Spyro The Dragon by NECA

Good morning Toyhounds, and welcome to FigureFan Zero’s 10 Year Anniversary. Yup, I’ve managed to crap out ten years of this bullshit, amounting to something like 2,400 reviews. I chewed on the idea of doing something special for the occasion, and I decided that I’d be better off just working on getting my normal content up and running again as best as I can, so I’ll spare you all me waxing poetic about the fact that my stupid toy blog has run for this long. Maybe I’ll get inspired to do something celebratory before the end of the month, but for now I’ll just shut up about it and get on with today’s review!

And so long as we’re talking anniversaries, let me point out that one of the many tough points about getting old is seeing games that I played as an adult getting re-released as HD remastered nostalgia. Case in point: Spyro The Dragon was released for the original Sony PlayStation in 1997 when I was 25. It was one of the first PSX games I played that felt like they nailed fluid platforming in a 3D world. On top of that, it felt like playing a cartoon, the musical score was breathtaking, and Spyro would take on the role of a Sony Mascot until, like a certain Bandicoot, the franchise eventually landed on all the platforms and ultimately Spyro got ground up by the Skylanders juggernaut. Well, one of the good things of games being re-released is we get a second chance at merch, and NECA has stepped up to the plate with a Spyro action figure.

Spyro comes in a big and beefy sealed clamshell, which means that unless you’re deft with a razor blade, the packaging really isn’t collector friendly. On the other hand, it also means when you make your first incision you will be rewarded with that heady smell of concentrated plastic. So good! The bubble inserts feature some colorful graphics and you do get a great look at the figure, well except for his feet. And before I start taking a look at the figure overall, we’re going to start there with…

FEET! Let’s talk about feet! A whole hell of a lot (maybe all) of these figures shipped with the feet assembled wrong, meaning the fronts are on the backs and the backs are on the fronts. Oh, NECA! Now, if you are intimately familiar with Spyro, you may know that he has four toes on his front paws and three on the backs. Apart from that, you’d really have to look hard to notice the mistake. Indeed, it almost kinda makes sense that the larger feet would be on the back legs and the smaller on the front, but if you look close you can see the diameter of the ankle on the foot doesn’t match that of the upper leg. Nonetheless, the feet on my figure are switched, and I’m not really sure if they ever actually corrected the mistake during production. Swapping the feet is supposed to be pretty easy by applying some heat, but I’m a firm believer in looking at figures the way they come to me, so I’ll be making that swap later on down the road. When I do get around to it, I’ll be happy to follow up this review with an addendum. OK, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the figure as a whole.

In terms of sculpt, NECA absolutely nailed Spyro’s adorable-with-attitude look. I love this character design so much, and a lot of that probably goes back to my fondness as a kid for a certain purple Disney dragon named Figment. Spyro’s skin is covered with a scaly texture and topped off with craggy scales, all of which are part of the sculpt. His chest is segmented with deep cuts, his tail terminates with a yellow swirl, and his wings have a slightly angular nature that reflects the mating of the HD look with the polygonal origins of the character.

That same angular nature applies to Spyro’s head sculpt, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how well the sculpting wizards at NECA captured Spyro’s portrait. His crooked brow hangs heavy over his large, perfectly printed eyes. His broad smile contributes to an overall mischievous visage, punctuated by two tiny nostrils. Meanwhile the top of his head is adorned with his two goat-like horns and a mowawk running down between them.

And the colors! Oh, the colors! The deep purple has some subtle gradations to show the darker purple of the craggy scales. It all pops so beautifully against the bright yellow of his belly and tail. But for me the real eye candy here is the yellow with orange shading in the wings and mohawk. It’s sumptuous and captures the coloring in the original art so perfectly.

The figure takes a bit of a hit in the articulation, and that’s not for lack of trying. The body itself has what appear to be ball joints in the neck, mid section, base of the tail, and three more in the tail itself. That allows for some nice subtle movements in the body and helps the figure go from standing to flying poses. The legs only rotating hinges where they connect to the body and no mid-point hinges. What’s more those upper leg joints are a bit restrictive. The ankle joints mostly just want to swivel. I suspect there are hinges up there too, but mine don’t want to move like that. I guess I’ll find out when I eventually swap the paws. Finally, you get rotating hinges at the base of the wings and a ball joint in the neck. Like I said, there’s plenty to work with here, but in the end, I found that there was only so much I could do with this little guy.

It’s never a good thing when a toy comes to me wrong right out of the box, and having to take the time to fix something I just paid for is never fun. But even with the assembly misstep (HA!), Spyro here has a lot going for him. NECA managed to nail both the sculpt and coloring and deliver a wonderful representation of this spunky little dragon in action figure form. The articulation is there in spirit, but he wasn’t quite as much fun to play around with as I hoped he would be. That’s not such a big deal when he looks so good on the shelf, but it’s still something I need to call out. I also wish that they had given us some kind of flight stand with him. A translucent post and base would have been really cool. A clip might not work as well to support his weight, but they could have put a peg hole in his belly and included a plug to cover it up for when he’s not in flight. Nonetheless, I’m happy to have this guy standing on the shelf next to my Bandicoots.

Aliens Vs Predator Arcade: Arachnoid Alien and Razor Claws Alien by NECA

My Toy Closet has become something like an archaeological dig these days. So much so that I’ve really pulled way back on what I’m buying and trying to take the time to unearth the unopened treasures that lie under the levels of cardboard strata. This past weekend I unearthed a particularly interesting box of NECA goodies, a lot of which center around Capcom’s 1994 beat-em-up classic, Aliens Vs. Predator. In an effort to clear out this box, I’m going to try to check some of this stuff out each week until I get to the end. There are eight figures in the series total and today I’m starting with two of the three Aliens released from the game.

And here’s Arachnoid and Razor Claws in their boxes. You’ll notice that Chrysalis Alien is unaccounted for and that’s because I haven’t been able to find him at Target, or online for a decent price. I may wind up over-paying for him at some point, but for now let’s just have a look at this gruesome duo. They come in collector-friendly window boxes, which I dig a lot more than the sealed clamshells. I’m going to start with Arachnid!

So, this guy reminds me a lot of the Xeno Warrior from Aliens, but with enough key differences to set him apart. I believe it’s a new sculpt, but I don’t own all the NECA Xenos, so I won’t stake my (admittedly next to worthless) reputation on that. As with all of NECA’s Aliens, there is some absolutely amazing detail work in this sculpt, which really brings out the Giger flavor in the design. Why he’s called an Arachnoid, I don’t know because there really aren’t any arachnid influences that I can see. He does have fairly typical arms and legs, the usual exposed rib-cage, and a pretty basic segmented tail. This fellow only has four of the stalks protruding from his back and he has bone-like loops hanging off his forearms. The coloring features a very pale blue with a black wash to pick out all that lovely detail.

