Hot Toys She Predator Machiko

   Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure

"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 checks in tonight with another cool Hot Toys release - what's the scoop, Jeff?

A big thank you as always to Michael, now over the last few years Hot Toys (HT) have given us quite a few 1/6 versions of the Predators or Yautja clan if you prefer… you don’t! OK, quite a few Predators! We got at least 6 versions from AvP (with a few exclusives thrown in), three from Predator 2 with another one on the way and two versions of ‘Wolf’ from AvP:R. We’ve also had the original Predator as a scale bust, statues of the Elder from AvP on his throne and a diorama from AvP: R, that’s before you even get onto all the Cosbaby figures. But the thing that tied all these together was, that although some artistic licence was used on some of them, they were all based on ‘actual’ characters and designs seen in the movies.

However that’s where this figure differs… well that and the fact that she’s a pretty hot looking babe instead of a butt ugly monster!

Now, I’ve been a fan of Dark Horse comics ever since their early strips for Star Wars, Terminator, Aliens and Predator, and it was infact their idea to first pitch the two most feared ET’s in the galaxy in a stand off, and that first strip is now rightly hailed as something of a classic!

It has been said by many, that if Fox had just gone ahead and filmed the original comic book story it would probably have made a better movie than either of the ones we got, sure it has a few rough edges that would need polishing, like the fact that the Predators attack on a lone family outpost doesn’t really sit well with what is now taken to be they’re code of conduct/honour, but on the whole I’m inclined to agree.
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure

Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure

One of the characters we are introduced to in this story is Machiko Noguchi, she’s stationed on this farming outpost by the Chigusa Corporation, but what she and the rest of the colonists don’t realize is that the planet they have chosen to farm on, Ryushi, is one of the traditional hunting grounds of the Predators. Every few years they’ll drop a batch of unhatched ALIEN eggs, wait for all hell to break loose then have themselves a little R+R cleaning up the chaos that ensues. But just as ignorant as the colonists are of the Predators existence, the Predators are just as unsuspecting of the humans being there to spoil/enhance their fun. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that things will kick off pretty spectacularly, and Machiko is soon caught up in a vicious three-way war and ultimately has to pick a side… it’s not too much of a spoiler, having seen how this figure is dressed to work out which side she chooses!

This is the first figure from Hot Toys ‘Hot Angel’ series, there’s no word on who’s to follow but there are a few I’d like to see, now where should I start…

Catwoman (well they do have the Batman licence)
Leeloo from the Fifth Element
Alice based on Milla Jovovich again in Resi Evil
Lara Croft
Sarah Connor- Terminator
TX- Terminator 3
The Slayer- Buffy/Fray
Tank Girl (Jamie Hewlett comic style)
Selene from Underworld
Sil from Species
Leia as Jabba’s slave, possibly as a ‘re-imagining’
Maria from Metropolis
Medusa (Greek mythology)
Kali (multi armed Hindu goddess)
Danger Girl (by J Scott Campbell… yes I have the Dragon one, but I’d love to see HT do her)
Bettie Page (this would make me so very happy!)
And I’d love to see a few Boris Vallejo and Hajime Sorayama’s illustrations brought to life… I could go on, but I’ve indulged myself enough already!

I guess it goes without saying that the main man at HT Howard Chan must be quite a fan of the Machiko, AvP story himself, as this is credited as an original concept idea by himself and designed by Joseph Tsang, based on an amalgamation of the characters Machiko from the AvP comics and Alexa Woods from the first AvP movie, she’s been imagined before, like here, but this is the first time she’s been put together in all of her 1/6 3D magnificence!

Packaging - ****
Hot Toys packaging seems to be getting better and better, and this is a real stand out one for me, first we’re met by the full colour outer sleeve, this is covered in photo’s of the figure highlighting a lot of the details and the bottom edge of this is cut to a downward facing curved arc. This means that some of the mottled blue from the inner box is exposed along the bottom, this mottled colour darkens as it graduates up to the top of this inner box, out of this, on both the front and back are stylised graphic die-cut interpretations of her mask, these then act as windows to the semi-constructed figure within. Inside this box are two trays, back to back facing outwards, the front one shows Machiko and her armour and the other has her weapons, ALIEN head shield, skull trophy bandolier and sculpted stand, all very nicely designed and constructed. The inner clear plastic trays hold her and all of her accoutrements securely, with the figure itself being held in place by 5 twisties.

