City Hunter Predator
Predators (Neca) - Series 4
So I finally got my hands on one of these figures for $20! I feel this is a fair price, anymore and you're just buying into the hype of this figure. This review is for the single pack, unmasked version of the figure.
So first off, the articulation is fantastic, for the series that is. This is a big step up from the previously released figures. After the prototype was shown, a lot of fans were drooling at the mouth for these because of the articulation alone. I have to say, it's good, but not amazing. With either 16 or 18 points of articulation, it depends if you count the swivel hinge elbows as a single point of articulation or two (a debated point in the figure world). The figure features balljointed neck, peg and hinge shoulders and elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed waist, peg and hinge hips, peg thighs, double-hinged knees, and balljointed ankles.
The feet, legs and hips are perfect articulation, and can create a diverse series of poses, however the arms leave a bit to be desired. I would of liked to see swiveling biceps, and double hinged elbows which allows for a series of more natural and realistic posing, but what is seen on this figure seems to becoming the norm these days.
Next up is the sculpt, Neca is legendary for their sculpting, and this is no different! The question this time would the articulation inhibit the sculpt, and the answer is a resounding NO! This figure's articulation makes the previous McFarlane figure look like a glass of mud next to a frothy mug of chocolate milk! This is an amazing upgrade for sure! Another plus point for Predator figure with fans is the amazing mouth open face sculpt. People are saying it might be the best, and I'm one to agree. There are some issues with the forehead, but this is an issue with paint and not sculpt, and this will be discussed further in the review. Sculpt wise, the face and head looks great, and the dreadlock thingies worked out awesomely and have been individually added, not done in clumps which also adds to the look of the figure
As for paints, Neca is one of the leading companies for this subject, and they did pretty good... for the most part. The bulk of the paint is amazing. The striping and spots of the Predator's skin looks great! The accessories have fine detail work that looks amazing, and the metal looks aged to perfection. Paints are almost the forerunner of why this is such a good figure. That is until you look at the forehead that has fans quite upset. The diamond pattern on the forehead leaves much to be desired, and doesn't exactly match up with the attention to detail, and movie accuracy that the rest of the figure holds to. The Mcfarlane figure attempted this in a more simplistic fashion, and has something that works, but isn't perfect. Neca attempted something much more difficult, but didn't succeed in what they were trying to achieve. This is where the coveted masked two pack version of the figure seems to avoid this problem with an exquisitely sculpted mask with amazing aged metal painting.
My only other criticism with this figure is the painting of the netting across the body. It could be tightened up a bit, and tends be spotty in places. From the different ones I've seen, this seems to be an issue. I grabbed the one I thought looked the best, but for people buying online, you might not have this luxury.
For accessories he is kind of limited. This version comes with a purse... um, pack on an elastic string. The net gun that is attached on his leg, and can't be removed. His claws that aren't retractable, and his smart disk weapon that doesn't really fit his hand, but fits snug in it's hip holster. The retractable spear is missing, but comes with the two pack masked figure in both it's retracted and extended form. however, by the time his mask is off in the movie, he has long since lost his spear.
I would of liked a removable mask, retractable wrist blades, a smart disk that fit it's hand, and all the accessories seen in the movie, but for what it is, it's a leader in the line of these figures.
This is a figure other companies like Hasbro and Mattel should take note of, and learn from it's visual qualities meeting with articulation. Where Neca needs to look at the previously mentioned companies and take note for further articulation, and playability.
Overall, a pretty good figure, a great for the entire series of work Neca's has produced. If you can find it for $20 or less I would suggest it for sure, otherwise I think you may be spending too much.
P.S.-*A a side note for customizers*
The paint on the forehead is a fixable problem, which I plan to deal with. I ended up taking my McFarlane figure's smart disk, which fits in the neca's figure's hand perfectly! As well I boiled the McFarlane figure's mask, and fit it to the City Hunter's face. Once it was fit on snug, I put it in cold water to hold it's shape. It sits on my shelf with the mask on even now.