The head sculpt features the usual elongated head. The cranium is overall pretty smooth, but it does feature a spiked ridge running down the center. The front half is blue, while the back half is decidedly cockroach colored. The mandibles are the usual mess of sinew webbing and the jaw opens to reveal the secondary mouth, which can extend out past the jaws.

I dig this guy a lot, but if you’re looking for something vastly different than the regular Xeno’s I don’t know if this one will scratch your itch. He’s definitely got a lot of unique stuff going on, but I really had to compare him to my Alien and Aliens Xenos to pick out all the differences. Still, I’m sure the die-hard fans out there will spot the differences a lot easier than me. The coloring adds to his distinctive look, and helps makes him stand out as a video game character. With all that having been said, he takes second place in this pair to my favorite…

 

 

Razor Claws is just so damn awesome on every level.  He features a completely different body sculpt, with a lot more sharp detail, particularly in the legs. The structure of the torso still shows off the rib-cage, but with an entirely unique structure. Of course, the biggest differences here are found int he giant razor clawed hands and the tail, which possesses a cycle-like blade at the end. This fellow still only has four tubes coming off his back, but these are longer and taper to points at the ends. He’s also missing those extra toes that the Arachnoid has, and he has pretty powerful looking talons jutting out from the front of his feet. The coloring here is also gorgeous. He has a reddish and almost pink finish and just like his comrade, the black wash brings out all the exquisite detail in the sculpt.

The head is also completely different, with a totally smooth cranium, tusk like horns protruding from his chin, and the same articulated jaw with the secondary mouth that extends outward. The cranial plate is somewhat translucent so you can just make out some of the detail that’s going on underneath it. Overall, it’s a simpler styled head than the Arachnoid, but my personal taste makes it my favorite of the two.

And I can say that pretty much about the entire figure. Not only does this Xeno look a lot more distinctive than his Arachnoid brother, but he also looks like an absolute killing machine. Between those shredding claws and that extra blade on his tail, this fellow looks like he’s just designed to leap on Colonial Marines and eviscerate them in a matter of seconds. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring that really does it for me.

I’m always looking to add some new Xenomorphs to my collection, so even if I wasn’t a fan of the quarter-munching arcade game, I would have still been all over these. But the fact that they are realistic interpretations of the 16-bit pixelated game characters makes them all the more sweeter. And even if you aren’t looking to collect all the Arcade figures, I think these fellas would be right at home in any NECA Aliens collection. They look fantastic together, and I just know I’m going to wind up dropping a lot of money to pick up the last one and complete the set. Next week, I hope to be back to check out the Predators in this line!

Kenner Predators: Lasershot Predator by NECA

Even with a seemingly endless variety of Yautja hunters available, from the movies and comics and video games, to cast into plastic, NECA is still always looking for new material. They mined the old Kenner Toys line for their Aliens line, so it’s only natural they would do the same for Predator. And that’s exactly what they did here, plucking Lasershot Predator straight off the pegs of the 90’s and giving him a complete overhaul so that he will fit in with just about any modern NECA Predator on your shelf… Groovy!!!

The box is similar to what we’ve seen with NECA’s Ultimate releases. It seems like a fully enclosed box, but there’s actually a front flap that opens to reveal a window to show off the goods. It’s also an extra thick box to accommodate Lasershot’s significant stature and all the extra bits and bobs that come with him. I dig the artwork and its distinct 90’s flavor. The colors are great and the front panel mimics the old figure in a sort of clam-shell packaging. Of course, everything is collector friendly, which is great for me, because I do keep these figures in their boxes when I’m not displaying them. The box also exclaims that Lasershot features an Electronic LED Targeting Eye which I was damn excited to try out. Lasershot is known for his obsession with technology and his willingness to augment his own body to make himself the Ultimate Alien Hunter, so you know we’re in for a treat!

Many of the Kenner Pred designs were about as goofy as you can get, which makes NECA’s figure here all the more impressive. I think they managed to burn away almost all the gimmicky wackiness of the original figure, while leaving behind mostly just Yuatja badass. OK, maybe there’s still a little bit of campiness left in this guy, but I still love him. Probably the most distinctive thing about Lasershot is the purple skin, which includes a black wash to bring out the detail. Why purple? I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with all the augments he’s performed on himself. Combined with that lovely purple is his golden armor, most prominent on his lower legs, hips, forearms, and upper body. The armor trades the usual tribal flavor and trophies for what looks like ancient Yautja designs mixed with high tech improvements, and there is a ton of detail in this sculpt to reflect it. I’m particularly fond of the large blades attached to the lower legs and the organic curves of his shoulder weapons, which rests dormant on his back when not in use. He also has a skull sculpted into his belt, that’s very reminiscent of a T-800 Terminator. Lasershot is a lot to take in all at once, and the sculpt and coloring conspire to make him quite the work of art.

His portrait is no slouch either! Like any Yautja, he’s got a face only a mother would love. The purple skin is still prevalent here, and it really makes those teeth at the end of his mandibles, and the spikes around his cranium, stand out. He’s got one deep set piercing eyeball, and his other has been replaced with an artificial targeting system,nesting in a mess of grafted golden tech. A nest of brown dreadlocks spill out the back of his head, each one with a sculpted gold band. By now, NECA are pros at sculpting the uniquely hideous Predator head, and like the all the others, this one is just a marvel of tiny detail.

Lasershot comes with a bio-mask that can be worn over his head. It’s vaguely like your average Pred mask, but it has a lot more panel lines sculpted into it. The upper right side is also missing to accommodate his facial grafts. The bio mask is painted with a copper finish, which puts it at odds with the golden armor, but it still looks pretty good on him. Although, to be honest, I think I prefer him without the mask. NECA did too fine a job with that head sculpt for me to be covering it up.

The LED light advertised on the box is activated by pressing a disguised button on the top of Lasershot’s head, producing the familiar triple light targeting system we’ve seen in the films. The lights are nice and bright and can be seen fairly well even under normal lighting conditions. They can also be seen while he is wearing the bio-mask. Let’s move on to some of this guy’s weaponry.

The double cannon rig on his back can be slid up the track and angled over his shoulders. His left shoulder features the standard plasma-caster, while the right one is a harpoon launcher, complete with two optional heads. One is capture-claw and the other is just a nasty looking spike. You also get a rather thick, bendable tether to make it look like it’s been fired. The cable has a strong wire running through it, allowing it to be bent any way you like it, and it holds up really well too. The claw is good for grabbing hold of prey, while the other just looks like it would make short work of most anything.

