Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Elder Predator v.2 (NECA Toys)


And here he is, the last of the series 12 Predators! At the end of Predator 2, Danny Glover’s character killed the City Hunter only to meet his entire clan, led by the Elder. However, the Elder respected him with the gift of an old flintlock pistol as a sign of respect, and sent him on his way. It was probably the best sequence of the whole film, and the Elder was insanely memorable because of it.


The Elder was pretty much the only member of the so-called “Lost Tribe” to get any spotlight in the movie, and seemingly in honor of that, this figure actually has its own bio!


Aliases: Golden Angel, Greyback
Weapons: 18th Century Flintlock Pistol, Cutlass
Elder Predator is the ancient, veteran leader of the Lost Predators, and he gifts Detective Harrigan his pistol as a sign of respect as a capable hunter and honorable warrior.


Hey wait, why is this Version 2? Because NECA already released an Elder Predator way back when, using an old and outdated body design. It has not aged well, and they promised an update last year. Due to circumstances, the new figure got pushed forward one wave, and since 2014 has not been as Predator-heavy as 2013, that meant a year’s delay. The big question is, whas this worth the wait? It’s been a whole year, after all, since it was first scheduled to come out. The audience is hungry! Let’s find out!




Elder’s packaging follows the same format as the other “Lost” Predators, aside from the unique bio. It’s hard to say new things about an old design, but it works quite well.



SCULPT: ****

The little in-joke about the Elder was that he was essentially an older version of the Predator from the original movie. So yes, he uses the Jungle Hunter body as a base. Version 1 did the same thing, only using the then-contemporary (but now outdated) “Classic” body. So at the outset, they are similar.


Not to say that there aren’t differences – there are some chages in proportion between the two sculpts, with the newer one looking slightly more flexible. And honestly, when you put them in the same pose, nothing looks wrong or less accurate about the new one. His head is unique, and includes things like extra beads in his hair as well as that mandible piercing. I should note that ELder v2’s piercing dangles loosely and is not fragile – v1’s wasn’t fragile (well, this IS the same head sculpt), and unike Bad Blood’s eyebrow ring, I expect this one to last.


Most surprisingly, there are a few tiny changes in his accoutrements. His plasma caster has a sight added, and the positioning of the skull and bones on his scabbard are different. Why? Because his cannon did have the sight in the movie (seriously), and because those bones on his costume actually changed from shot to shot between both configurations (also seriously). The way this figure is set up resembles the way the Elder is usually depicted, so it’s safe to say that this configuration is best.



PAINT: ****

Despite being the sane character, Elder v2 has a substantial paint update. The original figure used gray flesh-toned plastic, while this one paints the charcoal on directly. It does result in a substantial difference when you palce the two side-by-side, and raises the question: Which is better?


Well, the new figure does have one big flaw – the paint on his dreadlocks is very sloppy. It is like that in every sample I have seen. But that’s the whole bad part, and other than that, Elder v2’s paint is quite precise and easily on par with other Predators in this line.


Comparison-wise, it boils down to pure preference. Due to the lighting in the movie scene, I have no idea which shade of gray is closer to the original, so that is a moot point. The new one is certainly harsher, which also means that he has better, sharper details. Extremely sharp, in fact. The older Predator has a more naturalistic skin tone, aprticularly in his mouth, but his details seem softer. To be honest, the two have their own pros and cons, and each compliment’s the other’s design philosophy. I can’t choose. So why choose? Get both!




Elder’s articulation is FINALLY updated from the sub-par earlier figure! He has a ball-jointed head, wrists, and ankles, ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, and hips, hinged knees, swivel waist, and extendable wristblades. Sure, he never moved around much and standing still works for him, but I really enjoy the new posing options with the Elder. Also, his old sculpt was prone to stuck or broken joints, such as mine, and erasing that problem is a massive step forward.




The Elder comes with his unique plasma caster, cutlass, and flintlock pistol, as well as an alternate right hand. The cutlass is the same as on his earlier release (and with Lava Planet and Bad Blood), only repainted. It looks nice and vicious.


Elder’s pistol, formerly belonging to Rafael Adolini, is also the same sculpt as before, only now the paint job brins out the details a little better. it fits in both of his hands, including his special right hand designed to slip a finger in the trigger guard. You can also swap that hand for an open one without any trouble.



VALUE: ****

The $20 price tag on this guy is an exceptionally good value for the stuff you get with him.




Aside from the usual (claws, thin wires), Elder is just fine durable. In fact, he seems to lack the problems that some others in his wave have been sporting, so that’s a plus!




You can find this guy in abundance in Toys R Us right now!




The original Elder was a fantastic figure, even with all of its flaws. But because of those flaws, we needed the update. And htis new toy does not disappoint. Debates about his paint may rage on for eternity, but there are great arguments on both sides (aside from the slop on his dreadlocks). I personally prefer the flesh tones of the older one, but the new paint job does bring out more detail.


But it is the sculptural and articulation updates that really bring the new Elder to life. He’s now just as good as any other Predator figure, no longer a fragile statue with stuck joints. NECA did a fantastic job in updating him, and he was well worth the year-long wait!



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