Friday, 7 March 2014

NECA Battle Armor Lost Predator

Company: NECA
Line: Predators

Series: 11
Year: 2014

RRP: $34.95AUD

Predator 2 is a movie that’s often unfairly maligned. Yes, it was always going to be hard to live up to the original, and the sequel makes quite a few questionable choices, but I still have soft spot for it, possibly because I saw it before I saw the original.

Anyway, you’ll no doubt remember the sequence near the end where Danny Glover’s character finds himself aboard the Predator’s ship, and suddenly surrounded by a whole group of Predators, who are presumably the City Hunter’s buddies – popularly known as the “Lost Predators” or "Lost Tribe". You only get a very short glimpse of each of them before they go back to being invisible, but they still made quite an impression on fans.
Lost PredatorAmong them was the “Borg Predator”– his chest armour is kind of futuristic and cyberpunk-looking, in comparison to the more primitive/tribal stylings that we typically expect from Predators. Also, his skin was green-tinged. But if you don’t remember him specifically from his 5 seconds of film time, the picture on the left is a behind-the-scenes shot, courtesy of

NECA released this guy back in 2012 as part of series 6, somewhat confusingly labelling him as the “Lost Predator”, which I assume is to do with Star Trek-related copyright issues. Almost two years later, they’re revisiting him with a somewhat different version – the Battle Armor Lost Predator.  

Any of us who played with toys as a kid, or have collected them as adults are familiar with bizarre action figure..."variations". A toy company takes a character that we’re familiar with, but releases them dressed in costumes or packaged with accessories that have no connection with the source material. Batman and Spider-Man are two of the most serious offenders, but very few toylines are immune. As another example, in early 1990s there were approximately 392730397509 different versions of the four Ninja Turtles.

Most of these figures are terrible. But every now and then, one of these variants ends up being really cool. And the Battle Armor Lost Predator is definitely cool.  
So, let’s get down to brass tacks. In the film, Lost/Borg Predator is apparently rocking his casual gear, but here, he means business. His helmet is unlike any other Predator we’ve seen thus far – it’s quite detailed, looking like some kind of robot Predator skull. The eyeslit is painted red, giving a laser-esque/Cyclops look.

There are a number of pieces that are definitely new. The first is obviously the head. The helmet looks to be a separate piece that’s glued down onto a hollowed-out Predator head, but I’m not sure whether it’s based on the original version of this guy, or simply one they’ve come up with for the occasion.
His belt is also new, incorporating a sheath for the sword, which extends up the Predator’s back. The sheath is cast in a thin but hard plastic, which I think looks and works better than soft plastic would have in this case.

Unusually, he has no wrist-mounted claws, and his plasma-caster is on his right shoulder. The plasma-caster isn’t a removable piece – it’s attached to the chest plate. It follows a similar aesthetic to the helmet, and it has three wires hanging on the side, complementing the wires on his chest plater.
Both his hands are sculpted closed, so his sword and smart-disc can be held in either hand. 

Close-up of the backpack and open plasma-caster.

Articulation is what we’ve come to expect from NECA’s Predators:
*ball-jointed neck

*swivel-hinged shoulders
*swivel-hinged elbows

*ball-jointed wrists
*ball-jointed waist
*ball-jointed hips
*double-hinged knees
*ball-jointed ankles

Additionally, the plasma-caster’s arm is ball-jointed in two spots – where it joins to the backpack and where it joins to the gun itself. The plasma-caster backpack restricts the right shoulder to a small degree, but the main issue is the elbows. The bracers have wires sculpted onto them around the elbow area, and the bend is quite restricted as a result.
It’s certainly not screen accurate, but it looks like it could be – the overall effect is great. He moves well, and looks good. I really like the Kenner-style Predators of series 10, but this guy is much more “realistic”, which makes him much easier to imagine in the world of the movies. The Kenner Preds are a little more Dark Horse comic-looking, if you know what I mean (and if you like that look, you'll probably enjoy the upcoming series 12 and 13).


This guy comes with two accessories. The first is a massive sword, which more than makes up for the lack of wrist blades. It’s about 5” long, which is far too long to be practical – but totally awesome. The blade is primarily black, with a light silver drybrush and red edging.

The other accessory is an AvP-style smartdisc, with extended blades. If you look closely, you’ll also notice there’s also a closed one sculpted onto the front of his belt. It’s a nice little touch. The main body is painted in a metallic blue to match the rest of his armour. It fits in either hand, but it’s a little prone to popping out.

His primary skin colour is the usual Predator beige-y, with the secondary skin colour being a dark green. Interspersed among it are a number of small red and black dots. It’s unusual colouring, but it looks great!
There are a few issues with slop around various points. Some silver on the backpack, some black on the toe claws – and as we’ve come to expect, the netting. But it’s not worth getting upset about. I’d just suggest that you take a close look at the figure in the store before you go through with the purchase. Poe Ghostal mentioned that the chest armour doesn’t seem to be as well-painted as the original release of this guy, but wasn’t sure if it was a deliberate choice on NECA’s part or a QC issue. I didn’t look too closely at the others on the shelf when I bought mine, so I can’t really comment myself.       

Some will definitely question the necessity of this figure – the original was great, and this look for the character doesn’t really have a canon precedent. But my verdict? It may not be essential, but the Battle Armor Lost Predator is a fantastic figure. He’s distinct enough to serve as a separate character, and just plain looks cool. I’ve bought four NECA Predators since August last year, and they just keep getting better and better. 2013 was a great year for the Predators line, and if this guy is any indication, 2014 will be too!

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