Lava Planet Predator Action Figure.

Today: A giant killer Jolly Rancher.

Released in 1994, it’s Lava Planet Predator, part of Kenner’s sprawling line of Predator, Aliens and Aliens Vs. Predator toys.

My interest in these characters hadn’t fully bloomed by mid ‘90s, but now that I’ve put in the research, wow, this was a fantastic line. Both the Xenomorphs (Aliens) and Yautja (Predators) turned up in their true-to-film looks, but there were other figures that spat in canon’s face in unbelievably great ways.

I’ll tell you more about that later. First, let us celebrate this candied Predator.

It was another of my Monster-Mania finds. While many of the convention’s toy sellers stuck to still-in-stores figures with ridiculously inflated prices, a certain few dealt exclusively in “oldies.”

I found Lava Planet Predator with a vendor who dealt mainly in comics, and somehow, the guy only wanted five bucks. I would’ve gladly paid four times that amount. Well, maybe not gladly, but I still would’ve paid it.

Three things I can never say no to: Olives, cherry Predators, and the Sopranos episode where Artie and Benny have a beef.

(My interest may have been stirred by a review I’d recently read online, singing Lava Planet Predator’s praises. Sadly, I can no longer find it. It was on POE Ghostal or OAFE, most likely.)

The packaging is freakin’ killer, mixing old school toy art with old school Nintendo art with old school horror VHS box art. You can’t go wrong when you mix that much art. Lava Planet Picasso?

I searched online for any references to a truly canonical “Lava Planet Predator,” but from all I see, the concept was exclusive to the toys.

The package offers no help in identifying what a Lava Planet Predator actually is, leaving us to fill in the blanks. Going by appearance, I guess he belonged to a Yautja subspecies that evolved into fear-no-fire warriors with blood made of hot magma. Yes!

I love the semi-translucent, cherry red flesh. I suppose that’s one of Lava Planet Predator’s tricks, because when this guy’s running at you, your first impulse is to stand still and accept your prize of fruity gummy snacks. By the time things become clear, your sad remains already look like a sick ostrich’s messy cloaca.

Lava Planet Predator also comes with the traditional mask, and something Kenner calls a “blazing rocket launcher.” The issue with their terminology is that the rocket launcher is actually the only part of Lava Planet Predator that isn’t blazing.

The missile really fires, and it fires well. Almost too well. It would take a rare set of circumstances, but I bet I could cause great pain with this figure. I’ll never own a gun, so it seems like an interesting way to defend myself. Sure beats my backup plan of slapping wildly with my eyes closed.

I’ve seen the line’s other figures plenty of times before, but always with diverted attention. Now that I’ve taken a good long look at them, I’m very strongly considering buying the whole collection. Only a few of the figures have become hideously expensive, and fortunately, they do not include the one that’s part Alien, part Gorilla. (I really want that guy.)

Course, since I already have the Jell-O Predator, maybe I should stop here. There’s nowhere to go but down. :(


55 Responses to Lava Planet Predator Action Figure.

  1. Without even reading the article, I immediately shout out “Hey! That’s just a translucent Cracked Tusk repaint!” while in a doctors waiting room.

  2. Hah, that’s the one thing I remember reading on the mysterious review from POE or OAFE that I cannot find. But if there’s ever a time when you can get away with a repaint! Translucent cherry lava > tusks.

  3. Right up there with the Robocop, Rambo and T2 action figures in the club of 80′s/90′s toys aimed at kids who should not have (but totally did) watch the R-Rated films that inspired them. And yes, I know the Robocop toys were technically for the cartoon show, but in terms of original source material my statement is still valid.

    I had a few Xenomorphs and Marines from the Aliens line, but my buddy had the whole collection (at least the first wave). They were fantastic figures, especially the exploding Scorpion Alien.

    For some reason, the Predator never quite made the cut in my collection, but not for lack of an awesome design and movie. If you think about it, the Lava Planet Predator should have been called the Heat Vision Predator, to tie in better with the film. Or is there something in the Predator canon that tells us they are cold-blooded?

