Hot Toys AvP Predator 'Cleaner'


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jeff Parker is back tonight with another Hot Toys review - take it away, Jeff!

Thanks as always to Michael, now back in February I reviewed the first Predator release from Hot Toys (HT) Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (AVP:R) line, lovingly known as ‘Wolf’. I was very impressed and he instantly jumped to my second favourite Predator, after the fantastic Pred 2 Elder, but this new release has definitely nudged ahead of the first ‘Wolf’, but still hasn’t quite toppled the Elder from his throne yet, (I’m hoping the original Predator will do that when it’s finally released).

So to sum up, this ‘low down’ can very much be read as an update of that previous review, this is basically the same figure made into an ‘über version’, as he comes with the extra kit he needs to rid our planet of those pesky xenomorphs (but don’t despair, if you invested in the first release as that figure also had kit that this one doesn’t, not as much, but some none the less!).

I know the practice of re-releasing a different or ‘upgraded’ figure has mightily peeved some folks off, and in some ways these people have a valid grievance, claiming ‘If I’d have known this ‘new’ version was coming out a few moths later, I wouldn’t have gotten the first one’, but it seems like a lot of companies do this kind of thing, I mean, how many times have I bought a music CD only for two months later a new version is released with extra tracks and a DVD thrown in for good measure!

Now, admittedly that doesn’t hurt as much as a $100+ figure, but it still gets to ya, that you have to pay ‘the man’ extra bucks to get what the ‘lesser fans’ (i.e. people who weren’t compelled to purchase the product as soon as it was available) get later down the line almost completely ‘gratis’, but you know where I’m coming from.

I also fired off a few emails to Hot Toys asking why more of the new ‘kit’ wasn’t included first time round, and was told that HT wanted to release all the three main AvP: R figures at the same time, and the references supplied to them for model making were received too late for some parts of the kit to be ready in time. So it was decided to release the new version for all the hardcore fans that simply HAD to have those extras, (OK, I hold my hand up, I’ve become a HT, Alien and Predator completeist, sigh!) and to complicate issues even more for that completeist in me, there is also an exclusive made available through Blister and Sideshow toys which includes an alien chest-burster as a bonus, I wasn’t lucky enough to snag one of these, but I did manage to pick up a separate chest-burster from an old eBay supplier.

Packaging: ***1/2
This shows the first major departure from the usual Movie Masterpiece series packaging. The exterior sleeve of the box is more abstract than any of the others and is a graphic representation of the newly supplied cleaner kit. This sleeve slips off to show a new box design with three large windows and a fourth, back panel showing the other figures in the Hot Toys AvP:R series.

But that is not where the differences end, oh no! In turn this box opens and inside is a newly designed four faced transparent plastic oblong cube, with all the composite parts viewable through one of the four faces. A double tray is taped top and bottom and inside this is a rigid oblong cardboard tube, this houses the body netting and helps to hold everything in place and reinforce the package.

Each face of the cube has a plastic cover; this needs to be un-taped and un-popped from its facia to get to the contents.

This is a great bit of design from a visual perspective, so all you MIB’ers will be mondo joyous, and the new design also means that although this figure comes packing more stuff it’s box is actually smaller (great if you are having it shipped far).

The only downside is it’s not quite a user friendly, as you have to work your way round it one panel at a time and laying the contents out on the table. The cardboard tube I mentioned also has some instructions printed directly onto it, showing how to dress the figure and where all the accessories go.

All in all I really like this box, it has a couple of minor issues for the ‘un-packer’ but I still rate this as a nice solid bit of product design in it’s own right. If any of you have figures from the DaJoint, ZMDC line, this box has that kind of feel to it, but unlike them you don’t need to physically ‘cut’ these boxes open, thank the maker!

The chest-burster comes in it’s own little blister pack, I can’t tell you if the ‘exclusives’ come with it inside the main box, but as it is only meant to be available with the exclusives I would imagine it always comes this way.

Sculpt: ****
I said last time the ‘Wolf’s’ sculpt was up there with the Predator 2 Elder for me, and this time round with the added bonus of the interchangeable mandibles this one is even better. It has to be said that whatever you thought of AvP:R as a movie, the character of the ‘Wolf’ was one bad mofo, and his visual appearance amplified this tenfold. He wore more minimalist gladiatorial armour than his earlier AvP sissy brethren, and bore the horrendous scars of earlier encounters with fearsome foes (his facial acid scaring leads you to believe it was almost certainly with xenomorphs, but who the hell knows what else these guys like to hunt).

There are a couple of great shots of the figure here - thanks to Darren and Elljay for posting those. I’d recommend reading my last review on the first version, for my basic low-down on this figure. In this review I shall just cover the differences from the original.

Firstly we get the new ‘roaring’ mandibles, these make the face come alive much more, and when posed give the figure a far more dynamic expression. Of all the extras, these are my favourite new feature but all the other new items are sculpted just as well, but I will go over these in accessories. Suffice to say when fully kitted up this figure shows some of the most intricate detail work Hot Toys have done, he’s right up there with Cannibal Jack when it comes to a ‘WOW’ factor on the shelf.

Paint: ****
Last time he got a four star rating, and this time he’s just as good if not better. The paint on the extra mandibles blends seamlessly into the head and the detailing on his armour and accessories seem even tighter this time. Last time around the two toning of the metal effect was missed out on both the shoulder cannons, this time they’ve made the hand held cannon/pistol the right colour way, but have still left the attached shoulder cannon just gunmetal/steel coloured. I missed out that this was an inaccuracy last time, but it’s so slight, unless you are a very observant hardcore fan you wouldn’t pick up on it. It’s only because the hand held version is now painted right, that the other is noticed at all. However I’m not marking down as I didn’t last time, and this time the apps are even better with the new detailing on the mandibles, cleaner kit, hand held gun and the fully painted display stand. I also noticed the overall body colour seems slightly lighter and the paintwork on the trophy necklace looks slightly darker and dirtier.

