Hot Toys Elder Predator Statue


"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."

I'm way behind on Jeff Parker's guest reviews, so I'm catching up this week.  Jeff is covering the cool Elder Predator statue tonight - take it away, Jeff!

A big thank you for running this site as always to Mr Crawford, now I’m not usually that much into statues, but I am into Predators. Not as much as Aliens, but when it comes to butt-ugly, multi-franchised fan-boy favourites they come in a very close second. So, having seen and been bowled over by Hot Toys’ (HT) 1/6 poseable figures I guessed it would be a good idea to give this a whirl, it also happened to be HT’s first licensed statue, so love it or hate it, it’d always have it’s own special little place in Hot Toys’ manufacturing history.\

Packaging: ***1/2
Like many boxes for mid to high-end statues the job of this packaging is primarily to protect its contents. So the prettier you can make a box that answers that brief the better. This answers the brief, as mine made it to me unharmed and in minty mint condition. 

It’s a large rectangular, though almost square, cardboard, full-colour printed box with a large window that goes from the mid top flap down to the middle of the front panel. Inside, the statue is in a semi-kit form all securely held in place by a moulded 2-piece clamshell, with only 1 twisty holding his arm in place. 

The box carries shots of HT’s other AvP products on the back and has a biog on the left side. The rest of the box is covered in great shots of the statue, which is a good thing, cos as I said you now have to put it together, but rest assured, it’s very simple and slots together easily.

Sculpt: ****
This is a very dynamic ‘moment-in-time’ type of sculpt. I know people differ greatly in what they want from a statue. For some it’s the standard maquette, showing as much detail as possible to be scanned for CG applications, for others it’s the more relaxed at rest character that’s not too scene-specific and for others still, it’s your raging, unleashed, bullet time ‘Kodak’ moment, and that’s what you get here.

Our Elder is clearly pretty pissed at something, leaning forward on his throne, spear thrust forward mid roar, this guy is about to rip some poor soul a new one…you wouldn’t want it to be you. It’d be a pretty good desk statue for the boss who wants to pre-warn their employees of what they’ll face when the proverbial hits the fan.

You can see some good detail shots here on the official HT website.

There’s a lot of sculpting to cover here, as it’s not just a figure, but rather a small environment. You get superbly detailed stone steps festooned with various animal and human skulls (this opens up a nice little sub plot, what if the Preds have been taking humans back to their home world to breed and hunt for sport…perhaps that’s where all those people who mysteriously vanish end up!).

The steps lead up to a back wall, which again shows some great texture and detail with some alien glyphs and writing. Then to top these off we have the throne, I’m guessing not built for comfort, and Charles Eames won’t be feeling any particular threat from it’s designer…well not in his particular marketplace anyway! 

The throne isn’t seen in the AvP movie, so HT was allowed to use a lot of artistic licence, and it looks like the sculptor had a ball. The throne has a lot of great details like the tiny Pred faces under the handgrips and the great Alien queen profile worked in on the throne’s back panel and under this is some more of the glyph work.

Lastly comes the Elder Pred himself, to sit atop the lot. There are some fantastic details here, my favourite being the tiny skulls worn around his neck and the fine work around his mouth and mandibles. 

He also comes with every sculptor’s worst nightmare: the body stocking, hard to sculpt, even harder to paint!

In much the same way as any manufacturer must feel the delight of getting ‘say’ the Spider-man licence, he knows he has a great bit of source material that if done well, people are going to want to buy, but then comes the realisation of ‘if done well’, because we all know how hard it is not only to sculpt Spidey’s costume right, but then you’ve got to paint it!

But back to this guy, the arms, legs and torso are all nice solid sculpts with plenty of detail on armour and skin texture, the head also has a lot of fine work, as I mentioned above, around the mouth especially. It appears to me that the eyes are ever so slightly off kilter, but the brow ridge is so heavy they are virtually constantly in shadow, and were it not for the few shots I used flash photography in, you’d hardly see them. The dreads are the elder blue/grey that the movies has depicted to denote age/authority since Predator 2, again nicely done and made from a softer more flexible material but seamlessly attached to the rear of the head. The cape is also a much softer material and is designed to drape over the side of the throne in a particular way, this is held round the neck with a tiny real metal chain as well.

