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  • Writer's pictureMephitsu

Review : Lanard Toys City Hunter, Predator 2



 

Lanard Toys have been around since 1978 and have made a name for themselves in the 3.75-inch action figure market with lines such as The Corps, and more recently with movie tie-in releases such as Kong : Skull Island, Jumanji, and Rampage. They recently added the Alien licence and released a number of kid-focused sets featuring 3.75-inch Colonial Marins and in scale, Kenner-esque, Aliens. It was therefore no surprise to see Lanard then announce a Predator licence and we expected a very similar approach to the other lines when these hit store shelves.


We were wrong of course, and Lanard has mixed things up by releasing 7-inch figures from the Predator universe including the City Hunter from Predator 2 that we are looking at here, as well as the Berserker from Predators and the original 1987 Jungle Hunter. The figures are Walmart exclusives in the US and sold via Smyths Toys here in the UK.


The Predator figures are packed in a substantial window-box which uses plenty of Dark Horse inspired artwork and with a utilisation also of the red thermal vision view of the Predators and the triangular 3-dot targeting system. The whole line is being badged as 'The Hunter Series' and the figure name is confirmed within an insert in the blister itself. Round the back, there is a background write-up about the line and creates a background narrative that may well see Lanard introduce other characters or at least generic figures to fight the Predators.


"Predators - the most deadly and elusive hunters in the universe, have now chosen Earth as their otherwordly hunting ground. Special forces, police, and intelligence operatives now aware of these deadly creatures have united to tack them down. But really, who's tracking whom! Utilizing advanced alien technology these deceptive extraterrestrials have an array of weapons for any situation or environment. From dense tropical jungles to concrete laden cities, the unseen Predators stalk their prey and will only leave with trophies in hand. Test your mettle and choose your Predator, grab them before they disappear. Let the Hunt begin."


The back of the box also shows an image of the figure and has some inserts that talk about 25 points of articulation (depending on your definition of articulation) and the accessories. The back of the box also shows an insert for 'Speciality Hunter Weapons' and you might be disappointed - perhaps rightly so - to find these arent all included in the City Hunter Set. In fact, the City Hunter only gets the wrist blades, the spear (now called a combi stick) and the Smart Disc. The electro claw comes with the Jungle Hunter and the Plasma Bazooka is with the Berserker. This is a little misleading.

The box includes an inner cardboard section which creates a step up for the Predator and something of a display stand if you wish featuring a stone base, jungle foreground and a red thermal vision backdrop with the target. This is generic but doesn't really fit with the City Hunter.


Out of the box you are presented with a weighty figure considering its very low price of just £9.99 here in the UK (about $10 in the US). The sculpt is probably reflective of the price but does a good job of the Predator helmet, the netted body and the armour.


There is certainly dialling back of detail from say a NECA release, both in actual details and also in terms of making these kid-friendly by removing any body part trophies or more graphic elements of the Predator itself.

The mask is not removable, and neither is any of the armour. The colours are more pronounced than the on-screen Predator, an element certainly carried over from the other Lanard lines.


The figure may be advertised as 7-inch, but that is the actual size and not the scale. Effectively these are closest to 1/12 scale (6-inch) and I suspect these will see some customization and repainting among the fan community to sit in with lines like Marvel or GI Joe.


There will be comparisons to NECA with these, and that is perhaps unfair considering the price. For a third of the price of a NECA Predator you get a perfectly serviceable and play-friendly Predator

The accessories mentioned on the back of the box translate to an extended Predator Spear (they call it a Combistick) that fits into either or both hands. There is also a smart disc weapon that can be handheld, or that sits into a socket on the right thigh.


The Plasma Cannon swivels partially where it plugs into the shoulder, but is very small compared to what we'd expect. The wrist blades also don't articulate in or out of the sheath.

I calculate articulation on each individual joint and by my reckoning, these Lanard Predators have a total count of 13 joints starting with a ball joint neck joint that works really well despite the dreadlocks. The waist is also a ball joint, not just a rotation, so this adds to the waist that does not really move too much. The arms are better with shoulder joints that can raise up and outward from the body. The elbow joints are singular and pegged but can bend in some way allowing for posing with the weapons. The wrists will also then rotate within the forearms.


Lower legs have a rudimentary hip and a single pegged knee joint. The ankle joints are the worst of the bunch, being a simple plugin rotating peg rather than a rocker or anything more complex. The figure remains easy enough to stand, but neutral posing is about the extent of its range from the lower legs.

In summary, this is very much what it sets out to be, a kids toy aimed at pre-teens who know about the Predator world, but are still too young to watch it. For a tenner, they are great value and with the large and bright box, they do provide parents with a value for money aspect. I do worry about some of the joints over time, the smaller Aliens did have weaknesses with more robust play and these Predators may have similar issues.


I do expect to start seeing creative repaints and customisations of these in the future, and it will be interesting to see how far the line goes - with the larger Alien figures also in the works to compliment the Predators for an AvP showdown.





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About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

 

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, lanard toys, predator, city hunter

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