  4. One of my friends had the Flying Alien Queen and the Mantis Alien. The Mantis one was my kind of see through green plastic. I was so jealous as a kid

    Also does anyone else think that the Spiked Tail Predator on the packaging look just like Bowser Koopa?

    NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING will top the awesomeness of Kenner’s 2-pack Alien VS. Predator. They were so detailed for figures released back then and almost film accurate
    http://pixel-dan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/AlienPredatorThumb.png

  5. As I was super into these figures at the time, I can tell you Lava Planet Predator is actually a re-casting of the mold from “Cracked Tusk Predator” who was, himself (?–there’s some stuff written about females, but canon is a slippery thing in a series so multifaceted) inspired by “Broken Tusk”, the lead predator in Dark Horse’s AVP comic.

    Forgive me, launch coming:

    Okay, Gorilla alien (see also: bull alien, which was semi-recast into rhino alien, but at least some actual re-sculpting was involved–no explanation for Lava predator’s broken tusk…) was from the first wave, the pre-Predator (/AVP) toys that were purely based on Aliens.

    That and the fever dreams of whoever the hell at Kenner decided a movie like Aliens should be marketed to kids (says one of the guys who ate it up as a kid). That involved things like the possibility of the “Queen Face Hugger” up there, which makes no damn sense knowing that facehuggers actually DO, but in the comics that were included with the original figures, they were instead use to immobilize (??) our bizarre new heroes. This also meant chestbursters now came out of eggs (???), as evinced by the queen’s hive playset (seen bottom right on the back of that packaging).

    Of course, none of it stopped there–Sgt. Apone now had a goofy t-shirt, as well as, quite inexplicably, his magic arm-harness of doom, which launched grenades with mechanical assistance (????), and that the milky, gooeyness of Bishop and other “synthetics” was replaced with mechanical innards, down to drawing not only sunglasses but metal plates (?????) onto the headshot of Lance Henriksen that graced the back of his packaging.

    My best friend in those days owned a number of these, as did I–indeed, the Killer Crab Alien was the treasure of one Christmas (I believe there was a semantic cop-out, pretending they hadn’t found it on my family’s part–because I had asked for the “crab” alien, not the killer crab alien). Actually, that made the whole thing even more bizarre: the killer crab alien launches chestbursters from its own chest. (??????)

    I owned a crap-ton of those things–4 of the predators pictured (originally, the only two made, Cracked Tusk and Scavage), and sent off for my only ever mail-away figure–the “invisible” predator. I think the UPS strike happened around this time, and I held out hope that this was why I never got that damned figure, but, in any case, I never did.

    Anyway. Lots of remolds in that series (see “night cougar”/”panther” and “nightstorm”/”scavage” above)–I ended up losing track by the time they made a figure of Hudson, basically.

    Though I did end up in a rather large AvP community based around the game in 1998, which was my largest, longest-lived internet presence ever in the history of anything. I briefly started a (quickly aborted) game-modification site for AvP, once we actually had any kind of tools, but the game was so near dead it was just a waste. But I was part of the only clan I was ever in for gaming, too. That was around the time I first established this screenname, actually. (The porn tumblr isn’t me)

    Anyway: the Dark Horse comic is actually pretty cool, and the original “Dark Horse Presents” story that spawned it in fact PRE-DATES the gasp-inducing “cameo” at the end of Predator 2, contrary to popular belief (in fact, it inspired it…)

    Anyway. I’ll shut up now. We’ve just touched a “nerve”, so to speak.

  6. Matt, you HAVE to get the Snake Alien. It’s cast in sorta-clear plastic and painted black and green…and the best part is that it has wires running through it, so you can wear it like a creepy bracelet. LOVED these when they came out, but never collected them myself. I had a girlfriend who did, though. She had just this great lineup of Aliens all over her room.

  7. These were such great toys. I would bring mine over to my friends house and have a battle against his set. He had mostly the Alien set and I had a few of the Predators. However, I Didn’t have no LAVA PLANET PREDATOR!

  8. When I went to Rock and Shock last year, I found an Alien Queen for sale. It is now currently sitting on my desk, monster biting tongue extended.

