#1678: T-800 & Endoskeleton

T-800 & ENDOSKELETON

TERMINATOR 2 MINIMATES

In the summer of 2009, DST was really starting to hit it in stride with Minimates.  Just two years prior, the brand looked to be at death’s door.  The DC brand swept in and reinvigorated things a bit, but its quick exit definitely left some question marks about the future.  Fortunately, DST was quick to add some new things to their plate, as well as partnering up with Toys R Us to give those lines a jumpstart.  One of the new lines they added was Terminator 2.  Interestingly, today’s set isn’t based on the sequel, but instead the first film.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The T-800 and Endoskeleton were one of the two Series 1 sets available at both specialty and Toys R Us.  When the specialty set was first solicited, the T-800 was supposed to be the three-per-case figure, with Kyle Reese swapping out as his variant, but Kyle was shifted elsewhere, and this set wound up as the heaviest packed.

T-800

This figure depicts the original film’s villainous terminator, specifically in his iconic Police station storming get-up.  It’s the look that would influence all future Terminators, and definitely the more definitive of the two looks from the movie.  The figure is built on the usual body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He has three add-on pieces, for his hair/glasses, jacket, and pelvis piece.  The hair piece was new, and remains unique to this figure.  It does a solid job of recreating his singed hair and distinctive Gargoyle shades.  The jacket is a re-used piece, first showing up on the disguised Marty from the second BTTF set, and, though not quite a perfect match, its pretty darn close.  The paintwork on the figure is mostly pretty straightforward, matching up well with the source material.  The Schwarzenegger likeness is pretty spot-on, and they’ve even gone the extra mile and included his exposed endo eye.  He also includes a spair hair piece without the glasses, as well as a SPAS-12 shotgun and an AR-18 rifle.

ENDOSKELETON

This Endo was initially released in the single-packs case of figures that launched this line, before being re-packed here.  He’s largely the same as the previously reviewed scorched Endo, just with a cleaner silver finish.  As I noted in the earlier review, I have mixed opinions on some of the design choices here.  Nevertheless, I do still like the figure overall, and I think the cleaner silver works better for the overall design.  Like the scorched variant, this one includes the plasma rifle, which he still has trouble holding.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

I grabbed this set back when it was new.  They hit TRU first, so that’s where I got mine.  Of all the sets in this assortment, this one was the least exciting for me, but I think it’s still a competently put together pair, and this T-800 is definitely worth tracking down.

#1342: T-800 – Final Battle

T-800 — FINAL BATTLE

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (NECA)

“Specs: Model T-800 {Final Battle} – After escaping Cyberdyne, the T-800, Sarah and John Connor are pursued by the T-1000 into a steel mill. The Terminators engage in violent hand to hand combat causing the T-800 to sustain critical damage. Now missing his left arm and operating on limited power and capacity the T-800 staggers to Sarah and John’s rescue and fires his last grenade into the T-1000 causing it to explode and fall into a vat of molten steel.”

Wow, it’s been like a year since I looked at anything Terminator-related.  Guess I’ll be fixing that today!  So, remember back when I reviewed NECA’s Ultimate T-800 figure from Terminator 2?  And how I mentioned that I owned one of the prior, non-Ultimate-y ones, from their earlier line?  Yeah, well that’s (one of) the figure(s) I’m looking at today!  Let’s get right to that, then!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Final Battle T-800 was released in Series 2 of NECA’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day line of figures.  At this point, the line was still exclusively variants of the T-800, but hey, that’s what we all wanted at the time.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  This is before NECA had gotten quite as good with articulation, so he’s a little stilted.  The upper half of the figure’s pretty solid, though, and while the legs are essentially motionless, there’s just enough movement there to help him balance.  On the plus side of things, the lack of motion’s not quite as killer on this particular figure, since the T-800 wasn’t exactly doing kung-fu high-kicks after taking all that damage.  As the name of the figure informs us, this guy’s based on the T-800 as he looks at the very end of T2, after he’s lost an arm and taken a serious beating at the hands of the T-1000.  The figure’s sculpt is pretty darn fantastic, offering a ton of amazing texturing on the leather jacket and pants, and even on the underlying machinery that’s been exposed. There are two heads included with this guy, with varying degrees of damage.  He’s packaged wearing the slightly less damaged of the two, which has the more unencumbered likeness.  While NECA’s gone on to give us better Schwarzenegger likenesses in recent years, this was pretty darn great for the time.  There are maybe some minor quibbles, but that’s really all that can be held against it.  The damage is consistent with what’s seen in the movie, too, which is really great.  The second head is far more damaged, depicting him after he takes a girder to the face a couple of times.  It’s actually one of those cases where the figure looks a bit better than what’s seen in the movie, since the movie had to rely on rather bulky prosthetics, and the figure can just actually carve away chunks of his face.  It’s definitely a nice piece.  The paintwork on this guy is decent enough.  Like the Kyle Reese figure, I did find the soulless eyes to be rather jarring (it’s more obvious on the more damaged head), but it’s far from awful.  There’s a lot of good work on the body, especially the clothes, though.  I do wish the damaged arm had slightly more convincing blood splatters, since these look more like red paint, but that’s minor.  In addition  to the spare head, the figure also includes the slightly damaged grenade launder, which he can hold pretty well.

