Sometimes mental fatique can be misconstrued as hate. I often find this is true because I like to read comment sections. I find that most people who act like they hate something are really just tired of it but can’t move on for some reason. I battle this myself because I like to get WAY into things, and when I reach the point of exhaustion those feelings are easy to misinterpret.
I had almost a decade’s span of time where I played World of Warcraft. The early years, especially, I got into it so deep that I probably put more hours a week into that than my full time job. Of course I was also not married at the time or had kids; that decade of time changes a lot of things. As years passed I did get married, moved out, and had kids. That ate into the time I could be playing World of Warcraft. I was no longer able to literally sit at the computer uninterrupted for five to six hours at a time; once kids came along it was hard to even swing an hour. It was a fight to get time to play the game. And then when I played the game it started grating on me that I was just doing the same old thing over and over during that limited time I had to fight for. I had burnt myself out.
The Predator line had a similar effect on me. I got in to it late but went big with it once I started. I immediately tracked down the entire lost tribe, then got all of the Dutch variants, moved on to the Dead End Predators, and finally topped it off with the huge trophy wall. I’d seen about enough of Dutch, and the movie accurate Predators were getting a little tiresome because they all started to blend together on my shelf. After series nine I decided I was going to take a little break from the Predators and cancelled my preorders for both series ten and eleven. They are awesome toys with incredible detail, but that same body was starting to give me collector’s fatigue.
A few months after swearing off Predator I did a little stroll through Toys “R” Us and the shelves were freshly stocked with, amoungst other things, NECA’s latest Predator series. I do enjoy taking a look at things I have no plans to buy, and this time it bit me in the ass. I was able to resist the other two but the Lava Planet Predator grabbed my attention. I had quite a collection of Kenner Aliens as a kid, including the later weird ones but never got into Predator figures. Predator scared me, and I think it scared my parents too so those crazy Predators from Kenner never ended up in my collection. If NECA ever decides to do Kenner Aliens … well, then I am in serious trouble.
Lava Planet Predator is an imposing figure. He stands out even though he uses the same Predator body we have seen around five waves of because he is head to toe cast in clear red. It also helps that he has a giant new mask as well. As far as I can tell he has a new mask (or head), claw, weapon, and cloth around his waist. The rest is a typical body in the series, so if you like that body this figure should not disappoint.
I find that I enjoy these little retro nods NECA has been producing lately. It’s a nice departure from the super-serious movie figures that require 100% screen accuracy. The NES characters along with the Kenner tributes have been a ton of fun, and I hope we eventually get a “video game” Predator to join my Freddy, Jason, and Robocop. The Kenner Predator collection will get a second wave and it looks like NECA will be showing them at Toy Fair next year.
If you like fun then I think you will appreciate this series … especially if you grew up around the time that Kenner decided it would be a good idea to market toys from a “R” rated movie. The figures are still a great value for what you get, you can grab them off Amazon right now for less than $20. The whole wave looks great, but you would be a fool to miss out on at least the Lava Planet Predator who is by far the best of the bunch.