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Samurai Predator
Hot Toys

Bishoujo Power Girl statue by Kotobukiya


The latest Predator figure in the Hot Toys series is the first in the new Artist Collection. The Samurai Predator was a collaborative work, painted by Takayuki Takeya and sculpted by Yuji Oniki. That's the general idea behind the Artist Collection series, although we haven't seen an announcement yet of the second figure, which will tell us alot about their general plans for the series.

What is obvious is that these are intended as very high end, even more expensive than the usual Hot Toys fare, including the DX series. The Samurai Predator runs a whopping $330 or so, depending on the retailer.

Packaging - ****
This figure comes in a very unique box. The outer box is square, almost like a hat box, and very, very heavy duty. Covered in a gorgeous design, the top lifts off and inside are two standard window boxes, back to back. One box is for the Predator and his personal accessories, and the other is for the parts to the large display base.

I don't know if we'll see this style again, perhaps with the second Artist Collection figure, but I have to say I'm really impressed with the unique design. The colors and text style fit the theme of the character extremely well, and of course it's entirely collector friendly, with no need to damage anything when taking him out or putting him back.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ****
I love the overall look of this figure, and I suspect he will become one of my favorite Predator figures.

The head sculpt looks terrific, with lots of detail. Both sets of jaws fit tightly and look great, although I like the wide screaming jaws a smidge better.

He has a bit more of a bumpy noggin' than some of his cousins, but I like this slight variation quite a bit.

The long dreads in back are a soft rubber, and flow naturally down his back. There's enough to get great coverage, and I love the colors.

This figure is a big one, although he's not quite the 14" they advertise. It's much closer to 13", but it still towers over the usual sixth scale character.

Paint - ***1/2
There's lots of color here, especially in the skin and hair of the Predator. There's something about the color choices and style that does really remind you of Japanese culture and the Samurai tradition.

Cut lines are clean, the peepers look terrific, and there's plenty of small detail work to delight the eye.

So why the slightly lower score? Because I'm just not feeling the bright gloss finish on the skin and face. It makes him look plasticy, not realistic, and I much, much prefer the more matte look that the pre-production figure has in the company photos.

Articulation - ***
This body has newly sculpted parts, specifically designed for this character. However, much of the normal articulation is blocked, either by the costume or the sculpt design.

The elbows are particularly restricted, and the instructions will remind you that turning or lifting them too high can cause paint damage.

The best joint is the doubled jointed neck, which tilts, leans and turns at both joints cleanly, even with the rubbery skin cover.

You'll be able to get a good, bad ass stance out of him, but he's not the extreme action figure that some Hot Toys characters are.

There's a couple other non-traditional articulation points here as well. Don't forget that the shoulder cannon rests on a ball joint and has an excellent range of movement, and the blades attached to the wrist fold all the way back and forward indepentdently of each other.

Accessories - ****
While he doesn't have the PERS, this figure does have DX numbers when it comes to his accessories.

As usual, there's several hands, and they are designed to work with specific accessories. There's a right fist that's tighter for the metal sword; one that's a little looser for the plastic blood dripping sword; a left that holds the alien head trophy by the tongue; a right and left closed fist; and two relaxed poses.

A Samurai needs his swords, and there's two here. One fits perfectly in the scabbard that he wears on a belt at his side, and it's made from actual metal. It looks great in his hand, and will be a favorite. The second sword is plastic, because it has sculpted Alien blood dripping from the blade, perfect for displaying with the base. There's the usual extra pegs for the wrists as well.

There are several more swords sheathed and wrapped in a bundle, and these fit easily on his back. However, they do NOT come out of the scabbards.

The shoulder cannon is a separate piece, and has a true ball joint where it attaches to the shoulder. That means it has a tremendous range of movement, and looks great in place.

Like most (all?) Predators from Hot Toys, there's two sets of jaws - open and closed. They both look great of course, and you can't easily see the edges where they attach.

With the closed jaws in place, you can attach the clear red face mask, neck guard and helmet top. This is a very cool, very Samurai styled helmet, and it is fairly easy to put in place and remove.

One of the big selling points here is the intricate base. He can stand over a defeated Alien, with a severed head bleeding copious amounts of green blood. The front half of the head is a separate piece, with an extended tongue. The Predator can hold the trophy up by the tongue in his left hand. The translucent quality of the plastic gives the bleeding ooze a cool realism.

The base is very detailed, and you assemble the back 'spikes' on the Alien. It's fairly easy, since they are designed to go in only one way. There's no light or sound feature, however.

The Samurai Predator needs no base to stay upright, but there is a clip and a clear rod that can be used if you're so inclined.

Outfit -****
There isn't a removable outfit here - the armor and netting is glued in place. Of course there's the helmet, but I already covered that in the Accessories section.

But the detail sculpting and paint work on the various pieces of armor is terrific, with lots of sharp edges, finely detailed textures, and lots of layers. With both cloth and plastic sections, the costume has a depth and visual appeal that just plastic can't provide.

Another permanent costume touch is the Alien 'trophies' hanging from the back of his belt. It's the tongues, cut from several of the monsters, wrapped together. How sweet is that!

Fun Factor - ***
This isn't much of a 'toy', and kids aren't going to get much playing time with it. This is more of adult collector 'fun', which usually involves posing, decorating and outfitting the figure.

When it comes to the decorating and outfitting, you'll have a great time. There's enough to do to make it interesting, but none of the assembly is frustrating or unnecessarily difficult.

Value - *1/2
Here is where things get tricky. At around $320 - $350 at most retailers, this is a VERY expensive figure. There's no light feature, no sound feature, and he's not a well recognized character. 

The quality is absolutely there - you can tell it's not the usual figure, even for Hot Toys standards, before you even open the box.

This is a figure that will only bought buy a) the serious Predator fan or b) the serious Hot Toys completist. Even they will feel the serious pinch.

Things to Watch Out For -
The helmet can be a little tricky to get into place, particularly the neck protector. Follow the instructions, and you should figure it out, but take your time.

I also managed to pop off both shoulder pads when raising the arms. The instructions say they can go 90 degrees, but you might want to not go that far. I didn't break them, but they popped loose at the glue point. Easy enough to fix, but you'll still want to take care.

Overall - ****
I hit this guy pretty hard on the value score, so it's a bit surprising that he still managed to pull a full four stars Overall. But this really is a very impressive figure, and while I tend to be hard on collectibles when it comes to price, this one impressed me enough in the other categories and the 'intangibles' that I had to go all the way.

As I said in the Value section, this is not the sort of figure the average collector will pick up. At this price point, it's only for the serious Hot Toys fan, or the serious Predator fan. Even then, he's a stretch for any wallet.

But when the voting starts for the Poppies and the People's Picks in another month, I suspect he's going to be very high on the list.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him for $360.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him in stock at $330.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I'm a big fan of the Hot Toys Predator series. Check out these other reviews - 

- earlier this year was the Classic Predator, from Predators.

- prior to that I covered Noland, with other reviews including Royce, Falconer Predator, and Berserker Predator.

Hot Toys has done several figures from the original Predator flic as wellk, including the big guy himself, Billy and Dutch.

Then there's the Hot Toys Lost Predator, and the Machiko She Predator.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Samurai Predator sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


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

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