    I will never regret that purchase.

  9. Nobody did possibly LSD-influenced, quasi-canonical line extensions better than Kenner.

    The stuff they did for Series 2 of the original Jurassic Park toyline was insane.

  10. I had TONS of these. I wish I had kept up with them. Instead I gave them to my little brother, who is also a berserk fan, but he lost them over the years. The Marines were actually HARD to find around here. And a lot of the Aliens had alternate color models as well. I had a LOT of fun with them as a kid. I had the spike xenomorph that EXPLODED REVEALING GORY INSIDE BITS! That was so cool.

  11. It’s a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but several of the alien figures are also made of Jell-O.

  12. A friend of mine who ran a toys/sci fi store told me years ago, when I asked him about his alien figures, that they were going to release an Alien animated series aimed at kids, the series was cancelled but the toys meant to tie in with the series were still released. Hence having film characters look different, that is how they were going to look on the show.

  13. Always loved the alien figures. I had a few including the gorilla alien.

  14. I had almost every single alien, I even reviewed most of them on bogleech long ago….but somehow, the box they were in was one of the few boxes mysteriously lost when I moved. I have no idea where my aliens went, a whole collection vanishing into thin air like nothing.

    Haven’t even the heart to re-collect them, but I know I should some day, before they start to get REALLY rare.

    As a little kid, I only knew the alien tenuously. I had the “Alien” board game, for some reason, and had played an Alien arcade game over and over. I didn’t even know their life cycle, I just knew they were in a movie too terrifying for my little eyes. When I saw the first ad for the toy line, I just positively freaked with excitement and had to own every last one.

    “Prometheus” actually accidentally makes more sense out of things like the Queen Facehugger and Killer Crab, since it shows that the aliens come from a really, REALLY mutable alien lifestuff.

  15. Don’t know if it was from this line or separate aliens line, but I had a bull xenomorph with a ramming head action feature back in the day.

  16. He makes me suddenly hungry for cherry blow pops.

  17. I was too young to actually know of these let alone get into this line when it came out, but when I got a bit older, I always wanted to find them.

    Sure I could try getting them on eBay and Amazon, but they’re usually too expensive. One day I will have that Snake Alien!

  18. My action-figure collecting days ended in the late 80s and I never liked either of the movies…but that is one nifty-looking toy. Especially if the rocket launcher really worked that well.

  19. This should be called “Slayer Alien”.He’s giving the Maloik and everything.

  20. I had and still have the entire first wave of the Aliens figures and most of the subsequently released figures. I didn’t have as many predators but I did have the translucent mail-away “cloaked” predator. It was definitely one of my favorite toy lines when I was little with the blue Gorilla alien being my favorite and Corporal Hicks being a close second.

  21. I fondly remember the first series of the Aliens toy line. Count me in as one of those kids that saw R rated movies far too earlier than I probably should have, but loved every minute of them. While I remember the bitch was hard to find at first (the blue/black gorilla alien was my first I owned in the line), the Queen was the ULTIMATE figure for me back then. The thing was just beautiful…when I finally found her, I was a happy kid, and the envy of several of my friends….

    After watching the whole movie collection for the first time prior to watching Prometheus, I wanted to go digging through my stuff to find all my old Aliens figures….never did, but now you gave me the itch to do so again! As soon as my dumb foot heals (hurt it bad tumbling down a ramp in a stupid way), I am gonna try and follow through this time!

  22. Watching the whole film collection AGAIN for the first time in years is what I meant..seen them many times in past years….

  23. Lots of great info in this thread. Thanks, all!

    @Hoju: Absolutely. I didn’t want to go on another KB Toys rant so soon, but this line and the others you mentioned bring back so many memories of rummaging through KB’s clearance racks, being sort of “happily shocked” that such “deadly” characters had figures. Course, now that’s par for the course.

    @FangsFirst: Ooh yes, the Invisible Pred! :) One of the best mailaways ever.

    Also: This toy inspired me to read up on assorted Aliens/Predator lore — and jeez, that stuff makes you appreciate Prometheus so much more. I know there were many complaints that gave fans more questions than answers, but what we did see was pretty firmly within that universe’s rules.

