There were a ton of awesome new products on display at this year’s Toy Fair, with NECA even revealing a figure loosely based on the Predator costume originally worn by Jean-Claude Van Damme in the 1987 classic before he was replaced by Kevin Peter Hall.
Although Van Damme had already recorded footage in the suit, it was felt that he was far too short to appear physically imposing alongside the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The heat of the suit also apparently caused Van Damme to pass out, with the actor also constantly complaining to the filmmakers about having to wear it. When compared to the somewhat humanoid creature seen in the final film, the original Predator design had a much more reptilian look and feel, but we can only imagine how it would have looked when enhanced by VFX.
NECA displayed their new Alpa Predator figure at Toy Fair, which will have the distinction of being the company’s 100th Predator release. This figure will resemble a standard Predator creature, although the armor worn over its chest also seems to be somewhat based on Van Damme’s suit. It will also include a removable head based on the original suit worn by Van Damme, which has been replicated in perfect detail.
As far as we can tell, this is the first time official merchandising has been created based on the original Predator design, so we’re glad a long forgotten piece of film history is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Keep an eye on NECA’s website for info regarding when the figure will become available.