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PredatorStuff.com Reviews the AWESOME Cinemaquette Predator 1 Statue!

July 7th, 2009

Last week I promised you guys the biggest, baddest review ever and tonight, I deliver on that promise by presenting you my review of the world’s most expensive scaled Predator collectible… the Cinemaquette Predator 1 statue! Sit back and prepare to read a small novel, watch 30 minutes of video footage and check out half a hundred photos from every angle. Let’s get rolling…


First off, before we go any further, I need to thank TerminatorMan over at the Freaks board for hooking me up with this piece… he was AMAZING to deal with and sent this baby with ultra secure packaging and really followed through on the deal in every way. Thanks so much man, you ROCK!

Ringing in at $2000 retail price and a set release of 1000 statues worldwide, the Cinemaquette Predator statue has the honor of being the most expensive scaled licensed Predator collectible created to date, and today I will hopefully help you decide if this piece is worth it. The brand new sculpt from Steve Wang also has the distinct honor of being the longest awaited collectible ever made for Predator… rumblings about this piece started over 4 years ago! Measuring just over 31″ in height and a total shipping weight of 97 lbs, this sucker is HUGE and commands enormous presence in any one’s collection, and pretty much dominates just about anything you could possibly imagine.

I have to apologize in advance for the length of this review, simply because I have so much information and opinions on it that this is likely to be quite a small production and wear out a few keys on my keyboard. Let’s begin by talking about the sculpt, which is actually the most talked about point of this piece.

SCULPTING

The statue is completely sculpted from the ground up by Steve Wang, and it features what he states is an idealized version of the Predator 1. There has been massive debate and discussion about the accuracy of this piece vs the movie vs the Sideshow Maquette, so just to set the record straight, there is no question that the Cinemaquette piece is NOT movie accurate, and this is done on purpose. The final result is what Steve Wang preferred in the look of the Predator, and if he could go back and redo the Predator 1, this is how it would look. The overall body is slightly changed with a different stance in the legs and the head is flatter with a higher crown, closer to a P2 style head. The Sideshow Maquette is definitely closer to the movie version, and with very good reason… the Sideshow piece is taken from a 3D scan of the full size Predator that once sat in the foyer of the Stan Winston Studios building. The slight inaccuracies that crop up in the Sideshow piece such as the cannon being too large are due to the fact that these were not part of the original scan, and were scratch built and added to the piece. There’s also been talk of the legs being too thick, too skinny, not looking right etc… but they look fine to me either way.

So in terms of accuracy to the film, the Cinemaquette is obviously based on the Predator 1 character, but there are slight purposeful changes that Steve worked in to his sculpt that look awesome. The Sideshow Maquette is clearly more true to the film.

Looking for a display case? For this kind of money, spend the extra cash and get yourself an acrylic display case to protect him… the MINIMUM size you need is 26″ W x 23″ D x 32″ H. If you have no idea where to get a case, click HERE for the perfect case at a great price from casesforcollectibles.com. I already did the shopping for you lol!

In terms of sculpting details, you really can’t get better than this… the statue is huge, but it is LOADED with tiny details all over the Predator itself and the base. All of the armor is intricately worked with massive abouts of little bolts and bits all over the place… the gauntlets alone are extremely impressive. A close visual inspection over the entire statue shows no casting problems and the detail work is crisp and clean anywhere you look. The armor seams are perfect and even the bones on the necklace are worked with tremendous amounts of details, showing pores and small fissures and cracks en masse. Same deal with the base… the rocks and tree roots are loaded with realistic detail, bringing the entire piece to life.

PARTS AND MATERIALS

Judging by the sheer weight of the statue, the Predator body is cast in solid resin and the base appears to be a thick hollow casting… definitely nothing flimsy here, and the weight alone speaks for itself. You could use this as a really expensive boat anchor or perhaps a unique weight training device. Let’s go over the materials and part breakdown of this statue, starting off with the base and working our way up the piece…

The base feels like a thick hollow-cast material… it’s very heavy but not quite heavy enough for me to think it’s completely solid. The base features roots and water with the helmet and feet already bonded in place by the clear resin they used to make the very realistic water. The top of each foot has a hole for the body’s pins to slide in to place when installing the body to the base. The plants are in a separate bag and simply plug in to keyed holes along the back of the base. There is an included manual in the box that shows you which plants belong in which holes, it’s all fairly idiot proof. The base also has a brushed metal name plate along the front with the Predator logo on it… be sure to peel off the protective plastic film.