Articulation - ****
This is the same body used as last time, so you can re-read that for his basic construction, but to reiterate slightly it’s a ‘Predatorfied’ True-Type, so plenty of articulation there, just hampered slightly in places by his armour.

Accessories: ****+
When you saw this was the ‘cleaner’ version, you may have been concerned he’d come with a vacuum cleaner, mop, bucket, broom and a selection of polishes, well I’m glad to say he doesn’t.

He does however come with a great selection, I think its best if I just plain list them, as there are so darn many, you get-

- One articulated shoulder cannon (previous version had two)
- Rolled-up whip (no full un-rolled poseable whip like the previous one)
- Extendable spear
- Closed Shrikuen (no open shuriken as with previous version)
- Retractable Wrist blades
- Wrist computer/bomb detonator
- Cannon (hand-held version) **

- Skull necklace
- Neck Wrap
- Med Kit
- Bandolier (the laser triangulating tripwires still don’t detach!)
- Predator Mask (damaged version)**
- Corrosive liquid container** (fits in bandolier or cleaner kit)
- Syringe ** (deconsructs to fit in cleaner case)
- Cleaner case ** (with flip top and hinged doors)
- Interchangeable mandibles **
- Each model comes with Alien Corpse featured display base **

** Newly added features
Sideshow and Blister Exclusive: Alien Chest-burster (can be found seperately on eBay… but not cheap!)

Many of these items were in the previous review, and funnily enough in that review I speculated on the possibility of a ‘new’ version of the Wolf-Predator and what he might come with, my guesses were pretty spot on (even if I do say so myself) so I shall just be covering all the newly added ones ‘**’ this time.

Firstly the hand held cannon, this is designed to look like a pistol version of the shoulder cannon because… well… that’s exactly what it is, the upper part is identical, but it comes with a more elaborate stock to make it more comfortable as a hand held bit of apparatus, next up is the cleaner case, (this opens up in a similar fashion to the medi-kit included with the battle damaged Predator 2), this is very nicely executed and shows some fantastic attention to detail on its opening mechanism and the contents held within, we also get his corrosive acid dispenser (this can be placed in the cleaner kit or the holder in his bandolier), a syringe (which comes apart, and can again be stored in the cleaner kit), his mask/helmet now bearing more damage from his encounter with the Predalien, a sculpted stand showing a half destroyed alien corpse (Mmmm, nice ’n’ corpsey!) and lastly but absolutely by no means leastly we now get a fantastic interchangeable pair of ‘roaring’ mandibles. These are again the same in principle to those with the battle damaged Predator 2 figure, but the fact that ‘Wolf’ has such a bad ass look to him already coupled with the fact these are in even more of an open roar than the Pred 2’s, showcasing the damage to his upper left mandible, means these just help make him look a whole lot more pissed off and dangerous!

A veritable cornucopia of accessories for your delectation that deserves beyond full marks, absolutely stunning detail!

Outfit- ***1/2
Time to go back and read the other review, as this is essentially the same outfit apart from the fact the new mask has some battle damage and they now fixed the body mesh so it does up under the groin. This was a very simple fix last time and even came with a piece of elastic to tie it off, but this time round it’s even easier.

Fun factor- ****
For me the extras have elevated this figure further, and the added bonus of the mandibles and the slaughtered alien on the base (I hardly ever use stands, this is more of an ‘interactive’ accessory to me), was the icing on an already impressive gateaux. Once you have him fully kitted up it’ll look fantastic in any ones display, but as I always say, don’t confuse this with a plaything, this ‘DEFFINETLY’ ain’t no toy, and if you treat it like one it’s sure to break!

Value: ***1/2
This was available through SST for $159.99, that’s a jump of $10 from the first version but it has long since sold out in both regular and exclusive. You’re still getting a lot of figure for your money, but it would need to be nearer $130 to get the full score.

However the innovative packaging and wealth of top-notch extras have sweetened the pill even more than last time for me, so he deserves another ½ star.

I know packaging isn’t a big deal for some and goes straight in the bin, but I keep all of mine as minty mint as I can (even the twisties) as I tend to rotate the display of my figures, and I like to see well designed boxes, both in terms of being able to replace the figure as effortlessly as possible and in overall quality of graphics and typography, and I liked this one a lot!

Overall: ***3/4
In an ideal world we might have gotten all these extra accessories first time round, but this isn’t an ideal world, and the price would have almost certainly have been around the $160 to $170 mark had he come with everything listed above.

I was lucky enough to snag an exclusive chest-burster separately, but even if I hadn’t this would have to be as close to top marks as I can make it, without actually getting the cigar!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***+
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***3/4

Where to Buy -
SST sold out pretty quickly on pre-order at $159.99. Of the three Hot Toys released from AvP: R earlier this year, it’s fair to say the Predator was the fan favourite, so this gives all those that missed out on it a second chance, and the sad completists (OK, OK, I know, sigh!) something else to squander our hard earned on. This is a very popular figure, but if you act quickly you might find it at some of Michaels sponsors below-

Dark Shadow - was $159.99 sold out

Corner store comics $143.99 pre order


TFAW still has the first version for $175.49

Or if you are in the UK try-

Forbidden Planet £94.99 pre order

They are also plenty up on eBay for between $175 to $240, with plenty of separates being parted out. Try using the sponsor to search.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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