Next up, Lasershot has an energy shield that deploys from his right gauntlet. There are two pieces that can peg into the hole there. The device looks like a pair of golden horns with a red crystal in the center. It’s actually got something of an Egyptian flavor to its design. The second piece features a translucent purple disc of energy, simulating that the shield is activated.

Finally, you get an interchangeable left hand, which is a larger claw with articulated fingers. The socket on my figure’s claw was too small, so I had to dremel it out a bit to get it to fit, but now it goes on and off easy-peasy. It looks like a nasty piece of business, and when combined with the energy shield, it gives Lasershot some nice options for close-quarter melee combat.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of NECA’s modernized Kenner Aliens, and now I can happily say that their magic works on Kenner’s Preds just as well. Lasershot is a great looking figure and lots of fun to mess around with. He also displays well going up against those Kenner Aliens or even with any of the other NECA Preds on my shelf. The addition of the LED targeting system is a particularly nice bonus, especially since at $27.99 it didn’t really drive up the cost of the figure that badly. Indeed, I’d love to them revisit the gimmick in some of their future Predators. I’ve been trying to be a little more selective about my Predator purchases, because of space limitations, but when I saw this guy on the shelf at Target he just had to come home with me, and I’m glad he did.

Gremlins: Ultimate Gizmo by NECA

It’s October, and that means I’m going to try to get to a lot more horror and creature-related reviews leading up to Halloween. And so, I was going to start digging into some of my Ultimate Gremlins this week, but then I realized I had yet to review Ultimate Gizmo, a figure that NECA gave us quite a while back. Fair is fair, so I’m going to skip all the way down to one of the lower levels of my Pile of Shame™ and open up Gizmo. Gremlins is a flick that I am long overdue to re-watch. As a kid, I was pretty obsessed with it when it came out, and I can remember LJN’s Gizmo was one of my favorite toys of that year. At least it was until I got their Stripe figure, but that’s a story for another time.

NECA has the Ultimate Series packaging down to routine. The figure comes in a collector friendly box with a front flap secured by Velcro. Open it up and you get a window showing the figure inside. The front has some promotional art for the film and you get plenty of shots of the figure itself around the rest of the box. Best of all, these all line up beautifully on the bookshelf, which is why they are some of the very few action figure boxes that I actually keep. Not to mention it gives me a place to store all the accessories, and Gizmo here comes with an awful lot of extras.

And that’s to be expected, because Gizmo is quite small. No, he’s not actually in scale with the normal 7-inch scale of the Ultimates Series, because if he was he would be absolutely tiny. I’m not sure exactly what scale you’d call him, but I’d venture to guess maybe close to Quarter Scale. Either way, I will include a shot with one of NECA’s regular figures at the end for comparison. In hindsight, it seems like a good size for him, especially now that we’ve got some Gremlins. As always, the sculpting here is excellent. NECA is famous for doing their research and really digging into the details, and that’s quite apparent here. All the little tufts of fur are sculpted in and looks about as good as anyone can get plastic fur to look. The exposed skin on the ears, fingers, toes, and around the mouth is also quite detailed with wrinkles, creases, and veins. All this is backed up with some fantastic coloring. Obviously the articulation is limited for such a little guy. The head is ball jointed, you get rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows. There’s some rotation in the wrists and hips, and you even get some ear articulation. So far, I’ve got no complaints from the front. If you turn him around, the only thing here to interrupt the sculpt is the ball in the back of his head, and we’re going to talk about that right now…

The track ball in the back of the head is designed to move Gizmo’s peepers. Other action figure developers have messed around with the idea of movable eyes, but most of those that I’ve seen have been dealing with larger and more expensive figures. In theory it’s a great idea, especially when you’re trying to pad the value on a figure this small by giving it extra features. In practice, it just doesn’t work so well. For starters, the eyes on my figure rarely line up right, making him look more like Daffy than Gizmo. I think it’s because the eyes are too loose and there’s a lot of play in the movement. It is possible to get them aligned properly from time to time, particularly if he’s looking extreme right or left. The second issue here is that the figure employs different face plates for different expressions, and the eyes are rather deep set because of this and it makes them look extra creepy. The three expressions include smiling Gizmo, sad Gizmo, and happy with mouth open Gizmo.

It’s one of those situations where I want to applaud NECA for trying something cool and new here, but after seeing the results, I’d rather they just put regular eyes on each of the face plates. Is it enough to ruin the figure for me? Nah, truth be told I can usually get a decent look out of him, but as you can no doubt tell from some of the photos, sometimes the eyes are too deep set to even really see all that clearly. OK, enough about Gizmo’s peepers… let’s check out some accessories.

The box includes enough goodies to recreate a couple of scenes from the movie. The first is a Santa Claus hat, which is sculpted in plastic and designed to fit fairly well on Gizmo’s head. There’s a notch for one of the ears to rest in and secure it, so long as you don’t move him around too much once it’s on. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t go cloth on this one, but the plastic looks good.

Following the Christmas theme, he also comes with a trumpet and a candy cane. These are all great display pieces, but Gizmo only has the one pair of hands, and they aren’t really designed to work with the accessories. The candy cane will hook around his wrists, and after a bit of fiddling about, I was able to get him to hold the trumpet.

The second assortment of accessories centers around Gizmo’s Rambo moment, and I really had mixed results with this. The headband is actually attached to a fourth face plate and it king of just floats on one side. I may try to glue it down on that end, but right out of the box, it just doesn’t look right. He also has a rope belt, his paperclip bow, and his arrow fashioned out of a pencil and bottle of liquid paper. These are all fine looking accessories, but once again, he just isn’t designed to use them very well.

Despite all the griping about the eyes, I actually dig this little figure quite a bit. Yeah, I would have liked him a lot more with just regular painted eyes in each of the different face plates, but hey… kudos to NECA for trying something new. To be fair, I was originally going to give this figure a pass, but went back and tracked him down after the Ultimate Gremlins started hitting. Luckily the local Target has been a prime source for NECA figures and I was able to find him right on the shelf, along with the Gremlins. Maybe next week, I’ll feed this guy after midnight and we can check out some of them Gremlins!

Freddy Vs Jason: Ultimate Jason Voorhees by NECA

If you’ve been kicking around FFZ for at least a little while, then you probably know that I was introduced to Slasher Films in my teenage years, and there were no bigger titans of the genre at the time than Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kruger. Well, if future me were to go back and tell teenage me that one day these two horror icons would face off against one another in a film, teenage me would have probably punched future me in the balls and called him a liar. Eh, called me a liar. Whatever. The point is, Freddy Vs Jason was absolutely huge for those of us who grew up on the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street flicks. And with NECA seemingly dedicated to giving us an Ultimate action figure of every Jason Voorhees ever, it was only a matter of time before they got to this one!

