Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Medicom RAH Stealth Predator Figure

In the past, before Hot Toys even came on the scene, Medicom Toys was already putting out a whole line of 1:6 scale superhero figures wearing rubber suits over a Joe-like body, portraying popular Japanese media characters like Devilman, Kamen Rider and Kikaider (they were also called tokusatsu i.e. live action films with special effects). Then Medicom decided to venture into movie-related merchandise associated with the West, mainly Hollywood films and their RAH (Real Action Heroes) line began to expand. My FIRST Medicom RAH 12-inch figure was Sylvester Stallone as Judge Joseph Dredd from the 1995 "Judge Dredd" movie. You can check out the pictures HERE

This is a Medicom RAH (Real Action Heroes) Stealth Predator figure. I think this figure was released way back in 1998. It's supposed to be 1:6 but then, the scale is all wrong because a 1:6 Predator would have to be at least 14 inches tall but this figure is barely 12 inches (300mm), let alone 14 inches. It has also shown the ravages of time as it is now turning yellow when it used to be a translucent white.

What I liked about this figure was the fact that Medicom tried to replicate the Predator as seen in the movies. Created by brothers Jim and John Thomas, the Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures who possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage (the Predators makes use of a light-bending cloaking device) and energy weapons, and are capable of interstellar travel.

The camouflage effect was designed by R/Greenberg Associates, under the direction of Joel Hynek. The idea for the effect came in a dream one of the Thomas brothers (who wrote the film) had, in which there was a chrome man who was inside a reflective sphere. The man blended in, perfectly camouflaged, reflecting from all directions and only visible when in motion. It took quite a while before they figured out how to do it, which was basically an image repeated in a pattern of ripples in the shape of the Predator's body. It proved very effective and was a new way of presenting an "invisible man".

Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts skills to make the Predator an agile, ninja-esque hunter. When compared to Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse Ventura, actors known for their bodybuilding regimens, it became apparent a more physically imposing man was needed to make the creature appear threatening.

Eventually, Van Damme was removed from the film and replaced by actor and mime artist Kevin Peter Hall. Hall, standing at an imposing 7 foot 2, played the Predator in the first and second movies. He was trained in the art of mime and used many tribal dance moves in his performance, such as during the fight between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator at the end of the first movie.

First appearing in the 1987 film, Predator, the titular character lands on Val Verde via starship. It begins hunting down a United States Army Special Forces group, stationed there to rescue presidential cabinet ministers kidnapped by guerrilla forces.

The Predator dispatches the soldiers one by one with a vast array of weaponry until Major Dutch Schaeffer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the last one alive. Dutch eventually confronts the creature, covering himself in mud to hide his heat signature from the Predator's thermal imaging, and setting up numerous booby traps.

Though he manages to disable the Predator's cloaking ability, it manages to capture him, and then, in a display of chivalry, discards its mask and electronic weaponry before challenging Dutch to a final duel. Physically outmatched, Dutch eventually sets off one of his traps, which crushes and mortally wounds the creature.

Medicom used the "Combat Joe" body as a base for the Predator figure since the Predator is humanoid in nature. They did the same thing with the Alien Xenomorph figure as well (you can view pictures of the ALIEN here). Soft rubber molded with the Predator body and armor details are then slipped over the base JOE body to complete the look. Medicom would later go on to develop and produce their own 12-inch body for their line of figures.

The blaster / plasma cannon on his left shoulder swivels.

The Predator hands are made of a hollow, soft rubber which slide onto the forearm, which is then covered by the forearm armor. So the wrists aren't articulated. The twin blades on his right wrist are made of metal and retractable.

Each Predator carries a self-destruct device mounted on their wrist computer on their left forearm. Once activated this device begins a relatively short countdown.

Scroll down for more pictures of the Medicom Stealth Predator armor and details

Of course, the quality of this Medicom Predator figure cannot be compared to what Hot Toys managed to produce ten years later! I'm talking about the Hot Toys classic Predator that was released in 2009, with the highly anticipated light-up Predator mask, articulated shoulder cannon, extendable wrist blades, wrist computer that flips open AND the removable medicomp or medical kit that can be stored in his left rear top. Check out my reviews and pictures HERE and HERE!

Hot Toys managed to produce and release a total of 17 Predator figures in all (Celtic, Guardian, Scar, Chopper, Elder, Ancient Elder, Lost, Classic, Pred 2, Battle Damaged Pred 2, Berserker, Tracker, Falcon, Shadow, Requiem, Cleaner) including a female human dressed in Predator armor (She Predator Machiko). And we say that Hot Toys keep releasing Iron Man figures. I think there are way less Iron Men than there are Predators! and you can take that to the bank haha

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