Vault Review: NECA’s
Lava Planet Predator

NECA was definitely up there with my favorite showings at this week’s Toy Fair.  Their Godzilla and Aliens figures looked great, and getting the rights to Sigourney Weaver’s license was the cherry on top.  But what literally surprised me the most was the Predator’s Blade Fighter vehicle.  Repaints with some new tooling is what I expect from these Kenner inspired figures, but NECA is actually making an entirely new vehicle.  Truly amazing.

So to celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d end out the week with the Lava Planet Predator.


There wasn’t a lot of story for those original Kenner figures.  You’d just have to extrapolate a play pattern from their names and unique looks.  But NECA is filling in some of those gaps with a back-story on the box.  Apparently the Lava Predator Clan lives in a volcanic region that’s highly radioactive.  They leave their cloaks on constantly, which offers some protection from the environment.  They also have specific weapons to hunt the Vy’drach insects of that region.

Those NECA folks did a great job of tying Lava’s look into a story that makes sense.  But they even took it a step farther by mentioning the Vy’drach, which are actually from the expanded Predator universe.


Lava Pred uses the City Hunter body as a base, but his new pieces and paint apps do a lot to give him a unique look.  I’m particularly fond of his mask and right arm.  Both pieces are designed to look like the Kenner version, but they also have a very specific insect-like look.  The mask’s exoskeleton look with pincers hanging off the bottom really hit this point home.


His arm blade also has that buggy feel with its thin and flat double pronged look.  This could have easily been a claw or tip of a tail.  He’s also got this interesting cable running from the back of his armor into the mechanical part of the wrist blade.  I’m not really sure what that would be for, but it definitely adds to his unique look.  Continue to page 2…

9 thoughts on “Vault Review: NECA’s
Lava Planet Predator

    1. In this case, it’s supposed to be that the figure is cloaking, so only a few tiny bits of physical matter are visible on the guy’s front side, and the back is all translucent cloaking energy. I’m not aware of NECA figures having, say, the Bandai problem, where literally all paint stops at the seam that joins the front to the back.

      1. I always thought he was completely cloaked. If you’ve ever watched footage of a lava flow, it often has cooling chunks of black rock surrounded by fiery glow. I had assumed he was blending in completely, in an area with glowy chunks.

        1. and of course, in nature, a lot of predators have asymmetrical camouflage to hide them from prey/other predators from multiple angles. sharks are a great example, light colored from below to blend w/ the sky, dark from above to blend with coral or seabed

      2. Just seems lazy to me. They did the same thing with Thermal Dutch. If he was supposed to be cloaked and bits of the environ are showing through wouldn’t they be on both sides?

        1. Well, no, because if you view something that’s cloaked, you’d see what’s on the other side of them. If you look at him from the front, you’d see what’s behind him, in this case lava. If you looked at him from behind, you’d see whatever’s in front of him, which is who-knows-what. You wouldn’t see the same things. At any rate, adding paint anywhere else on the figure would ruin the translucent effect from the front. This isn’t the first time NECA’s done this, made a cloaking Predator, and that sort of figure only looks right when viewed from one direction (heck, their Predators cloaked figure only looks right standing in front of the included backdrop).

          I’m not really sure what’s lazy about any of that. Paint was left off for aesthetic reasons, not budgetary. Lazy/cheap would be like, as I mentioned, what Bandai often does, not painting the back half of a figure that’s supposed to have paint back there. Power Rangers with no color on the back half of their belts and shield, that sort of thing.

          1. I guess in this case it makes sense, but coupled with Dutch still seems lazy to me. I’d much prefer a fully painted figure over some silly keeping the cloaking effect half paint job any day .

  1. LOVE this guy! In fact, this is my first foray into the NECA Predator stuff. I honestly didn’t care that much, but the old Kenner stuff was where my interest last left off. I never actually had this guy, but friends did, and I coveted it. About a year ago a friend dug out his old one and gave it to me, so it’s hilarious this comes around not long after finally getting the original.

    I’m impressed, though the tube on his arm did come off his back (I just shoved it in his armor rather than gluing it). I figured I would be afraid to move it around, but it’s a lot of fun! I’m glad they are doing one of my few Predator figures back in the day, too: The one in the two pack with the standard Alien. Certainly gona grab that when it comes out!

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