Did you see in the intro where I hinted at more than one figure?  Well, I’ll touch on that now.  Alongside their 7-inch line, NECA also did some 12-inch Terminator 2 figures, and the Final Battle T-800 was one of the two they chose to do.  The figure is essentially just an upscaling of the 7-inch figure, but there are a few tweaks, most notably the inclusion of a light-up feature for the eye (activated by pressing the panel in the center of his chest).  It’s also worth noting that the larger figure only includes the more damaged head, presumably because a swapping head wouldn’t have worked too well with the light-up bit.  The larger size actually really helps the figure.  The likeness on the head, in particular, is a lot stronger at this scale (to the point where I honestly think it’s a better Arnold than Hot Toys ever gave us on a T-800), and the paint looks way better, since there’s a lot more room for subtlety.  Just like his smaller counterpart, this guy included the damaged grenade launcher.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Final Battle T-800 is the second NECA figure I ever owned, and it’s certainly the one that got me to notice them as a company.  I don’t recall exactly when I picked it up, but I do remember anxiously awaiting its release after seeing it on the back of the Series 1 packaging.  It’s a nice figure because unlike a number of other looks from the movie, the fully battle-damaged appearance really does warrant a whole figure to itself.

The larger figure was a Christmas present, given to me by my parents.  It was the year after I’d gotten the Hot Toys T-1000, and I was really wanting to have at least some version of the T-800 to go on the shelf with him and Sarah.  While I did eventually get the Hot Toys release when it came out (a whole three years later), this guy held me over in the mean time, and actually fit in surprisingly well with the two HT figures.  Looking back, he’s still a pretty awesome figure.  It’s too bad NECA never did any other characters to go with  him!

#0924: Guardian T-800

GUARDIAN T-800

TERMINATOR GENISYS

PopsT8001

“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

PopsT8002The 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.

PopsT8003

#0717: Ultimate T-800

ULTIMATE T-800

TERMINATOR 2 (NECA)

T800Ult1

Duhduhduhduhduh! KSHH Duhduhduhduhduh! KSHH Duhduhduhduhduh!

Did you guys pick up on that being the percussion section from the Terminator theme? It’s harder to transcribe than you might think. So, a few years back, my first real introduction to NECA was courtesy of their immensely cool T2 line. While the sculpts on those figures are still top notch, there’s one thing that was just a teeny bit dated: articulation. The figures had a pretty good set-up above the waist, but the legs were essentially motionless, which held back otherwise great figures. Fortunately, NECA is well aware of this issue and is fixing it, courtesy of their new(ish) subline of “Ultimate” figures. They’re kicking things off with the main man of T2, the T-800, aka “Uncle Bob.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

