The GeeksverseREVIEW | Predators Series 10 Nightstorm Predator (NECA)

REVIEW | Predators Series 10 Nightstorm Predator (NECA)
Published on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by
It’s 1993 all over again over at NECA, who just released the retro-themed Predators Series 10 to stores last week. This writer was lucky enough to get his hands on a Nightstorm Predator; read on to see what I think of it!
  • Figure name: Nightstorm Predatornightstormpred 7
  • LinePredators (Series 10)
  • Manufacturer: NECA
  • MSRP: $20.99
  • List Price: $23.99 (per ToyWiz.com)
  • Release Date: October 2013
  • Dimensions: 8″ tall
  • NOTE: The review item was provided as a complimentary sample by NECA.

There’s something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man. What it is my friends, is a bad-ass new wave of Predators figures courtesy of NECA! Wanting to pull out all the stops for this landmark 10th series, NECA went old-school and drew their inspiration from the 1993 Predator line from Kenner—creating updated versions of the Lava Planet Predator, Hive Wars Predator, and the subject of this review, the Nightstorm Predator. So pop in your Doggystyle CD, unbutton your Starter jacket, and relax while I review some of the finer points of this throwback action figure.

Packaging
og nightstorm predator

Original Nightstorm Predator (Kenner, 1993)

The Nightstorm Predator is packaged in a plastic blister with a cardboard backing. NECA specifically designed the packaging for this wave to be evocative of the 1993 cardback designs, complete with hand-drawn line art adorning the front and back sides of the packaging. Further examination reveals that the Predator is illustrated with the facemask on for the blister art, while on the back side the Predator is depicted mask-less. The pixelated explosion/flare/heat signature behind the figure itself appears just like the 1993 release, further evidence of the meticulous care that NECA took to recreate the aesthetic.

neca nightstorm packaging

Updated Nightstorm Predator (NECA, 2013)

Upon removing the blister from the cardboard backing, you are greeted by the inviting (well, at least if you collect toys) scent of resin and cured paint. Nightstorm Predator is neatly seated in his form-fitted inner bubble along with his included mask and staff. As someone who has not owned a NECA Predators figure previously, I was impressed with the sheer scale of the figure: at a lanky 8″ this Predator stands two heads above 90% of my Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics. As I was getting my lighting and photo box set up to snap pics of this guy, all I could keep thinking of was Bill Duke losing his crap in the jungle yelling, “Aw baby, I’m gonna have me some fun, I’m gonna have me some fun, I’m gonna have me some fun.”

Design

To say that the design of NECA’s Nightstorm Predator is an improvement upon the original Kenner version would be akin to saying that the Sistine Chapel was an improvement upon Paleolithic cave drawings. The amount of sculpted detail on this figure is incredible; every one of the various armor sections is highly ornate and molded with intricate patterns and exotic alien contours, painted in a gold-leaf enamel that make the Nightstorm Predator look like some sort of nightmarish Egyptian god. This is actually quite fitting since there are many folks out there who believe the Pyramids of Giza were either constructed by or inspired by alien visitors. This also would explain the Pharaohs’ preference to be buried in sarcophagi, which consequently would have been to discourage any post-mortem anal probing by their extraterrestrial benefactors.

Okay, wow; sorry to get all Agent Mulder on you there. Allow me to refocus upon the action figure at hand. The variance of blue tones on this Predator’s skin really complements the golden armor well; and causes the figure to slightly resemble a Na’vi warrior from the film Avatar. However, let me be clear that the Nightstorm Predator looks like he can slaughter an entire army of Na’vi in about 15 minutes, which ironically is about how long Sam Worthington’s Hollywood bankability lasted after the hysteria surrounding Avatar faded. Seriously, did anyone truly like Wrath of the Titans? [eh… it was alright. Definitely a “wait for it to show up on Netflix/Movie Central” type of movie for me, though—ed.] When the mask is removed, the Predator is presented with his outer mandibles extended, with an unbelievable amount of sculpted and painted detail on the cranium and mouth, with even the dreadlocks featuring golden adornments. Snoop Lion would be jealous.

The sculpted faux leather pelts making up the loincloth and quasi-organic looking forearm mount for the signature claw weapon further convey the realism and intricacy of this design, and I haven’t even gotten to his spear yet. Long before Sub-Zero was spine-ripping noobs in Mortal Kombat, the Predator race had perfected this method of dispatching foes. And what does a truly over-achieving Predator do with his osteoid souvenir? Well, of course he dips it in gold and mounts it on a spear! Nothing truly communicates “there’s no stopping what can’t be stopped, no killing what can’t be killed” like a spear smelted together with the spinal column and skull of the last guy who tried to step up to you.

Construction

As with all NECA toys I have had the chance to own or examine, the Nightstorm Predator is made from high-density plastic resin. The figure features 24 points of articulation which provide a variety of posing options:

  • ankles: swivel joint (2)
  • knees: forward bend (2) and swivel joint (2)
  • mid thigh: cut joint (2)
  • hips: cut joint (2)
  • waist: swivel joint
  • hands: ball joint (2)
  • elbows: bend (2) and swivel joint (2)
  • shoulders: ball joint (2) and lateral (2)
  • neck: ball joint
  • shoulder cannon: vertical and lateral swivel joints

The only quality-control issue I encountered was with the right hip joint—when I was testing all of the joints I discovered that it was stuck due to some dried paint. Sometimes simply placing additional torque while putting pressure on a stuck joint will free it, but in this case I was concerned to shear the fitting right off the thigh segment. Instead, by working a very thin flat-head from my Swiss Army knife into the split, I was able to work my way around the joint and free it up. However, while gripping the figure to do this the entire torso popped off the waist, but luckily it popped right back into place securely. While I understand that this line is designed for adult collectors, I did walk away with some fragility concerns due to these two issues. The only other drawback I would note is that the expansive mane of dreadlocks hinders movement of the head side to side, but for me this is a minor quibble and easily overlooked.

Conclusion

If the photos included herein haven’t already conveyed it to you, this figure is a veritable work of art. You have to hold it in your hands and witness it up close to truly appreciate the amount of craftsmanship and skill that went into making this figure a reality. As I felt upon completion of my recent review of their Pacific Rim Series 2 Gipsy Danger figure, I remain astounded that NECA can infuse such quality and detail into an 8″ action figure and keep the MSRP right around the $20 mark. This is even further underscored by the fact that comparable 6″ main-line offerings by Hasbro and Mattel are floating right around that same price point and do not offer near the amount of paint applications or sculpt detail. As noted in the paragraph above, I  am somewhat wary of the delicate nature of the figure, but also understand that there are trade-offs for such an ornate and sophisticated piece. Overall, I very much enjoy the Nightstorm Predator, and am whole-heartedly planning on purchasing more figures from the line to compliment this newest addition to my toy empire. I think any adult collector who can trade some durability for aesthetic wonderment will be safe doing the same.

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