ADVANCE REVIEW: NECA's Quarter Scale Predator 2 CITY HUNTER
Big, Bad and Bold...
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If you thought NECA's 8-inch Predator action figures were amazing (read our recent Series 6 review HERE), then wait until you get your hands on a Quarter Scale Predator. A follow-up to 2011's original Predator (review HERE), NECA's new Quarter Scale Predator 2 City Hunter (and new Warrior Predator) pack all the detail and articulation of their smaller brethren but on a much, much bigger scale (approximately 20 inches). This larger format also has the advantage of special extras that couldn't be replicated in 8-inch scale, such as real body webbing and in the case of the new City Hunter, a spear that collapses and fully extends to 20 inches long! Both the Quarter Scale City Hunter and Warrior Predator ship in October, each retailing at the slightly higher price tag of around $90 (inflation for ya, the previous Preds cost $70-$80).
As one might imagine, the packaging for a figure this size is ginormous. Encased in a large closed window box, the City Hunter instantly impresses with a clear look at the figure and cool Predator 2 graphics. The easily recognizable "Predator 2" logo is prominently seen on the front and back of the box, and in case you weren't sure what you were buying, NECA went all out with additional photography of the actual figure. There's a cool close-up of the City Hunter on the back and on the corner of the box (love that effect!), with a look at the new Quarter Scale Warrior Predator on the side and the current 8-inch line-up on the bottom. A Los Angeles skyline at night, funky Predator glyphs and targeting indicators all tie the presentation together wonderfully in contrasting colors of blue and red. It's a beautiful box, but man, you keep getting distracted by how BIG it is...
Time to open this bad boy up. Word of advice: A pair of wire snippers is your best friend. The City Hunter comes twisty tied down tighter than Fort Knox. As you are probably aware of by know, twist ties are both good and bad. It's good in that your toy arrives all in one piece. It's bad because cutting through that twist tie jungle adds precious hours (okay, more like minutes) to you freeing your new collectible. And trust me, when you see how big this is, you're going to want to get this figure out ASAP to admire and play with. You're lucky I managed to take packaging photos for you...
See that picture at the very top of this review? THAT'S how big the Quarter Scale City Hunter is. It absolutely dwarfs NECA's 8-inch Predator figures. The Quarter Scale City Hunter's size is a big selling point, no pun intended, but what's even better is the amazing detail and abundance of articulation on it. Unlike many large toys, this isn't a roto-cast collectible. The Quarter Scale City Hunter is a solid, full-blown action figure backed by some serious heft. Like the smaller 8-inch figure, the Quarter Scale City Hunter features its iconic wrist blades that can extend out manually. The larger City Hunter also includes his throwing disc, but on this scale it's far superior. Not only is the disc easier to place in the Predator's hand, but stowing the weapon away in its "holster" is a snap. On the smaller figure you had hard plastic connecting to hard plastic, an unstable fit at best. In the case of the larger figure, the disc is made of hard plastic while the holster is cast in a pliable, rubbery plastic. This allows the disc to easily slip inside for a nice and snug connection.
As mentioned previously, the Quarter Scale City Hunter also features real body netting, something the 8-inch figures only have painted on due to their smaller size. The webbing is made out of plastic, and while durable, do be careful when posing and moving your figure around as to not catch and tear it. The figure also includes two switch-out left hands: one open with fingers splayed out (a cool look, for sure) and one that allows the figure to grip its extendable spear. That's right: Fully extendable to a length of 20 inches, as long as the figure is tall!
The spear itself is nicely detailed and the extending feature works well enough. Simple grab the ends and pull them out. My only complaint is that the very last spear segments, the very thin ones at the end, aren't as tight as they could be. On my figure, holding the spear up and down vertically causes the end segment to slide and collapse back in due to gravity. Like I said, not tight. However, it's a minor quip in the grand scheme of things. To have a Predator spear that can extend and collapse is awesome and there are many ways the City Hunter CAN hold it without gravity kicking in. It could also just be my spear that's loose. Who knows, but kudos to NECA for offering the cool feature.
Lastly, the Quarter Scale City Hunter packs its trusty shoulder-mounted plasma cannon. This part actually threw me for a slight loop, so let me explain. The cannon is packaged solo and must be installed on the figure. To do so, find the two rails on the left shoulder and pry them apart enough so that the cannon's slotted peg can slide in. What's neat about this, as opposed to the original Predator's cannon simply plugging in, is that it allows the cannon to slide up and down on the City Hunter's shoulder! But wait, there's more. If you slide the cannon up to a firing position, you will eventually get snagged up in the Predator's dreads. To get around this, the cannon is attached to a separate arm that lets it swing out to the side. The cannon also has full 360 degree rotation on the arm. Pretty rad.
$80 for NECA's original Quarter Scale 1987 Predator was a bona fide steal. You should smack yourself if you didn't get one. Still, $90 for the Quarter Scale City Hunter (and Warrior) is an insanely good value. Toy prices are only going up, but paying less than a hundred dollars for a figure this large and well-constructed is simply unheard of. Just think of some large figure comparisons on the market today and you'll quickly see I'm right.
If there was one drawback to the Quarter Scale City Hunter, it would be, well, its size! Some folks just don't have the room for a toy this big; I know I had to clear some serious space for it. But once you have the Quarter Scale City Hunter in your collection, you won't need any other Predator figures.... except perhaps another Quarter Scale Predator.
Review and Photography by Jeff Saylor
Review Sample Courtesy of NECA