Saturday, December 22, 2012

NECA - Battle Damaged Predators 2-Pack

Today’s update covers the new Toys R Us exclusive battle-damaged Predator 2-Pack. Because there’s just no way to have enough of NECA’s Predators stalking your shelves. While we’ve received several versions of each of these characters already, there’s enough newness here to make this set a must have. Check it out after the jump.

Yes, we already have a few City Hunters, and several Jungle Hunters, but NECA wisely saved a version of each for this latest Toys R Us exclusive set: The battle-damaged versions! Because nothing says “I’m a 7-foot tall bad ass alien warrior and I will f@#%#*& kill you!” like a severed arm and bright green blood all over the place.

The packaging for this set, like all of NECA’s two-packs, is a heat sealed clamshell with nice interior art. The front prominently displays the two included Predators, and the back gives a bio for each, with the cross-sell featuring the entire Lost Tribe. Nice. You’ll need a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to open the package. Be careful not to slice yourself on the sharp plastic.

Upon first opening the set and removing the Jungle Hunter from his half of the tray, I was a little confused… where’s the battle damage? But ah, there it is… green blood oozing down his right leg. So this is the slightly-damaged version, not the full-on, coughing up green blood, mortally wounded version. Side note: It would be really freaking awesome to get a full-on, coughing up green blood, mortally wounded version, with an activated wrist detonator showing the countdown, maybe as a future release or Con exclusive or something. How ‘bout it NECA?

The real draw of this figure is not the little bit of green paint on his leg, though. This figure is actually an update to the previous Jungle Hunter body, and includes new legs with the same articulation as all of the Lost Tribe Predator figures. That’s right, ball-hinged hips and double-hinged knees, for even greater poseability. I have no problem re-buying figures when they include significant updates, and NECA delivers here. I remember them mentioning some time back that the Jungle Hunter would eventually be updated with this articulation, and it was worth the wait.  The upcoming masked Jungle Hunter in Series 8 also features this update.

From the waist up, this figure is identical to the previous unmasked, open mouth Jungle Hunter that we got way back in Predators Series 1, but with slightly different, darker paint. The paint looks good, no smudging or “off” lines. The metallic parts are more shiny and less of a dull metallic tone this time. The removable backpack with plasma caster, trophy necklaces, and retractable wrist blades are all still included. Over all, this is a solid figure, and worth adding to your collection even if it is somewhat of a repeat.

The City Hunter is the star of this set, though, since he’s the most different. The body and articulation are the same as we've seen before, but this guy is seriously battle damaged. There’s bright green paint everywhere, and if that weren't enough to let you know he’s messed up, he has a newly-sculpted left arm with a removable forearm & hand, to recreate his severed limb from the movie. Nice touch, and reminds me of the old McFarlane version of this same figure. NECA has also included a non-removable breath mask with hose plugged into the side. Awesome sculpting here. I love the detail in the mask.

As usual, NECA’s paint work is superb, with tons of detail and no noticeable mistakes. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I really wish Hasbro would learn a thing or two from NECA on quality control.

The City Hunter also includes the majority of the accessories in this set, with not one, but two distinct trophy skulls from the end scene of Predator 2. It’s awesome to see that NECA is slowly giving us the entire contents of the Trophy wall, and with each one, I get even more hopeful that we might see an actual diorama wall to display them all on some day.

I do have two minor complaints about this set, both having to do with City Hunter’s accessories. First of all, the package states that he includes his Smart Disc. Mine did not. His holster was empty, and there was no place for it in the tray. I don’t know if just mine was missing it or if they all were. I have plenty of smart discs from all the other releases, but it would have been really cool to get one smeared in green blood with this set, to mimic when his arm was severed. Secondly, it would've also been really cool to get the med-kit that he used. The figure just doesn't quite feel complete without it. Still, I’m glad we got the accessories we did, especially the skulls, so I can’t complain too much.  And the breath mask, even though it's not removable, is nothing short of awesome.

Over all, the City Hunter is just as exciting as the updated Jungle Hunter, if not more so. These are both great takes on the main Predator characters that inevitably have to continue to be released to keep the line accessible to new collectors jumping on, and NECA is doing a fantastic job of keeping ALL of their releases fresh and interesting. This set is available in Toys R Us stores now, if you’re lucky enough to find one. It is also available on

Review, photos and appreciation for green gore and severed limbs by Zak