SDCC08 REVIEW: NECA's Half-Stealth Predator Exclusive
AvP:R Wolf Predator decloaks for the kill...
Love it or hate it, there's no denying Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem delivered spectacular creature designs. With a bony look inspired by ALIENS, the xenomorphs excited fans, while the new Wolf Predator awed audiences with an arsenal of amazing high-tech weapons. Tack on a Predalien hybrid and you have a monster movie ripe for toy collectibles.
A half year later and the AvP:R merchandise machine continues to churn out the film's warring species. This week we'll take a look at some of the latest releases; from pint-sized terrors to dynamic action figures. AvP:R review week is on...
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Earlier this year, NECA unleashed upon sci-fans their first batch of Predator action figures from the motion picture Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. More precisely, ONE Predator - the "Wolf" - was released featuring different looks: Masked and Unmasked. NECA continued to show the Wolf Predator love with Stealth and Unmasked Open Mouth variants, and most recently, just announced Battle-Damaged versions and a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive featuring the hunter in Half-Stealth mode. That's a BIG pack of Wolves; an impressive display of Predator power.
An action figure hybrid of sorts (not to be confused with the Predalien), the Half-Stealth Predator uses the body sculpt and articulation of Series 2's Masked Predator and combines it with translucent properties of Series 3's Stealth Predator. For the sake of not having to repeat myself, please read my review of NECA's Masked Predator HERE for the general gist of this Comic-Con exclusive. There are, however, some exciting new features and additions...
Two cool extras are an Alien Facehugger and Chestburster. The all-new AvP:R series "accessories" are nicely sculpted and painted, each semi-articulated with bendy tails. While an attractive bonus, the downside is the omission of most of the Predator's awesome gear, weaponry and interchangable hands.
Sadly, the Half-Stealth Predator comes equipped with only his plasma caster and its power pack. His cool retractable claws are still there, but absent are his trusty spear, shuriken, and whip, as well as his open alternative hand. I'm not saying all these needed to be included, the former Pred figures didn't pack them all, but at least ONE extra weapon and/or the open hand would have allowed for greater display options. Seeing that the upcoming Series 4 Battle-Damaged Predators include multiple weapons AND the two Alien youngsters, the shortage of accessories here is puzzling.
As it stands, this Predator is unique in that you get to pose him strangling the hell outta the tiny terrors (see above pics). He can also grasp his shoulder cannon for another killer pose.
What really makes this figure exclusive is the Predator's mid-cloaked design. While totally clear exclusives have been done to death, the HALF clear variety is rather rare. Palisades did it with their Muppets Invisible Beaker and more recently Mezco released a Vanishing Peter as an exclusive in their HEROES line. Nevertheless, the semi-revealing plastic combo is uncommon, adding more collector appeal to this NECA exclusive.
Predominantly translucent, NECA uses splashes of color to depict the Predator emerging from a full cloak. The paint applications here are incredible; the spots of molted flesh and steely armor looking just as amazingly realistic as the completely painted version. Kudos to NECA for a job well done and for not taking the easy "half and half" route of simply splitting the color with the clear. The Half-Stealth Predator is the most complex partially invisible figure to date; an amazing accomplisment and visual delight.
For a $20 convention exclusive, the Half-Stealth Predator was a great choice. It's different enough for die-hard fans to get excited about, but not SO radically different (aka: brand-new sculpt) where non-attending collectors are furious because they can't get one except via scalper prices on evil eBay. Cool new accessories and a phenomenal "phasing" facade make the Half-Stealth Predator a worthy addition to NECA's AvP:R collection... as well as yours.
Follow the link below for more images of NECA's Half-Stealth Predator exclusive!
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
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