By now you should know what the Ultimate series packaging is all about. The figure comes in a seemingly enclosed box, but the front panel is actually a flap held down by a spot of sweet, sweet Velcro, and opens to reveal a window. The box is collector friendly and features loads of pictures of the figure inside. I also really dig the art they used on the front panel. I can’t recall if it’s actually something that was used to promote the film, it actually looks a little too serious for the actual content. But it looks great and reminds me a bit of the style used for the Halloween (2018) film posters.

FvJ gave us what is probably the most haggard looking Jason yet, and that’s not surprising since the film opens with Jason being resurrected by Freddy. And I’m not talking a simple lightning bolt to the corpse, I’m talking full on re-constitution or organs and shit. He’s still plenty buffed out, but much of his clothes are practically rotting off of him. Here, Jason eschews his familiar rugged outdoorsman garb for a blue shirt under a badly tattered gray shirt, under a rotting jacket. The attention to detail in the jacket alone is worthy of praise, with all sorts of rips and tears sculpted in and a dirty paint wash to accentuate it. From the waist down, Jason’s duds have fared a little better. There isn’t a whole lot of distress showing on his black trousers or his thick-soled Herman Munster boots. The articulation consists of all the usual rotating hinges we’ve seen in past Jasons, so he’s not overly agile, but there are plenty of useful points here to make him a lot of fun.

Jason comes with no less than three different hockey masks. He comes wearing a “clean” mask for a very traditional look. Granted, clean is a relative term, as it’s still darkened with age to a brownish-yellow patina. The mask features the various venting holes, the red hash marks, and is properly held onto the figure’s head by soft plastic straps. It fits perfectly and looks great!

Next up, we have the bloodied mask. This one appears to be the same sculpt, but it’s missing the red hash marks on the previous one. I can’t remember if there’s an actual reason for that or if it’s just an oversight. Either way, this one is absolutely doused in blood, which is definitely a cool look for him. It reminds me of my favorite line in the film, “Dude, that goalie was pissed about something.”

And finally, he comes with a scarred mask from his battles with Freddy. Here, the red hash marks are back, the weathering is a lot more severe, and it’s covered with deep scratches from Freddy’s iconic bladed glove. Each of these masks have their own charms, but I think this one is my favorite and will be the one I use for regular display. The weathering suits the outfit the best, and since this is the FvJ Jason, why not give him the mask with Freddy’s glove marks all over it. It’s definitely the one mask that is most distinctive to this film.

Of course, there’s a fully sculpted portrait under those masks, and if I’m being honest, this is not my favorite look for Jason. the head is appropriately bulbous and misshapen, and the dark brown skin has a cool wash over it to bring out the details. I also like that they sculpted in the wisps of hair behind his left ear that are often prominent in the film. But in the end, I don’t think the sculpt itself has the same amount of depth to it that we’ve seen on some of NECA’s previous Jasons. Good? Yeah, for sure. Great? Mmm, not so much. I can’t say as I really display any of my Jasons without their masks (or hood), so it’s not that big a deal to me. Onward to the accessories!

This Jason doesn’t feel like he comes with quite as much as previous releases, but what’s here is pretty good. For starters, he has the teddy bear, which is a bit of an odd inclusion since it doesn’t actually appear in the film. Instead it references a behind the scenes picture. I don’t really mind getting this as an accessory, as the film tapped into Jason’s anguish as a child, and even managed to make him a sympathetic character in a few scenes. As a result, it certainly feels appropriate. Still, claiming this to be an essential accessory is going to be a bit of a reach for some.

As far as weapons go, Jason comes with two machetes. And by that I mean the same two machetes, with one clean and one painted with blood. The bloodied one is presumably meant to be used alone, and the clean one is meant to be used with an included fire effect, but you can use the fire effect with whichever one you like. Jason doesn’t come with any extra hands, but his right hand is sculpted to hold the machete quite well.

The fire effect piece references Jason’s attack on the rave in the cornfield where he got set on fire. This piece is grooved so it slides right onto the back edge of the machete and it stays put pretty well. As many of you know effect parts are often hit or miss with me, but this one is definitely a hit. It looks great, and I only wish they had included some more fire effect parts for him, like maybe one to fit on each shoulder. Hell, they could have put a magnet in his back and recycled the one that came with Freddy from ANoES2.

Does it sound like I found this figure a little wanting? Well, I don’t want to convey the wrong message, as I absolutely love this figure. But at the same time, I feel like it isn’t one of NECA’s strongest Jason releases. The body sculpt is great, I really dig the choice of masks, and while the unmasked portrait isn’t my favorite, it’s still solid work. The accessories, on the other hand, well that’s where this one begins to lose me. The flame effect is cool, but I don’t think including repaints of the same machete was all that necessary, nor is the teddy bear. The obvious missed opportunity here would be a pair of Freddy’s severed arms. Hell, they could have just recycled them from one of the Freddy figures and did a little re-sculpt at the shoulders. Still, in the and he’s a solid addition to the Jason lineup, and I’ll probably be picking up the one from the remake next.

The Predator: Armored Assassin Predator by NECA

Thank God for alcohol, because back when I saw The Predator in the theater, booze (and the always sublime hospitality of Cinebistro) helped to make it a pleasant experience. I had a genuinely good time! When I woke up the next day I couldn’t remember a lot about it. I assumed my memories of it were a jumbled mess because it was being screened through a rich alcohol haze. Fast forward to this past weekend when I found it on Blu-Ray for $10 and I thought, “Hey, I’d like to see that again!” Oh, man! All I can say is that I laughed a lot, but I think it was equal parts at the movie as with it. Now to be fair, I haven’t really been a fan of any movie with the Predator in it since the original two films. To me, the franchise had already been run into the ground, so I’m probably a lot more forgiving of this movie than most. But was a bad movie going to stop me from buying the NECA figures? Hells no! Let’s check out the Armored Assassin!

And he’s HUGE!!! So much so that I included one of NECA’s Utlimate Predator boxes next to it for scale. Now, I’m a little confused as to where this big guy falls into NECA’s classifications. I don’t think it’s an Ultimate, although I think this Pred is sometimes called Ultimate Predator by the fandom. The box says it’s a Deluxe figure, so I guess we’ll go with that. Either way, it comes in the same type of box as the Ultimate figures. It looks like it’s fully enclosed, but the front panel is actually a flap that conceals a window. It’s also collector friendly so I’ll keep the packaging, but this box is too big to fit on the shelf with my other NECA Pred boxes, so it’ll have to go somewhere else. The box’s deco consists of some solid artwork on the front, and lots of pictures of the figure in action on the rest of the box. The lettering is a little generic and bland, but then so was the movie!

