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Predatorstuff.com reviews the new Sideshow AvP Scar Predator Helmet!

March 10th, 2009

Good from far, but far from good… You probably remember laughing the first time you heard this expression in junior high (or grade school for you precocious folks), but the old adage is an easy way to sum up the overall impression of today’s reviewed product. Predatorstuff.com opens up another Sideshow box and we get a first look at the new AvP Scar Predator Bio Helmet.


Yesterday morning I was happy to hear the pleasant chime of the doorbell at the usual hour my friendly neighborhood Spiderman Postman rings when new goodies have arrived, and yesterday was no exception with two huge boxes waiting along with a not-so-nice duty invoice. One box is a secret project from my good friend Joe Dunaway, so I can’t mention this YET (wait until you see the cover of the next KitBuilders Magazine!), and the other was the new Sideshow AvP Scar Predator Helmet! I know a few folks thought this helmet looked pretty plain when initially announced, but I was really stoked and I can’t wait to have all three AvP helmets hanging from my trophy wall. I already have the Wolf from AvPR, and as anyone that received this helmet can tell you, the piece totally kicked ass. So I couldn’t wait for Scar to get here!

As always, the ADI prob replicas come in packed in a plain brown shipper box, and within you find another plain brown box with the ADI product sticker on one side, and the entire box is bagged in clear plastic. A molded foam shell protects the contents, and like any good Sideshow collector probably does at this point, I giggled at the yellow QC sticker stuck on the outside of the foam along the center seam. Personally I think most of us have been dancing in a land of rainbows and buttercups and naturally assumed this QC sticker means Quality Control, and that by placing the sticker on the packaging, it means the product within has passed some kind of quality assurance inspection. Silly mortals… Allow me to shed some light on the true meaning of QC: QUESTIONABLE CONTENTS. That explains a lot doesn’t it?

You probably already sense where I’m headed with this right?

The included base is the exact same one used for the Wolf, which is great… the mounting system for the helmet is awesome and I’m glad they will all match. The helmet connects to the base via magnets, and you can either sit the base on a flat surface, OR you can wall mount it. I should also mention the base weighs roughly the same as a baby elephant, so I suggest if you plan on wall mounting this you find a wall stud to drill your screws in to lol! The hammered effect is painted in a brown wash, and it’s a bit darker than the Wolf base… the metal accents are identical and looks great. The under side of the base has the issue number (I have 0166 of 1000) and usual trademark goodness. So, base is cool, happy with that… great for display purposes and bludgeoning intruders.

Now it’s time to unwrap the helmet… I softly hum a merry tune as I lovingly unwrap this gorgeous piece, softly caressing the subtle textures, lightly stroking the bold curves. Fully stripped of it’s confining foam wrapping, I bring the helmet level to my piercing gaze and look intently in to the *record scratch* HOLY HELLLLLLL!!! WTF PAPER LENSES?!

Hang on, before we move on any further please let me get out my soap box. OK that’s better… Sideshow, what in the name of everything that’s holy were you thinking? It’s starting to become VERY apparent that pre-paint companies are struggling to turn a profit and looking for EVERY possible way to save money on the production of pieces. The problem is they are REALLY starting to piss people off. First we have Cinemaquette with the ATROCIOUS issues with the $2000 Predator statue, then we have the Christmas Edition Moria Orc incident with Sideshow… after that is the disastrous painting issues with the Iron Man Bust (How on earth can you possibly screw up something with 2 colors on it?!) and now, we have this Scar Helmet that has paper lenses. You know things are getting pretty serious when metal parts are being replaced by pieces of paper. Are you laughing? Honestly, I can’t keep a straight face even as I type this.

