Where to start? Well, back in the day, Predator was one of the earlier movies I got to watch on a VCR over and over. At the time, I was not into collecting as much as I do now, not having an income of my own, so I never gave much thought to the notion of owning anything inspired by that film, even though a good deal of the ideas seen on that movie trickled down to other properties.
Although I knew that NECA was doing Predator figures from the latest Predators film, I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the line, since they are made in a scale I don’t usually collect and the stock at local stores is usually rather limited.
However, when NECA announced that they were finally producing figures of Dutch Schaeffer from the original Predator movie, I was instantly chomping at the bit to see them in person.
Right from the start, I knew that I would go for the Jungle Extraction Dutch, even though Arnold Schwarzenegger uses this uniforms only during the first third of the movie.
The sculpture of Jungle Extraction Dutch is downright masterful. The face sculpt is incredibly accurate in it’s portrayal of a cigar-chomping Arnold; the amount and quality of detail sculpted onto the body is equally as impressive, although not entirely without issue.
The body proportions are perfect and really reflect Schwarzenegger’s physique at the time, although the frag grenades sculpted onto his utility vest appear to be way too small. I guess it could be argued that the character was so big, some of his gear tended to looked ridiculously tiny in his hands.
While I was actually expecting a killer sculpture from NECA, that is usually not enough for me to go and pick up random action figures. The thing that really sold me into getting Dutch was a very impressive articulation scheme composed of:
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
•Pegged hinge elbows.
• Barbell mounted hands.
• Barbell mounted torso.
• Pegged hinge hips.
• Upper thigh swivels.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Barbell mounted feet.
NECA used a really well thought design incorporating barbell joints with more traditional pegged hinges, thus being able to hide the articulation and still retain a very ample movement range and figure stability.
As impressive as the sculpture and the articulation are, the paint job on Jungle Extraction Dutch is even better. A good deal of its success lies in the type of materials selected for each part of the figure. The flesh colored plastic has just the right amount of translucency to mimic the way the light hits and penetrates real human skin, which is a very impressive effect to pull out working in this scale. Also, the bare skin areas seem to have the right porosity to receive shading washes and camo face paint in a very convincing way.
The camo pattern printed on the pants is fairly complex and very detailed but, as a whole, the paintjob on the uniform is deceptively simpler, consisting mostly on solid blocks of color with a subtle amount of shading washes on them.
This version of Dutch comes with a small, but effective accessory selection. His main weapon is a M-16 automatic rifle, complete with grenade launcher and shoulder strap. Dutch also carries a .45 pistol and a couple of blades in the form of a combat knife and a machete, all of which can be carried on holsters and sheaths sculpted onto the figure.
There are a couple of really minor issues with a couple accessories, though. While the M-16 and the machete fit perfectly into Dutch’s right hand, the combat knife’s handle is too thin and the pistol’s grip is a bit too wide. While the hand’s plastic seems pliable enough to force the pistol in it, nothing can be done regarding the smaller blade handle.
Except for the pliable rubber shoulder strap on the assault rifle, all of these accessories are made from a rigid plastic and all have decorations applied in silver, gunmetal and black paint.
In a nutshell, Jungle Extraction Dutch is a mighty impressive action figure from NECA. And having such a perfect representation of a 1/12 scale Governator offers a mind-numbing number of possibilities for silly photos, greatly increasing the amount of fun this action figure can provide.