T800Ult2aThe Ultimate T-800 was a single release, who started hitting stores last month, which, coincidentally, was the same time as the Terminator Genisys figures. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. That’s a whole 8 points more than his original release brethren. By design, the large portion of this figure’s tooling is shared with the prior T-800 figures. This isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, of course, since the detailing on those older figures was pretty darn good. The jacket is wonderfully textured, and even has the bullet holes from where the T-800 shielded John from the T-1000. The gloved hands are also very well textured, and hold all of the included weapons pretty well. And then there are the heads. Three different heads are included: clean with sunglasses, clean without sunglasses, and fully battle-damaged. All three heads feature a very good rendition of Arnold’s likeness, but the sunglass-ed head absolutely nails it, and is my favorite by far. It’s just got the look down. The damaged head is a nice enough sculpt, but it’s a little jarring to see the fully damaged head on a completely intact body. I kind of wonder if the partially damaged head might have been a better fit here. Enough about the old pieces, what about the new pieces? Well, essentially the entire lower half is new.  I think the boots may be reused, but that’s it. The joints on the legs are a little stiff at first, but once you get them moving, they make a pretty big difference. They also match up really well with the pre-existing parts, so you’d be hard pressed to find evidence that they weren’t sculpted at the same time if you weren’t already aware. If there’s one area that this figure could stand to improve, it’s paint. To be fair, T800Ult5with the exception of a single one-of-a-kind issue that is quite glaring, the paint on this figure is actually pretty decent. The paint on the clothing is great, and it does a nice job accenting the texture of the sculpt. The grey shirt isn’t technically accurate with the sunglass-ed head, but that’s a really minor thing. The sunglass-ed and damaged heads are a touch messy, but nothing exceedingly bad; just a few missed spots here and there. What throws the whole figure off is the normal head’s eyebrows, which are just badly misplaced, throwing the whole thing off. It’s totally limited to my figure, and to NECA’s credit, their CS is already working to get me a replacement (at which point I’ll re-shoot that one shot with the messed up head), but it definitely renders the head useless for the time being. Fortunately, there are those other two heads to let me still enjoy my figure as much as possible! In addition to the extra heads, the T-800 also includes a shotgun, a handgun, a grenade launcher, a bandolier, and (my favorite) his minigun from the Cyberdyne scene. All of these are done with incredible accuracy, and it’s a great assortment of parts in general, though I wouldn’t have minded getting a set of ungloved hands to go with the shotgun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I ordered this guy at the same time as the two Genisys figures, and I was just as eager to get him as I was the other two. I only ended up getting one figure from NECA’s old T2 line (the fully battle-damaged version), so I’m happy to finally have a T-800 that covers most of the movie’s looks. The paint on the regular head was a bit disappointing, but if I’m honest I was always planning to set him up with the (admittedly inaccurate) sunglasses and minigun combo. Just look at how cool he is at the top!

T800Ult4

#0707: Guardian T-800

GUARDIAN T-800

TERMINATOR GENISYS

GuardianT800c

Frequent readers of the site will recall that I was quite complimentary of Terminator Genisys. Ever since the movie’s release, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its tie-in toyline. The line is produced by NECA, who are one of my favorite toy companies of late. They’re starting off with a small assortment of three figures. Two of them are available, and the third will be out some time later this year. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the first version of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Guardian T-800.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GuardianT800bThe Guardian T-800, referred to in the film as “Pops,” was released in the first assortment of Terminator Genisys figures. He’s based on his appearance from the 1984 portion of the film. It’s ultimately not quite as important as the 2017 look (which will be the third figure in the line), but it is how we first see him, which is a defining moment, to be sure. Plus, it’s a pretty good move on NECA’s part to release this version first, as many people who might pass on this version were both available will be inclined to get this guy as a place holder. The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Pops gets an all-new sculpt, some of which will probably see re-use on the 2017 version. Overall, I really love the sculpt. The proportions are great, the articulation’s been worked in really well, and he has some superb detail work. His leather jacket is creased and worn, just like the real thing, and the rest of the clothing has great texturing and depth. If there’s one drawback to the sculpt, it’s the likeness on the head. It’s not terrible, or anything, just not as good as what we’ve seen from NECA’s previous Schwarzenegger sculpts. I think a lot of it’s the hair, which just seems a little too bulbous around the sides. The actual face seems more on point, though it’s better from some angles than it is from others. From one angle, it’s Arnold, from another, he looks not unlike John Larroquette. The paint is pretty decent, but there are a few minor issues here and there. Most of the issues are on the head; the hairline in particular is a little sloppy. It’s not noticeable from a normal viewing distance, but it’s there when he’s up close. Pops is packed with a shotgun, which is what he’s seen wielding during his introductory scene. It’s nicely sculpted and it fits well in his hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I mentioned above, I was anxiously awaiting these figures. When NECA tweeted that the first two figures were in stock in their eBay store, I ordered them as quickly as I could. The 2017 version is still the one I’m waiting for, but this guy is pretty awesome. He’s got a few minor issues here and there, but the overall figure is cool enough that it doesn’t really bug me. This guy’s definitely a solid figure, and I’m very happy to have him!

