Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: NECA Predators wave 11

I've mentioned previously how much I'm loving the stuff NECA is producing at the moment and this holds true for their latest wave of Predators figures, featuring Wasp Predator, Thermal Vision Dutch and Battle Armour Lost Predator.

Wasp Predator

This is the third(?) figure from the Predator vs Batman fan film (the previous ones being Big Red, who is currently going for silly prices on the secondary market, and the Albino, who was a SDCC exclusive last year - though why that was an exclusive and Wasp is on general release, I don't know). It features a yellow and black colour scheme which stands out a mile amongst the 'normal' film predators, but fits right in with the  others from Big Red's clan and the Kenner-inspired figures since they all feature more varied designs.

Articulation is the same that can be found on all the Predators. The double-jointed knees are great and really add to the poseability, however the single-joint elbows are really starting to annoy me. Considering the extensive articulation elsewhere, it's a big disappointment.

As an accessory Wasp comes with the Alien head mounted on large spear that was seen in the film. It's really fortunate that NECA has the rights to both the Alien and Predator franchises otherwise (essential) items like this wouldn't be included. Unfortunately Wasp suffers from a limp wrist problem, which is exacerbated by the (relatively) heavy Alien head on the staff. Both hands pop off really easily. Looking at it closely there appears to be some kind of moulding problem as the hands never look as though they're properly attached even after a really good shoving on. Rest the staff on the ground (which is what you'd probably do anyway) and the hand stays on fine, but have the staff off the ground and it (at least on my figure) spins round and the hand falls off.

Battle Armour Lost Predator

I can't really remember Lost from Predator 2, I assume he was one of the (numerous) Predators that appeared in the ship at the end, as such I can't comment on his screen accuracy. He does look good, however, albeit a lot more 'techno' looking that most of the other Predators.

The elbow problem annoyed me most of all with his figure as I desperately wanted to pose Lost in a good disc-throwing position, but this is basically impossible due to the size/shape of his wrist guard...things. THe sword is great. It's nice and rigid and stores really well in the sheath on his back - smoothly sliding in and out. Worth noting that due to its length he'd never be able to draw it by himself!

Thermal Vision Dutch

At times people, quite justifiably, complain about repaints as being cheaply produced and pointless; a necessary evil to counteract the high manufacturing cost of uniquely sculpted figures. But every now and then you get a Thermal Vision Dutch which is simply brilliant.

This version of Dutch is how the Predator sees him in the film and it looks fantastic. He's made of a translucent green plastic, overlayed with pink and yellow paint. Despite the paint bringing out zero detail in the sculpt and the bright green making it very difficult to see properly, my wife commented on how good a likeness Dutch was to Arnie.

I imagine there are a lot of people out there who don't collect the Predator line but are buying this one as it's so unique.

All three of these figures feature slightly different packaging, despite all being in the same wave. Dutch features Predator (1) packaging, Lost in Predator 2 themed, and Wasp in Big Red. This is a nice touch and allows (particularly mint on card collectors) people to display similar figures together.

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