Predator

All posts tagged Predator

Predator 2 was released for the Sega Megadrive in 1992 by Arena Entertainment and developed by Perfect 10 Productions. It was an Isometric scrolling shoot ’em up based on the Predator 2 movie. You play as Lt. Harrigan and have to save hostages that the drug dealers have captured to offer as trophies for the Predator and ultimately defeat the Predator himself.   

Title: Predator 2
System: Sega Megadrive
Publisher: Arena Entertainment
Developer: Perfect 10 Productions
Released: 1992
Genre(s): Isometric scrolling shoot them up


Most games based off a movie license don’t tend to be very good, this game, however, is quite the different story as it combines locations from the movie with fun run and gun action and the one objective of rescuing hostages before taking on some kind of level boss, whether it’s drug dealers or the Predator himself.

Pretty basic stuff, but with little details added to create more tension and a sense of urgency as the predator will pick off the hostages if you don’t rescue them fast enough and even hunt down you if you waste too much time.

Too many deaths on your hands and its game over. You’ll be relentlessly gunning through a crowd of drug dealers to reach that hostage at any cost. You can also pick up a variety of weapons, including some of the Predator’s own weapons to use as well.

Time to get a move on!

PRESENTATION

Great opening screen and in between each level there are images taken from the movie that are used to great effect. Very basic options and a handy password system.

Opps! One less hostage to rescue!

GRAPHICS

Good sized graphics and nice animation. There was a decent attempt at making each level based off scenes from the movie, even back in the day I thought the graphics were quite good and time hasn’t changed my opinion. There is a nice variety between each level design too, so it never feels too stale.

SOUND

The sound is a standout for me, each level gets its own music theme and I think each one does an excellent job at creating the appropriate mood. Some of the music really adds a sense of urgency. The gun sound effects are good too.

RESPONSIVENESS

On Emulator and console, the controls are very responsive! Even if you don’t need to be too precise when playing this game, it’s still refreshing to have responsive controls.

LASTABILITY

Once you beat this game I don’t think you’d need to go back and play it too often, but, it is still very enjoyable I found to play it from time to time as the programming and graphics are just that good.

OVERALL

Even although this game isn’t too deep, it’s still a joy to play and is well made, it captures the feel of the movie quite well, it’s a shame they never made the first movie in the same type of format, as I think it would have been just as fun to play. Overall this is a fun game based off a movie license.

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The Predator is one of my favorite movie monster designs. I really love the original design by Stan Winston from Predator and to a lessor extent Predator 2. I always liked the end scene in Predator 2 when Danny Glover’s character Mike Harrigan is surrounded by the other Predators from that clan after killing the City Hunter Predator. The uniqueness of each Predator’s design I feel inspires me to try to make my own Predator figures.

NECA has made a lot of predator figures by now and that makes it a little easier to put together a custom one. This is my first custom NECA Predator which I’ve nicknamed ‘Gremlin Predator’ mainly due to the green skin pattern and mask design. I’ve got at least one more custom Predator in the works, which I’ll post when it’s finished

This custom uses parts from a couple of Predators: Guardian/Gort, P1 and Borg/Lost. I repainted the armour brown with a metallic dry-brush to bring out the details. I’ve quite happy with the results.

NOTE: since taking the photos I’ve also added the Predator 1 bone necklaces to help add a little bit more character to the figure.

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Check out my previous NECA Predator custom/repaint HERE.

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

 

I’m slowly growing a small NECA Predator collection. After buying the Lava Planet Predator I picked up a few more. But top of my list was the original Predator. Unfortunately no perfect version existed, as the only version I could find, made in that translucent plastic, was the version that came with dutch in a two pack and it was “battle damaged” so after replacing the armour needed and a little bit of repainting on the actual figure, I just needed a new head.

I managed to snag a classic predator with open mouth off eBay (Thankfuly not a cheap knock off from china as eBay is swamped with them!) and after a few washes, paint touch up, dry brushing and a clear gloss coat, it matches the new body almost perfectly. Just goes to show the power of good paint application!

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NECA has been making 6-8 inch Aliens and Predator figures for a while now, and a Dutch figure has been in demand for a long time from fans. We did get one from Hot Toys a while ago, but now  NECA is bringing us a whole stack of 7 inch figures with series 9 of their Predators line they have released two more Dutch variants along with a Predator variant.  One such variant being Jungle Encounter Dutch.

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Name: Jungle Encounter Dutch
Line: Predators
Manufacturer: NECA
Released: 2013
Price: $25.00 AUD
Scale: 6.9 Inches in height
Accessories: one assault rifle, one pistol, one knife.

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I’ve slowly been getting back into the small scale action figure scene, mainly thanks to Mattel with their WWE wrestling figures and now also thanks to NECA with their ever expanding range of Alien and Predator figures. I recently reviewed their Lava Planet Predator update and was quite impressed by it. I knew about Dutch and his many variations but was trying to hold off from buying one. I finally caved in and bought one and once again I’m pleasantly surprised.