Towering over your average Yautja, this ton of fun was the result of genetic manipulation to create an ultimate assassin to… ah, the hell with it. I’m not going to rehash the weird and nonsensical narrative of the film to justify this big boy’s existence. The fact that he was specially bred by splicing genes of different species together really goes against the grain of what I know about the Yautja culture. And the fact that he was bred to assassinate a fugitive Predator who had come to Earth to help save mankind, well that shit just makes my head spin. So let’s just get on with the figure. One of the most distinctive things about him is the fact that he’s nearly naked, which makes his name, Armored Assassin a little misleading. But apparently, his skin is his armor, which is reflected with a bumpy texture that resembles hardened shell in some places. And I really can’t say enough good things about the detail NECA infused into it. The muddy gray skin features some brown veins webbing throughout and it all has a slightly glossy sheen to him.

The other unique thing about this guy is the dog-like configuration of his lower legs, which gives him a very beast-(almost Werewolf) like profile. Unfortunately, it also makes him very difficult to stand up, so I had to dig out one of those NECA figure stands that I had rattling around in one of my accessory totes. It helps a lot, although he’s still prone to the occasional topple. In the end I will likely utilize one of the MEGO-sized wast-grabbing stands I have to keep this guy from taking a shelf dive when I display him. The legs definitely give him a distinctive look, but they also advertises the oddball narrative behind him. In the end, I think I would have preferred him with just regular Pred feet.

And while much about the Armored Assasin is atypical of your average Predator, the head sculpt is where the design brings it all back home. You get the same deep set beady eyes and the wild looking dreadlocks, each individually sculpted, with some cool copper rings wrapped around each strand. And, of course that creepy mandible-mouth that elevates this face from just plain ugly to goddamn nightmare fuel.

There is no masked portrait, because apparently this guy doesn’t need a Biomask. In one of the true WTF moments of the movie, he was even able to use thermal vision without one. Yeah, I guess it could have been bred into him, or maybe he had some kind of ocular implants. I’m not to worried about it either way. So, no masked noggin, but you do get a second head with the mandibles open in full roar, and man does it look fantastic! Popping off the head is really easy, but getting the other one on was actually a painful experience. It required a lot of pressure, and those spikes on top of his head dished out a world of hurting to my poor hands.

The articulation here is exactly what I’ve come to expect from NECA’s modern Preds, which means plenty of rotating hinges, double-hinged elbows and knees, a ball joint in the torso, and extra hinges down in those beastly ankles. Some of the joints were stuck on my figure when I got him out of the box, but a little heat did wonders to get him nice and limber. A number of the joints are ratcheting, which helps this heavy figure keep its poses. And I’ll point out here that this figure comes with two sets of hands: One pair open, and one pair balled up into fists.

In terms of actual armor, this Pred gets by with a pair of armored undies to protect his modesty. Gone are the ornamental trophies and the netted body suit. One thing he has in common with the regular Predators is a pair of arm bracers, and like his fellow Preds, this guy has a few tricks up his sleeves. Literally. The right bracer has a blade attachment, which is meant to simulate it retracting and deploying from the bracer. It’s only a single blade, where most of the others have twin blades. It does have a nice curve to it and a very sharp taper to its deadly point. Not bad!

On the other arm, his left bracer has an attachable cannon, once again meant to simulate it deploying from inside the gauntlet. I wasn’t a hundred percent certain about the configuration here, so I took a few pictures with it inserted two different ways. They both work, but obviously one is correct and the other is upside down. This tiny cannon is articulated in two places, and I guess it’s meant to replace the iconic shoulder cannon that most Preds wear. Honestly, this cannon looks pretty puny compared to regular Pred tech, but I guess when you’re a giant hulking slab of Yautja beef like this guy, you don’t need to overstate things with your weapons. I mean, I have to imagine that this fella is content with just tearing his prey apart with his bare hands.

Thanks to NECA something good came out of The Predator. The movie may have been a misguided mess, but at least we got some great action figures out of it. And as such, this won’t be the last time I’ll be revisiting it, as I’ve got a few more to look at and a few more to track down as well. Hell, this is probably the most figures I’ve ever purchased from a movie that I just didn’t like all that much.

Halloween (2018): Ultimate Laurie Strode by NECA

Earlier in the week I checked out NECA’s Ultimate Michael Myers figure, based on his appearance in the most recent film in the Halloween franchise. That release was quite special in its own way, as it marked the long overdue return of the Halloween license to NECA’s loving, and abundantly-skilled, hands. But today’s figure? Oh boy, this one is a release that was against all odds. It’s not only Laurie Strode, but it’s Laura “elderly, survivalist-wack-job, ass-kickin, and unbelievably amazing” Strode. Yeah, it’s a great time to be a horror action figure collector, my friends!

I don’t think it would be accurate to call Jamie Lee Curtis my very first celebrity crush, but she’s gotta rank in rather closely. I cut my teeth on the first two Halloween films at a shockingly young age and I’m not ashamed to admit that JLC sure made me feel all funny down there. Since then, I’ve always enjoyed her films. Fast forward to the 2018 Halloween, and her wonderful character arc just made her all the more appealing. Older, Grittier, and a total badass. One time hot Final Girl blossomed into I-Ain’t-Takin’-No-More-Shit-Granny and she has never been more awesome. We just talked about the Ultimate packaging a few days ago with my Michael Myers review, so I won’t spend any time on it here, other than to say how much I love the art on the front panel. That’s it… let’s just jump right into the figure.

Laurie comes sporting the latest offering from the Survival Chic catalog. I honestly couldn’t even remember much about what she wore in the film, but I’ll happily accept this as screen accurate because I know NECA does their homework and always has an eye for details. She’s got a pair of black trousers with stitch lines running down the sides, and partially tucked into her woodland boots. And I might add the sculpting on the laces and individually painted eyelets just shows you how much love NECA pours into these figures. Whenever I can admire details in an average, everyday costume like this, that’s how I know they are masters at their trade.

Working our way up, she’s got a thin brown belt with a knife sheath on her right hip, a dark blue t-shirt, and a jacket which makes use of the old trick of using sleeveless soft plastic and sculpting the sleeves onto the arms. Like the boots, the jacket sports all sorts of great details, from the sculpted pockets and wrinkles, to the stitch lines and carefully painted silver zipper tracks. She even has a tiny cross hanging from a chain around her neck, both of which are part of the body sculpt. The articulation here is basically the same as we saw with Myers, and yes that does include the double rotating hinges in the elbows. As some of you may know, Hasbro’s elbow articulation gender inequality in their Marvel Legends figures is a big sticking point for me, and it’s nice to see that Laurie here doesn’t take a hit just because she’s a woman.

