Very similar to the Predator 2 figure reviewed
here, but in my view slightly nicer, this is down to some great
photography. We get our metallic/pearlescent sleeve, flap-fronted box and a
wealth of pictures of the figure, which is always handy, because unless you
haven’t been paying attention to the HT Predator range they come in a semi
kit form. Slide the tray out and there he is in all his ‘deconstructed’
So it’s time to construct. To some this is an annoyance, but as the great
Dan Eldon said “the journey is the destination” and so you should look upon
the constructing of your figure as part of the whole HT experience… I love
Holy Moses (reviewed here) just when you
think HT can’t get any better ’Wham!’ Well I guess it goes without saying
that the coolest Predator is going to need the coolest gear. Most of his
ephemera will be covered later in accessories and outfit.
Apart from the base body all the elements here are new sculpts. Unlike
the AvP Preds that looked more militaristic and had most of their armour
pulled from the same mould, here with the older Preds it seems their armour
and look is much more individual like a band of renegade gypsies or corsair
mercenaries. Each has unique armour panels with differing colouration. Now
if HT goes onto give us more of the lost hunters, I’m sure we’ll see more
and more repetition. But if you’re content with just the ‘Hero’ and ‘Elder’
they will look great and very different to each other on your shelf.
The new head sculpt here is another small work of art and the detail on
his beaded braids among his dreads and even the small piercing to his lower
tusk make this guy look like he has quite a few tales to tell, and like Jack
Sparrow and Boba Fett it’s the tiny details that add to the richness of
their overall appearance and give them far more character, at least in a
Also, because this figure is mask-less - just about the only negative I
can find for him (but this is again screen accurate, as this character is
without a mask for his entire, all be it brief screen presence) - they have
been able to put a more relaxed, almost talking expression to the mouth, as
without having to be housed by a mask it doesn’t need to be as tightly
closed. There are some fantastic details on the interior of the mouth and
exposed mandibles. HT are going to have to pull an incredible job off on the
original Pred and the new Wolf Pred from AvP: R to better this.
In the movies the Elders have facial spines, on the HT AvP version these
had to be individually stuck on and glued. On this version they’ve made them
part of the facial sculpt. It means they are not as fine, but they also
won’t fall off when you have to dust him!
He has a very heavy brow ridge which again adds to the figure/character’s
mean demeanour and the dreads are like the softer ones that came on the
first Pred 2, a thing that upset some people at first, those who liked the
wired AvP dreads, but everyone I know who has one of these, much prefers
them now as they hang with some good weight, and it makes positioning the
head a whole lot easier as well. To achieve the appearance of weight they
have angled the dreads more acutely a few millimetres after they leave the
head, some stand out more than others, but the over all appearance is more
The body is the now standard body that HT have used on all the Predators
thus far but with a different paint job, and as such is great.
He comes with three hands, all new sculpts, and even his feet are newly
sculpted to show the leather sandals this guy sported.
A few pointers on construction here: unlike the Pred 2, I’d advise fully
assembling the legs, but don’t put the lower arms on yet. Put the netting on
and then the under skirt. Next the groin armour, there’s a bit of futzing
here to get the skirt on the outside at the back but hidden underneath at
the front. It’ll make sense when you have it in front of you.
Now the shoulder armour: this slips on pretty easily, just slide the left
upper arm armours elastic strap up quite high, then run the leather strap
over his chest and secure the clasp at the back. Next I did the thigh armour
followed by the knee covers. Thankfully these aren’t as tight as on the
previous Pred 2. Now the shin armour: this is super-tight and fits like a
second skin, so I’d advise a quick dunk for a few seconds in boiling water
and then they slip on fine. Next I added the lower arms, slot on the
gauntlets and hands, add the belts and neck guard followed by the skull
necklaces and the pouch on a strap, pop on the head, a little tweak here and
there and you’re done.
Another outstanding paint job, I know there are a lot of very talented
customisers out there who will want to put their mark on this Predator and
I’ve seen some outstanding work on the previous figure, but for me this is
pretty much shelf perfect, box fresh.
I’m an old purist who keeps his packaging and likes to keep his figures
exactly as they left the factory, and it’s always a bonus when the factory
paint application is as good as this. There’s some fantastic work on the
face, I especially liked the airbrushing to give the darker rings around the
eyes, the mouth and dreads are also very impressive with some outstanding
attention to detail. And even the body has a more mottled and spotted
paternation. The armour and weapons also have some great metallic pewter and
leather paint effects. A fantastic factory job.
I’m just going to cut and paste the articulation description from last time:
“We have a ball jointed neck post, ball jointed shoulders on a swivel
shoulder blade mechanism, spinning biceps, double elbows, universal wrists,
chest/stomach, waist, ball hips, double knees and universal ankles.“
So this guy can get into pretty much any position when naked, but like his
predecessors the armour/outfit hampers him a bit. Not too much, but he’s not
gonna do a deep squat or sit that comfortably, but this is designed to
reflect what was seen in the movie, and the way the thigh guards are
designed to lay over the soft plastic straps from the trunks means he has a
lot more mobility in this area than the earlier Preds. The minimal upper
body armour also means he has a greater range of movement here as well. The
shoulder canon can’t completely retract like earlier models; this means you
can’t tilt the head quite as much as the first Pred 2.