When sitting him on the throne you’ll have to play around for a while to find the exact position he’s meant to be in. Once you find it he sits easily and well. His right hand should grip the thrones pummel and sit flat. His right foot should sit flat to the ground behind the skulls, his left foot heel sits on the top step but tilts down and over onto the next one, his butt should be flat but angled onto the throne and his left hand is grasping his spear, which is again finely detailed. I’d advise heating up the hand (I dipped it in boiling water) before you attempt to put the spear in, as it’s pretty tough plastic, but once warmed the thumb moves out easily and the spear goes in fine.

Paint: ***1/2
Like I said above, we have the curse of the Spider-suit, well, virtually. But you’ll be pleased to hear HT has done a great job on the whole. All the stonework is convincing on the steps, wall and throne, and all carry some great weathering. 

The Pred himself has some great work too, only let down by the fact we all saw those amazing proto pics, and while pretty close this isn’t quite up there with them. 

That said, if we hadn’t seen the proto job this would be pretty amazing. The metallic tones on the armour work well, as do the skin tones and the tiny skulls and bones are virtually faultless. 

The sad thing is, the only two places I feel could be improved are on the head. The eyes as I mentioned are slightly misaligned and not that visible from most angles, but they have been picked out in a very bright clean white, so when you do see them they kind of stand out more than they should. There is also some slight over-painting on the teeth, with the white coming up onto the gum across the right hand side of the mouth, though of course this might just be my one, so if you have a choice, examine the mouths and eyes closely. 

Both these things are easily rectified with the flick of a brush, but this is quite an expensive item, and you really shouldn’t have to.

Articulation: N/A
This is billed as a statue and as such there’s a big ol’ bupkis for articulation, unless you consider the fact you can alter the position of the spear in his hand, thought not!

Accessories: N/A
Well, he does have his spear and throne, but they’re all intrinsic parts of the environment.

Outfit: N/A
All part of the sculpt

Fun Factor: ***
This is really one for your hardcore Predator fans, and as such will look pretty amazing in their displays. 

But it’s a statue, so you can’t play with it, just stick it on your desk, buzz through to your PA and shout “next!”

Value: ***
This is a big hefty lump of plastic. I know when we talk about ‘statues’ a lot of folks baulk if they’re not getting polystone. 

I really can’t see the problem, in fact if it’s accuracy you’re after then on things like the gauntlet blades this figure has, there’s no way you could get the degree of detail seen here in polystone; and even if you did it’s highly unlikely it would make it to you in one piece.

Sideshow had this up for $124.99, which I think is a little steep, if it had been around the $80 to $90 I’d have given 4 stars. But I have a feeling this was made in very small numbers as the HT site and SST have long sold out, so perhaps I’ve been a little hard on it, as it seems to be very popular.

Overall: ***1/4
But for those eyes and the little bit of slop on the teeth this would’ve been a 4-star item, and even though it’s big, heavy and well sculpted, the price means I can’t give it that extra star. Still a very impressive and commanding piece though!I almost gave it 3 stars, but it seemed just a little too good to take a whole star off, when you consider the overall impact of the statue and its size.

And it has to be said, HT is their own worst enemy, as with their 1/6 poseable Predator figures they’ve spoilt us by showing us what they can achieve in terms of sculpt, paint and outfit. 

And as much as I like this statue - and I do like it - it will never quite compete with the finish achieved in the larger scale. Just check out the review I did for the recently released Predator 2 which is a figure that roars 4 stars at you, and the soon-to-released Elder Predator 2 looks to be even more impressive -  as a lot of the screen-worn props from this character were taken directly from the hero costume for the original Predator movie, bring it on!

So I guess what I’m saying is, had this come out a couple of years ago, before we had seen their 1/6 stuff, this would’ve blown us all away and got an instant 4 stars.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - N/A
Outfit - N/A
Accessories - N/A
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/4

Where to Buy -
Michael’s sponsors have it-

Alter Ego- $106.24

Amazing Toyz- $106.24 (Very low stock)

Fireside collectables- $112.50 (WITH FREE SHIPPING)

There are also a few floating on eBay for around $90 to $120 with prices steadily heading north, and one with a ‘buy-it-now’ price of $149.99.

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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