The boxes for the two ALIEN figures Dallas and Kane are my favourites from HT this year, but this one is coming in at a close second, very nicely done.

In a tradition that started with the Weathered Endoskeleton, continued with the Wolf ‘cleaner’ Predator plus the recent Kane and Dallas from ALIEN she also comes with a sculpted figure stand, it represents a small rocky patch alongside a Predator skull, this is expertly sculpted, and it’s a real shame it’s non-detachable, I was hoping to re-enact famous scenes from Shakespeare with my Preds, starting with Hamlet… oh well!

Sculpting - ****
As I mentioned above, this is based on ideas and designs that Howard Chan created, so with this being his pet project, and him being the president of Hot Toys you can imagine the guys gotta be allowed to indulge himself a little from time to time (and when the outcome looks like this, you wont hear me complaining one bit!).

Reading the credits on the back of the inner box it would seem all the main players at Hot Toys have had a hand in making sure Machiko came up to scratch.

The head is a great ‘generic’ sculpt by Yulli, but when she does ‘generic’ we end up with a very natural but beautiful creature that looks like Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman spawned an exotic love child, her hair is sculpted in a style that is braided and tied back, so that her bejewelled dread-locks fall at the back like a Predators head tails. This head is atop the newly designed female body, which shows off an incredibly lithe and anatomically correct physique. It’s a dream to pose, and all the articulation of the torso is hidden beneath a sculpted rubber sheath, most of her other joints are pretty well concealed because of the positioning of her armour and strapping, the only ones completely out in the open are her elbows, they’re still nicely designed and engineered, but this might be the one place I mod the figure a little with some leather binding or armbands. The knees are far better hidden under her sculpted shin armour/boots, but the rubber stockings that are held up by her suspenders disappear into the tops of these, this means it is her most restricted joint. You’ll still get the legs to bend to about 90 degrees, but they wont do the full 180 that we’ve gotten used to with double-jointed knees, if I planned on ‘playing’ with this, it could be quite annoying, however as a display item, and lets face it that’s what she is, they work just fine.

The sculpting continues on her armour and accessories, but I’ll cover that in the relevant sections.

Paint - ****
As with all the Predators so far, they require a lot of detailed painting as they tend to feature so much implied mixed media like leather, cloth, metal and flesh, and just like those that have gone before HT continue to improve on each new release.

Her base skin colour is a swarthy dark tan and her hair is a deep chestnut, she has brown lips and dark make-up around her eyes, well, I take it to be make-up, but living alongside a clan of Predators can’t be the healthiest lifestyle for a human, so I guess those non-stop hunting parties and lack of vegetables (didn’t you know, all Preds are on the Atkins!) may have taken their toll. She has different coloured eyes, the right is brown grey and the left is tones of red and yellow, this is explained if you look at her mask. You’ll see two bright red slashes down the left hand side, while looking at the mask you’ll also notice that there is a symbol engraved on the brow, this is the same as the mark you’ll see on her cheek. In the comic book Machiko is branded on her forehead as is Lex in the AvP movie, with ALIEN acid blood to mark the clan that has accepted her, Howard has decided to move things around a little, but it’s cool that the detail has been kept. Her gloved hands are also painted to show the armoured leather fingerless gloves she wears, all other paint is on her armour and accessories. Some lovely work has been carried our on the metallic tones of her armour, sword and spear, I especially liked the flashes of bright red to add accents to her armour, nice detail. They have the bone colouration of the skull necklaces down to a fine art now and as she has so many worn as a strand around her neck and a bandolier slung sideways over her torso, she even has a couple hanging from her spear.

The spear and sword have lots of different tones and textures from a steel colour for the blades with pewter and bronze for the scabbard and spear handle, all of these applications are faultless, no slop at all, just a clean sharp pristine job as always.

Articulation - ***

This is a newly developed female body, on the whole it’s quite similar to the one used for past figures like Ripley and Vasquez, but from a biological angle, her secondary sexual characteristics are far better developed!

