Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Spiked Tail Predator (NECA Toys)

 

spikedtail-battlestance

Speaking of Kenner Predators, here’s another one I thought we’d never see NECA do! As a kid, I had always assumed that the original Spiked Tail was female – you know, long hair, card art that implied a bustline, that sort of thing. So I was intrigued when NECA said they were producing this character – would they follow my headcanon? Or would they go a different direction? Welllllll…

 

spikedtail-ready

***
The leader of the Rogue Space Tribe, Spiked Tail is allied with the Armored Lost and Lasershot Predators.  Spiked Tail’s unorthodox hunting methods and use of illegal weapons caused the exile of his team from Yautja Prime.  Using stolen time/space technology, the Space Tribe can travel much farther in the galaxy than most Yautja.  This has allowed them to advance pasthunting organic beings: they find non-organic mechanical beings to be more challenging prey and have modified their gear accordingly.  Spiked Tail’s age is assumed to be considerable, thus many suspect that the robotic trophies he claims for ornamentation are actually physical enhancements necessary to keep him in capable condition.  In addition to hunting robotic life, a mysterious rival Yautja, the pirate called R’Zor, has threatened several Space Tribe missions and thus he has also become a target.
***

spikedtail-ponytail

Well, he’s a dude. But dang, that backstory is surprisingly cool, and it ties in with the other techno-heavy Predator we have as well as LASERSHOT, who was one of the Kenner figures, as well! nicely done, folks. Nicely done.

spikedtail-packaged

PACKAGING: ****
Just as before, the packaging is a take on the old classic Kenner blister packs. And no, you’ll get no complaining from me.

spikedtail-original

SCULPT: ****
Oh man, oh man, oh man. Spiked Tail had a weird design. He even had horns! Big buffalo horns! And a weird furry forehead! And a built-in mask and stuff! NECA did not shy away from this, though they modified him somewhat – his forehead is more “normal,” and he now has two bigger horns among a ridge of spikes. I wonder what he’d look like without his mask now (well, same with the original), as we are really seeing some ethnic variation among Predators now.

spikedtail

NECA also took Spiked Tail’s cyborg armor and made it immensely complex, easily beating out even the Borg Predator. They even made some modifications to make it more techno-themed, such as replacing the severed finger trophies with little robo-finger tabs in the same spot. It’s actuall kind of funny how all the essential details from the original are there, only now updated to fit in with modern toys – and to look good. To be honest, this shows off the NECA sculpting team’s skill so well that it’s worth posing the figure with your high-end toys. It’s practically one of them as it is!

spikedtail-robohand

Spiked Tail’s dreadlock ponytail is intact from the original design, and now bendy! It’s amusing how he has this when the rest of his arsenal is high-tech, but I assume it’s a great melee option. Interestingly, he also has a robotic hand – clearly a replacement for the hand-held hand-shaped disc flinger the original figure used. Great idea!

spikedtail-face

PAINT: ****
Spiked Tail takes a huge departure from the original in color, as his skin is not dark brown, nor is his armor flat gold. Instead, he has a rather appealing mix of tans for his body, and his armor is more of a series of bronze shades. The paint job is surprisingly complex but it absolutely comes together well – one of the best that NECA has done for its Predators, to be honest. He looks absolutely fantastic, although mine has some scuffing on his horns.

spikedtail-facemask

The head paint is significant, as there’s just something about the complex detailing that recalls really high-end figures, and makes this figure stand out especially well.

spikedtail-whip

ARTICULATION: ***
The packaging advertised “new articulation,” and it took me a second to find it – as well as typical Predator articulation, Spiked Tail does have a few new joints, such as forearm swivels. Still, his sculpt gets in the way of some poses, just like many other Predators. His ponytail is bendy and feels rather sturdy, though one should still be careful with it.

spikedtail-maskcomparison

ACCESSORIES: ****
Stalker’s original mask always looked like a spaceship from a NES game, and his new design certainly matches the old one – but the individual guns/antennae are no longer as exagerrated, and the texturing is instead amazingly complex, making it virtually a work of art. I can’t decide whether to display him with or without the mask!

spikedtail-gun

Just like the original, Spiked Tail has a huge cannon that attaches to the back of his arm. Just as with the mask, NECA took the basic design of the original and updated it with Predator-style texturing and techno bits, even adding some articulation! You can adjust the gun kindasorta, back and forth a little bit. It’s a small detail, but one that makes it all the better.

spikedtail-glaive

Spiked Tail also comes with a “Glaive” that… okay, look, real-life glaives are baldes on sticks. This is a shuriken. Come on, people who name things! Anyway, the classic figure had razor discs which heavily resembled SVP glaives from like a decade before the movie came out, so including one was a no-brainer.

spikedtail-glaivethrow

VALUE: ****
At about $23, you get an insanely good figure that feels like it should be an expensive high-end piece of merchandise.

spikedtail-slouch

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Be careful not to scuff the paint on his horns, and of course watch out for that glaive!

spikedtail-aim

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

spikedtail-borg

OVERALL: ****
Well, Spiked Tail turned out to be male. But it’s cool – he’s a surprisingly fantastic figure, after all. And we shoul all be willing to let our personal headcanon go when we’re wrong, as opposed to some infamous fandoms *cough* harrypotterstevenuniverseheman *cough* who tend to go on insane rage-wars when things turn out differently than expected.

spikedtail-mask

NECA took a strange, strange design, and modified it a lot more than expected – his forehead isn’t brown or pseudo-fuzzy, and rather than two big buffalo horns he has a whole row, but everything came together extremely well. As I said before, this figure reminds me of the Play Arts Kai or Hot Toys concept/saurai Predators in a lot of ways, and relaly looks almost too good to sit at its low price point.

spikedtail-masked

Spiked Tail will probably fall behind Stalker’s glowing shadow, but you really shouldn’t ignore the figure. It’s one of NECA’s best bar none, and looks incredibly good in any display!

spikedtail-redalert

Advertisements

One response to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Spiked Tail Predator (NECA Toys)

  1. Pingback: Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Clan Leader Predator (NECA Toys) | Nerditis·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s