The helmet does NOT come off the base, it is embedded right in the clear resin and does not come off and cannot be worn by the Predator. This is an advantage to the Sideshow Maquette, the design concept of having the masked and unmasked poses available was really an excellent idea by Sideshow, too bad CM didn’t copy this idea as well.

The body itself is mostly already assembled, with just the cannon and forearms needing to be attached… the bone necklaces are already strung on leather twine and tied in place on the body, you will just need to unwrap the foam wrapping off them. You’ll find 3 separate strings of the skulls… the one with the single human vertebrae, another with 5 animal skulls, and finally the last one with various smaller bones tied around the neck. The body is also covered in the trademark cloaking material, which is of course the netting. The netting is a completely separate material that has been attached in place, it is not sculpted in then painted. The fact that it’s separate definitely adds to the realism and it looks fantastic! The knees and elbows are all accented with some ribbon material to mimic the tied pieces of leather as seen in the movie and the cod piece and butt area are covered with some great looking pseudo leather material. Love the buttflap material, it has a great and very realistic animal skin pattern to it, similar to alligator or something, it works very well for the statue’s look.

The forearms then pop in to place and stay attached via magnets hid in the castings. For the wristblade gauntlet, the blades are already attached and not come out or slide in and out of the gauntlet… they are set in the opened position and can’t be moved. The wrist computer has some sneaky fun stuff going on too! The arm computer itself slides right out of the gauntlet and reveals a small battery door underneath for 2 AAA batteries. Install the batteries, drop it back it to the housing and you’ve got a light-up computer display and bomb countdown sequence when you lift the computer’s lid! There is no on/off switch, it automatically turns on and off when you open and close the lid, and the sequence restarts in a continuous loop until you shut the lid. Please click HERE to view a video of the entire countdown sequence I put together.

The head itself is already attached to the body and cannot be removed… same with the dreads, they are all pre installed and are made of a flexible rubber type material. You can’t really pose them, but they have a very natural and realistic look that is perfect for the statue, it all fits in very well together. The last piece you need to attach is the plasma cannon, which just pops in to place once you move a couple of dreads aside.

Unless you happen to pull something trying to move this beast, you should have it up and ready to display in 5 minutes, it’s very easy to assemble it. Just be careful not to drop him when setting his ankle rods in to the feet in the base!

PAINT WORK

When it comes to the world of pre-paints, you can’t really get much better than this! While I know the prototypes painted by Steve Wang were obviously more impressive, you can’t find very much to complain about on this guy. The paint detail is as good, if not slightly better than the Sideshow Predator Maquette, with some nice transparent effects on the skin and decent spot patterns on the body. The armor is beautifully weathered except for the blast marks, which I will go in to later in this review. The color of the mouth is perfect, with just the right amount of skin tones, pink flesh and veins… I noticed a couple of people said it wasn’t red enough, but that’s actually wrong, it shouldn’t be red like they do for the Hot Toys Predators. That’s actually TOO red and I find that Predator paint applications with red mouths ruin the entire thing.

I should mention that I love this base and it’s beautifully painted with very realistic water that has very cool swirling mud and green effects. The rocks, feet and helmet all have water drops on them and it all looks VERY realistic and beautifully detailed. I always felt the SS Maquette had a shoddy base that was poorly painted compared to the rest of the statue, whereas the base on the CM piece is as outstanding as the statue itself. The head is well detailed, however some of the spots do have some speckling from the airbrush around them, which is common on a prepaint and expected. You only see this when you have your face a few inches from the paint, so it’s not really a big deal.

Overall the paint is quite good for a factory type application, I definitely don’t have an issue with it and it looks significantly better in person that I had assumed based on some of the photos taken by other collectors. In fact, I quote plainly see why everyone was saying “the photos just don’t do it justice”.

