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Boar Predator

Predator 2
by Monkey Boy

Boar, like Shaman, is one of the "Lost Predators" who appear at the end of Predator 2 to give Danny Glover one last spook, and NECA has committed themselves to releasing all nine of them. Boar is the third, after Shaman and Elder.

Boar utilizes the same base sculpt as Shaman and City Hunter, so I won't bore you with the details and will instead just direct you to those reviews. There is some uniqueness worth commenting on, however. Boar doesn't get much in the way of chest armor, instead opting for an amorphous piece of animal hide held in place by a string of animal skulls. He shares his shoulder plates with City hunter, as well as the other Pred's left gauntlet...twice. What?

Well, you may recall in the Shaman review that I mentioned the half-hearted nature of most of these designs: these Preds would be onscreen in a smoky, poorly lit starship for only a few seconds, so while they needed to look Predatorish, some elements clearly weren't given more than a passing thought. Boar's right gauntlet, for example, is simply a flipped version of his left gauntlet, and before you blame NECA for skimping on the parts, this is actually how it was in the film. NECA is actually holding true to the corner-cutting methods of P2's design team.

His legs are also from the City Hunter, though he doesn't get the net gun on the left calf. He also doesn't get much of a loincloth piece, with only a small metal-looking codpiece protecting his manhood. In the back, he leaves very little to the imagination, and we now can never say we don't know what a Predator in a thong looks like. His right thigh armor includes a tray for his smart disk weapon, and his right hand is much better suited for holding said weapon than the City Hunter's.

The most obvious unique piece of sculpting on Boar is the head. Among the other Preds released in this series, he's the only one wearing a mask, and it's this mask that gives him his nickname. The snoutlike nature of the face covering is somewhat porcine: thus, Boar. There were actually two Boar-masked Predators in the film (the other is known among fans as "Brother Boar"), so we'll probably see this headsculpt again, but for now it's totally unique, and it looks pretty awesome.

The mask is part of the reason why Boar is far and away the best figure in the series when it comes to paint; it's much easier to paint a mask than a face. However, it doesn't account for all of his paint superiority. Boar's netting paint is matched up almost flawlessly with his netting sculpt. This has been one of the biggest paint issues with this batch of Preds, but Boar's avoidance of this issue isn't unique to my figure. Every Boar figure I've seen on the pegs has displayed near perfect netting, and the response among the interwebs seems to be unanimous: Boar is the best painted Predator in this series. This may explain why Boar is so far the least likely to hang around on toy shelves for long, but what I don't understand is why he came out so much better while the other two had their share of issues. Were the Shaman and City Hunter produced at a different factory than Boar? The world may never know.

Boar moves the same as his series-mates, which is to say his articulation is excellent. Check out Shaman or City Hunter's reviews for the breakdown of joints, and like those figures there were no issues with stuck or loose joints. Everything works great. Sadly Boar's only weapon is the smart disk, but it's not like he used any weapons in the film.

But the lack of accessories really makes the price increase hurt that much more; most retailers have been listing this series of Predator figures several dollars higher than past series. NECA, for its part, claims that their suggested retail price has not changed, and that it's retailers who are upping the price to take advantage of holiday shoppers. If that's the case, you may want to wait until 2012 to snatch up your Predators... but then again, they don't seem to hang around for very long. This seems especially true for Boar, whose superior paint apps make him the best Pred of the series, at least from a technical standpoint.

-- 01/01/12

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