Tracker, Berserker (Unmasked) and Battle Damaged Classic...
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NECA continues to express their love for all things Predator with their latest wave of action figures based on the newest feature film - Predators. The latest series includes a nice mix of classic and new which will make old time fans and newcomers rejoice. The series consists of the Berserker Predator unmasked and ready to rage, the tusked Tracker Predator and a Battle Damaged Classic Predator (masked).
PACKAGING: The trio of figures come packaged in the same blister card design that was introduced in the first Predators series. The backer card is cut in the shape of the Berserker Predatorís profile which sets this figure line apart from others film-based toy lines.
The full color inserts on each blister features a high resolution close-up of each corresponding Predator and the card back features a cool character bio and additional high-res images of the figure within the package. Aside from the Cult Classics re-releases, this is the first film-based figure line to receive the classic blister card design.
SCULPT: The level of detail captured on these Predator figures is truly impressive, but yet again, we are talking about NECA here folks! Each figure in this assortment is significantly different in many ways and sculptor Kyle Windrix has done a fantastic job at rendering the intricate details that set each creature apart. The Berserker predator features one of the most amazing head sculpts in the collection so far with its uniquely different facial design. The Tracker Predator's bio-mask is vividly detailed with its protruding bone tusks and the Classic predator has a new half-torn mask that partially reveals his face underneath.
The armor pieces on each Predator are each rendered with an enormous amount of futuristic detail and are minimally affected by the cut joints on the body. As a whole, all three of the Predators feature an incredibly high level of sculpted details.
PAINT: The color application on the Predators is some of the best work I have seen on NECA figures recently. The distinctly different coloring on each creature is a crucial aspect of these characters and artists John Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp have nailed it right on the head.
The highlighted colors on each Predator's tendrils are decorated beautifully and contrast nicely with the random metal-colored rings The lighter yellow and greens used on the Tracker stand out the most among the trio, but the Berserker comes in at a close second place with some amazing color applications on the head and the vivid clash of reds and grays on his skin.
The black body netting on the Classic Predator seems as if it was been applied inaccurately but it may be an intentional thing to further illustrate battle damage and tears consistent with this variant version of this character. The Classic Predator also features neon green blood spatter on random wounds around the body and the battle damage details on the bio helmet, such as scuffs and scrapes. Overall, the paint application on all 3 Predators is of very good quality and high detail.
ARTICULATION: When it comes to range of movement, these Predators possess enough articulated joints to allow for a good amount of posing options. While all three Predators feature 20 points of articulation, the waist articulation differs between the "super" Predators and the "classic". The Berserker and the Tracker have a ball socket waist, while the Classic Predator has a swivel joint instead. While the waist joint difference is not a big deal, the Berserker and Tracker are a bit more versatile because of the ball-joint.
All the Predators feature the following articulation joints: Ball-socket head, shoulders, wrists and feet; ball/hinged elbows and knees; and swivel v-crotch and mid-thighs.
ACCESSORIES: The Predators do not include any packed-in accessories, which is a bit disappointing. It would have been great if the figures came with skeletal trophies or diorama bases, but considering the cost of plastics today, this would have jacked up the retail price on the figures significantly. The Berserker and Tracker each include a non-retractable blade of various lengths which can be easily detached from the wrist and interchanged with another figure. The Tracker includes a longer blade while the Berserker features a shorter one.
The Classic Predator includes his iconic dual wrist blades, as well as a removable pack with mounted plasma cannon. While this piece is not really an accessory because it is an integral component of the Classic Predator's suit, its detail and articulated cannon is worth mentioning here.
OVERALL: Whether you are a hardcore Predator fan like me or are just into cool creature toys, this new NECA figure assortment is guaranteed to please. These figure retail for around $15-17 each depending on where you purchase them from. While the main hunters from the film Predators have all been done, fans can still expect plenty of Predator coolness in the thrid assortment. Predators Series 3 will include the hounds from Predators, fan-favorite Elder Predator from Predator 2, rounded out by a masked version of the original 1987 Predator.
Review and Photos by Jorge Pelaez
Review Samples Courtesy of NECA