PACKAGING

There’s no question this thing is heavy and awkward, so it had to be packaged to take a beating and I feel they’ve definitely given this piece the protection is needs to survive the wrath of the postman. The box is heavy enough at 97lbs, but what makes it hard to move around is the fact that the box is just so huge. Unless you have long arms and some decent strength, I wouldn’t recommend moving this around by yourself. At 6’3″ and an avid weight lifter, I managed to muscle it up 3 flights of stairs, but it was tiring and I could easily count 2 or 3 times where I almost had a disaster.

The piece is wrapped in 3 boxes… the outer brown shipping box, an inner protective white box, and finally a gorgeous thick black retail box with foam cardboard sides and re-enforced corners. You don’t actually have to remove the boxes from each other, you simply open the flaps on the brown and white boxes, and then remove the lid from the retail box like you remove the lid off a shoe box. Inside is 3 layers of protective foam shell packaging with parts you need to remove from each layer. The top layer has the COA, so you remove that and then pull out the foam to reveal the body, arms and other parts, as well as the manual. Take all that out, pull out that shell, and finally you have the base nestled at the bottom. Take out the base, set it where you want to display you piece, then set the body in place, add the plants and cannon and insert the arms last. You’ll want to install the arms as the last step to avoid accidentally knocking one off as you are installing plant life or the cannon. If you hit and drop one of those arms, you can bet you’ll be crying about 2 milliseconds later. Once you have all that done, you’re good to go!

OK, with our general rundown of the piece finished, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly that come with this piece.

THE GOOD

There is no question that overall size and finish on this statue make it EXTREMELY impressive and it basically overshadows everything in your collection with it’s kick-ass energy. With Steve Wang’s amazing abilities, the sculpt is an obvious win and with decent quality factory paint, it makes this piece a must-have for Predator collectors and easily the flagship product for Cinemaquette. I’m actually not a fan of CM simply because they usually do human characters and I find their human likenesses to be WAAAAY off (and we all know where I stand on that) but holy cow did they knock this piece out of the park. Bigger IS better in this case!


The pose is also excellent, and I know some people didn’t like the Sideshow pose and prefer this museum style rather than the action look of the Sideshow piece. By the way, for the record, the Sideshow piece does NOT look like he’s falling over… he’s simply leaning forward because he’s about to strike and he’s got his momentum forward just like anyone does when running, tackling, fighting etc. I think the pose is very dynamic and works well, but hey, that’s just me! In addition to what seems to be a preferred pose for some is that I think the base is far superior on this one in terms of final finishing. The extensive water effects look awesome and all the rocks and roots are beautifully painted with some realistic moss added in for good measure.

I also love the material they used for the dreads, it looks awesome and with their flexible material, no chance of breakage in shipping or when handling it… I actually managed to unglue one of my Sideshow Maquette dreads once while assembling it, OOPS! The armor is also GORGEOUS on here, the weathering and metallic paint work is dead on and very realistic, it looks great!

Overall, it’s the first thing people see when they walk in to the office and the last thing they look at on the way out… it has a huge commanding presence, looks awesome and has an overall realism that gives the impression that it will walk off the base and attack my dog at any second.

THE BAD

With this being a $2000 collectible, you can bet that I am going to nitpick and be very hard on this piece, but honestly the problems I have with it are borderline laughable to most, and probably ridiculous to the rest.

The first and obvious thing I noticed was the inability to display this in a helmet pose like the Sideshow Maquette. I LOVE that feature and genuinely think it was a very smart move for Sideshow to include both poses in their exclusive version. For 2 grand, I think both poses should have been offered on the Cinemaquette piece as well. The other thing that seemed odd is the scale of the bones, especially the vertebrae he wears that is supposed to be from a human. If that’s a human vertebrae, then this Predator must be 20 feet tall or more! So yeah, they made that way too tiny, in fact the vertebrae on the Sideshow Maquette is bigger even though it’s 1:4 scale and the Cinemaquette statue is 1:3.

