Ten Recommended NECA Predator Action Figures


NECA's assortment of Predator figures.


Of all of the companies that have held the merchandising license for the Predator franchise, NECA has obviously taken the greatest advantage of it. For years, it has produced figures based on creature designs from across the entire franchise--the movies, a fan film, ‘90s era Kenner Predator toys, and so on--and there looks to be no end in sight. At the recent Toy Fair that was held last weekend in New York City, NECA provided a look at Predator Series 12 and 13 figures that it will release later this year. These figures include more updated versions of Kenner toy designs and two figures based on Dark Horse Comics' Predator: Bad Blood miniseries that was published in 1993.

Nevertheless, many of the NECA Predator figures share the same production approach that Mattel used when it made He-Man figures back in '80s--namely, to use the same body sculpts but add different head sculpts, plastic types, paint schemes and accessories to maintain the release of new figures while keeping production costs low. Thus, for the NECA figures that are based on Predator characters from the movies, many of them have several variations: with mask, without mask, open mouth, closed mouth, cloaked, partially cloaked, and "battle damaged".

If you're a Predator fan with a limited budget, how do you go about choosing which NECA figures to get if so many of them are similar? As a fellow cash-strapped fan, here are ten recommendations that I have for what represents the best that NECA has to offer in its Predator line (so far). Click below to see the figure list.


Figure Name: Predator Hound
Series Number: 3
Design Source: Predators




In the 2010 movie Predators, the Predator finally gets a hunting buddy that isn't another Predator: the "Predator Hound". This figure was produced to scale with the other NECA figures, and it's the only action figure version that was ever made of this character.




Figure Name: Elder Predator
Series Number: 3
Design Source: Predator 2




Other companies have released their versions of the Elder Predator, but with NECA you'll get a decent replica at a reasonable price. Besides, this is the character that introduced the concept of Predators occasionally rewarding their human prey if they survive the hunt, and this idea has appeared so much in subsequent Predator comic books and movies that it has become part of franchise lore. You might want to wait just a little more for this figure, though. According to the Toy Fair 2014 preview, NECA will be releasing an improved version as part of Series 12 that has additional articulation, a plasma caster, new straps and belts, and a new foot design.




Figure Name: Shaman Predator
Series Number: 4
Design Source: Predator 2




NECA based a few of its figures on the "Lost Tribe" that appeared during the final moments of Predator 2, figures such as the Elder Predator. Shaman Predator is only seen briefly in the movie but his presence tantalizingly suggests a sort of mysticism and spirituality behind the Predators' practice of interstellar prey-flaying and skull-and-spine-snatching. Furthermore, the Shaman Predator is the only NECA figure that doesn't have any weapons (e.g., no plasma caster, no wrist blades, etc.), just a ceremonial staff.




Figure Name: Big Red Predator
Series Number: 7
Design Source: Batman: Dead End (fan film)




I wrote about the Big Red Predator before when it was first unveiled by NECA, and I still think that it's an impressive item. Big Red is the original Predator figure sculpt with a different paint job and accessories, but its bold red coloring and samurai-inspired codpiece and swords make it worthy addition to any Predator collection.




Figure Name: Jungle Disguise Dutch
Series Number: 9
Design Source: Predator




Dutch is the only human character that has appeared in NECA's line and there are a few different versions of him. Of the selection, I think that the Jungle Disguise Dutch is one of the better offerings because its overall sculpt has such an amazing amount of detail. Furthermore, for a franchise that places heavy emphasis on invisibility, it makes sense to have a human figure in his anti-Predator camouflage as part of your collection.




Figure Name: Nightstorm Predator
Series Number: 10
Design Source: Kenner




Series 10 consisted of NECA designs that were based on Predator figures released by Kenner in the '90s. What sets this striking blue and gold figure apart from the others in Series 10 is that it is the only one that employs a Super Predator body type as part of the redesign. The Super Predator build is also addressed in the figure's bio that appears on its card backing:




I also think that this figure is cool because its faux-Egyptian armor makes it looks like it belongs in a Predator/Stargate SG-1 crossover.




Figure Name: Lava Planet Predator
Series Number: 10
Design Source: Kenner




The Lava Planet Predator is another Series 10 figure based on Kenner’s previous work. Between its insectile mask and translucent red plastic body cast with yellow and black trimming, the Lava Planet Predator boasts a very unique look that makes it stand apart from the rest of the NECA line.




Figure Name: Thermal Vision Dutch
Series Number: 11
Design Source: Predator




Even though Thermal Vision Dutch is a repaint of the Jungle Patrol Dutch figure from Series 8, it's a repaint that attempts to recreate what potential prey actually looks like to a Predator. That's quite a rarity among Predator collectibles.




Figure Name: Battle Armor Lost Predator
Series Number: 11
Design Source: Predator 2




This figure is another one from the Lost Tribe in Predator 2, but it's the only Lost Tribe figure that NECA produced in two versions: The first version was the unmasked Lost Predator figure from Series 6, and the Battle Armor Lost Predator from Series 11 is the second version that includes the character’s complete assortment of hunting gear. The real appeal of this figure is its overall appearance, since its attire--the sleek mask, angular armor pieces, and a large, red-edged sword--make the Battle Armor Lost Predator look like the most technologically advanced of the Predators. Fun trivia fact: To make this particular creature costume for Predator 2, Stan Winston recycled some parts from the costume he designed for a low-budget sci-fi Canadian movie, The Vindicator (1986).




Figure Name: Classic Video Game Appearance Predator
Series Number:Not applicable
Design Source: Activision




This Predator figure isn't officially part of NECA's Predator line; it's the fourth in NECA's line of popular character figures that are painted to replicate how they appeared in 8-bit video games that were made during the '80s. Previous characters in this "Classic Video Game Appearance" line include Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and RoboCop. This figure is a repaint of the classic masked Predator figure, with shades of blue and black and a hint of cel shading, and it comes in a special window box that approximates the look and feel of the ‘80s era video game packaging.







Comments

  1. Thanks for commenting folks! If it were up to me, I'd have all of the figures. But when you're on a limited budget like I am, you have to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AWESOME! I have been debating for so long whether or not to pick up and start the AvP franchise cos they all looked the same more or less after awhile. This will get me going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, and I'm glad that I could be of help. :)

      Delete
  3. These are just amazing,.
    I really like these figures,.
    predator action figures

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto. If I had the money, I'd have almost all of them in my personal collection.

      Delete

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