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Jungle Briefing Dutch

Predator
by yo go re

Man, Dream Daddy just came out, and it's already getting a new character? Forget Goth Dad, Teacher Dad and Bad Dad, and get ready to meet Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, Jungle Dad!

Deep in the Central American jungle, the Predator is hunting humans for sport. Armed with his plasma caster, wrist blades, and cloaking technology, the Predator methodically stalks and kills the opponents he deems worthy. The Jungle Hunter Predator collects the skulls and spines of his victims as trophies and skins his prey, leaving the bodies hanging from the trees. When a special forces team is dispatched on a "rescue mission" they soon become the Predator's prey.

This year is Predator's 30th Anniversary, and NECA's doing a special series of figures in its honor. It's mostly re-releases of figures fans may have missed (four Dutches, an unmasked and screaming Pred, Gort) with a little bit of newness tossed in (a cloaked Predator with green foliage patterns on him). And at SDCC, an exclusive eighth figure, bringing the total number of anniversary Dutches up to five.

Keeping alive the tradition started by Jungle Extraction Dutch, Jungle Patrol Dutch, Jungle Encounter Dutch, and Jungle Disguise Dutch (though not, clearly, Final Battle Butch), this figure is known as Jungle Briefing Dutch. The head is the same cigar-chomping mold Extraction used, just without the camo makeup. His eyes are also painted looking straight ahead, instead of glancing off to the side.

This hardened soldier is looking less like a professional killer and more like a suburban father wearing his casual weekend clothes, like he should be manning the grill at a neighborhood barbeque. While the boots, pants and forearms are shared with other figures, his shirt is new. It's a short-sleeved collared shirt, unbuttoned, but because it's done as a separate sheath dropped over an existing torso, it ends up making him look fat. Look at Arnold in the scene, and yeah, he's a literal beef tower, but he's not a walking cube like The Mountain on Game of Thrones; his shoulders do not come out horizontally from his neck, as this toy would have you believe, but rather slope downward in the way of human anatomy. It was probably cheaper to do it this way, but the end result could be better.

The articulation is the same as the rest of Clan Dutch: a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed torso and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and balljointed ankles. The left thigh on my figure was stuck, but I was able to get it moving without needing to freeze or boil him. Having the same joints in both the torso and the waist seems unnecessary, but changing that would have required an entirely new torso, and if they were going to do that, they could have given him a shirt that didn't make him look chunky.

Dutch's accessories are an M-16, a dossier with the flag of the Republic of Val Verde on it, and a map of the jungle. The map and dossier are just paper pieces - the map rolled up, the folder folded in half and glued - and the gun is the same we've had before. Since the hands are also reused, you know he'll be able to hold it well.

The Predator 30th Anniversary figures are sold in boxes, rather than carded like the rest of the line. It has a jungle print and the Predator logo is red foil. The insert behind Dutch depicts some jungle shack with a table and maps spread out beneath a small desk lamp - quite the appropriate setting! Recognizing what fans actually want this figure for, and facing the fact that they can't currently get through to Carl Weathers to secure his likeness rights, the tray has a cardboard cutout of a black man's arm coming into view, and Dutch is posed as though the two are clasping hands. If they ever do get to make a Dillon, we're just saying that he'd better come with a combo hand like Revoltech Ultra Magnus had.

Jungle Briefing Dutch may look more avuncular than you'd expect, but it was really the only version of him still remaining unmade from the film. So either NECA figured they might as well go ahead and make it, scene-completion be damned; or they have a Carl Weathers surprise to announce that will drive demand for this one way up.

-- 08/05/17


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