It was only about a year ago that I was marveling over the fact that NECA was doing the Big Red Predator from the Dead End fan film. About half a year later he was joined by the Albino Predator. Finally we have the trifecta from Dead End complete with the release of the Wasp Predator!
It’s interesting how much the Predator line has evolved since that initial offering of Big Red. Back when Red was released it seemed like if it wasn’t in the movies it would probably be off the table. It also felt a little bit like if they didn’t plan to do any more humans from the movies that the line would probably start wrapping up. Well the line looks to have no end in sight at this point. Even with only one human in an eleven wave line of figures, NECA is still scraping Predator and media fiction for new sources of characters. By the end of 2014 the Predator line will have at least 13 waves of figures. This will include:
6 Kenner Inspired Predators
6 Versions of Dutch Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
The Entire Lost Tribe from Predator 2
The Predator 2 Trophy Wall (with an optional skull pack if needed!)
2 Bad Blood Comic Inspired Predators
1 Predator Vehicle with Pilot
It’s impressive for a toy line to continue for eleven waves regardless of the property. I would have never have put money on a Predator line getting as much support and going on for as long as it has. The funny thing is that it really doesn’t have any end point in sight. They could easily go on for years; especially once they begin to incorporate the Alien vs Predator franchise into the mix. Then once they tool a new body who knows how many more Predators are possible?
The Wasp is a bit of a combination of “behind the scenes” and what was actually in the film. In the film he is actually unmasked when he shows up right at the end. However there was a mask made in the yellow “wasp” design that was not used for the movie. NECA elected to go with that design for the figure and I think this was a wise choice. While movie accuracy is nice, what really helps make the Wasp stand out is the design of his helmet.
He comes with one accessory, the spear with an Alien head on it. This is truly one of those “can’t miss” accessories just because of how cool it actually is. Wasp can hold it with either one or both hands. The only concern with the figure I got (and I may not be alone because IAT had the same issue with theirs) was that the wrists were really loose. The solution is to plant the bottom of the stave on the floor, this works as a way to keep him balanced as well!
If you have been collecting the Predator series the past couple years there are no real surprises here. It’s the typical Jungle Hunter body with a gorgeous new paint job. I figure that I’ll eventually stop collecting Predators when I have an entire rainbow ready to display. Wasp is a great illustration of what makes the Predator line great: the amazing detail work. The yellow and black across is body is all beautifully done. I think the one request I would make is that they eventually sculpt legs without nets instead of just painting over them like they don’t exist.
If you want this guy he’s fairly easy to find, and in fact you can get him for a little below retail at Amazon right now! I did not complete the Lost Tribe, but I found a lot of satisfaction in getting the Dead End crew done. They are something different and off the beaten path, and in these times it’s hard for action figure makers to take those risks. I’m glad NECA has enough confidence in Predator to attempt these pet projects and I hope to see them continue.