At the end of Predator 2, after Mike Harrigan has killed the City Hunter Predator aboard his ship, a group of additional hunters uncloak. As the dead body of the City Hunter is dragged away, an Elder Predator known as Greyback stands before Harrigan and gifts him a Flintlock pistol as a sign of honor and respect, from warrior to warrior. The story of how the Predator came into possession of the pistol is covered in a short story by Dark Horse Comics, as part of an anthology book released in 1996. Predator: 1718 is an excellent short story, which adds some fun history to the briefly seen Predator.
The story follows pirate Captain Raphael Adolini just as mutiny breaks out after docking his ship. As he desperately fights off his former crew, a Predator emerges. Fighting back-to-back with the Captain to fend off the crew, one of whom calls him a Golden Angel. After the fight, the two face off, ready to battle. Before either can make a move, a shot is fired that strikes Adolini in the back. As he lay dying, he gifts his prized Flintlock pistol to Predator. As a sign of respect, the Predator buries Captain Adolini and leaves his own sword, knowing they were both deprived an honorable fight.
NECA is releasing a figure based on this story, with their Elder: The Golden Angel Ultimate Figure. Shipping out to retailers this week, the figure should be on shelves in a week or two. Our friends at NECA were kind enough to send an early sample along, and we have an exclusive in-hand photo gallery and review. Check it out after the jump.
Elder Predator: The Golden Angel Ultimate Figure by NECA
- Three unique interchangeable heads sculpts
- Very good articulation
- Nice sculpt as always
- Great paint work
- Solid joints
- Excellent sword and Flintlock pistol accessories
- Wires pop off the armor
The Golden Angel Predator comes packaged in a collector friendly flapped window box. The front of the packaging features artwork from Dark Hose Comics, as do the sides of the box. The back features a photo comic style series of panels, showcasing the figures features. Everything sits in a plastic tray for easy storage. Included are two masked head sculpts, a masked head sculpt, a Flintlock pistol, a sword, two smart discs, a removable plasmacaster shoulder cannon, and an extra set of interchangeable hands.
The Golden Angel figure uses the Jungle Hunter Predator Ultimate Figure as it’s base sculpt, as the Greyback Predator from Part 2 was a modified Jungle Hunter Predator outfit. There are some differences in the armor, such as the alternate hip piece. The figure also looks to use a version of the Elder Predator unmasked head here, which helps to really tie it into the future look of the character. The two masks here are wildly different. The first is modeled after the Dark Horse Comics art seen on the front of the packaging, while the other is based on the art from the short story itself. As with the any of the Ultimate Predator Figures, the sculpt here is excellent, with exceptional detailing throughout. There are great small details, such as the pierced tusk on the unmasked portrait. Articulation is solid as well, with double jointed knees and elbows, multiple points of waist articulation, articulated wrists and ankles, etc. The range of motion is mostly strong, with only the left arm hindered by the wired armor design.
What really sets this release apart from previous uses of the parts is the comic inspired paint scheme. While in the film, the character had a much more gray look to him, the comic depicted him as having a much more yellow skin tone when he was younger. The paint work is excellent, with nice color transitions in the skin, sharp paint lines around the eyes and mouth, and nice paint accents, such as the painted netting and spots throughout. The armor has a strong bronze metallic look to it, with a dark wash to add some extra wear to it.
The included accessories are a nice touch. The figure has some standard Predator fare, like smart discs and the shoulder cannon. It’s the additional unique items that help distinguish one Predator from another. Here you get a pretty bad ass looking sword, which has a removable main blade to mimic the extending blade. The sword can be placed in the included shoulder sheath. The pistol is great looking, and has some intricate detail work on it. The pistol can be holstered in his belt. The only real issue I ran into was the same I’ve been having with many recent Predator’s; the wiring between armor pieces. In this case, the connection lasted almost the entire multi-day photo shoot, but the wire did eventually disconnect at the shoulder. The wire along the gauntlet still held in place though.
If you’re all in on the Ultimate Predators, or a fan of Dark Horse style releases, then the Golden Angel is a solid pick up. The sculpt and articulation are very strong, and the paint design gives the figure a great overall look. the number of interchangeable parts and accessories is pretty solid, and the figure has a nice tie into the film universe as well. Check out some select photos below, and the full gallery after that.