Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Predator Wolf: Aliens Vs. Predator (S.H.MonsterArts)

S.H.MonsterArts Predator Wolf
This is the mofo who killed like a dozen of Xenos in a single movie! Meet the Wolf Predator... or as I call it the Alien-Clean-Up Predator for its oddly janitorial job it did in the 2nd Alien-Predator movie. After learning that Bandai Tamashii Nations are finally getting into the AVP movie line, I was quite stoked about how their expertise will merge with these iconic monsters from outer space. Now that it's in my hands, I am well pleased with what I am getting from this $56-figure. So far, this is the only S.H.MonsterArts figure I have in my collection and the only Japanese import figure that could compete with some of the American brands in terms of paint and sculpt. Still, I don't think it can compare with those from NECA but I'm a big fan of the Predators, although not entirely because I hate how those AVP movies were made.

Like most S.H.Figuarts packaging, MonsterArts utilizes the windowed box. Half of the parts and features of the Wolf Predator are showcased behind this clear plastic with the name "Predator Wolf" printed at the side. Apparently, our friends there in Japan got the names ordered incorrectly. It should be "Wolf Predator"! Just like how you say the name, Jungle Hunter Predator. Try invert it and it's going to sound weird.

Just by merely looking at the paint job, it's almost as if we're getting a NECA or a McFarlane figure (two companies that excel in this area) here but the more you stare at it, you could see the kind of minimalism in the paint job which is not uncommon with S.H.Figuarts yet it still looking decent. Its neat look is easy on the eyes as always; having no smudging or scraping on the surface. The gunmetal paint along with the texturing over its gadgets and armour is phenomenal and it does seem like Bandai is doing some extra effort in this part.

I believe the sculpting on this figure is a lot superior than those imports I've reviewed before. However, there are certain flaws I've found which are not really obvious. These photos can't give you that clear image and so I'm gonna have to tell this- Wolf's feet are quite big and the length of its legs are a little on a short scale! I've been collecting these guys for a couple of years now and I know too well how their normal physique look. Otherwise, the sculpt that's shaping its Bio-Mask, Wrist Gauntlets and other gadgets are incredibly accurate.

I was kinda expecting that they'll be missing out some of the details but the part where I'm most excited about are the accessories. Starting with the interchangeable parts, Wolf Predator has two switchable heads- masked and unmasked. If you go with the unmasked one, you'll also get two options whether to have its mandible jaws open or closed. By the way, the Wolf Predator is the only yautja that has one of its mandible jaws missing (probably a result of a fight). This figure has a total of six (6) pairs of interchangeable hands each designed for specific weapons or items. Apparently, you need to get a feel of the weapon's diameter before you would use the correct hand for it.

Looking at the amount of weapons and items this figure has just blew me away and here's a complete list:

Plasma Cannon x1
Wrist Blades (short) x2
Wrist Blades (long) x2
Combi-Stick (retracted) x1
Combi-Stick (extended) x1
Whip (coiled) x1
Whip (uncoiled) x1
Cleaner Case x1
Blue Vial x1
Medi-Kit x1

Probably the only weapon this Predator is missing are its shuriken, which will be included in the second release. But with just these weapons alone, you might have to remind yourself not to mess around with Wolf. The Plasma Cannon is poseable and concealable, which is good but I'm not too happy with the Wrist Blades- I feel the need to make them longer. It got a coiled Whip which you can store at its waistline, and another Whip which can be used primarily as a weapon. Same goes with the Combi-Stick- a retracted one and a weapon one. For some reason I thought this is causing too much usage of space inside the box. Bandai could have just given us retractable weapons (like bendy wires in the Whip) to provide more space and allow other types of weapons.

Articulation of this figure rivals that of its accessories. It's the articulation that makes you wish the NECA Predator line would someday have! This Predator got better poseability (than NECA's) because it has double-jointed elbows and knees, a diaphragm swivel and a waist swivel that lets it rotate and lean side to side. Almost all of its joints are ball-socketed creating a wide range of movement but some of it are hindered by either its body mass or armour. An example would be Wolf's toe articulation which is limited by that armour over its feet. A cool feature though is Wolf's Wrist Gauntlet which flips open like a laptop like in the movie. With the S.H. Bandai, you can never be disappointed in terms with their figure's poseability.

The moment of truth is here as we compare this figure with our standard NECA Predator. Measuring at about 6.6 inches tall, I was a little surprised how small this figure is. Maybe because I'm used to them being tall; towering over most of my 6-inch figures. Even if we upscale its size, Bandai's Predator will still remain inferior (in my opinion) to NECA's mainly due to the fact that it got less paint and sculpting details. As far as playability is concerned, you'll definitely have more fun with this Predator.


  1. I still prefer Neca version of Predator to date.

    1. i gotta congratulate Bandai for their effort in this Predator but NECA remains superior.

  2. I never knew Bandai made high end figures.Is he about the same height as Marvel Legends figure?

    1. He's in the same height but not quite in good scale with the Marvel Legends. He stands almost of the same height with the Legends Movie Captain America (which is not suppose to). But there are some Toy Biz Legends figures that are in-scale with this guy.