts with the body, so now you can achieve much
deeper stances and more extreme positions overall. This all means he is
a dream to pose and looks fantastic on your shelf… and he even has a
figure stand that is worth using, even if you just prefer to use it as
a base like me, rather than a full ‘supportive’ stand… great fun!
Value - ***3/4
If you can still pick this up for $170 or under I’d be
tempted to say jump now… hell, I’d still be tempted say jump with
whatever price you are comfortable with, this is not the one you want
to dither over for too long.
Sideshow did have it for $169.99, but
he is long sold out, as is the exclusive version that was $174.99. I
think demand for this figure will ultimately far outstrip supply, so
hopefully we might see another version further down the line to help
out those that missed the first (and also help feed the addiction of us
Pred fans till the Rodriguez reboot).
But the problem is what would the second version be?
version has pretty much everything you need. Unless we get a DX version
with moving eyes or a final battle double pack with a mud covered Arnie
and bloodied up Pred… but I guess that’s unlikely… or is it?
tempted to give this figure a full score; the only thing keeping it
back is price, and only price. I think it’s important for manufacturers
to try and keep their single figures as far under the $200 price
ceiling for as long as is possible and this is still well within that
‘comfort zone’, but having seen what came with the recent Godfather
figure (which I think was something of an exception) it’s going to be
hard not comparing things to it in the future.
Any regular readers of my guest reviews will be aware that I
have quite a thing for the Predators design. Admittedly I have even
more of a thing for Giger’s Alien, but that’s not to say Stan Winston’s
fantastic monster doesn’t deserve all the praise it often deservedly
gets heaped upon it.
He managed to create a creature, that
when that mask was finally pulled away, still had the power to make you
recoil! The first time you see the movie it’s actually hard to take in
what you are seeing, luckily ol’ silver tongued Arnie managed to sum it
up pretty well.
here at last is THE Predator we have all wanted and waited for since we
first saw the movie over twenty years ago, and HT have managed to
deliver firing on virtually all cylinders.
If I had to dig
around for a negative, then yes I guess he could be a little taller,
and the $170 price tag will be prohibitive to some, especially in these
tough economic times. But this figure is ultimately just very cool and
poses far better than any Pred that came before with that newly
developed body and armour… plus it has a light up laser-tracker… I mean
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***3/4
Articulation - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***3/4
Overall - ****
to Buy -
You have a number of online options:
- 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.
- Alter Ego Comics
doesn't have Dutch listed, but the have the Predator at $160, and Billy
at just $112.49.
- Urban Collector
has the Predator at $153, Dutch at $160, and Billy at $140.
- for the UK fans, Forbidden
Planet has Billy for 110 GBP, the Predator for 170 GBP, but
no sign of Dutch.
is also sold out of Dutch and the Predator, but has Billy for $117.
. you can always hit