Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NECA Kenner Predators (Predators series 10 Lava Planet, Nightstorm, Hive Wars) action figure review

The Kenner Aliens and Predator series released back in 1992 have ended up some of people's most memorable action figures from their childhood and NECA has gone back in time to recreate some of the Predators! Here we take a look at Nightstorm, Lava Planet, and Hive Wars Predator action figures. They're all made with existing Predator bodies but with new limb, weapons, and armor sections.

I don't normally cover packaging so a quick google search will show you the retro 90's style artwork of the packages, this time in cardback instead of full plastic bubble which is usually the NECA theme. The figure sculpting is as always, out of this world. (See what I did there?) Lava Planet Predator uses the standard City Hunter body with a new mask and right arm with great extending blade. His entire body is made of clear red plastic with the exception of his mask, the eyeholes clear red however.

A sharp eye will notice there's no paint on the figure's back but there's a reason for this. It allows you to place in in front of a light source and have his body light up through the back. Red shows through the lava paint deco, around the armor, and even through the machete weapon he holds. This effect is loads of fun and harkens to the original figure. Lava Planet's articulation is the same as your current Predator warriors and comes with Tracker Predator's shoulder cannon. The new extending arm blade is great and looks like the one the vintage figure had.

Nightstorm Predator uses the Super Predators Berserker body which is a tad taller but thinner than the rest. There's new armor everywhere all done in an Egyptian style. Across his scarab styled mask are Yautja markings that read 'Kenner Tribe', an easter egg for diehard Predator fans that can read the native language. Sculpting is amazing on the figure but also on the inside of the helmet with all sorts of tech detail that could have been left blank. It fits on beautifully and Nightstorm is the only NECA Predator with a removable mask currently.

Nightstorm's claws extend but look as if they originally were designed to fold up and back onto his gauntlet into slots tho the hinge isn't a working one. His leg articulation is slightly hampered due to the V-crotch of the Super Predator body design and his neck is restricted up/down by the dreads and larger golden collar. The shoulder cannon's turret spins and he comes with a large golden staff with a skull on top just like the vintage figure had.

Nightstorm's paint work is amazingly detailed with all sorts of metallic shades, black detailing, and oxidation to it. The bicep and thigh armor are new designs and have a tendency to slip down the limb so you could remove them for use on other figures or glue them in place. The straps do help hide the thigh articulation cuts however which was a nice touch.

The Hive Wars Predator features the Jungle Hunter body with brand new upper and lower arms. The mask is a City Hunter Predator with additional sculpt down the middle of it. The detail of the new armor's sculpt is great and features a raised checkerboard pattern. Paint applications on Hive Wars is slick with a dark blue fading to light blue and eerie green eyes. A nice glossy wash on the skin is applied evenly, not too thick and contrasts well with the matte armor.

Hive War's range of articulation is great being able to look up and down effective, he's only missing the ball jointed waist using the Jungle Pred swivel here. So close! A new scythe-like weapon is included just like the vintage figure had and looks wicked. His arm blades don't extend but look like they were originally designed to slide on a track, tho this effect may have been ditched last minute. A new rear flap sculpt completes Hive Wars Predator giving him a really unique look.

So what's the verdict on the newest series of NECA Predators? Buy them, they're amazingly designed figures. Even if you're not a fan of the Berserker body the new armor/mask/paint work is enough to warrant it. And at less the price of your average 6" figure you get a taller one with superior paint and sculpt. Our Sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has them in singles and sets along with other series. You can find them on Amazon on sale as well if you're lucky. Add to your Predator clan with these figures, you won't be sorry!

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