Early in 2013 (or late in 2012), NECA released Big Red Predator – a samurai-themed Predator whose design came from a fan film, Sandy Corolla’s Batman: Dead End. This was amazing, opening the doors for all sorts of new toy ideas. And since then, fans have whetted their appetites in anticipation for more of the Dead End clan. The one Batman fought was a standard Jungle Hunter, but Sandy Corolla had shown off designs for an albino Predator and even a yellow and black “Wasp,” whose costume was toned down for the film. Well, NECA has kept up, releasing Albino in July and Wasp just now – the three “new” Predator designs from Dead End, each one released roughly six months after the last. Nice timing!
A member of Big Red’s clan, the Wasp Predator is a ruthless hunter whose flesh tones and skin patterns resemble those of the flying insect. He has even customized his Bio to match.
Armed with wrist blades and his unique spear staff, the Wasp routinely decapitates his victims and mounts their severed heads atop his spear. When not hunting with Big Red, the Wasp takes flight in his customized Blade Fighter vehicle. His sole purpose is to hunt down and exterminate every Xenomorph he finds.
One question: If Predators can only see in infra-red and absolutely cannot make out surface color or texture, how did he know what to paint on his mask? Okay, okay, MST3K Mantra, just relax…
Anyway, Wasp’s full design did not actually make it into the movie – his mask was swapped out for a plain one. I’m happy that they made this version instead, as otherwise it would have been too similar to a standard, ordinary Predator. The “Blade Fighter” is a reference to a vehicle in the old Kenner toy line, which was kind of a mixture between a motorcycle and a personal airplane. In the movie, an unmasked Predator held the spear, but that one was also a standard character type, so giving he accessory to Wasp makes sense. And now that we have the third Predator who faced Batman, let’s see how he holds up!
Wasp’s package is exactly the same as other Predators, and it includes Corolla’s concept art – just like Big Red and Albino, actually. I like the continuity there, and I appreciate how he has an actual biography. Without typos, even.
This is a straight-up repaint of the standard masked Jungle Hunter, with a right shoulder pad borrowed from Albino Predator. I have remarked on this body before, most recently when reviewing Hive Wars Predator. And just as then, I have compliments for it – it’s the same well-detailed, film-accurate sculpt as always. Like the others from his clan, Wasp does not have a plasma caster, although you can fit one to him if you have a spare. His bio mask is “Standard” – i.e. smooth like the Jungle Hunter’s, not stylized like Hive Wars. The nice thing about the standard Predator mask being so smooth is that it lends itself to a lot of great repaints, such as Big Red or this guy. But really, there is only so much I can say about a sculpt I have discussed many times already.
Well, both of his hands are posed to grip his spear, and without it he does look like he’s giving a thumbs up. So there’s that.
I love the color yellow. When I was a little kid, my room was painted yellow. Yellow is awesome. It’s bright and sunny and happy. So I am totally jazzed that they colored this bloodthirsty alien hunter a nice, bright shade of yellow. Big Red was yellow, but his armor was also red, and it was easy to not notice his skin color unless you had him next to a normal beige Predator. But with Wasp? Wow. He might as well be a crosswalk.
The stripe patterns on his hide fit the general Predator color scheme, only they seem slightly more banded – just enough to make him look like a wasp. His bio mask design also accentuates the insect theme, though its dark patterns also do not look out of place. The mask itself is also a darker shade of yellow than his body.
Most of Wasp’s armor is silver, albeit flecked with rust. Little bits and pieces of bright, metallic blue highlight a few areas, and really make him stand out. In fact, I think the blue really makes the figure eye-catching.
And now for Wasp’s one major paint flaw – although the netting on his torso is done very well, he has no netting apps on his legs! This is to match the original costume (which had no net), but you would think that non-netted leg pieces deserved actual tooling. Having the details unpainted like that looks like an error even if it is not.
Wasp Predator has typical Predator articulation – a ball-jointed head, hands, and feet, ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, and hips, double-hinged knees, swivel waist, and extendable claws. He uses the Jungle Hunter body, so expect a tiny bit of limited movement around the wires connecting his torso and shoulder armor, though they do extend a pretty good distance.
Wasp comes with one unique piece of equipment – his trophy spear! This prop came from the movie – in the big three-Predator group shot, the one on the right is holding it up. it is a pretty basic war scythe, surprisingly realistic. The shaft is as yellow as everything else Wasp owns, and its blade is pretty vicious.
Of course, the main thing is how it’s topped with a trophy head! Sadly, this cuts down on its playability – unless Wasp is going to use it as a makeshift hammer, this weapon is not going to be killing people. It looks nice when posed, though, which is what matters.
But keep in mind one caveat – the spear is really top-heavy, and his wrist is likely to pivot and swing it down. It shouldn’t be too hard to pose Wasp with it, though,
Like the other Predator figures, Wasp will run you about $20. Take that, Mattel!
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
His spear is pretty thin, so be careful not to break it. And of course, watch the rubber wires on his armor. Other than that, he should be fine…. although Predators often end up with loose hips. If his ball-jointed hips do become too loose for you, you can “fix” it with superglue – squeeze a TINY BIT in the joint, and then keep moving the joint CONSTANTLY until the glue has dried. That way, it does not bind the plastic, but forms an extra layer to add some friction. This is risky, though, for obvious reasons.
WHERE TO BUY:
Aside from the fact that he is a simple repaint and the weirdness with his legs, Wasp is a fantastic figure. He rounds out the Dead End trio, is really visually striking, and comes with a unique weapon.
As I have said before, making figures from Sandy Corolla’s films has seriously expanded the scope of what is “acceptable” for a toy line. In 2013, we saw the Kenner Wave of Predators, and even other concepts like Battle Armor Lost. It only makes me wonder what goodness we’ll get next!