I want to welcome Garry who will be taking on the challenge of expanding Graphic Policy’s toy coverage! You can find him regularly blogging at The Tell Tale Mind. Welcome Garry! – Brett
With that line, we were all introduced to one of the greatest bromances in movie history. To honor this relationship, movie, and franchise let’s take a look at NECA’s Jungle Disguise Dutch from the Predator series.
The packaging on this particular figure had seen better days. It was sitting in back of a storeroom at my local comic store for a while before hitting the shelves. I had seen this in the store before but didn’t have the means to pick It up (*cough* money *cough*). I thought I had missed my chance until I walked in and saw this dinged package calling my name. The front and back feature some nice close-up shots of the figure and the series line-up is also shown. A plot synopsis for the movie is on the reverse but you’ve all seen Predator right? If not, why? Go watch it then come back. This review will still be here.
LOOK AT IT!!!!!!! JUST LOOK AT IT!!!!!!!! This is a 6” scale action figure. This is not a Hot Toys or Sideshow Collectibles release. This isn’t even a NECA Quarter scale figure. This is a 6” INCH action figure that is available at mass market retail. I was blown away when I picked up this figure. I couldn’t believe that NECA was able to produce a sculpt this detailed on such a scale. Even if you ignore the muscle structure and texturing on the torso (which you shouldn’t), LOOK AT HIS FACE! This has got to be one of the absolute best Arnold likeness made in any scale, ever. NECA has some talented sculptors on staff and this figure is a showpiece for that talent. The muscle definition is outstanding. Arnie wasn’t Conan-sized in Predator and this figure captures his veiny, lean, and muscular physique very nicely. The layers of mud present on the torso also help create a sense of depth. The lower torso features a great army pant design that is full of belts, pockets, buckles, stitching, and seams. On a whole, the sculpt is as near perfect as one could ever ask for. Dutch comes loaded with accessories too. You get a bow, arrows, grenade staffs, spear, pouch and torch. The value packed into this figure is leaps and bounds above others in this scale. NECA is one of the few toy makes who haven’t forgotten that accessories are an important part of an action figure.
Over the years, NECA has improved greatly on the articulation of its figures. Dutch continues that fine endeavour. Human figures are always hard to articulate while maintaining the integrity of the sculpt. Shitless and muscular figures are even more difficult. The lower half has great rocker ankles, hinged and rotating knees, and ball joint hips. Tight joints allow Dutch to be posed very easily and stay standing without any external support. This is something NECA has had issues with in the past. Thankfully, Dutch stays right were you put him. The upper body has waist swivel, rocker ab, socket shoulders, hinge/rotating elbows and rotating wrists with a slight hinge to them. There is no cut bicep on this figure. A joint that I assume was left out in order to preserve the sculpt. The elbow joint may end up looking a little unusual, depending on how the figure is posed. At a right angle, the top half of the arm creates a small lip between the lower half. This may have been unavoidable given the design of figure. I played around with varies poses for Dutch holding his weapons and settled on the one you see in the pictures. All of the possible display options looked great and there is no wrong way to display this figure.
Dat face! To cap everything off Dutch features a beautiful paint job. The camouflage pants have a great forest/jungle deco on them. Although given the part of the movie this figure is from, some mud paint applications on the pants could have been added. One issue I’ve had with NECA’s other Predator figures is the unpainted hip joints. The ball joints are left in the casting colour and do stand out when posed in such a way as to expose them. Hopefully NECA may start painting these or casting them in a more suitable colour for the figure. The torso and head are outstanding. Just look at the photo! The layering of browns, greys, and coppers create a deep and complex appearance. Re-creating the look of layers upon layers of mud and jungle is achieved without a single sloppy brush stroke or any colour bleeding. How the folks at NECA achieve this is beyond me. All the accessories feature great paint apps as well. The twine used to hold the knife on the spear has a nice metallic look and the pouch is a nice contrasting green. Once you look closely at the face you’ll notice even more incredible paint work. Arnie’s intense eyes were always a prominent feature in the movie and this figure does a great job capturing that intensity. The contrast between the mud on the face and the whites of the eyes really make them pop. The small bit of blood trickling from his lip is a great touch that shows off NECA’s attention to detail.
There really isn’t much more to say. This truly is an incredible action figure. The likeness of the character is near perfect, it comes loaded with accessories, features a rich paint scheme, and solid articulation. What else could you ask for? Jungle Disguise Dutch was released last year and had I picked it up then, it would have been my figure of the year (and I got quite a few great figures last year). As it stands though, it’ll probably be my pick for best figure of this year. There are plenty of great figures coming out but I can’t imagine anything coming together so perfectly as to challenge Dutch here. I have no idea how the artists (and they are artists) at NECA keep making such incredible figures. If I ever get the chance to meet Randy Falk I want to shake his hand and say thank you for everyone’s incredible work. This figure exemplifies all the things I love about this hobby and it is a welcome addition to my collection.