Yes, I’m STILL excited about August’s Predators Series 10. And since the last article was so negative, why not go super-positive today?
Kenner made a lot of Aliens and Predators figures, and I still have a decent number of them. So hey, why not talk about it? Let’s look at some of the most distinct Pred designs from Kenner’s old toys, and ask whether or not we can ever seen an update!
NOTE: When I discuss each figure’s chances of being made into a NECA toy, I’m suspending my disbelief a little bit. Series 10 will probably be the only Kenner Tribute, but this article assumed that more will be made like it. Bear with me here.
Clan Leader was the only “Deluxe” figure in the line – previous Deluxes had included two Alien Queens. The difference in size and price was negligible, but noticeable when you put the figures side by side (this guy is about six inches tall). Clan Leader’s clearly a little more unique than either of his movie counterparts, what with the horned mask, cyborg stilts, and crazy robotic weaponized dreadlocks.
Oh yeah, those. They were his action feature – flexible rubber hoses with string in the core, tied to those little anchors. When you pulled down on a lever behind his head, it made the dreadlocks pull inward, and if you did it fast enough, they could flail. It was a nice little feature, though the dreadlocks were prone to tearing and breakage over time. Oh, yeah, and he also had those stilts, too.
Action feature aside, the Clan Leader had kind of a cyber-samurai thing going, which somehow reached his helmet even though it matched absolutely nothing from Japan. And of course, that halberd of his is one of the best in that scale.
CHANCE OF BECOMING A TOY?
Despite the fact that he has a gigantic head and a klingon forehead, I could see this guy getting made with minimal tooling – probably a mixture of Super Predator torso parts with the Predator 2 Clan Leader’s head. Add in some giant metal tentacles, and you’ve got it!
Now, here’s where the basic Predator design changed a little. Though not as dramatic as the unproduced four-armed Heavy Infantry Predator (look it up. Pictures exist), Stalker has all sorts of things going on – like those ram’s horns, and all. That, and his armor is pretty unique, being partly made up of Xenomorph parts. It’s more obvious on the box art, which showed more details than were painted, but he’s got Xeno bits on the shoulders and thighs, the face of a Xenomorph on his chest (teeth painted in the art, unpainted on the figure), and a tail wrapped around his left arm like a whip.
See, his big action feature was glowing in the dark – which, while cool, totally obscures detail. He also had a harpoon launcher with spare ammo, which is pretty good itself! So, why is he glowing? My guess is that his armor makes him invisible to Xenomorphs, with a side effect of leaving him highly visible to everybody else. But if only there was a version of him with darker paint…
…Oh wait, there was! Kay-Bee Toys repainted nearly all of the Predators with new colors, including making their skin a uniform ivory shade. ALthough his face is too bright on this new version, you can see the armor much better! And that ill-fitting mask. Seriously, it’s too small for his face.
CHANCE OF BECOMING A TOY?
Not much. Nearly everything about this guy would have to be tooled from scratch. It would be nice to see his skirt as a skirt, and not broken up in the middle, though. It’s such a pity that we probably won’t see an update of this guy, though. I just love the design, as strange as it is.
See that? BOOBS! Spiked Tail is a FEMALE Predator! Now, the figure’s pretty flat-chested, but that might have been a running change, or a sculpting error, or… look, I assumed it was female back when I first saw the figure and art, so I ain’t letting go of that assumption yet (and yes, there was a repaint, but those lighter colors looked weird).
Spiked Tail is pretty unique in a lot of ways – aside from the whole female bit, she has the longest dreadlocks of any Predator, having woven the into a spiked ponytail. Her forehead looks different from any of the others, she’s got buffalo horns, and she’s alsoi the only one who always wears a mask. Her bio-mask accessory is a second, weaponized mask that rests over the first one. Funny thing is, on its own it looks like a little space ship of some kind.
Spiked Tail’s gimmick was pretty simple – a spring-loaded waist to help her toss razor discs! Enjoy them, these three buzzsaws were the closest we ever came to getting smart discs in the Kenner line, and they turned out to be so big that she needed a special carrier to hold them.
So, this is one of the strangest-looking Predators ever, but it also just may be the first female!
CHANCE OF BECOMING A TOY?
See above with Stalker – lots and lots and lots of retooling would be needed, with practically nothing coming from a pre-existing figure. But hey, I couldn’t see a toy company balking at a valid chance to add some sex appeal to a line, even if the sex appeal is hulking, horned, warty, and kind of a terrifying monster. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t work out all that well.
Late in the line’s life, Kenner produced two electronic figures – a Swarm alien, which was like two bugs mashed together and who also had eyes… well. Okay, I’ll put a photo of that guy underneath this review. It was weird, but cool.
Anyway, back to Lasershot. He had two cannons (I lost the missile from his rocket launcher), cybernetic implants in his eye, and a topknot ponytail! The funny thing is how much he resembles good old Nightstorm.
CHANCE OF BECOMING A TOY
Lasershot could be made mostly with reused parts, so I’d say it’s fairly likely. His left hand could be interesting, though – that’s not a metal glove, it’s a metal claw in the shape of a hand. His left hand is actually balled into a fist beneath it, which is honestly pretty cool.
So, there you go – four of the most “unique” of the Kenner Predators we haven’t seen yet! There’s also Night Recon, whom I may bring up if I ever track down one of the figures, myself (It’s one of the few I don’t have!). It may be a while, though, since I rarely see that guy on eBay with all his parts.
Oh yeah, here’s that Swarm Alien I mentioned.
Kind of weird that it has eyes, but it looks cool, regardless.