The Kenner Predator series was released during the 1990s and is loosely based on the designs of the Predator movies – and I do mean loosely! There were at least two series of predators released: a version faithful to the film for series one, followed by one far more creative or crazy, depending on your opinion, series two. The Ambush predator was released in 1993 as a mail -away exclusive.
Name: Ambush Predator
Line: Alien Vs Predator
Price: Then: unkown. Now: $30-$40 in mint condition, or less if yellowed
Scale: 5 -5.5 Inches in height
Accessories: mask, body armour, two hand blade weapons and instructions
I had never owned this figure when I was a kid and I had never even heard of this figure until about 5 years ago, when browsing eBay for Kenner Predators. Even if I had known about it, back in 1993, like with every mail away toy promotion, if you didn’t live in the United States you couldn’t get one. On the plus side Australia always got European exclusives, so that made up for it a little bit!
At first I bought one that was yellowed on the arms, legs and head. I continued to try and find one in better condition. I managed to snag one off Australian eBay for $31.00 plus postage in almost mint condition. Although the figure was loose, there were no yellow joints in sight, one of only two on that weren’t yellowed currently on eBay. As the other was coming from the US, I went with the local choice. Now that the toy is in hand I can say I very happy I went with the local seller and even happier I decided to “upgrade” my Ambush Predator.
Now, onto the review!
This figure is the same as the one previously released in the Alien vs Predator two-pack by Kenner. The original sculpt for this figure was excellent for the time. Based on the Predator’s look from the first movie, it differs in look as it is painted with colours similar to the Predator from the second film. I always liked the sculpt; it was very nicely detailed and screen accurate enough for me.
Now we have the stealth version. As I’ve said before, I love clear figures and toys and this is no exception. The detail may not be as clear as when it’s painted (no pun intended), but there is plenty of it and it looks great. The clear look works well and really captures the feel from the movies. The mask, chest armour and weapons are newly sculpted, and I think they look good.
The blade weapon that goes on the right arm looks a little out of place however, once attached. It’s really just sitting on top of the arm and comes off the easiest. The legs are also a little bit of a pain when trying to get the Predator in a standing pose. They sometimes don’t want to cooperate, and the Predator will fall over.
Much like the Lava Planet Predator, there is not much paint on this toy. This must be Kenner’s trademark for clear Predator figures. However, it has a black spray of paint on the head.
It looks good and helps bring out some of the details nicely. This time we get green eyes, which stand out and “pop”. They are a great contrast to the black and clear plastic.
The last bit of paint we have is on the hand weapons and mask. They are chromed and look excellent! The chrome really makes the weapons stand out and to me, and I believe replicates how the predator looked in the film; as the Predator kills people while cloaked, the weapons can be seen.
The articulation is identical to the rest of the Kenner Predator line, with moveable head, arms and legs. All articulation points are cut/swivel joints and there is generally a good range of motion from each. However, there is still some restriction, allowing for only a handful of decent poses. This is mainly from the lack of articulation, and sometimes from the sculpt itself. If only Kenner threw in some hinge joints, then we would be talking!
The accessories – the mask, weapons and body armour – are great. As stated before, the chromed mask and hand weapons look excellent; it’s the black body armour that looks a little weird. It just looks out of place and I’m sure it’s only there to give you one more extra item to put on the predator. Why they went with black is anyone’s guess; I can see why it’s not chrome, being a softer material it would chip and flake. I guess black seemed like the next best colour. It fits snug, but limits the head movement a bit. You also get a small set of instructions that show you how to put the accessories on the figure.
The main problem is obvious to me if you are a collector: the limbs and head yellowing over time. White plastic is normally the main culprit, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see clear plastic doing the same thing. But when you don’t know how certain plastics will react to heat and other conditions over time, it’s always a bit of a gamble. If you are interested in buying one of these predators try to get one that looks as clear as possible, and keep it away from heat and direct sunlight. Besides the main issue I would say paint flaking from the weapons and mask is something to potentially watch out for. Otherwise, it’s a pretty solid toy.
I have to say; even with its issues, this toy is still pretty cool. Though this figure has been superseded by better interpretations, for what it is, it’s still a very good-looking toy. At the time, in my opinion, it was quite decent for what was out there. I’d recommend putting him in your collection if you are a Kenner Predator fan, or a clear toy nut, like me.. However, there are still nicer looking and more articulated predators out there in slightly larger (NECA) or much larger (Hot Toys) sizes which are better value for money.