You can see the ‘official’ pic inset in one of the full body shots and you’ll notice that the picture shows a full body including her lower legs and feet, however the actual figure has the shin armour as an intrinsic sculpted part of the leg and the foot is the sculpted boot but apart from that the body is the same. The knees are the most restricted area because of the design of the shin armour coupled with the rubber/silicone stockings, but you’ll still get her into most of the poses you’d want.

When attaching the feet it’s definitely worth heating them up, I dipped mine in boiling water then carefully twisted and pushed them on, it was cinch with them hot, but I can imagine would cause much gnashing of teeth if attempted cold. After these are pushed on they show a fair range of motion and can swivel quite bit, but for any deep stances or with legs out at an acute angle you may not always be able to get the foot to lay flat on the ground. 

Accessories - ****
As this is a ‘re-imagined’ character by HT she doesn’t actually ‘have’ to come with anything, but as she represents a human who has been accepted as an equal, and accompanies the actual Predators on hunts, then there are certain things you would ‘expect’ her to have, and luckily she has them all, and then some.
We get-

- Articulated shoulder cannon
- Extendable spear with jewels and adornments
- Closed Shuriken hung from waist
- Wrist blades
- Alien disintegration darts (at least that what I call them)

- Extra right hand for holding sword
- Predator mask
- Sword with sheath
- Skull trophy necklace
- Skull trophy bandolier
- Neck Wrap
- Alien head shield
- Display base featuring a Predator skull

All very nicely carried out, the spear is essentially the same as the one supplied with the AvP Elder, but with a few extra trinkets attached. Her wrist blades don’t extend, but stick out plenty anyway and her other gauntlet doesn’t have the bomb detonator panel… perhaps the Preds don’t trust her quite ‘that’ much!

The sword is fantastic with its swooping scimitar like blade and ornate handle, it wouldn’t look out of place in a Klingon arms display cabinet, the shoulder cannon is also nicely articulated, but she must have upgraded to blue-tooth technology as there are no cables attached to her mask, and finally my favourite accessory is her ALIEN head-shield, it has some amazing detail, even on the interior and has small metal springs attached over the top of the semi opaque dome through which you can see different sinew and tissue, very, very nice!

Outfit - ***1/2
A large ugly alien wearing a skin tight fishnet body stocking and gladiator armour ain’t for every red blooded male I accept, but when this outfit is transported onto a face and body that would make the Playmate of the month weep, well, things get a whole lot more visually arresting doncha think?

It’s pretty skimpy, as is the order of the day when it comes to Predator casual wear, and consists of moulded armoured boots, a body stocking, rubber (to mimic leather) stockings with suspenders, a rubber garter, a leather loincloth with armour panels (all sculpted from soft plastic), chest and upper back armour incorporating her cannon and spear holder, shoulder armour, armoured gauntlets, a mask, neck wrap and various pieces of bone and skull jewellery. All is carried out to the highest standards for the materials used. The only thing keeping it from top marks for me, are that if they had used pleather for the loincloth, leggings and perhaps for some elbow bindings. It would have added just that little ’je ne c’est quoi’ to elevate it to the level of perfection, but its not far off!

Fun factor- ***
This one is for your hardcore Pred fans who have even followed the EU stuff, or alternately for fans of your 1/6 hot femme figs, and lets face it there are plenty of them about, why else would the Cy/Cool Girl and ZC Girl lines be in such high demand?

But with its subject matter, price-point and as always, potential fragility this is another one for adult collectors to display, but she makes for one hell of a hot display, preferably behind glass, to keep you friends from pawing at her.

Value - ***
She’s still available at SST for $159.99 on pre-order, that’s quite a chunk of money, but she’s still officially licensed to AvP and a lot of work has gone into the development of this piece, so you can see where your money is going. However as I stated above this one won’t appeal quite as much to your casual fan boy as most want specific characters seen on screen, but I’m always up for any ‘original’ characters being developed in 1/6 scale and I have high hopes for the continuation of the Hot Angel series, but if this had come in at nearer the $129.99 area I think they’d be selling even faster.

Overall - ***1/2
For me this figure is approaching perfection, only a couple of minor details and the price keep her from that elusive top spot. But if like myself you’re an old fan of the Dark Horse comic strip, then this comes as something of an unexpected delight, now lets see if they’ll give us Broken Tusk as well.

Scoring Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2


Hot Toys She Predator Machiko action figure
Hot Toys She Predator Machiko

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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