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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 04-09-2010, 10:24 AM

    ADI/Sideshow 1:1 CHOPPER Predator Mask

    Hunting season is open for this awesome sci-fi replica...

    Those looking to add the 1:1 Scale Chopper Predator Mask to their collection can find it in-stock now at Sideshow Collectibles priced at $299.99. A FLEXPay option is also available.

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    With Robert Rodriguez's Predators looming on the horizon, collectibles of the awesome extraterrestrial hunters are on the top of most sci-fi collector's minds. A good place to start is with Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.'s (ADI) range of 1:1 scale Predator bio-masks. Packaged and distributed by Sideshow Collectibles, these life-size sculptures replicate the many unique helmets worn by the Predators in Alien vs Predator. While AvP doesn't rank as one of my all-time favorites, the film did star some spectacular designs, especially the mask worn by the "Chopper" Predator.

    PACKAGING: The Chopper mask ships extremely safe and secure in not one, but TWO cardboard boxes. The outer package is simply a big brown box for delivery. Packed inside this is yet another big brown box, only this one differs in that it actually contains the mask. It also comes adorned with a huge sticker detailing in-depth the cool collectible, including a brief history lesson on the Yautjas (Predator) species and their technology, as well as some background on the fine folks behind the replica. A small white sticker in the lower right hand corner reflects the edition size, mine being 72 out 500 masks made.

    Resting inside the second box are two sturdy pieces of Styrofoam clamshelled around the fiberglass mask and resin base. The halves are secured by tape and a blue sticker labeled "QC Passed" indicates that the piece inside has passed inspection. The multiple layers of packaging are very utilitarian in design, but they more than insure that your colllectible arrives intact. It may sound like overkill with two cardboard boxes, but when you're talking about a $300 item, you can never be too safe.

    SCULPT: The Chopper Predator mask wasn't just produced by Amalgamated Dynamics, they are the company responsible for ACTUALLY DESIGNING it. Their many credits include creature design for both AvP and AVP:R, so you know that the mask in-hand is the real deal.

    The Chopper mask immediately impresses in sheer size. This thing is monstrous, measuring a cool 15 inches tall and 11 inches wide. Its broad, sloping forehead actually makes it appear much larger. The display base is equally impressive, measuring a good 12 inches long, nearly 10 inches wide at the back and extending up around 10 inches high. You're definitely getting your dollar's worth in material alone. Sculpt-wise, the Chopper bio-mask is stunning. It's sleek sci-fi profile is very reminiscent of ancient medieval knight's armor, with curved, overlapping metal plates secured by bolts.

    While the mask appears constructed by archaic means, the inclusion of futuristic details like the built-in tri-laser targeting system and sweeping silver visor indicate a more advanced culture behind it. Sculpted pits and grooves lend the mask a realistic metal appearance, but metal it is not. The Chopper mask is built of thick, durable fiberglass and is a lot lighter than it looks. The base, on the other hand, is cast of some seriously heavy resin.

    One of my only complaints with this otherwise gorgeous piece is the closed visor. While Sideshow clearly indicates that this sculpture is not to be worn, the lack of a see through lens is disappointing. Instead, the visor is painted fiberglass, and well, it looks like it. A real lens would have gone a long way in making this look more authentic, though I still wouldn't recommend trying to wear it.

    PAINT: A complaint I've seen quite a bit on the internet regarding this mask replica is its inaccurate color. According to these reports (backed by the action figures released by Hot Toys), the Chopper Predator's mask should be a dark bronze in color. This really got me to thinking: how could ADI, the company that actually designed the mask in the movie, get the color wrong on this replica? The answer is: they didn't.

    I popped in my copy of AvP to see for myself. While hard to tell in most of his short, shadowy scenes, the Chopper's mask is visibly silver when he is being impaled by an alien's tail and brought in close for the final kill (screen capture above -Chapter 17, 53 minutes, 22 seconds in).

    That said, ADI did an admirable job of replicating the look of worn, weathered metal. The black wash is highly effective in bringing out the mask's many sculpted details, especially the pitted "hammered steel" surface. Again, I wish the visor was a real lens to achieve that higher sense of realism. As it is, the black-speckled silver used is adequate, though underwhelming. The use of a glossier, more reflective silver paint would have worked wonders in lieu of a real lens. It's more of a critical observation than a deal breaker, and there is an easy fix for it as demonstrated by

    FEATURES: The Chopper mask packs two cool features: a light-up targeting device and a magnetic base that offers two display options.

    The iconic tri-laser illuminates via a small button located on the lower back of the mask. Powered by two easy to swap out "AAA" batteries, the LED lights shine a bright crimson red and look spectacular in the dark. Unfortunately, the lights simply radiate a defused glow and do not emit a focused "three red dots of death". These are not true lasers of the laser pointer variety, however, for those with the customizing skills, working tri-laser kits do exist.

    Display stands usually take back seat to the product at hand, but in the case of the Chopper mask, the base is equally amazing. As previously mentioned, it is very large, providing a nice solid platform for your mask to reside on. It is also extremely heavy, cast of a very dense resin. It's easily twice the weight of the mask, perfect for horizontal display, but quite heavy for wall-mounting. I recommend you find a VERY solid stud in your wall if attempting this display method.

    The Chopper mask attaches to the base via a very powerful magnet: a slightly protruding hexagonal shape found on the back of the replica. This plugs into one of two corresponding holes on the stand - one for horizontal display and one for vertical. The connection is incredibly strong, so strong that caution should be used when docking the mask as to not crack it. Tilt the mask with both hands and carefully lower it into place until you feel the connecting forces kick in. Viola! Overall, the display stand not only holds the mask extremely well, but also compliments it elegantly with its sleek Predator-like design. The base's bottom is covered in a protective felt with four felt legs for added scratch protection. Product info, such as the mask's name, companies behind it and edition number, can also be found here.

    COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: The ADI/Sideshow 1:1 CHOPPER Predator Mask is priced at $299.99 and is currently in-stock at Sideshow Collectibles. A FLEXPay option is also available for three easier-to-swallow payments of $100.

    Only 500 Chopper masks were made. That's a pretty low production run that partly explains the replica's price. The rest of that price is justified by quality materials and an amazing sculpt. This is a HUGE, life-size replica with a nice light-up feature and incredible display base. While I wish ADI had put a little more effort into the visor, the mask's overall killer looks make this a hard to resist Yautja collectible. For collectors of ADI's other AvP bio-helmets - Celtic and Scar - the Chopper mask is a must-have replica to complete your collection. For other passionate Predator fans, the Chopper mask makes for an eye-catching centerpiece; an awesome trophy to convey your Predator pride.

    For even more photos of the 1:1 Scale CHOPPER Predator Mask, CLICK HERE!

    Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
    Review Sample Courtesy of Sideshow Collectibles

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