But hey, cut him some slack, if he’s the one that took the flintlock
originally he’d be at least 275 years old, and I’m guessing he wasn’t fresh
out of diapers when he took it, so lets conservatively say he’s 300, he
should be having a nice lie down, not jumping around and fighting!
Like the Predator 2, this guy prefers his armour on the skimpy side. But
that’s a good thing as he looks far meaner with his paired down
back-to-basics look, and you just know he would take every one of those
over-armoured Pred pussies from AvP down before he even broke a sweat.
He comes in a sleeveless body stocking with a leatherette loincloth under
his groin armour and two belts.
Then there’s thigh, knee and shin armour, sandals that are moulded to his
feet. Next there’s his shoulder armour with attached cannon, each lower arm
has a gauntlet, the right has a leather strap wrapped round it and the left
is swathed in Hessian and another leather strap, seeming to announce there
is no way this guy will ever need to use his detonator to blow himself up…
he’s a professional… it just ain’t gonna happen.
Next up is his ribbed collar and over this go his two necklaces and his
pouch on a strap, once all this is in position you’re good to go.
The outfit fits like a glove and most elements are made of a softer plastic
than used before, this means of course everything has a little more give in
it and can be pushed and pulled a little more. I’d still advise a lot of
caution with the arm on the shoulder cannon, but as long as you exercise
care there shouldn’t be any major problems.
The paint apps on all of the above are fantastic with very convincing
metallic and leather tones finished off with some great washes to age and
weather him, an outstanding job.
The weird thing is, as far as accessories go, this guy probably comes the
lightest equipped of all the Preds so far, but because of his overall
maximalist-gypsy-pirate look he kind of looks even more laden than the
others, and that’s down to his beaded dreads, piercing, skulls and bindings.
So what do we actually get?
Well it depends on what you call accessory and what you call outfit. But
the things I consider accessories are his flintlock, sword and two skull
necklaces and that’s it. So we don’t get a spear or mask, which is fine, as
in the movie he is never seen with either. But this is definitely a
four-star figure, because although you don’t get as much, what you do get is
all that is needed, and it is done exceptionally well.
The skull necklaces are great, especially the beaded one and they exceed
all the Predator bone jewelry seen so far.
His sword has some nice detail on its bone and leather-bound handle and
looks just like the screen-used prop (as far as my DVD freeze-frame can
detect), I know some folks think a sheath for the sword/machete is missing,
and when I viewed the movie on slow-mo I could see what looked like it could
be one, and as he walks away at the end you see him make an action like
replacing it in a sheath. It really is difficult to make out, but mine will
be holding the sword when posed anyway, and a sheath should be pretty easy
to make should you be inclined.
And as for nice little touches, the tiny flintlock even has Raphael
Adolini 1715 inscribed (well, printed) on it.
I kind of think of the plasma cannon as an accessory, but it is very much
part of the outfit, especially on this figure as it’s permanently attached
to the shoulder armour.
Fun Factor: ****
HT figures, especially the MMS range, are on the whole far too fragile to
ever be considered play things, that coupled with a price that denotes these
really are for your more serious collectors.
So this fun category (as far as I’m concerned) is really all about how
much you are gonna love having this fantastically poseable, virtually
perfect representation of the Predator 2: Elder on your shelf, and as far as
I’m concerned it’s a faultless ****
Value: *** 9/10
SST, the official US importer, had him up for $144.99 (whoa Nelly!) and he‘s
long sold out… even at that price, but on the secondary market (in this case
meaning eBay) that seems to be the going rate or even upwards of that.
There is some exquisite sculpting here, not only on the face but also on his
amazing armour, and paint apps that just a few years ago would have seemed
impossible to achieve from a factory.
All this coupled with great accessories, an impressive box and a hefty
license to be considered it’s sometimes a wonder they can manage to do them
for a price this low. But in the real world $145.00 is a lot of someone’s
hard-earned cash, so I’m gonna just scrape it in under the full four stars,
maybe I’m being too tough as it is a most impressive piece and definitely
the best Predator so far.
As I said, best Predator so far. The Predator 2 which I reviewed just a few
weeks ago has already been overtaken in my opinion, he was one amazing
figure, and I’ve heard a lot of people say he’s their figure of the year…
just wait till you’ve got this guy in your mitts!
I did consider dropping him half a star because of the price, but to be
honest I seriously consider him a bargain at anything under $150. They’ve
managed to fit in more detail than you get on some premium format figures
and statues and ‘YOU’ can decide on the pose. Fanbleedintastic!
Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - *** 9/10
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
As I said above, SST has sold out, but you could still try their wait list.
Michael’s sponsors Dark
Shadow Collectables have him for $135.00, but apart from that it’s time
to hit eBay. I’m seeing prices of between $140 to $220, so I’m gonna hazard
a guess that this figure might be pretty thin on the ground, so find the
best price you can and get it quick!