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SCULPTING

One of the most critical aspects about this figure is how close Dutch will look to the source material and how close Dutch will look to Arnold Schwarzenegger. NECA have pulled this off quite well and I was very impressed with the likeness of this figure, there’s no mistaking it for anyone else other then Schwarzenegger, in his 80’s glory. The work on the chest and arms is excellent too; not to mention the pants, boots and tactical vest are great. There are many nice details and folds sculpted that all look nice and natural. I was really blown away by how at this scale the figure is really just that good.

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PAINT

The paint on this figure is top notch, NECA have hit this one out of the park. The flesh tones are created by first using a base cast in a white and ever-so-slightly translucent plastic with flesh washes over the top. These washes really bring out the detail and help to make Dutch look as life like as he can get for the price and size. The ‘camo’ on the face looks great too and the pattern on Dutch’s pants is amazing! His tactical vest is cast in black, which is fine as it doesn’t harm its appearance too much. One thing is that the paint apps on the face can be a little hit and miss, so you still have to pick one up in person to make sure you get one you like, but besides this, it’s still a great job by NECA.

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ARTICULATION

Dutch comes with a lot of articulation. Enough to get all the poses you would want out of him without too much trouble, as you can see from the photos I could get a good number of action poses from Dutch, he’s pretty much a dream to pose. The articulation for Dutch is as follows: ball jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, ball joint wrists, ball joint chest and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel/hinge knees, top of the boots swivel 360 degrees and ball joint/rocker ankles. NECA are doing a great job giving us a good balance of articulation that works with or is hidden by the sculpting. None of Dutch’s joints look odd or unnatural either.

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ACCESSORIES

Dutch comes with his M-16 assault rifle with grenade launcher attachment, a pistol and combat knife. All these accessories look great; the assault rifle is the stand out for me seeing it pretty much oozes awesomeness; the pistol is nice to have, but I don’t really recall Dutch using it much in the movie. The knife unfortunately can’t really be used by Dutch at all, as his hand can’t really hold it properly – best to leave that one in its sheath.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

My main complaint is that Dutch wants to fall over every now and then when I’m not looking. This is a typical NECA problem with their figures and sometimes it can get frustrating having one fall over and take out other figures in front of it (The Predator 2 preds and Corporal Hicks love to do this). This is a problem they really need to work on and the other one being their production control on their paint apps – I would love to be able to order NECA figures online, but the risk of getting a horribly painted figure is too great, so I have to resort to buying them in person where I can. There are a lot of companies that can get this right, it’s a shame NECA still struggle with this as it can really hurt the figure big time, especially seeing these figures are aimed at collectors, not kids.

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PRICE

I purchased my Dutch figure for $25.00 AUD from a great store here in Sydney called ‘Anime at Abbottsford’. I was happy with the price and I’m friends with the owners – Bradley and Hansen (they even went upstairs to check if they had any extra figures as the one on the shelf had a bad paint app on it and found two more to choose from!). If you are able to, please check out their store as they really go all out to help you and have excellent customer service. With that said, $25 was good deal for a NECA figure here in Aus.

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OVERALL

This figure was a slow burn for me, as far as purchasing it goes. I knew it existed, I knew it was good, but I didn’t want to pull the trigger on it straight away. Now that I have it, I’m glad I did get it as it fills a void on my shelf of small scale action heroes. If ‘Predator’ is one of your favourite movies, then there is no other choice then to go out and buy this figure ASAP. It’s just that good. NECA deserve a pat on the back for this one and it’s good to see them really pick up their game of late. The figure isn’t without its issues but overall it ticks all the boxes for me. It makes it very hard not to go and pick up a Rambo too now to compliment Dutch!

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NECA has been making 6-9 inch Aliens and Predator figures for a while now, and with series 10 of their Predators line they take a look back on previous offerings with a modern update. NECA has decided to release three Predators based on the Kenner Predator line from the early to mid nineties. Tonight I am looking at the Lava Planet Predator update.

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Name: Lava Planet Predator
Line: Predators
Manufacturer: NECA
Released: 2013
Price: $18.99
Scale: 8.5 Inches in height
Accessories: one sword

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I’ve stayed away from small figures for a long time and by small figures I mean 6-8 Inch movie license type. When these were coming out, I was heavily into Hot Toys and still am to this day. You can’t beat Hot Toys at anything right now. Therefore I never fell into that hype people were putting on NECA’s stuff because, quite frankly I couldn’t see what the big fuss was about, seeing the figures in person, the main thing that killed it was the horrible paint apps that 90% of their figures have, also using cut joints for the groin articulation is never a good idea. But there are people who still persist and say they are great. I could see that they were finally improving their articulation and sculpting with the Rocky line etc.