In terms of the paint job, there are two little things I don’t like. First thing is how they did the blast marks on the armor… unfortunately they look a lot less like blastmarks and a lot more like airbrushed eyelashes of some kind! Both the chest and leg armor have these eyelash blastmarks and they just suck. Thank goodness they are very faint though, so it’s not really a big deal as it doesn’t stick out very much. Had the blast marks been darker however, I think I would have really been annoyed and made a bigger deal out of it in my review.

The second issue with the paint is that the head appears to have more orange to it than anywhere else on the body and in photos, it really sticls out that the head appears to be orangy… more so than the body. It’s not so obvious in person, but when looking at photos of it, you’ll really see it stand out. Actually while I’m at it, why do companies insist of painting that white dot on the eyes to re-create light shining in the eyes?! If you just make the eyes very glossy, they will do this NATURALLY! All you prepaint companies out there need to stop fudging the light shining in the eyes, it looks weird!

As much as I love the rubber style dreads, I’m not a fan of the rock hard and sharp quills… they are super prone to breakage so be careful with them! Doesn’t take much to snag yourself on them and snap one off!

And finally, the last thing that may bother you are the plastic plants… some people say they can’t stand them and it looks cheap, others don’t seem to care. Personally I am in the “don’t care” camp, I think they look fine, and with them garnering maybe 0.00001% of my attention, I barely even notice them while drooling at the rest of this beast! Worse comes to worse, you don’t have to install the plants and the holes in the base where they go are barely visible.

THE UGLY

The only major issue I have with this piece is what seems to be a serious quality control issue on the part of Cinemaquette. White glove treatment or not, a HUGE percentage of collectors are receiving damaged statues so I HIGHLY recommend that if you buy this, get the seller to visually RE-INSPECT EVERYTHING for damage of any kind, ESPECIALLY for damaged or missing quills on the head and arms and for scratched armor. These two issues are the most common by far…

The member Hellboy over at the StatueForum.com actually put together a poll for Cinemaquette Predator owners to get an idea of the QC problems, here are the stats out of that poll that 53 people replied to:

The question asked was: How did your CM Predator arrive?

1. Perfect – no breakage/damage
27 People or 50.94%

2. Minor Damage – Can live with it or fix it myself
15 28.30%

3. Significant Damage – Debating sending it back but may fix
4 People or 7.55%

4. Major Damage – Definitely needs to be replaced
4 People or 7.55%

5. Major Damage – Getting or got a refund
3 People or 5.66%

So based on those numbers, only 50% of buyers in the poll received a statue with no problems, that’s a pretty serious failure rate. In fact, one of my dear friends Ian suffered pretty much all known reported problems all on his ONE statue! When he contacted BBTS, the store owner checked his stock and found that ALL his current stock had defects and could not be shipped as replacements. Not only that, but for the statues that were missing quills, the quills were not found in the box, so it looks like they were packed with the quills missing right at the factory.

So if you do pick this up, be VERY cautious and do everything you can to have it inspected properly before it’s shipped to you. Nothing could be worse than finally getting this to your house and finding problems that require replacement, especially for international customers that paid a fortune in shipping and duty and barely have the will to face a returns procedure at this point.

If you do receive the statue with broken or missing quills and that is the ONLY issue, you can easily make a new one for under a 1$ that looks perfect, just check out the video review series for how to do it with a dental floss pick! (Video link coming up).

THE BOTTOM LINE

The battle rages on between collectors on which statue is the better one… the Sideshow Maquette or the Cinemaquette Statue. With the price of the Sideshow Exclusive version now selling for $1600 or more (I’ve actually seen it hit well over $1800 in the past), the Cinemaquette is maybe $500 more at this point, and if the budget allows it, I would say go for the Cinemaquette. The Sideshow piece is more accurate to the movie and you get the masked and unmasked heads, but the Cinemaquette simply mauls it in terms of overall presence when side by side, it’s just bigger and the overall presentation of the statue is superior.