    I’m also inspired to see Resurrection again. Or maybe for the first time? I think that’s a movie I’ve only seen in bits and pieces.

  24. I never had any but these figures are seriously cool. These creatures would definitely be more in line with Prometheus and the mutation “slime” seen in it. I do have the Todd McFarlane Alien and Predator figures still new in the box. I followed the Dark Horse comics for awhile. I remember the giant Xenomorph created from the Engineer and that is when the Engineers looked like elephant like things and not bald, all white, jacked up Trent Reznor looking things.

    Is that the Goth board game in the box under the Lava Predator figure? :)

  25. I totally had that gorilla alien and it was a fantastic toy.

    Did you ever have a group of figures that you exclusively played with in the bath tub? He was one of those figures and years of soapscum disfigurement left him withered and useless.

  26. Great, now I have something else to search for on Ebay.

    I definitely need a Predator skulking around on my desk.

  27. Oh… I LOVE AvP! The toys and the comics, anyway… those two AvP movies, not so much, though I would have gone crazy even over those when I was a kid. But yeah, I could go on about the Alien franchise and the toys all day.

    I had some pretty strange toys from this series when I was a kid… one was a character from that never-to-be animated show that Silva mentioned. His name was Atax and he had a costume that made him look like a queen alien, though it shot missiles and things like that. I guess he was trying to make the drones go hubba hubba so he could ambush ‘em! Oh yeah, and he looked like a ginger Wolverine.

    I also had the rare KING alien (yes, you read that right)! Click on my name to see a pic of that bad boy. He doesn’t really fit in with the reproduction cycle in the movie mythology, but he sure does look like a badass!

    When I was younger, I wanted a movie that incorporated all of these more quirky alien varients. I did partially get my wish… you can briefly see the “queen facehugger” in the Assembly Cut of Alien 3, and one of the aliens in Alien Resurrection spits out acid just like the gorilla alien toy does (FYI, the king alien toy can do that too)!

  28. I had the “gorilla” alien and it was my favorite because it actually looked like an alien from the movies.

  29. Matt, you obviously need the Killer Crab Alien, AT LEAST. Then you’ll have a cherry-red Alien to combat your cherry-red Predator. And would look awesome in front of a black backdrop, preferably with explosions and other space-actiony stuff.

  30. You gotta love the 80s. It was full of ridiculously inappropriate childrens’ toys. Like everything they ever made of Freddy Krueger.

  31. Re: FangsFirst‘s launch:

    I have so many great memories of Dark Horse’s early Aliens and Predator books. One thing I’ve always really enjoyed is the genetic mutation element that was just never really explored in the movies that much, aside from the occasional dog-shaped one or of course the alien/predator hybrid. But, I loved the way the comics would really get into it with ones based off of rhinos and just about anything else you can think of. They put out some omnibuses of all of that stuff a couple of years ago and I really want to get them despite the fact that they’re entirely in black and white. I don’t have a problem with black and white comics, but I’d prefer to read those books the way I remember them.

    “Is that the Goth board game in the box under the Lava Predator figure? :)”JohnV

    Oh, the many nights I’ve played that with friends by candlelight.

  32. I didn’t do a review of the Lava Planet Predator, but Action Figure Fury did last week – you might have run across it there.

    And I agree with those who says the Gorilla Alien ruled. Because it did.

  33. All I have to say is.. “Killer crab Alien”!? I must own that grotesque baddie.

  34. I remember the toy line but not this particular figure.
    The (lucky) kids across the street had the Queen and bull alien way back when – all I could find in the store were the so-so Marine figures.
    These hit the shelves when me and my fellow Grade 7 delinquents were really getting into each franchise – both separate and combined – and there were just tons of AvP tie-ins coming out, the crown jewel being Capcom’s 3-player arcade game. So many wasted afternoons/quarters.
    And to this day, I still haven’t seen Predator 2 in its entirety, but I’m likely better off for it.

  35. The explanation given in the tie-in comics was that an alien takes on the characteristics of whatever the facehugger impregnates. How that would work with something like a mantis, I have no idea.

