February 1st, 2008
Is it my imagination, or did pretty much EVERYONE get this before I did? Yeesh Sideshow, was I at the bottom of the list for mine or what… Ah well, better late than never I suppose! Tonight I would like to present to you my review of the Hot Toys Predator 2 Elder figure, which was viewed as probably one of their best upcoming released in this series.
I have owned EVERY Hot Toys Predator figure released to date, including all the obscure Asian special editions that Sideshow and North American distributors never carried, and I can honestly say this is the best one to date, and it’s mostly because they finally did a proper head. Not just in size, but in terms of paint application… FINALLY! It only took about 9 releases to finally get a decent head sculpt and paint job going on these things, let’s hope they continue this trend.
As usual, I ordered this from Sideshow and was bent over the shipping and customs alter and given a good reaming. Sorry, I don’t mean to be graphic but I am starting to get annoyed that a box only a bit bigger than the shoebox that comes with a pair of my boots costs $40 to ship and then I get nailed with $30 duty. When all is said and done, this $139 toy cost $210 to get it in my hands… Truth be told, the $40 shipping isn’t bad for the 2 day FedEx, but man am I tired of our diligent customs officials. Right, moving along…
Once again, Hot Toys scores top marks for the gorgeous retail packaging on these figures. Although I wouldn’t mind if they just paper bagged it and cut $40 off the price as I am sure that a huge chunk of the cost on these figures is spent on the lofty packaging. Either way, nice boxes Hot Toys, you’re making the rest of the toy makers green with envy!
Now we come to the part I DESPISE. Assembly. I absolutely can not stand putting these together and I think the entire concept of having to put them together after paying over $200 to get it here is absurd. I’m not sure if this is considered fun by the folks at Hot Toys, but to me, it’s about as much fun as that scene in the last James Bond flic where Bond is sitting in that ass-less chair getting his meat and potatoes turned in to roast beef. It sucks and I always manage to break something in the process…
This time, I actually decided to read the instructions because this guy is VERY detailed and has tons of belts, straps and other dangly things to adorn our ancient warrior. I wanted to make sure I put all these little bits on in the right order and not pooch the assembly. One thing I’ve found out… if you screw something up in assembly, it’s a nightmare to start taking it apart again. So, I grab the instructions…
Step 1 – Attach back pack/shoulder cannon… Check!
Step 2 – Attach leather skirt thingy and main cod piece… Check!
Now, at this point bear in mind that steps 1 and 2 illustrate the assembly of 3 parts so far. That’s 3 of like 30 pieces.
Step 3 – Attach EVERTHING ELSE!
At this point I laughed my ass off… There is it, step 3, which is literally a diagram of the fully assembled Predator figure with no further steps. Evidently whoever does the documentation at Hot Toys spent an hour on steps 1 and 2, realized how tedious writing instruction manuals can be, and just said f*** this noise and did a coles notes version of the rest and called it step 3. OK granted, I’m not a simpleton and I can figure it out from the pictures, but I still thought that was hilarious.
Assembly is actually pretty easy on this… easier in fact that the AvP Preds, which I found a real pain when it came time to assembling the upper armor. There is only 1 thing that I found ridiculous and considering that I’m a weight lifter and have quite a bit of strength in my hands, I can’t imagine how the average kid would pull this off. The calf armor. This requires heating up of the armor to make it soft (I put mine in hot water for 5 minutes) and super human strength to wrestle them in to place. To make things even more complicated, try to put them on without destroying the head or cannon or something… I HIGHLY recommend the first thing you do after you get the netting on is put on the knee and calf armor, trust me. One things for sure, they sure as hell won’t be falling off. The rest is a breeze… finally, we have our assembled Predator Elder!
The biggest thing on this piece is the Elder’s head. It’s awesome! The sculpt is perfect (for a figure) and the paint job is really nice compared to the worthless paint jobs of past pieces. In fact, this is the only figure in the entire line that I would display without a helmet – not that it comes with one anyhow. The detail on the figure is absolutely awesome, with tiny real beads tied in with the dreads and on his bone necklace and superb armor detailing. Even the flintlock pistol has the name Raphael Adolini on it in writing that is about 3/4 of an inch wide. They really went all out on this guy and it shows. I also love the dreads… they are MUCH better than the older ones used on previous releases, even if they can’t be posed. They flow in to a natural position and it looks great, and again, the beading detail is superb.
I’m also happy to say that the uneven leg thing is fixed… I confirmed that MANY owners of the P2 figure that came out last month had 1 leg longer than the other, making it pretty ridiculous to pose. Well my friends, good news! You can easily pose this guy and stand him up without using the stand.
My only real complaint on this guy is the spotting, especially on the legs… it makes him look like a cow. I know how the spotting patterns were on the elder and they were no where near as harsh and hard edges as how they did it on the figure. Anyone willing to go through the trouble of doing a repaint on this would have one hell of a killer piece! In fact, if you want to see just how jaw-dropping this figure can be with the right paint job, check out this repaint thread on the HIVE that was done my Figuremaster Les, it’s absolutely amazing!
Overall though, I am very happy with factory paint job and the sculpt of this figure, it’s definitely their best one to date from where I stand.
So well done Hot Toys, despite me still hating doing YOUR assembly work for you, this is definitely your best piece yet… I hope the upcoming Wolf is as cool as this piece!
Ready for some photos? I actually didn’t go too nuts on pictures because there are TONS of photos all over the place, so I tried to focus more on really close shots showing off the gorgeous details like the photo I posted above. You can view the full gallery by clicking on the photo icon below (Mine are the ones with the white background):
So that’s it gang! This piece is another big seller and was sold out ages ago… even the Wolf was sold out quite awhile ago. If you are ever tempted to get one of these and don’t want to get killed on the secondary market like on eBay, keep an eye on this site and I’ll announce any future pre-orders within hours of becoming available.
Thanks for your time and be sure to click the comment button below and leave me some feedback on this article or figure!