To me that just looked like mincing Hot Toys on a smaller scale. So now we come to their Predators line, Which started off just making McFarlane Toys style Predators and now is slowly moving towards what they should have started to make to begin with, which was great articulation that is thoughtful and in some cases well hidden with good sculpting and great paint apps. Well, the paint apps still have a long way to go, but everything else is steadily improving.

What finally made me bite the bullet was the retro Kenner Lava Planet Predator. I’m a fan of the Kenner line and this update by NECA looked really good. So I placed my pre-order and now the Predator is finally here, so has my opinion of NECA’s products changed? Let’s find out!

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SCULPTING

If NECA have one thing going for them it’s sculpting. They always succeed in that category and considering the size of their figures to continually make detailed and well proportioned figures is always a plus. The Lava Planet Predator is mainly reused from previous Predator 2 releases. But that’s not necessary a bad thing, because that basic Predator body is very well sculpted. You have everything you would come to expect from a predator figure: body armour, cloak netting, dreadlocks etc. There are a few new parts – mainly the mask, wrist blade and a long cable/tubing from the wrist gauntlet to the back armour. All these new parts are done quite well and are just as detailed as the rest of the figure. The new mask is what really captures my attention the most, it looks very much like the source material and is really detailed with plenty of groves, ridges and fine detail.

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PAINT

Much like the original toy, this figure is cast in translucent red plastic, so paint is kept to a minimum; I love the clear red plastic! It looks awesome and really makes the figure stand out from other predator figures in the same series. What paint we do have is mainly used on the armour and a little on the body itself. The armour paint is mainly metallic red tones, which look quite nice and don’t get too lost in the overall red colour of the figure. There is a small section of grey armour like the original toy. I would have preferred they didn’t do this, as the prototype of the original Lava Planet Predator from Kenner had the predators armour all red. Although it’s only a small section, I feel it ruins the overall look just a little bit.

There are also black and yellow markings on the predator’s body just like the original toy. These look great and are neatly applied. They have added a few more markings then the original, but what has been added looks fine and doesn’t take away from the figure. Black has been used for the “cloth” parts of the figure with sliver also used for the bands on the dreadlock. Almost all of the armour has a black wash to help bring out those details and it works quite well to do so.

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ARTICULATION

Here is another category where NECA shines. This is now a standard base for NECAs Predator figures and it is a very good base at that. The figure has the following articulation: Ball jointed head, Shoulders are ball and socket as well as the elbows. Hands are ball jointed. The waist is a single ball joint. Hips are ball and socket joints, the knees are double hinged and finally his feet are ball joints too.  The range of poses that can be achieved is quite extensive! You can get a lot of Predator style stances without too much trouble. I really like the base body, NECA have done an excellent job making it be able to do all that you would expect from a good solid base body. One nitpick is that the sculpted cloth restricts the posing of the legs a little bit.

I am very impressed with the articulation on the shoulder cannon. For something so small you get a staggering amount of motion from it. It almost steals the thunder from the base body in my opinion! The wrist gauntlet can also be extended out a short distance too; this is a nice touch and adds a little something extra to the play value.

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ACCESSORIES

This figure only comes with one accessory and it’s a sword that comes with the Predator 2 Elder. It’s not necessary a bad accessory considering they could have given us nothing. It is well painted and made of a fairly soft plastic. It fits into the Predator’s hand with hardly any effort and it a nice addition for added play.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

One complaint I have with this figure is that some of the dreadlocks were pinned between the neck and the head straight out of the box. They aren’t too deformed once I freed them, but little things like this don’t help when you know NECA have pretty bad quality control at the best of times. One thing I would always look out for with NECA figures is the ankles quickly becoming loose and the figure falling over. All recent NECA figures bought by myself, or my brother have had issues with staying up right and that is not even after much posing! All versions of Dutch and Hicks have had issues, thankfully not Hudson yet. But for someone like me who I would call a “new” customer, it’s not leaving a very good first impression. NECA must really try and get on top of this problem as soon as possible.

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PRICE

Big Bad Toy Store is where I purchased this bad boy from, at a low price of 18.99 + shipping. Great price, seeing if I had waited and paid retail price here in Australia, it would have be double that. So the lowest price possible is always the way to go.

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OVERALL

This is my first NECA Predator figure, and while it has a few small issues, overall it is great! Much like some of my recent and small NECA purchases I feel they are finally stepping up to the plate and making the medium – small scale movie action figures that are expected in this day and age from collectors. I really like this figure because it does a great job in capturing a time where toys were not all serious and you were able to have fun with the product put out and take it in different directions, but it can still relate to the movie licence that the figure is from. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the original Kenner Predators (like me) or anyone who is a fan of predators in general and wants some variation on their display shelves. I really hope NECA can continue to bring us a nice mix of direct movie version Predators and homage’s as well as original ideas too. They are doing a great job so far and I hope they can continue to do so.

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Check out my previous review of the Kenner Lava Planet Predator here.

 

This page copyright 2013 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.