  36. I just can’t imagine how this cartoon would have been. I googled it and a site said the facehuggers just trapped people, with no mention of impregnation, and the soldiers shot rayguns. But what would the stories be. Aliens aren’t a villain like shredder who can come up with plans to be foiled every week.

  37. Was so excited when I went to Dinosaur Drac and the Lava Planet Predator was the first thing I saw. I bought a whole bunch of these figures (including this one)from KB Toys in teh mid 90s on clearance for like 2 bucks each. They are stored away in a bin somewhere at my parents’ house. I will have to dig them out. I think I have all the ones shown on the back of that package, along with some of the marines as well.

  38. Do I spy a Gigantics Huge Tarantula diorama in the Monster Mania pic?

  39. “… your sad remains already look like a sick ostrich’s messy cloaca.”Matt

    That’s DinoDrac’s finest poetry yet of 2013 right there.

  40. @Silva
    Basically, they go after Alien hives periodically. While the cartoon didn’t happen, they did have the little rolled up comic books in the packaging for the original run of Aliens figures, which did show us this whole thing.

    I can’t forget, of course, “ATAX”, the guy-who-dresses-up-like-a-queen-alien figure. Loved the heck outta that thing–and it was often used to pretend it wasn’t a human at all. Man, I hated human action figures. Then again, I thought any movie with only humans in it was boring in those days…

  41. The first Predator movie was released in 1987, which means I was probably 9 years old. Yet I distinctly remember that myself, and all my friends, saw it as soon as we possibly could.
    The only reason I bring that up is because the Predator’s target market was apparently little boys, as evidenced by this “candied” Predator.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Predator still, but I find it funny that a strong-R rated movie hit little 9-year-old boys so squarely over the head with their marketing.

  42. There have been plenty of “real” Predator and Alien toys, based on the movies, but I’ll always find these old Kenner toys to be superior to them. They’re just more fun. Plus, all of the new stuff that’s been made by McFarlane and NECA feel like they’re made out of hardened chewing gum.

  43. There were even more in this line than what was on the back of that box. I still have 2 translucent light blue warrior aliens from this line (one of which I painted black with silver teeth, but the other is still in the original packing and still see-thru blue).

  44. i love how there are literal repaints shown on the box(Nightstorm and Scavage, Lava and Cracked Tusk), but they leave out the one that actually looks like the guy from the first movie.
    i had Scavage(yet another color variation; mine has white skin and brown armor), Spikedtail, and the unpictured one that looks semi movie-accurate.

  45. Oh man. I loved this line as a kid. I know for sure I had Queen Facehugger, Flying Queen, Killer Crab, Snake, and Mantis. Pretty sure I had some not pictured there too – I remember a Bull Alien, and a 2-pack of classic Alien warrior vs Predator. Also, there was a mail-in deal for a transparent “cloaked Predator” figure.

  46. I guess Lava Planet Predator shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. After all, Kenner is the company that was make the seemingly endless varieties of Batman action figures. There was a Batman for every occasion.

  47. Thanks to this article, I now know what “cloaca” means. Thank you?

  48. I still have a bunch of the carded figures from the kenner avp line..

    I may be willing to part with some..

  49. I had Cracked Tusk and Scavage. Back in the day I used Cracked Tusk as the antagonist against the GI Joe guys from the 92-93 series. Cracked Tusk had one of the best spring loaded projectiles and he had pretty good ajust and aim without actually moving the figure.

  50. I have the bull alien, which is apparently not part of that series. Most unfortunate, what with it being an impressively dull Delsym orange. The best part was it came with a short comic book depicting space marines and a brief encounter with my new plastic friend.

  51. i still have some of these somewhere but only the aliens. i didn’t even know they’re were predators! again, they were my little bros. we had the blue bull-alien and the queen. plus a ship with a big clear plastic trap to catch the aliens.

  52. I have a Flying Queen Xenomorph. She is quite impressively tall, big enough to box with my Power Loader.

  53. lol, I always hated toys as a kid that weren’t movie accurate. This is a perfect (and awesomely bad) example.

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