Monday, April 22, 2013

NECA Jungle Patrol Dutch figure review (Predators Movie line)

Woah. I honestly never thought I'd see Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Dutch in action figure form and when I was asked to create one for ToyFare Magazine issue #121 back in 2007 it was because they figured he'd never get the action figure treatment either! But NECA is once again grabbing the wheel and steering the industry standard to another incredible level. Jungle Patrol Dutch can be found in the first wave of 2013 Predator figures that also includes Predator and Dutch wearing his jacket smoking a cigar. You can effectively create different versions of Dutch by buying both and swapping parts. So, let's find out how he stacks up against what's out there shall we?
Packaging is your basic card back with bubble blister you've seen all the other Predators on so let's move right to the figure. Dutch's sculpting is out of this world excellent. His skin has texture, his separate rubber vest, separate we gear, seam-stitched pants, veins on his neck and arms, stubble, and and unmistakable Arnold headsculpt that's right at the top with a Hot Toys Dutch head. Yes it's that's good, just smaller. Even his boot laces have a criss-cross texture to them. It's honestly something to behold as NECA has surpassed McFarlane, SOTA, Mezco, possibly every other company currently making toys on the market in terms of detail. Not even the import figures I own have this level of detail on them.

Paint application has been taken to an art form here. Dutch's slightly
translucent plastic skin tone has been given a flesh colored wash and dirtied up to look like honest to god skin. His eyes are spot on, just enough face paint, hair with shadows and highlights, and then you get to the outfit he's wearing. The camo pattern is complete and clean all the way around, even lining up when you position his legs so that you almost can't tell there's joints hidden there. A grimy splatter here, a bit of mud scuffed here, and you have a super realistic combat paint job.

NECA is often hit or miss when it comes to articulation but here's it's a home run. Everything moves and everything is on a ball joint. Dutch's ab crunch, waist, inner hips, and neck range allow you to bend him like a snake. Want Dutch to lean out from behind a corner and look over his shoulder? Done. Lay down prone and aim? Done. The only thing he has trouble doing is a full crouch as he only sports single pin knees but it's still impressive. His ankles turn and are on double rockers. And best of all almost all the joints are cleverly hidden. I use to whine if a figure didn't have the 50-part-joint-count of a Marvel legends. NECA proves you can do the same with half that. His balance is also perfect. The pose you see below of his throwing his knife on one foot requires NO hidden support.

Dutch comes with three accessories, his trusty assault rifle, pistol that sheaths on the right and combat
knife that can be sheathed on the left. His vest and belt are separate pieces but will only come off if you heat him up with a hair dryer and pop his head/arms/waist apart. It's not hard to do once you get the plastic soft and won't harm the figure as long as you pull straight out and twist slightly. His joint pegs are thick and incredibly durable too. I don't see any QC issues here and let's hope this continues in with their Aliens/Colonial Marines figures coming next month.

So what's the verdict here on Dutch? Buy him now, don't wait. At every Toys R Us I've been to there's only been one left on the shelf. I'm going to pick up at least two extra of each one for customizing parts. He's a perfect standard military action figure with crazy articulation. Chris from Resident Evil, Bionic Commando (or just Commando, heh) GI Joe characters, this body is perfect. Dutch is somewhere between 6" and 7" scale so you can fudge him into both Marvel Legends and Player Select lines. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store will be getting them in any day so you're guaranteed one through preorder. Your local comic shops should get them in too. In the end NECA is blowing away all other companies in terms of bang for your buck and we're going to see some amazing things with the upcoming Aliens line...I cannot wait!