On the Wolf Helmet, the lenses are made with an actual metal mesh installed over a black backing, and it looks awesome. As soon as I opened the Scar, I noticed the lenses looked weird and it hit me… the damn lenses are in fact a sheet of thick paper with a mesh-like pattern printed on it! And to add insult to injury, the print out itself is horrible, with broken lines and missing ink all over it. Talk about doing things on the cheap! I’m really baffled by this move… How did this decision take place? Honestly, I can’t imagine that the Sideshow Product Development team held a meeting and someone brought this idea up without the rest of the group laughing hysterically. I love Sideshow, they’re a great group and most of their products are awesome… but this my friends is plain stupid, tasteless and cheap. They didn’t even bother to add the plastic lexan over top, it’s literally just a piece of paper that you can dent with a finger. If you check out the ADI book or the film itself, you can see the hero helmet used for the closeups is a black mesh over a silver backing, with a plastic lexan layer over top… it looks awesome. So to represent this effect, PAPER was the obvious choice?! The sad thing is even if they would have used the paper with a better quality mesh pattern printed on it AND covered it in a lexan layer, this would have been a non-issue. So a big fat BOOOOOOO on this one, and I hope they correct this for the Celtic and Chopper helmets that are coming up.

Right, so moving along lets talk about the rest of the piece. The other issue I noticed right away is the soft detailing of the hammered effect, which again is VERY nicely done on the Wolf helmet. On the Scar helmet, the hammer effect is much more subtle and way less pronounced and crisp, and the lack of weathering doesn’t do much to help. If you look at the prototype, you’ll notice much more weathering overall than on the actual production piece. I just popped in the DVD of AvP and skipped to the scene where Lance Henriksen gets killed by Scar on the stairs and you can clearly see the hammer effect is pronounced and the helmet is weathered quite a bit. (This scene is the pretty much the best spot in the film to see the helmet details) This replica piece is toned down quite a bit in terms of weathering, so the hammer texture doesn’t pop out as much as it should.

The rest looks good until I turn it over on the side and check out the hose port, which is the are up near the temple opposite of the laser shroud. In the movie, this is where the hoses connect to the helmet to supply his breathable air and power for the helmet’s various electrical features. The hose port section has ribbing on either side, and on mine they’ve managed to screw up the casting and a huge chunk of detail is lost due to air bubbles in the mold! Rather than filling the holes and repairing the ribbing detail (which takes all of about 10 minutes tops), they just went ahead and primed and painted it as is… give me a break. In fact, those of you that already have this helmet in your hands, I would really appreciate it if you could leave a comment letting me know if you also have this issue with the ribbing or if my issue is unique and I just happen to get a dud. I’ll be contacting Sideshow about it later today to see what they say. I didn’t take photos of the issue yet, but be sure to check out the Video Review, I zoom right in and show you what it looks like.

And finally, we look at the paint… paint job is OK but even here, I have two complaints:

1. You can see large brush strokes from when they applied the weathering, especially on the cheek areas, and it looks bad. If you scroll back up and look at the first photo I posted in this review under the first paragraph, you can actually see what I am talking about. Look at the cheek part under the lenses, you can clearly see the brush strokes going side to side.

2. The silver scar symbol created when the Predator uses a leg from a Face Hugger to burn the markings in with the acid looks weird. It’s supposed to look like scored/melted in, but the final result just doesn’t look right. I’m grasping at what exactly it is that I don’t like about it, but it just doesn’t look realistic at all.

Overall the paint looks fine, but it wouldn’t be much of a review if I just nodded my head like a bobblehead and told you everything was peachy keen.

Here’s my overall problem with the production of this piece, which could have been so killer. The Scar helmet is a very plain bio, it’s not exactly rich in detail like the Wolf… you only have 4 points of detail on the helmet, so the LEAST they could have done was paid proper attention to these detail areas. Instead, they all climbed aboard the failboat and delivered a pooch screw. The 4 primary points that are critical on this piece (in my opinion) are the as follows: The laser shroud, the hose port section, the lenses and the scar symbol. The only thing that looks cool is the laser shroud… the other 3 points of detail are flawed, and it completely ruins the piece. We’ve got paper lenses, shoddy casting on the temple area and a weird paint application on the symbol.

