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. :(

  • LemonyShepard

    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.

  • Cat

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

  • DJ D

    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.

  • Poe Ghostal

    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.

  • Review the World

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

  • Conan Troutman

    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.

  • Monte

    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.

  • Silva

    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.

  • Steve

    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.

  • Driskull

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

  • Jugendsehnsucht

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

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

  • FangsFirst

    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…

  • DunkyBasketball

    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.

  • Mike

    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.

  • alienux

    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).

  • Erik

    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.

  • Trey

    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.

  • Mike

    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.

  • Teddy Ray

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

  • MantisFang

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

    I may be willing to part with some..

  • Barry

    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.

  • Alex

    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.

  • jason

    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.

  • atypicaloracle

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

  • Nichholas Herum

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

  • Cohagen

    You may believe this but these figures and the kenner alien line were produced because a Saturday morning cartoon was in the works!