The stealthiest Predator in the Kenner Clan makes his NECA debut with this year’s Comic-Con exclusive.
In the early 90s, Kenner caught lightning in a bottle when they released toy lines based on some of the most kick-ass action/ horror/ sci-fi properties of the previous decade, including Terminator, Aliens, and Predator. Spinning off each franchise into a (somewhat) kid friendly context, Kenner’s original creations added a fun, weird new avenue to each property’s universe, and it’s great to see NECA continuing to explore them.
The latest entry in NECA’s Kenner Predator collection is Ambush Predator, this year’s Comic-Con exclusive, based on the mail-away figure offered by Kenner in 1992. Cast in translucent plastic, the gimmick of the original toy was that his mask, chest plate, and oversized wrist blades were removable, which could convert him into “stealth mode” (granted, most of his body was pretty much in stealth mode already).
NECA’s rendition of the original gives a nod with his removable, chrome plated mask, but they didn’t stop there– the new Ambush Predator also features a second, painted mask with striking green eyes, that matches the weathered, silver tone of the huge bladed gauntlets. These new weapons snap onto the figure’s wrist guards, and look exactly like the vintage accessories, which not only gives Ambush a unique look in NECA’s collection, but allows you to share these accessories with other hunters.
Ambush Predator himself is a direct recast of NECA’s original creation the Viper Predator, right down to the mask. This is actually a cool twist on the figure’s origin– like Mattel has done with their Masters of the Universe Classics line, NECA has developed biographies for each Predator figure, tying them together into one shared universe, and Ambush is no exception. According to the NECA storyline, Ambush is actually an experimental armor, which was discovered and used by the Viper. This is a fun way to connect one of NECA’s in-house designs closer to the Kenner collection, while serving as the perfect opportunity for them to recycle existent tooling.
While there’s a lot to love about NECA’s Ambush Predator, I was disappointed that they did not include the removable black chest armor of the original figure. While another new accessory would have increased production costs, the armored Lost Predator had a chest plate similar enough that including it here may not have exceeded budget, while completing the look of the vintage figure. Without it, the new Ambush Predator looks slightly incomplete, despite the striking appearance of his wrist blades and masks.
Like other Kenner Predators from NECA, Ambush is packaged on a blister card which replicates the design of the 90s figures. Since Ambush was originally released as a mail-away in the all-too-familiar white mailer box, NECA’s version actually marks the first time the figure has been released on the vintage cardback. It would be a shame to keep this guy carded, though, as even the simple action of swapping his two masks back and forth is considerably fun, and he looks great with the rest of the Kenner Predators. With only a few characters to go from Kenner’s roster, it’s looking more and more likely that NECA will complete their version of the clan, and Ambush is a welcome addition.
Thanks to NECA for giving us the chance to shine the spotlight at the new Ambush Predator!