I did see an interesting question asked earlier today though… a forum member asked what we would do if both statues were the SAME SIZE, then what would you do… if that were the case, I would have to pick the Sideshow piece at that point, the improved accuracy and two head poses would win it for me.

HOWEVER, with that said, both are extremely gorgeous statues and must-haves for any Predator fan and both look VERY impressive in your collection so owners of either statue should be very proud of them. When it comes to the Cinemaquette, the question is really a matter of budget… $2000 plus shipping (and customs if applicable) is a lot of scratch for a statue and it’s the kind of thing that starts divorces. If you can do it, go for it, you won’t regret it as it will likely become the definitive piece for any Predator collector, especially for those of us that don’t have room for a full-sized statue. Lord knows I can’t with my 9 x 12 office!

VIDEO AND MEDIA

With all that said, you can bet there was NO WAY to fit my video review in to 10 minutes no matter how I tried to edit it, so I’ve broken the video review down in to 3 separate videos for a total of almost 30 minutes of footage! In case you were not aware of it, YouTube only allows videos up to 10 minutes long, so I have to try and work within that limitation but there was just too much to talk about and show you. I’m also excited to introduce the new opening credits sequence I finished up last week in Adobe After Effects! This is an 18 second intro I created to put in all my videos as the opening intro, I hope you like it… a lot of hours went in to it lol! Here are the videos all in HD (bear in mind HD may still be processing depending on how soon you see this review… if you see it’s still processing, give it a couple of hours and the HD version should be available):

START HERE – Cinemaquette Review Video Part 1
Cinemaquette Review Video Part 2
Cinemaquette Review Video Part 3

Full video of the wrist bomb light sequence

Or for you YouTube savvy folks, just click on the YouTube icon below to watch Part 1 and then check out my YouTube channel for parts 2 and 3!

Video Available on YouTube!

And you just KNOW that I took a ton of photos right? For 50 high resolution photos taken from all angles of this AMAZING piece, please click the photo icon below! (By the way, this thing was WAAAAAY too big for my photo booth… I ended up stapling bedsheets to the ceiling to diffuse my lighting!) Please note that my photos begin on page 3 and they are the ones named “dancmpred_xx.jpg”.

And that, my friends, concludes my largest, longest winded and finger aching tutorial ever, I hope you enjoyed it! As always, I encourage anyone to please leave your comments good or bad by clicking on the comment button and sharing your feedback. Please feel free to talk about this review or the collectible in the review, just keep it civil and I’m happy to hear it all! Have a good one and I will see you all soon! Don’t forget my Sideshow Celtic Lense change video is coming up later this week!

To purchase this amazing statue, check out the Cinemaquette Product Page by clicking HERE.

Take care!
Dan

Post a Comment!

 

5 Responses to “ PredatorStuff.com Reviews the AWESOME Cinemaquette Predator 1 Statue! ”

  1. Heavy Metal Spike Says:

    Glad to hear THIS one turned up with zero defects – congrats.

    I think most people know what I think of Cinemaquette/Toynami quality control and subsequent “Customer service/satisfaction” (lol) so I won’t make my comments the same length as your review.

    I’ll just say “best of luck” to anyone else thinking of getting one – it’s a real throw of the dice as to how it will turn up.

  2. Sabres21768 Says:

    Great review Dan.

    I find your take on these types of collectibles to mirror my own. So, I definately pay attention to what you have to say.

    And the pics videos are top notch…as always. 😉

  3. Jason Says:

    Your reviews are top notch and in depth…thanks Dan!

  4. Richard Says:

    Great review Dan!

    Really liked it! The maquette looks awsome

  5. Jason Says:

    The sculpt is awesome, the size and presence is amazing, the materials used seem to be top notch. The paint however, is not on par with a $2,000 item. The armor and skin tones look to be correct, but the spot patterning was really botched. The head looks good, it’s the body that ruins it for me. Maybe it isn’t that noticeable from a distance. Where the spots were applied seems too random, and how they were applied seems too uniform. There are specific areas where the spots should be applied, and they should be applied in a non-uniform manner. Not in perfect rows and columns of equal distance. Maybe I am nitpicking, but for $2,000 it should have been done better.

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