“Protect her, Kyle Reese. Protect my Sarah.”
Terminator Genisys, the fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, was released last summer to mixed reviews. I kinda liked it (actually, I liked it a whole lot), but it seems I was in the minority. Oh well. On the plus side, NECA picked up the license to make action figures from the film, and spared no effort in making them as awesome as possible. Back in the fall, they released a pair of figures inspired by the film’s 1984 sequence, and back in January they added one more figure, another variation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pops” T-800, to the line. I’ll be looking at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Guardian T-800 was released as a stand-alone figure, though he’s technically the second “assortment” of the Terminator Genisys line. He ended up hitting around the same time as the Ultimate Sarah Conner figure. The figure is about 7 ½ inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation. The first Guardian T-800 was based on his brief 1984 appearance, but this one is based on his later 2017 look. While the 1984 look had some cool moments, the bulk of the film is spent in 2017, and Pops’ look there ends up being more definitive, so it’s nice to finally have this one. As I guessed, this figure has more than a few parts in common with the earlier version; he gets a new jacket, arms, and head, as well as a slightly tweaked shirt piece for the torso. The head is a pretty important change: in the film, Pops is damaged and can’t accompany Sarah and Kyle in the time machine that takes them from 1984 to 2017. He has to get to 2017 the long way ‘round, resulting in him aging 30 some years (and giving the filmmakers a plausible reason for the T-800 aging in sync with Arnold). The new head gives us the aged T-800, and, more specifically, an older Schwarzenegger. In my review of the 1984 T-800, I noted that the likeness was just a bit off; I’m happy to say that’s not the case with this version. That’s definitely Arnold, displeased scowl and all. There’s a second head, which features battle-damage (a thing no Terminator seems to be able to avoid); it’s the same basic sculpt as the normal head, but with a bit of the Endoskeleton skull poking through on the right side of the face. The underlying skull is very nicely captured, and has some fantastically sharp detail work, resulting in the damaged head being my favorite of the two. The new shirt cover also features a little bit of damage, though it’s not quite as revealing as the head. His jacket seems to have avoided being damaged, but it’s certainly not lacking in detail. In the 30 years he spent waiting for the other two, Pops seems to have gotten over his fixation on leather, and moved onto something a bit more laid back. The texturing on the jacket makes it look quite realistic, and also makes it clear that it’s a totally different jacket from the prior figure. The paint on this figure is a step up from the already pretty great work on the 1984 T-800. The basic work is nice and clean, and there’s some fantastic accent work on the jacket and hair. Also, he’s got the best looking eyes I’ve seen on a NECA figure, or any small-scale figure for that matter. In addition to the extra head, Pops also includes a stump to replace his left arm, which can be a little difficult to swap out, but is a pretty cool piece otherwise. He also has a shotgun; it’s different from the 1984 version, which is nice for variety’s sake, but bad because he has the same hands as the 1984 version, which makes holding the gun slightly difficult.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, I was right on the ball with the first two Genisys figures, why the delay with this guy? I honestly can’t say. I mean, I was definitely looking forward to this figure; he was the one I wanted the most out of the three figures in the set. However, my usual stores for NECA figures didn’t get this guy for whatever reason, and I just never got around to ordering him online. I ended up finding him at Toys R Us, while looking for the Alien Day Ripley figure (which I didn’t end up finding). Now I feel a bit bad for not tracking him down earlier because he’s just a fantastic figure, start to finish. It’s a shame we aren’t getting a John Conner for him to do battle with, but I’m just glad to have gotten him.