We were subjected to two live action Aliens vs Predator movies, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the intersection of these two sci-fi horror franchises. NECA is covering more than just the lousy movies with their fantastic 7″ toy line, and the latest wave features three exciting new characters from a variety of sources.
I’ve discussed at length the awful-ness of the first AvP film, and I’ve mentioned almost as often that its only saving grace is the amazing action figures NECA released over the last year. Predator Series 17 delivers two more great figures from that movie, the Youngblood Predator and the Elder. Both figures utilize the same highly detailed, super articulated Elite Predator sculpt featured on the other AvP releases. Not only is this a perfectly crafted base body, but it allows the figures’ accessories to be swapped between figures.
Each of the new additions feels unique enough to earn their own place in the collection, despite the reused parts and the characters’ limited screen time. Youngblood’s armor is an entirely new tone, a shiny silver finish which lends itself perfectly to the young hunter. The Elder gets even more unique accents, such as his all new (removable!) mask, a new forked staff, and a fantastic red cloth cape. This last piece is one of the best capes I’ve seen on a toy in this scale, which is crimped at the shoulders to form a pattern that adds an interesting texture to the overall design, and the bright color offsets against the Elder’s gunmetal armor and yellow and brown skin.
I still hate the AvP movie with a passion… but these new NECA figures are so nice I can once again ignore their lousy source material and appreciate the craftsmanship on display.
The other thing that I appreciate about NECA’s AvP sculpts is that they can use the same tooling to create other (cooler) Predators. Case in point, the Alien Head Predator (AKA Serpent Hunter), our third new figure in Series 17. This hunter is from another version of Alien vs Predator, specifically the 2010 SEGA video game from Rebellion, and NECA’s toy version captures his in-game appearance to the letter.
As an Elite Yautja, it makes sense that Alien Head would use the same base body as the AvP figures, but he also features all new lower legs and forearms, a new loincloth, and of course the incredible new headsculpt featuring his iconic mask, crafted in the image of a Xenomorph. This cool-looking mask is the most notable part about this relatively niche character– the “most successful Xenomorph hunter” in Yautja history– and NECA’s sculpt nails it.
Truth be told, I have never played this game. I had never heard of Serpent Hunter prior to seeing NECA’s prototype. But this guy is so cool looking, he rocketed to the top of my must-buy list regardless.
These latest AvP figures fill in the ranks of the background Predators featured in that movie, and I’m happy to see NECA rolling right in to other, better extensions of the Aliens vs Predator universe. If Serpent Hunter is any indication of what’s to come, I think NECA’s Predator offerings in the future will be even cooler and more exciting than the great stuff we’ve already seen. You can pick up Predator Series 17 at NECA’s eBay store, Toys R Us, and other specialty retailers.