Variants are a necessary evil when toy companies want to remain profitable. There are two types of variants; the cash grab and the necessary or relevent type. When NECA announced that Dutch Schaefer would be headlining the eighth and ninth series of their popular Predator line I was excited. This wasn’t the movie figures we are used to, this is an actual action figure fully fitted with articulation and an amazing likeness. You would think that squeezing out four variations of Arnold from Predator would be stretching it? I would disagree and then tell you they have an additional two planned for next year. How does this all come together from my original point? All of the variants are necessary, and I am very excited for when we get to see the red polo shirt variant at SDCC this year. [editor’s note: this is my speculation stated like a fact, but I have no idea if NECA is actually doing that variant.]
I can’t get enough of the Arnold. If you can make something really good I will keep on coming back for more. This is the problem I have with Five Guys; they hooked me in and now my go-to for work lunches is their establishment. I consider Dutch to be the Five Guys of action figures; he’s the perfect blend of taste, value, and consistency. Though doesn’t come in a greasy paper bag, he does have the signature Predator series card back and the last two series have really looked fantastic.
I’ve reviewed the previous two Dutch variants: Jungle Patrol and Jungle Extraction Dutch. Both times I considered either of them as one of my figures of the year. Jungle Disguise Dutch takes it to a whole new level. In a million years I would have never considered that a mud caked Arnold action figure would become a reality. Even if it did there was no way it was going to look THIS good.
So here we are in 2013, the year that mud-soaked Dutch headlines the ninth series of Predator figures from NECA toys. Like the previous releases he comes loaded with a ton of screen accurate accessories including a torch, a makeshift bow, arrows, a satchel, and two pikes. The torch has a really well made translucent fire effect on the top of it. His articulation scheme also helps to get him into some fun poses with all of his weapons. Dutch also includes a bow with a (soft rubber) string which is something I have not seen in a while. The rubber snaps back a bit when you pull it so technically you could fire the arrows, but I’d imagine the material will not last long if you make a habit of it.
Companies like to reuse parts because it saves them money. I would assume NECA wanted to get the biggest bang for whatever cash they needed to put down to get Arnold’s permission. Despite the reuse this figure has a pretty nice set of newly sculpted parts. His entire upper body including the head and upper arms are a brand new sculpt with leaves and various jungle debris built into the mold. He shares the same lower body, forearms, and hands as the previous releases however these are soaked over in brown. It’s also worth mentioning that all of his accessories are exclusive to this figure, and there isn’t a single retread from the other three releases.
What else can be said about this guy? He’s the hit of the series. All four of the Dutches that have come out are great but this one ranks the highest in my opinion. It’s a different idea because there is a risk in covering up Arnold Schwarzenegger seeing as how he’s the selling point of the figure. But NECA pulls it off really well recreating a fairly iconic scene. I would grab this guy soon as soon as possible because as pictures and word get out this action figure is going to disappear. So, GO … GO NOW TO AMAZON AND BUY EET!
Oh and check out the gallery of pictures below for lots of pictures of Muddy Dutch!