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Royce - Predators
Hot Toys

Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


Adrien Brody has had quite an unusual acting career. Most people think of him from The Pianist, when he won an Academy Award and seemed to suddenly spring into stardom. In reality, he'd been acting for more than a decade in films like The Thin Red Line and Natural Born Killers before his big break.

In recent years, he's been doing some unusual films, at least for someone of his caliber. Films like Splice and Predators aren't exactly award nomination films, but it's nice to see Brody give horror a shot.

In Predators, he plays Royce, a mercenary who finds himself trapped in a game preserve used by Predators looking to bag some humans. The film marks a change for Brody, as it's his first action role.

Hot Toys has continued with their Predator license, including this latest film in their successful series. Royce is the first figure to be released, but several of the key, recognizable Predators are on the docket as well, and we can only hope that we'll see at least a couple more of the lead actors.

Royce is hitting international distributors right now, so it may be a couple more weeks or so before U.S. distributors start to see him. You can expect to pay around $135 - $145 or him, depending on the retailer, and of course, I have plenty of suggestions at the end of the review.
Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ****
As always, Hot Toys packaging is top notch. It's completely collector friendly - no need to damage anything in removing and returning the figure to the box.

The interior box art shows through the red window of the exterior sleeve, and it looks terrific. The exterior sleeve has a jungle-like texturing as well. The entire package evokes the feel of the film.

Sculpting - ****
Occasionally, Hot Toys produces a slightly less than absolutely perfect sculpt. Hey, everyone's human. I'm here to tell you this isn't one of those times.

Adrien Brody plays Royce, and it's a slightly pumped up and ass-kicking version of Brody. There's no piano here. 

You already know that the sculpt will be realistic, and it is - the skin is lightly textured, every wrinkle and smallest hair intricately defined. Even when there's likeness issues, there's never realism issues. This time around, there's none of either.

Brody has a face with lots of personality. A huge, oddly shaped nose makes him pretty much instantly recognizable, but you can't overlook the weird shape and set of his eyes, with the slightly turned down eyebrows. He always looks like you've hurt his feelings - but just a little. Hot Toys has captured his standard expression perfectly, without turning it into a caricature.

The sculpted hands work well with most of the accessories. Only the smaller knife has any problems, and the odds are pretty good you'll tuck that in his belt, rather than have him holding it anyway.

Paint - ****
For the beauty of a highly detailed and extremely accurate sculpt like this to truly shine through, it requires a perfect paint job. I suspect there's nothing more frustrating for a sculptor than to see his work ruined by less than stellar production paint ops.

Of course, Hot Toys knows production paint work like nobody else. I don't know how it's possible for there to be such a cavernous ravine between them and almost everyone else when it comes to realistic paint, but there is. The only company coming close right now is Enterbay.

The life-like eyes seem to stare right at you, and the very slight facial hair growth is uncanny. The hairline is perfect, as are the eyebrows and lips. I simply can't say enough good things about the quality of the paint work coming out of Hot Toys these days, and Royce is a perfect example.

Articulation - ***1/2
Once again, Hot Toys is using their TrueType body, one of the very best sixth scale bodies currently on the market.

This is the body with the excellent double joint neck, with the joints very well hidden. There's plenty of tilt action here, both side to side and front to back. The instructions will tell you to be sure to turn the head first, before tilting, to avoid damage.

The rest of the body has all the excellent articulation you expect, although the elbows are a bit restricted. They only move forward to 90 degrees, but it's sufficient for getting him into most weapon brandishing poses. This slight restriction does hold him back from the full four stars so often given to the TrueTypes, but it's a minor issue.

Accessories - ****
Royce is well equipped to do battle with your upcoming Hot Toys Predators.

There's a nice assortment of weapons, including his hand gun, complete with pearl grips, removable silencer and removable clip, as well as a moving hammer. It fits nicely in his hand or in the included holster.

Speaking of which, the holster attaches to his thigh with two belts, held in place with plastic working buckles. There's also a Velcro closed strap that loops around the belt. The Velcro makes it possible to attach the holster without taking the belt apart - a huge plus.

The same is true of the sheath for his long machete-like knife. There's only one strap for his thigh this time, but again there is a Velcro closed strap to attach it to the belt.

The huge knife looks great too, and fits perfectly in the sheath. There's a second smaller knife as well, with a silver honed edge. The small knife doesn't fit particularly well in any of the hands, but the larger one does.

Let's not forget his AA-12, or auto assault 12 gauge shotgun. I love the sculpt on this thing, and it's one of the most interesting and unique new weapons we've gotten in sixth scale in some time. Since Royce carries it throughout most of the film, it's the perfect choice.

