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Predator Scout Ship

Cinemachines
by yo go re

I've seen Predator 2 many times, but the original? Probably only watched it all the way through once. Which might explain why I didn't even remember there was a spaceship in it at all.

Type: short-range space transport carrier

Crew: 1 pilot, plus up to 6 landing pods

Defenses: Minimal shielding; 2 front-mounted, medium-range plasma cannons

Planet Origin: Yautja Prime

Function: Often connected to a Mothership, the Scout Ship is used to drop off Yautja hunters in close proximity to a planet.

Size: 35.5m L x 25.125m W

Weight: approx. 196,632.292 kg

Max Speed: 96,000 mph (relative to Earth's sun)

The Scout Ship's appearance in the movie isn't exactly a memorable thing. During the opening credits, it zips briefly past the camera. It appears onscreen for not even 30 seconds, then spits out a little pod that's presumably carrying the beastie himself down to the jungle. Though why, if this is only a "scout" ship and not the main ship, does it not go down to the planet's surface itself? That would be like taking an airplane across the country, getting in a cab, and then when you're a block away from your destination, the driver gives you a pair of rollerskates and a pat on the butt.

While the Lost Tribe Ship was a very sharp and angular design, this one is sleek and rounded - at least on top. If you run your fingers over the ship, you won't find a lot of textures on the upper surface, but the underside is another story! The front half of the hull is scaly and the back half has curving ridges. A small keel sticks down off the bottom, and since it's made of plastic rather than die-cast metal, it's a bit flexier than the rest of the ship.

It's tough to tell which end of the Scout Ship is the front. Sure, there are two little guns poking out of what is presumably the nose, but the engine nacelles that hang off the sides of the ship seem to be pointing the other direction - specifically, the inset openings that you'd normally think of as the exhaust ports are facing the front, while the backs come to solid points. Each of the engines has three stabilizer "wings" sprouting from its surface, an open panel with technological detailing on the sides, and a large slot on the bottom that cuts up into the engine at an angle, creating a bit of a crescent shape underneath.

As mentioned, the upper fuselage is fairly smooth. The front half is rounded and tapered, curving like an egg until it reaches a sunken horizontal band. There are also long inset panels along the side, almost where windows would be. There's a distinct band, straight and angled in the front, long and curving in the back, connecting the engines to the main body, and behind it the ship's surface becomes a series of flat steps that curve as they near the rear of the ship.

The toy is a bit over 6¼" long and 4½" wide, so if the numbers quoted on the back of the box (and reproduced at the head of this review) are accurate, that puts it in about a 1:222 scale. Since that really doesn't mean much, let's compare it to some Transformers: Stratosphere and his tiny Optimus Prime accessory, a few of the Legends Class Constructicons (Hightower, Overload), or even Astrotrain's shuttle mode. The set includes the same 3⅝" x 2⅞" hover stand the Lost Tribe Ship came with, since the Scout Ship is not designed to rest on the ground - no landing gear or anything, which may explain why it needs landing pods to get any occupants down to the surface. It does tend to wobble for a while after you put it down, since the construction is so solid and weighty.

You may have noticed that in this review, we did more to describe the shapes and textures of the toy than talking about the way it looked or what colors it is (a pale gray with gold accents, for the record). There's a reason for that.

Both the Cinemachines Predator ships were a gift from one of our longtime readers, Ed, who also happens to be one of our visually impaired fans. So I didn't review this toy the way I'd experence it, I reviewed it the way they'd experience it: I didn't look at it at all while I was writing; I held it below my desk, out of my sight, and tried to write about it that way. The Scout Ship isn't something I would have bought for myself, but now I'm forever going to associate it with my friend and the fun I had trying to (not) see it through his eyes.

And a special hello to all of you who are hearing this review via your text-to-speech programs! This final paragraph is in tiny, tiny text and the font is the same color as the background, so our sighted readers will probably never even notice it's here - this is just for you! Thanks for reading, thanks for writing in with your questions, and we're glad to have you all on board with us! Happy collecting!

-- 01/11/17


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