But the gushing doesn’t stop there, because now we get to the portraits, and wow are these great. I think the likeness is instantly recognizable, although I will say I think it looks better from an angle than when viewed from dead on. If I were to nitpick, I might suggest that it could have used some more age lines, especially since these are very apparent in the art from the box. The film did not play down JLC’s age, and I really respected that about the film and the actress. But when the figure looks this good, why complain?

The secondary head looks more or less identical, with the one exception being the granny glasses. I’d argue that these are some of the best executed glasses I’ve seen in this scale. Now, did I really need a second head to display her with or without glasses? Nah, if the extra head weren’t in there, I wouldn’t have missed it. Did NECA throw it in anyway? You bet your ass they did! They cool like that. What other extras are in the box? Let’s have a look!

NECA bundled enough weapons in here to make their own Ultimate Sarah Connor jealous. She also comes with a right hand that is sculpted with a trigger finger to work with all the guns, and a left hand that is designed to cradle the long arms. The first of the guns is her Smith & Wesson Model 66. This is the one she was using for target practice in the yard. The sculpt is ridiculously well detailed for such a tiny weapon, and includes some really nice silver paint and brown paint on the grips.

Next up, we get one of my all-time favorite rifles, the Winchester Model 1873. This one really appeals to the Western lover in me, and it was great to see it make an appearance in the film and in this figure’s accessory list. Once again, you get some wonderful detail in the sculpt, and the paint includes an authentic finish to both the metal and the wood.

And finally, Laurie comes with her own boomstick, and another iconic beauty, the Mosberg 500 shotgun. This one is easily the simplest sculpt of the three firearms, but it’s still quite accurate and her left hand is sculpted to fit the pump action slider very well.

And just when you think we might be done, Laurie comes with one more weapon, and that’s this little survival knife. It fits into the sheath that hangs off the belt on her right hip and the sheath itself is a magnificent little piece of work. It features a retaining strap for the hilt, sculpted stitching, and teeny-tiny rivets, which are individually painted in silver. The kicker is that this entire thing is only visible if you peel back her jacket flap, which just goes to show you how much love NECA puts into these figures. The knife itself is very small, and Laurie comes with an extra right hand sculpted specifically to hold it with a tight grip. I dig the finish on the blade. It looks like it might be intended to be a Damascus blade.

What more can I say, other than, “HOLY HELL, WE GOT A LAURIE STRODE FIGURE!!!” What other company would take the risk of making a figure like this? I can’t think of many. And all I can say is I hope she sells well enough to justify it. NECA did a beautiful job with this one, and I consider an essential companion figure to the 2018 Michael Myers. What’s more, I’m so happy to see this license back in NECA’s hands and I’m eagerly looking forward to the classic Halloween II version of Myers that’s supposed to be shipping sometime this month. Keep them coming, NECA, and I promise to even buy versions of The Shape from the movies I hated.

Halloween (2018): Ultimate Michael Myers by NECA

Since I’ve been back to semi-regular content, I’ve been trying to spread the love around to the offerings I collect from various toy companies that are piling up on the floor of my Toy Closet. I’ve also been trying to combine some reviews when possible to help me not be so far behind. This week, I thought a return to NECA was long overdue. I’ve got tons of new NECA figures to look at, so today let’s open up the Ultimate version of Michael Myersfrom the recent 2018 film. I had originally intended this to be a dual review of both Myers and Laurie Strode, but I found that I had a fair amount to say about each of these figures, so I’m breaking it up into two reviews, which will hopefully both post this week.

I’ve been a dedicated fan of NECA’s Ultimate line, so it should come as no surprise that I was beyond excited to get this figure. As always, these Ultimate releases come in what appear to be enclosed boxes, but actually have opening front flaps to show off the figure and accessories inside. The front panel looks fantastic, there are lots of pictures of the goodies inside, and the box is collector friendly. Yup, these are some of the few figures that I keep in their boxes, not only to keep all the accessories together, but also because NECA’s Ultimates look great lined up on bookshelves. And oooh, look at that sticker! There’s a flickering pumpkin inside!!! As for the film? I really enjoyed it. I don’t think it was mind-blowing, or in any way exceptional, but it was refreshing in its simplicity, especially when you consider what a shit-show the Halloween franchise had become. It’s been a long time since I cared about these movies, and I feel that the new one set things back on a positive track. So let’s get this box open and check out The Shape!

I have to imagine that even people who didn’t care for the movie, would still have to concede that Myers never looked better. And as usual, the same can be said of NECA’s version. Granted, from the neck down, this isn’t a terribly complex or flashy sculpt, it’s a just a dude in a boiler suit, but it’s still loaded with details. You get wrinkles and rumples, pockets, stitching, and all that jazz. Exciting? Maybe not, but it sure looks great, right down to the meticulously sculpted work boots.

The high collar of the suit gives way to the iconic mask and this portrait is fabulous. The expressionless visage of the Shatner mask has chiseled creases and wear making it look as frighting as ever. As time wore on, the mask began to take on more detail, which lends itself well to the HD age of film. I also really dig the way the shock of hair is swept back and the mask ends high enough so you can see Myers’ real neck protruding from it. And then you have what might be a sticking point for some classic Halloween fans, and that’s the eyes visible through the holes in the mask. There’s some wonderful depth here that really makes the mask feel like it was layered onto the head and there’s a face sculpt under there. And let’s not forget, this is Myers as he appears in the 2018 film. A film that dared show a glimpse of Myers unmasked.

But, let’s say you don’t like the visible eyes, and you just want a pair of vacant black pools where his peepers should be? That’s right, you get an alternate head to suit your preferences. It’s actually a completely different sculpt, with subtle changes in the mask itself, and the hair is a lot less unruly. And the eyes are actually still in there, they’ve just been painted over to make them harder to see. Normally, I would prefer the blacked out eyes, but to be honest, I think the first mask just looks loads better, and it’s probably the one I will go with for the display. It’s certainly the one I went with for a majority of the pictures in this review.

The articulation here is very good, and it even holds a few surprises in the elbows. NECA is usually content with giving their figures rotating hinges in the shoulders, but Myers here has double-rotating hinges! Yeah, they’ve done this before, and it’s nice to see them doing it again. It allows for a much tighter bend in the elbow, and overall better posing. As for the rest, the shoulders are rotating hinges, and the wrists are ball jointed… or so I thought! They’re actually pegs on tiny ball joints, similar to what we get with a lot of Sixth-Scale figures these days. Not bad! The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and knees, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. I’m not sure what’s hiding under the rubber boiler suit in the torso, but it does feel like there’s some movement in there. Finally, he has a ball joint in the neck. Let’s move on to the accessories!

