NECA has been on a virtually flawless winning streak for 2013, and it seems like their long-running Predator collection is kind of a microcosm of their recipe for success. The toy line, and NECA in general, have been winning big thanks to a combination of creative, outside-the-box* thinking and truly next level sculpting and design, tapping into genre fans, toy collectors and nostalgia seekers alike.
Their latest Predators, based on characters from the 90s toy line by Kenner, keep the pattern going once again, with three awesome– and awesomely nostalgic– new figures. Each of these Predators is wildly different from the past releases, and remain distinct from each other as well, yet they still manage to fit the look and feel of NECA’s overall collection.
Series 10 includes three new figures, which make good use of existing base bodies in new colors and with some cool new armor and accessories that make them very much their own creatures. They include Lava Planet Predator, Nightstorm Predator (AKA Scarab) and Hive Wars Predator.
Lava Planet Predator is the most visually arresting, in my opinion. Based on the original Kenner figure (a repaint of their Cracked Tusk Predator), this figure is cast in translucent red plastic, with a yellow and black heat signature flowing throughout his body like magma. The figure sports an all new mask and arm blade, which share an insect-like, tusked style that work great together. The figure also includes a tube connecting his wrist-mounted weapon to his backpack, and a sword which he can hold very well. While the original Kenner figure glossed over the fact that this character was cast in such an odd color, the NECA version’s bio explains that his red translucent appearance is the result of a special custom cloaking device, which is always turned on to protect him against the perils of his volcanic environment. That’s a great bit of clever backstory, and it only adds to the coolness of the figure.
Nightstorm Predator was another later wave Kenner character, originally a repaint of the Scavage Predator in a much more arresting black and gold color scheme. The NECA version plays up the Egyptian feel of the original, with some truly impressive new gold armor on top of his Predators-style base body. While this means the figure loses a bit of articulation (no double knees, v-crotch hips), he ends up looking quite unique compared to the other hunters, with a taller, leaner build that looks awesome with his very dark, reptilian skin. The figure includes a very ornate horned helmet, which is removable, a very imposing two-pronged wrist blade (this thing is huge!) and an all new staff, which features a human skull and spine wrapped around the top as a decoration.
Rounding out the set is the Hive Wars Predator, originally part of Kenners Alien/ Predator crossover. The blue skinned warrior is the most traditional looking Predator in this bunch, which is accurate to the Kenner original. Based on his bio, this guy is a Xenomorph hunter, and a damn good one, and his traditional gear including a backpack mounted gun and telescoping wrist blades works well for his origin. The Blue and silver pattern of the figure looks great, tying him into the Warrior Predator from the Lost Tribe, and his new helmet works very well to set him apart, especially his awesome bright green eyes. The Hive Wars Predator also includes an elaborate scythe weapon, which he can hold in one or both hands.
Much like the Lost Tribe and Dead End Predators, I feel like this Kenner cabal will make for a great new tribe of hunters in its own right. I’m impressed by the elaborate new tooling on each figure which translates the more garish, kid-themed Kenner designs into something that fits nicely in the over-arching Predator collection, and this feels like the beginning of what will be an exciting new branch of the overall Predator family tree.
Thanks to NECA for giving us the chance to check out these great new Predator figures. You can order your set now from NECA’s EBay store– Click Here!
*No pun intended.