I always love it when they put out a new Predator movie. Even given the amount of grief from “fans,” these movies make me happy. Predator is one of the most iconic figures in science fiction horror, and any chance that they are on a big screen means carnage, chaos, and fun. The Predator was no different, and when there’s a new movie, the best part is that there are inevitably new figures.
In my review for the Assassin Predator, I couldn’t have been happier. That guy is just amazing! If you don’t have him, get him! Now that I have two of the three Fugitive Predator figures, I wanted to take another look at the preds for this movie.
When this line of Predators was first announced, I was dead set on just two of them; the Assassin and the Fugitive. I wasn’t interested in the Emissary Predator, with the military clothes, because I really like the Predator armor. The Lab Escape Predator wasn’t on my list either because who cared about a Predator figure without any clothes. Besides, NECA talked about one of the figures having light-up eyes, so I just naturally figured it would be the one with the armor and the light-up eyes on the box. I clearly wasn’t paying attention.
It took a while for me to find the Fugitive Predator (I’m getting tired of rising shipping costs, so I shop in the wild more) and when I did, I got excited. I got him home and took him out of the box. This is something I only do for figures I 100% intend to keep forever. I couldn’t find a second figure out there so this was it for me. When I pulled the toy from its box, his legs fell right off. I didn’t even get to take the figure all the way out. Just plop, they fell off like they were not even attached. Imagine my disappointment!
I figured I’d pulled him from the box and someday I might find another and so I just tried to put the legs back together. That’s a lot tougher than you’d think. I even tried using pliers and that kind of ripped the “skin” on the leg. I was okay with that because I also found out that this was NOT the Predator figure with the light-up eyes. Bummer.
Months later, I found the Lab Escape Predator on a shelf at my local FYE. Right there on the box were the words “Features: Light-Up LED Mask.” This is the one I’d been waiting for. Again I only bought one. This time it was because I really didn’t want this figure. He looks scrawny compared to previous predators, and he doesn’t have all the cool armor. The only thing this figure has going for it (for a fan like me) is the mask, which is actually a whole head swap.
Lightning struck my brain. What if I could swap the head from the Fugitive Predator with the light-up head from the Lab Escape Predator?!! Genius right?! Well, I thought I was wrong because the following happened.
As I tried to pull the head off of the Fugitive Predator, it became clear that this head was against the idea of being removed.
The head not wanting to come off didn’t stop me from trying. Finally, I felt something move. The mask, by itself, popped right off the head. <sarcastic> Awesome!</sarcastic>
At first, when I pulled that mask off the head, it was a disturbing sight; seeing what was under the mask was obviously never intended. It was like I’d just pulled his face clean off leaving in the wake of the damage, a giant gaping hole. I was not prepared for this. I’d never seen what’s under a masked figure’s head before. After I got over the terror of what I’d just uncovered, I moved on to the disappointment and frustration of what this seemed to mean. I wouldn’t be able to pull the head off and swap it out with the light-up head from the other figure.
It wasn’t until I was writing this very review that it dawned on me that the Fugitive Predator came with a head swap so that head HAD to come off. I went home and tried again, and this time successfully!!
Now, this has me thinking about what if all figures could swap heads… I mean we’d be able to put any head, on any body, and things could get really weird. For all I know there’s some board out there on Reddit where people put Pennywise heads on Predator bodies or some other head on Pennywise bodies. The potential is almost staggering! But I digress.
Normally I’d push into the rest of the story/review at this point, but I have to recount another product incident that started about a year ago. NECA released a figure of Captain Blake from The Fog. It was in their line of cloth-covered figures and partway through their production they had announced that they would be adding a light-up feature to Blake’s eyes to match the movie. This was a totally awesome bonus for an already incredible figure. The problem with the figure happened when I opened one of the ones I’d purchased and turned on his eyes. They were just the best thing ever at the time. I got my photos and played a bit. I turned off the eyes and then set the figure aside.
The next day I was still thrilled with the Captain, and so I went to play some more. The eyes wouldn’t light up. I thought that was odd and thought maybe I’d left his power on to some extent. I went right out and bought some [expensive] batteries to fix him. His eyes once again came to life. Cool! Not one to assume anything I went back to him a few hours later and found that his eyes did not work. The batteries had drained again. There was a problem.
I contacted NECA; they told me it was already a known issue and hadn’t made any formal announcement because of lack of information. I don’t think they ever made any official announcement and I believe this is because they didn’t want to lose sales on this figure. For all I know, there are a bunch of people who own Captain Blake that are blissfully unaware of this technical issue. The solution came in the form of news where NECA said they would be sending out replacement heads from the manufacturer. To date, this has not happened. I keep asking them about it; they keep telling me that there is no update on the issue.
Anyway, back to the Predator. Because of my Blake issue, I was worried this head wouldn’t fare much better. I’m happy to say that I was wrong to worry about that as every time I press the little button on the side of the mask, the eyes light right up. It’s been weeks now, so I think I’m good.
While I am happy about the light-up eyes, I did want to point out one thing. The picture art on another of the boxes (the Fugitive one) made it look like the eyes might light up white. They actually light up red. The mask in the film has eyes that light up white, so I really wish this was the case. White eyes would have looked so cool (and accurate).
The Lab Escape Predator figure is in the 7″ scale; it comes with two heads; it has no armor and barely any weapons. This is to reflect the moment in the movie where this Predator has to escape with nothing. He has a few hand swaps for fists, and grip, the head swap with the light-up mask and a no helmet face with a closed mouth, a mask by itself with battle damage, the blade disc and an automatic weapon. There is netting on his legs, but not anywhere from the waist up — that kind of bugged me; even though this is accurate to the film.
The Fugitive Predator also comes with two heads, which made the fact that the mask detached as it did so much more horrible. I mean, not only were the legs detached, but the head that is supposed to be swappable just got ripped off, and the head itself didn’t budge. He comes with a shoulder cannon and four wrist blades that go on the arms with the armor. He also comes with a swap of arms that do not have armor on them.
I really like the Fugitive Predator with the armor. He looks so cool, and now with the head that has the light-up eyes, it’s near perfect. The sad thing is that to get it that way, you have no choice but to buy both of those figures. As I’ve pointed out, the heads are not the easiest to swap. The blades stay in the arms pretty well, but in handling them, I did knock them out quite a bit. The other thing with the Fugitive Predator is the armor on the torso needs to be tucked into the waistband. It kept popping out, and it looks like the Predator had just been lounging around his flat eating large bowls of cereal with a carefree attitude for like a week.
On a side note, you may be wondering what head I went with for the Lab Escape Predator now that he doesn’t have the light-up mask. I went with the other head swap from the Fugitive that has no helmet and an open mouth. It’s way better looking that the closed mouth head.
The third Predator (called Emissary) that I didn’t purchase is just the same guy with desert fatigues, a head swap with the mask, and a different weapon (gun). He also comes with two sets of hand swaps but no blades. Though I’m sure that if you got this guy, you could modify him with the other two versions. Maybe.
All of them are still available, though at a relative cost. The Fugitive is about $45 on Amazon, but I wouldn’t pay more than $30 for it as they are about to drop a restock in October. The Lab Escape and the Emissary are about $20 – $30 since they just came out not too long ago and they are pretty plentiful on pegs.
I’m not super into the comic book Predators, so when these came along, it was pretty exciting for me since we haven’t seen any new movie Predators in a bit. That being said, I just had to get these. If you’re into Predators, these are a must-own! I would suggest being a cautious and informed buyer on these, based on my own experiences. Keep in mind that production issues do not occur in all toys; it just happens that I seemed to hit the lottery on those here.
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