First off, Myers comes with a modest assortment of killing tools. These include a bloody hammer, a fireplace implement, and his rather iconic butcher knife. He also comes with extra hands to help him hold each of these. Actually, you get both a right and left accessory holding hand, so he can dual wield if you like. Extra weapons are always nice, but there’s only so much I can say about these. The very iconic butcher knife is my favorite. To me, it’s as much a part of Myers, as Jason Voorhees’ machete is to him, or Leatherface’s chainsaw is to that demented freak. As for the others, the poker is very thin and frail, and I probably won’t be pulling it out much just for fear of snapping it. The hammer is great, and I appreciate the bloody paint apps, but it’s still just a tiny hammer.

Myers also comes with a left hand with two of the fingers blown off. God bless ya, NECA. You really do think of everything!

Also included in the box is the severed head of the police officer from Laurie Strode’s protection detail that Myers decapitates. And wow is this a delightfully gruesome piece of work! I’d dare say that this is one of the most grizzly accessories I’ve seen included with a horror figure. I dig how it’s been hollowed out and carved up like a Jack-O-Lantern, complete with the eyes taken out. Yup, this is pure nightmare fuel cast into plastic and lovingly painted.

Next up is the grave-marker of Judith Myers, which is a nice addition to the little collection of headstones that NECA has been giving to us with some of their Ultimate horror figures. This one is very thin and lightweight, but it looks fine, and will make a nice addition to the display when off-set behind him on the shelf.

And finally, you get the accessory that’s so damn good, they had to call it out on the package with a sticker. At first, I assumed this would be the iconic Jack-O-Lantern from the credits, but in a really nice callback, it’s actually Vicky’s pumpkin with the heart-shaped eyes and nose. You know, the one that wound up in the fishtank! The lighting effect is activated by pushing down ont he top of the pumpkin and it really is superbly done.

Who doesn’t love Halloween in August, eh? Finally seeing Michael Myers done by NECA feels so right and this is yet another Ultimates release that they knocked right out of the park. The sculpt and articulation on the figure itself are both great, and the entire package is elevated by the wonderful accessories. There’s enough here for plenty of fun, as well as some great display options. And to think, when I pre-ordered this figure, I imagined it was going to be the only Myers that we get out of NECA because of licensing issues. Of course, they have since shown off the Halloween II version of The Shape, and that one has me very excited. But hell, even if they couldn’t swing that deal, I still would have been perfectly happy with this figure representing Myers on my Slasher Shelf! And what could possibly be cooler than this? How about a figure of Laurie Strode from the 2018 movie as well? Yup, we got that too, and I hope to be back by the weekend to have a look at that figure!

Predator (Dark Horse Comics): Ultimate Ahab by NECA

It’s been a few weeks since I opened some NECA goodies, so let’s remedy that on this fine Friday by plunging into their Predator pool and pulling out something new! I’ve still got two of the three figures from Series 18 to look at, but I think I’m going to set those aside and instead open up another of their Ultimate Series, and one that’s been sitting around for way too long. Let’s check out Ultimate Ahab!

Pulled from the pages of Dark Horse’s Predator comics, Ahab is an Elder Predator with a bit of an obsession over hunting Engineers (as in Space Jockies not people who drive trains or design bridges!) and oh my, what a great choice he is for the Ultimate Series treatment. As always, the packaging here consists of a window box with a front flap covering the window. It’s got plenty of pictures of the figure as well as some kick-ass artwork, and everything is collector friendly. The fact that these are some of the few action figure packages that I actually keep should speak volumes about how much I dig them, but saving the boxes also comes in handy to keep all those extra goodies! They don’t call these Ultimate for nothing!

After the uniquely crazy look of Broken Tusk, Ahab is kind of a return to basics, or at least a much simpler and streamlined outfit. He’s got the usual net-motif sculpted into his torso and legs, as well as armor on his lower legs, forearms, shoulders, and the upper left part of his chest. The outfit is rounded out with a simple belt, thigh armor, partially covered by sculpted fur, and an alien skull hanging around his neck. He also features a stylish crimson cape, which is made of an exceptionally nice material and hangs down just a bit below his waistline. Obviously, the comics and other associated Predator fiction has given us a wide array of different looking Predator outfits, and while I dig the more distinctive ones, it’s also refreshing to get back to basics.

The paintwork is excellent and the figure exhibits all the usual flourishes I’m used to seeing on these guys. Ahab’s Yautja flesh varies from a sickly pale yellow to orange, and he’s got several natural markings on his skin, particularly at the inner thighs and shoulders. The armor isn’t as heavily weathered on this guy as some of my other Preds, but it has just the right amount to make it look lived in and well used. There’s also a bit of gradient brown on the sculpted fur patches.

The exploits of Ahab’s hunts are written all over his face. His right eye is missing and flesh has grown over the socket. He’s also missing his right upper mandible, and there are some scars interrupting the spotting on the top of his head. But he’s still a handsome devil and I will never stop being impressed by the work NECA puts into the Predator dreadlocks, with each one separately sculpted. And while it’s not actually part of his head, now seems as good a time as any to talk about the hose that connects the shoulder armor to the piece of chest armor. With my past Preds, articulating the arm would cause this to pop out of the hole on the chest armor. That’s fine, because otherwise it would severely limit that limb’s articulation. Unfortunately, this one appears to be glued in, because instead of simply popping out, the tab broke off in the hole. I may glue it, I may leave it out, or I may just snip it off entirely.

Instead of a swappable head, Ahab actually comes with a wearable mask. This is held on mostly by friction, but it fits pretty well and leaves his mandibles exposed. The interior also features some great detail, and I love that NECA bothered to paint the interior of the eyes red.

Ahab’s arm bracers conceal the usual Predator gadgets. The left arm has his flip up computer and his right arm houses his twin extending blades. You can also swap this piece out for one with triple blades, which is a damn cool bonus. And if you don’t want either sets of cutlery getting in the way, you can remove them and attach the bracer piece to have them retracted all the way in.

Ahab also comes with a satisfying number of weapons, the first of which is his shoulder-mounted plasma-caster. If you’re familiar with NECA’s Predator figures, than you’re familiar with this piece. It clips onto the shoulder and features the same level of detail in the sculpt and paint finish as the rest of Ahab’s armor, blending in perfectly. The caster itself is positioned on an articulated arm allowing it to target his pray. I love the look of these as display pieces, but they tend to get in the way of the head articulation, so I tend to use them for regular display, but not when I’m playing around with the figure.