The camo paint work on it isn't quite as obvious as it was in the film, and there's no moving parts that I can find. Still, it looks great and he can easily hold it in one or both hands.

There's 16 shotgun shells to go along with it, which are intended to fit inside the ammo straps on the front of his chest. More on that in the next section.

Let's jump back to that cool belt of his, complete with canteen bag (no canteen though), and several other smaller, working pouches. It fits great and is removable - if you have the patience. Again, you don't have to do anything with it to get the holster and sheath in place.

The final weapon is one he acquired from the Predators themselves - the large, tribal looking ax. Royce can wield this detailed, gruesome weapon in his gripping right hand.

Speaking of hands, there is one additional set. He comes wearing a relaxed grip left hand and gun grip right hand. There's a second right, done in a tighter grip, as well as a second left, done in a slightly different relaxed pose. The hands swap easily, and there's extra wrist pegs just in case.

Finally, there's the usual display stand. You won't have to use it if you don't want to - he stands great, even in deep stances, and won't fall short of a mild earthquake or marauding house cat. But it's nice to have, particularly for those that consistently use them.

Outfit - **1/2
I've already covered the belt and pouches as accessories, so that makes this category a little slimmer.

There's his shirt, of course, as well as his outer vest. The tailoring and fit are excellent, and the working plastic buckles and perfectly scaled zipper keep everything tightly in place.

The pants look great as well, not too long, not too baggy, and the boot sculpt allows the ankles to turn and rock. There's even a nicely sculpted watch on his left wrist, and a rope bracelet on the right. In fact, most of the costume is fantastic, just as you'd expect from Hot Toys. So why the big ding here?

Two reasons, although one is much more critical than the other. The minor issue is his bandanna or neckerchief. He had one on during most (if not all) of the film, and they did include it as a separate item. But it wasn't overly obvious in the movie - it's just a small piece of cloth around his neck, after all.

What they gave us is practically a table cloth. The idea is to fold in in thirds or so, then twist it before tucking it down inside the shirt and vest. I gave it a try, but didn't find any way that I could make it look good - it either poofed out the shirt and collar too much, or hung over too far. Perhaps if I cut it into a smaller rectangle...in any event, you'll notice that it's not present in any of the photos. That's because I was never particularly happy with the way it looked, and thought that without it he looked more like he did on screen.

That's a minor issue though - the bigger problem is with the small elastic straps that hold the shotgun shells in place. They don't do it particularly well. The shells tend to fall out easily, and since they are so small they are quite easy to lose when they do.

Even worse, the threads holding the straps to the material are very weak. Two popped free when I was simply slipping the shells inside, and several others felt like they were about to go.

Considering how obvious these straps are - they are right out front on his chest after all - and how bad they look unraveling, I had to ding them pretty hard in this category.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Some of the outfit is clearly too delicate for play, but this is one of those figures that hasn't forgotten it's roots in the 1960's action figure. And if you're just a big kid who likes to come up with your own poses, you'll have a blast with Royce.

Value - **1/2
Some folks were just commenting that all Hot Toys figures were getting more and more expensive, and the days of the sub $150 figure seemed gone. Not so, with Royce coming in at a very reasonable (considering what you get) $135 or so.

Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned earlier, be very careful with the shell straps. Mine popped the stitch just placing the shells inside, and now I have to see if I can repair them. In other words, I'll ask my wife.

Overall - ***
I had a tough time with this overall, largely because I love the figure. The sculpt and paint are outstanding, and the accessories all add to the visual appeal of the figure. He's going to look fantastic on the shelf with the Falconer and Berserker Predators, and he'll go alongside Dutch and Billy just fine.

But the damaged shell belt on his chest is just so obvious, and has a huge impact on the figure overall. Could you imagine trying to sell this guy and convincing a buyer that it was no big deal? Yea, that wouldn't really go over.

However, I'm going to drop Hot Toys an email and see if it's possible to get it replaced. They're usually pretty good about such things, but even if it's not, perhaps someone on ebay will be parting one out, and I'll be able to pick it up cheap. 

Hopefully mine is merely a fluke - perhaps a tired worker who picked that day to switch to decaf. If you don't end up with this issue, than you're going to be very pleased with this figure, and had I not had such an obvious problem, he could have scored four stars overall.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has him at $133.

- Capstone Comics has him at $135.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $135.

- Fanboy Collectibles has him fro $139.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $145.

- or you can search ebay.

Related Links -
Other Predator reviews include:

- Hot Toys has done several figures from the original Predator flick, including the big guy himself, Billy and Dutch.

- then there's the Hot Toys Lost Predator, and the Machiko 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.

Discussion:
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Predators Royce sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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