It was just three years ago that NECA turned their attention to the Predator movies and began their line of toys based on those movies, a line that from 2010 to the present day has already spawned a whopping nine released series’. From Series 1 through Series 7, the focus was placed on the actual Predators themselves, with NECA pretty much releasing every Predator seen in the first two movies, as well as the Alien vs. Predator movies and even the 2010 film Predators. It was in Series 8 where things got interesting, NECA beginning to infuse Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic character Dutch Shaefer into the line, who has to date been given four different toys – with another on the way.
So, where does the company go from there? How could they possibly continue with the line, after so thoroughly exhausting all their options? Thankfully for us, NECA is never out of options, and their brilliant ideas seem to run on tap over at their headquarters. Series 10 of the Predator line is set for release later this month, and it’s their most unique assortment of Predator action figures thus far!
But first, a little backstory…
In the early 1990s, toy company Kenner put out lines of Aliens and Predator toys, both of which were comprised of creatures that had never actually been seen in the movies. To make a long story short, the plan was at one point to turn Aliens into an animated series called Operation: Aliens – a colorful and kid-friendly adaptation of the R-rated film. A bizarre idea to be sure, one that was shelved before it ever made it to television.
Interestingly enough, Kenner had already whipped up a line of toys in preparation for the show, putting out a host of odd looking Xenomorph creatures including ‘Killer Crab Alien’ and ‘Snake Alien.’ Where the hell did those characters come from? They were supposed to be featured in the animated series, but since it was cancelled before it ever got off the ground, we were left with toys of strange characters that we’d never actually gotten the chance to meet!
In 1994, after the success of the Aliens toy line, Kenner also launched a line of Predator toys, giving those characters the same kid-friendly treatment they gave the Xenomorphs. The change from vicious monsters to cartoon characters resulted in Predators such as Scuba Predator and Cracked Tusk Predator, characters that of course weren’t actually seen in the Predator movies.
NECA found all the inspiration they needed for Series 10 of their Predator line in Kenner’s line from the 90s, plucking out three of those colorful and unique Predators that Kenner created and giving them the deluxe 7″ action figure treatment. Lava Planet Predator, Hive Wars Predator & Nightstorm Predator have never looked better, and you can check out the new figures below, which I’ve paired up with the original Kenner incarnations of those characters. Let the evolution begin!
LAVA PLANET PREDATOR – KENNER
LAVA PLANET PREDATOR – NECA
HIVE WARS PREDATOR – KENNER
HIVE WARS PREDATOR – NECA
NIGHTSTORM PREDATOR – KENNER
NIGHTSTORM PREDATOR – NECA
Housed inside vintage style packaging (seen up top), which further evokes the spirit of Kenner’s ‘Expanded Universe’ line of toys, Series 10 of NECA’s Predator line is set to begin shipping early this month, and you can pre-order the whole gang through online toy outlets like Big Bad Toy Store. Word from NECA is that future series’ of the line will be comprised of other fun characters from the Kenner universe, and we’ll be sure to share images with you once we receive them!
I leave you with a few more awesome shots of the three upgraded Predators in action!