Next up is his spear. It’s got a beautifully sculpted blade with serrated hooks trailing down the top of the shaft. The middle is sculpted with a thick grip and the far end terminates into a sharp point. Ahab comes with a pair of accessory holding hands, which allows him to wield this in one or both hands. Although it should be noted that it’s a delicate piece, and some care should be taken when getting it into his fingers. NECA also included a small clip that can be attached to his back to hold the spear, but I doubt I’ll use it since the cape gets in the way.

The Smart Disc is an accessory we’ve seen before and it’s always a welcome addition. It’s painted gold and features some great sculpted detail, along with finger holes to work with one of the right hands. The only downside here is that he doesn’t have a place to store it when he’s not using it.

And I saved my favorite weapon for last, and that’s the Engineer rifle. The design of this weapon is just so damn cool and it brilliantly reflects the HR Giger techno-organic motif seen in the Engineer’s spaceship. The way it coils around it looks like some kind of worm-like creature is wrapping around Ahab’s arm. I’d love to get another one of these to give to one of my Engineer figures, but I’m sure as hell not going to take this one away from Ahab.

The final accessory is the skull and spinal column of an Engineer. It’s a beautiful, albeit grim, sculpt and features a gray painted finish.

I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of adding new Predators to my collection, and Ahab here is yet another great example of why. The team at NECA clearly loves these alien hunters so much, and that comes out in all the beautiful details and wonderful craftsmanship and bevy of accessories. It’s hard for me to choose favorites here, but Ahab surely takes a place right beside the Jungle and City Hunters as my top Predators. And best of all, since I never owned the original NECA release of Ahab, I didn’t even have to double-dip to get this Ultimate edition.

Predator (Dark Horse Comics): Broken Tusk by NECA

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan and supporter of NECA Toys, but that hasn’t always been easy. Distributors in my neck of the woods have been few and far between, and that’s why I’m absolutely thrilled over a new partnership that has landed NECA’s product in Target Stores. And while I understand that the distribution and merchandising has had a shaky start, my local Target now has more NECA product than I’ve ever seen in one place. I mean, if I didn’t already own them, I could go in there tomorrow and pick up nearly every one of the Ultimate Freddy and Jason figures, and some of those have been off the market for a while. And the new stuff has been showing up right on time, which means that I no longer have to pay crazy prices and shipping online. And so, I walked out of Target last week with two new Ultimate Xenomorphs and a couple of Predators. And today I’m going to open one of the Preds…

For a while, I tried to just stick with the Ultimate releases when it comes to Predators, but my willpower ain’t so great and so I’ve been buying more and more of these regular releases. Of course, Broken Tusk is from the Dark Horse comic Alien Vs Predator and the one who Blooded the human warrior Machiko, who is also in this wave and on my pile to open and review. The packaging here is a simple card and giant bubble, which lets you get a great look at the figure inside, but sadly is not collector friendly. Nonetheless, there’s some colorful artwork, an insert that boasts over 25 points of articulation, and a separate tray behind the figure that houses the accessories. Ah, but shredding the packaging is a small price to pay to get this beauty out.

No matter how many of NECA’s Preds I open, they still always manage to impress me. While Broken Tusk is pulled from the Dark Horse comic, I’m happy to say that the figure is not presented in the comic-paint-style that NECA sometimes releases, but rather one that will fit in with the bulk of my other Preds. This figure also represents what is easily the most unique looking Pred in my collection so far and the amount of detail in this sculpt once again proves just how much passion NECA has for these characters. Broken Tusk sports some unusual heavy armor, much of which looks like it’s been fashioned from crustacean shells. These green, interlocking horned plates cover his upper arms, hips and thighs, while similarly colored sleeves of armor protect his knees and lower legs. Even his familiar wrist bracers are painted green to match. He also sports a carapace of some sort as a backpack.

Perhaps the coolest element of his armor is the chest piece, which is sculpted out of softer plastic and actually worn by the figure. This includes the addition of a more mechanical element, with various boxes, pouches and vents interconnected with wires and tubing. And in the middle of it is a true showpiece of a trophy: A Xenomorph’s face! The paint here includes some silver spray on the tubes and the black and blue coloring of the Alien with it’s silver teeth and the rather distinctive (and I think just a bit ludicrous) lightning bolt emblem painted onto the Xeno’s forehead. Of course, under all that armor, you get the usual yellow skinned Yautja anatomy with some natural brown and orange coloring and the sculpted body net, which in this case is green!

Broken Tusk features a masked head sculpt, and sadly the mask is not removable, nor do you get an unmasked head. Maybe NECA is saving that for the Ultimate treatment later on. Either way, he features the usual dreadlocks, which are individually sculpted, and the smooth contoured mask with a nice gold painted finish. There’s a wash on the mask to give it a bit of a weathered look, and he has his lightning symbol outlined on his forehead.

As you might expect, Broken Tusk has a few tricks up his sleeves, or rather up his arm bracers. The right arm features the usual nasty-looking jagged twin blades, which can extend and retract, while the left bracer contains the flip-up computer. I’ve found that a few of my Preds have rather fragile hinges on their arm computers, but the ones on this one are rock solid.

Broken Tusk comes with a couple of weapons, the first of which is the Yautja Burner, which he wields in place of a standard shoulder-mounted plasmacaster. It’s a somewhat compact hand-held weapon with a green and silver deco to match the armor. It also features a soft plastic carry-strap so he can sling it over his shoulder. The figure’s left hand is sculpted to work with the gun and he can hold it quite well.

The other weapon is this amazing pole-arm, which features a spear-head on one end and something more akin to a glaive blade on the other. Both are painted silver and have orange blood splattered on them. Broken Tusk’s right hand is sculpted in a tight grip to let him hold the spear without it slipping, although the right hand can be used so he can wield it with both hands.

It can also be pulled apart to make up two weapons. I’m not sure if this was done just so that it could comfortably fit in the packaging, or so it could intentionally be separated to form two weapons, but I prefer to think it’s the later.

Just one look at this magnificent bastard hanging on the peg, and I knew that I had to have him, not to mention the other figures in this wave. Broken Tusk is a fine addition to my humble but growing collection of Predators and every time I open one of these beauties I find myself anxious to get more. The attention to detail in the sculpt is mind-blowing, and Broken Tusk makes for a formidable presence on any display shelf. Alas, I was only able to pick up him and Machiko on my last trip, so I’m still hunting Hornhead. Although a subsequent trip netted me the Ultimate version of Ahab, so you can expect to see a lot of Predator loving here in the week’s ahead.