Beginning in the late 80s, toy companies started creating toy lines for R-rated films. Leaving the irony of marketing products for mature films to kids aside, those of us who remember had figures based on Rambo II, Robocop, Swamp Thing, and of course, the Alien and Predator films. Kenner toys handled the latter two franchises, as well as expanded into a line based on the Alien Vs. Predator comics by Dark Horse. Being their awesome selves, NECA has done more than a few Kenner-inspired figures for both Aliens and Predator. The latest for their long-running Predator line (Series 16) includes two direct homages to past figures, as well as one that’s a unique design all its own: The Ghost Predator.
The figure comes packaged in a blister card package replicating the look of the old Kenner package, right down to the stylized NECA logo in the lower left. The front of the package includes new art for the figure, as well as boasting of the “all new additional articulation”. The back of the package has the bio for the figure, including pictures of the other figures in this series.
NECA continues their amazing knack of cramming as much detail into their figures as possible, and the Ghost Predator is no exception. Based on the Jungle Hunter mould (aka the Predator from Predator, the figure stands just over 8 inches tall, and features a couple of new pieces. As with other Predator figures, the Ghost Predator has the same netting sculpted over much of its body, along with the scaly skin. The armour is also very detailed, featuring some great textures worked into the sculpt. One of the more prominent new pieces is the shoulder pauldron, with tubing that connects to the chest armour and the wrist gauntlet. The necklace for this figure is also a neat touch, showing off a spinal column and finger bones, again with texture sculpted in. Of course, the new mask is another big addition. Again, great design and textures worked into the sculpt, but since this mask is removable, the inside of the mask also has some awesome detail worked in as well.
As for the paint, the skin is decked out in a pearlescent white in keeping with the “ghost” motif, along with some pale orange and black stripes. It’s pretty cool once you get light bouncing off of it. Details such as the inner flesh colour of the mouth and teeth are nicely painted, as well as some dry-brushing for the armour, included a “tarnished” look for the mask. Again, while most of the sculpt is reused, the paint is what really makes this figure stand out.
That “all new additional articulation” is part of NECA’s new Ultimate Predator sculpt, and it used here to great effect. The head is on a ball joint, but because of the dreadlocks and Plasmacaster (once it’s plugged in), you won’t be getting as much range as you normally would. In addition, the way the figure is sculpted, it has a “hunched over” look that limits how far he can look up. Still, the head can move side to side and rotate far enough that you’ll still have a good amount of range. The arms are on pin-and-socket joints, and can move forward and back, as well as in and out. Due to the shoulder armour, you will end up with limited range (particularly on the figure’s left side). And because of the tubing on the left side, be careful when moving things, as there is a potential for the tubing to break off. The arms also feature a biceps swivel, and double-jointed elbows which offer more than 90° of bend. The arms also rotate at the gauntlets (again, be careful), and have a nice balljoint at the wrist. The upper torso features a balljoint that allows for more range than the past Predator figures, along with a waist twist.
The legs are on pin-and-socket joints, and allow for forward and backward movement, as well as moving the legs in and out, and a thigh swivel. Again, because of the armour on the legs, you will have limited range when it comes to moving the legs out. The knees have a great double joint (hidden by the kneepads), that allow for more than 90° of bend. Lastly, the feet are on balljoints, and can rotate all the way around, with a bit of a pivot. In spite of the obvious hindrances, there’s definitely some great amount of articulation to get this figure in the pose you want.
As is the norm for almost all Predator figures, the Ghost Predator features wrist blades that can extend. As well, the opposite wrist gauntlet features the flip-up display. As mentioned, the mask that this figure comes with is removable, and fits on the head snugly. The figure also comes with a Smart Disc that can be held in the right hand, and can also be plugged onto the right leg. The Plasmacaster is removable, and fits snugly onto the left shoulder, with a small hinge and balljoint for the blaster to be aimed. Also included is a machete-type blade that can be held in the figure’s left hand, and a Combistick that can also be held in the left hand.
While the figure isn’t as visually-unique as the other two in this series when compared to past Predator figures, the details, paint and accessories still make the Ghost Predator a worthwhile pickup if you’re into the Kenner homages. Even if you’re not, compared to the other two, this is a nice “toned-down” version that would fit in with the regular Predator figures.
Big thanks once again to Northmen Collectibles for making this figure available.