Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Dark Horse Predator (NECA Toys)

DarkHorse

One of the fantastic things about NECA’s Predator toyline is how it is unafraid to draw from multiple sources, whether it’s movies, video games, old toylines, fan films, comic books, or just whatever they felt like doing, they have brought to life more designs and varieties of everyone’s favorite alien hunters than one could imagine  (BTW, Ahab Predator survived his comic book appearance.  It was awesome).  And today, we look at a figure not only drawn from the comics, but designed in a manner similar to the Classic Video Game toys – painted, colored, and cel-shaded to match art!

DarkHorse-Art

Dark Horse Comics’ original Predator mini-series was pretty basic.  It was Predator 2, only with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s private detective brother as the hero.  This figure is of the Predator, and specifically designed to match the cover art – note the red in its shading.

DarkHorse-Ready

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There is no cardback text on this figure.
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DarkHorse-Staff

Haha!  Gotcha!  For all intents and purposes, this Predator’s name is Dark Horse.  Redback also works, but we’ll go with the most obvious one.

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PACKAGING: ****

The packaging is a huge window box, similar to the video game toys.  See my crappy photo?

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The interior shows off the figure as well as one blown-up page from the comic.  yes, I take pictures like this on purpose.

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The back is set up like a classic toy box so well that it makes me nostalgic just looking at it.

DarkHorse-Stand

SCULPT: ****

The Predator’s sculpt is the exact same Jungle Hunter sculpt we have gotten lots of times now.  This is the fault of the comic, though – it wasn’t a City Hunter, basically.  Now there are a few minor differences, such as in the loincloth – you can’t pose him perfectly as in the comic, but NECA worked very well with what they had.

DarkHorse-Face

PAINT: ****

This Predator is one of the more eye-catching of the collection because of the comic he’s meant to match.  Painted in bright colors with crisp, clean lines, he almost bridges the gap between the regular and video game figures.  But all the same, his color scheme does not look out of place with the others, just slightly different.

DarkHorse-Redback

I made a “redback” joke because that’s exactly it – his back is red to match the artwork.  When divorced from weird city lighting, it may look kind of odd, or perhaps he just painted himself that way because of some sort of tribal rite.

DarkHorse-Stance

ARTICULATION: ****

Dark Horse’s articulation is exactly like all of the other versions that use his body – ball-jointed head, wrists, and ankles, ball-and-socket shoulders, elbows, and hips, hinged knees, swivel waist, and extendable wristblades.  There are no surprises here.

DarkHorse-Totem

ACCESSORIES: ****

First up, Dark Horse comes with an incredibly grisly staff.  This is an entirely new accessory, and WOW!  This this is impressive, with an impaled skull, attached spinal cord, pinned bones, and even a scalp!  The red paint makes it look rather bloody, though part of me would like to see an “ordinary” painted version released with another Predator.  This thing is sick!

DarkHorse-Trophy

A surprising addition is the cardboard backdrop in the package.  It looks GOOD, and can go with a lot of figures.  Seriously, I’m loving this backdrop almost as much as the toy itself (I’ve even used it with other toys.  Niiiice).

DarkHorse-Skull

Dark Horse also comes with a mini-sized reprint of Predator #1, which gives you the context for the figure… but cuts off just as Schaefer begins to fight the Predator.  Gotta buy the whole series, folks!

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And finally, he gets a shoulder cannon, just like every other Predator.

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VALUE: ****

At about $25, you get a pretty good amount for your dollar.

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THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Like all Predators, I would watch the wrist blades, shoulder cannon, and staff.  The rest of him should be pretty sturdy, though.

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WHERE TO BUY:

Toys R Us still has them in a lot of places I’ve checked.

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OVERALL: ****

It amazes me how NECA can essentially just offer repaints and still be on top of the world.  But then I see the types of paint jobs they offer, and wonder now more.  Dark Horse Predator is fantastic, visually striking, and comes with fantastic acessories.  Great job!

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