I should also mention that it’s pretty sad that we’ve got talented individuals out there that can work out of their garage with clay, some silicone from Home Depot and resin and produce wonderful castings, yet a huge professional company like Sideshow with licensed product and professional production factories deliver piss poor quality with bright yellow QC stickers stamped on the side.

*Deep breath*

And that brings me back to the opening statement on this review… it’s good from far, but far from good. I have to admit that the bio looks really nice mounted on the wall and I’m standing back 10 feet away from it. I can imagine just how cool the entire series will eventually look mounted on my trophy wall. You can’t really tell that the lense is a poopy piece of paper and you can’t see the weird brush strokes or screwed up ribbing. Even the scar symbol looks fine! But up close, you start to notice just how cheaply this thing was made and even though this looks great from a distance, I can’t help but shake my head whenever I look at it knowing that once again, Sideshow has shown that bottom line will always trump having happy collectors.

Alright my friends, that concludes my review on this piece, but we can’t have a review without some eye candy! First up, I’m rather excited about showing you guys my first HD YouTube video review! I uploaded this video in a full 1280×720 format in stereo (man, that took forever to upload) so you can access this in regular format, or in YouTube’s 720p HD format! You can click the logo below for the video and you can toggle between HD and regular format by clicking the HD logo under the video window.

Video Available on YouTube!

You’ll notice I harp on the paper quite a bit in the video… I made the video right after opening the box and I was just so pissed about it that it was really the main focus of my angst lol!

And of course we have some photos for you guys! I shot some stills in my office again and I tried to focus on the good points with my photos seeing as the video and most of this written review is spent blasting it. So basically watch the video to see the bad stuff and check out the pics for the good:

Hope you enjoyed the review, and I welcome all your comments on my write up or this product in general! I would love to hear from other people that received this helmet to know if you have the same issue with the ribbing, so please be sure to click the comment button below and drop me a note!

Thanks all,
Dan

Post a Comment!

 

12 Responses to “ Predatorstuff.com reviews the new Sideshow AvP Scar Predator Helmet! ”

  1. Mark Brown Says:

    Hi Dan,
    I enjoyed your review on the Scar Helmet. I dont have any Predator Helmets in my collection and have been rather sceptical of the large scale Helmets and 1/1 scale items except for my “Norris Spider Head” from the “THING Movie”. I’m so sorry that Sideshow released this Wickedly Cool item with paper lenses.
    That is just going way beyond the relm of cheepness!
    How could a 1/1 scale helmet pass into the hands of serious collectors from a company like Sideshow?
    I really dig the Celtic Helmet Design, that has to be my favorite to date, however if Sideshow continues to produce cheap Predator 1/1 scale essentials like the helmets they are going to lose a lot of serious Predator fans as customers.
    Thanks again Dan, I hope Sideshow is able to fix the Helmet problems or refund your money.
    All the Best.
    Mark Brown

  2. Ryan Says:

    Ack! I’m sorry this piece turned out to be so wretched, Dan. That symbol looks like they just took a hot glue gun, Let it drizzle in a close pattern, and than slathered it with chrome paint. They say things like this are ‘hit or miss’..Looks like they missed on this one. Kind of makes me grateful I didn’t pre-order that thing.

  3. Swift kinfe Says:

    I think your gonna have the same problem on the celtic and chopper lenses.Mabye sideshow made ’em shit for the fact that the movie was kinda shit.

  4. Faken Says:

    I wonder if they will actually use the various mesh patterns that each AvP helmet had. If you watch the movie you can see that the chopper has no mesh, it’s just a shiny plastic lense with like a speckled noise effect on it. You can pause it at 53:24 in the theatrical version right where he’s face to face with the alien that just speared him and for a second or two you get a full shot of just the lenses showing the reflection of the alien about to puncture his face.

    Then at 56:29 when the celtic is fighting the alien, you get a similar shot when the alien breaks out of the deployed netting and jumps on top of the celtic. You can see it’s the same material as what the chopper has.

    So hopefully they don’t use the same paper mesh thing for all 3 🙁

    If you check out the high resolution photos of the celtic on the sideshow site, they DO appear to have the right texture for the lenses:

    http://www.sideshowtoy.com/prod_photos/jpg/400016_press03.jpg

    But to me, it doesn’t look like a plastic lense, I’m thinking it’s simply part of the paint job and there are no eye holes or anything. They left the eyes covered in resin and will simply paint the area with the correct texture. If they do that, I think it’s a poor decision…

  5. Mike Says:

    From now I’m gonna offer printed mesh lenses as well. Sorry Economic climate bad. :P. The Led’s will be painted red. Well at least it’ll fool a lot of people in the pics.

  6. Heavy Metal Spike Says:

    As posted on youtube:

    LMAO – “paper, paper, paper lenses I tell you – muhhaahaaahaaaaaaa”!

    Sorry about the crappy product AND QC dude.

    Look on the bright side – it ain’t as bad OR expensive as the Cinemaquette Predator I’ve been dealing with!

    Plus – you’ll HOPEFULLY get decent customer service from Sideshow – I wouldn’t trust my pet slug with Cinemaquette/Toynami – it would turn up with bits missing, broken and badly painted.

    Seem like some retailers these days are REALLY letting things go.

    PS: Great quality vid man – nice job!

  7. Elbert Says:

    sorry about your bio dan mine came out better good except for the lens like you said .But i went to the hardware store got me some screan mesh and add it to the lens what a different.I also add color add to the the temple and gave it a better dimensional depth. I would like to send you some pic but i don’t know your email to send them to you .

  8. jaguargod Says:

    Honestly, why do you guys continue to buy these prepainted items? It seems like every review gets worse and worse. The only way things are going to change is if they produce these items and they just sit on their warehouse shelves. Every time that you purchase, especially with scathing reviews like this one publicly available, you reinforce to them that you will buy anything that has the Predator name on it.

    I am a huge fan of the Predator, but getting my money’s worth, and being satisfied with the end product is more important to me. I would rather buy a kit and pay a professional to finish it. In the past I was obsessed with trying to collect every Predator item released. I think it was Palisade’s series of prepainted busts that sounded the death knell for me. Predator fans used to be more of a cult following, but now they account for a serious chunk of the model and collectible community and contribute significantly to companies’ revenue. These companies need to be reminded of that.

    I’m not saying that these companies should take a loss to produce the item. I would would be willing to pay a little more for a truly quality item. But I won’t even buy it at a discount if it is a piece of crap. Let’s act collectively to influence these companies in hopes of only reading stellar product reviews in the future.

  9. Justin Says:

    I agree with jaguargod. There’s a point where people deserve to be laughed at for paying what they do on items like this. If Sideshow didn’t feel bad about the paper lenses, they’re not going to feel bad about doing it again, or even doing worse. I was planning on getting some of the Predator and Alien dioramas I saw on their website, but after seeing the pre-paint on one of them in a review on this very site, I decided against it, for good.

    I don’t think that company will ever get a cent of my money, nor will any other company I hear bad things about. Continuing to do business with companies or affiliations like these is enabling them to sell you the pisspoor items you’re paying for.

  10. Sander Says:

    Thx for the review! when i got my Scar mask i was wandering if it was a fake,. but now i know the paint job is’t very good ;p anyway its up my wall and yes from a distance it looks awesome! 🙂
    I might paint in some black parts arround the target and the thingy at the left side,..

    Also i did’t know the mask was “made in China” i thought it was made in the US.

  11. Ellis Mikles Says:

    I’ve been looking for this exact information on this topic for a long time.  Bookmarked and recommended!

  12. laser treatment for diabetes Says:

    ok so I got a psp slim(silver 2001 model) from a friend today Im sure he hasnt ever tried to update or put cfw on it

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