#0636: Endoskeleton

HEAVY GUNNER ENDOSKELETON

VERSUS THE TERIMATOR (NECA)

EndoVG2

So, I’m sure you all read my review of Terminator Genisys, right?  If not, what’s wrong with you?  How can you expect to keep up with the site if you don’t read every single word I publish here?  Geez!  Anyway, if you did read it, you’ll know that I really enjoyed the movie, which almost always leads to me wanting toys.  Sadly, the Genisys figures aren’t out just yet, so I’ll have to make due with some earlier Terminator stuff, just to hold me over.  NECA’s had the license to the various Terminator films (well, the first two, at least) for the last few years, and, like many of their licences, they’ve made use of the molds a second time as video game-themed repaints.  Unlike a lot of their other video game repaints, Terminator got a whole subline of figures, shared with other 80s sci-fi hit, Robcop.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the handful of Endoskeletons released, dubbed the Heavy Gunner Endoskeleton.  I wonder what his schtick is!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EndoVG1The Heavy Gunner Endoskeleton was released as part of the Versus The Terminator line by NECA.  Yeah, I think it’s officially supposed to be Robocop Versus the Terminator, but the box doesn’t have the Robocop part, so…yeah.  The Heavy Gunner is one of three Endos released in this line, but he’s the only one to be released as a single figure.  He’s based on the design of the mounted gunner Endos from the game, but he can also work as a fairly standard Endo as well.   The figure is roughly 7 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation (not counting all the various pistons used to help with that movement.)  Structurally, the main figure is identical to NECA’s revamp of the Endoskeleton from their The Terminator line.  It’s easily one of the best renditions of the Endoskeleton available, so one can hardly fault NECA for using it again.  The detailing of the sculpt is phenomenal and the amount of effort put into making sure most of the pistons are actual working, moving pieces is nothing short of astonishing.  Also, while you might assume the figure is very fragile, based on the slightness of the design, he actually doesn’t feel flimsy at all.  He feels quite sturdy.  I mean, I wouldn’t suggest giving it to a little kid to play with, but it holds up to posing and such very well.  As with pretty much all of the “video game” figures that NECA’s released, paint is one of the figure’s defining traits.  While he shows a bit more pre-placed highlighting and a slightly flatter color palette, this Endo’s actually not too far off from a more basic model.  He won’t be passing for a real life robot or anything, but he’s certainly more grounded than what we’ve seen, giving a nice elegant simplicity.  The other big draw of this particular figure is his titular “heavy gun.”  He includes a minigun, which is actually just a re-use of the same piece from the Cyberdyne Assault T-800 from the T2 line, but it’s attached to a backpack style ammo case, and it includes an optional tri-footed stand to mount the gun, much in the same way it’s shown in the game.  The stand is, sadly, a necessity, as the figure cannot hold the gun without it.  However, he looks so cool all set up that I’m willing to forgive that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy is actually my first NECA Endoskeleton.  For a number of reasons, I never got either the T2 or Terminator versions of the figure at retail, and by the time I tried to fix that, they’d shot way up in price.  So, when these figures were announced I figured one of the Endos might make a decent enough stand-in.  It seems a lot of others thought that too, making this guy fairly difficult to acquire.  Fortunately, I came across one at nearby toy shop All Time Toys, which I was quite excited about.  I got this guy at the same time as the Dog Alien I reviewed not too long ago, and they made for quite an awesome pair.  Of course, now NECA’s come out with a re-release of the Terminator Endo, so this guy won’t really be a stand-in, so much as another Endo on the shelf.  But, hey, worse things have happened!

Terminator Genisys: A Movie Review

I don’t write movie reviews. This is an Action Figure review site, after all. However, I’ve just seen a movie about which I want to write.

The movie in question (hey, that would be a catchy name for a movie review site, wouldn’t it?) is Terminator Genisys. I’m a pretty big fan of The Terminator and I’d probably rank Terminator 2 in my top five favorite movies.  It goes without saying that I was more than a little disappointed by the two films that followed. I’ve never actually been able to get all the way through T3, and most of Salvation left me cold. I had pretty much written the franchise off, and I kind of figured it was more or less dead.

When the first trailer for Genisys showed up, I was surprised. Somehow, I’d entirely missed the fact that another film was in production. It actually looked pretty decent, as if this might be the movie to turn the franchise around. I was optimistic, if cautiously so. I was still pretty excited, so when it started showing Tuesday night, I headed out to see it. Without saying too much, my optimism paid off and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

THE ACTUAL REVIEW

Spoiler-Free:

First off, let’s address the film’s biggest draw: Arnold. His return to acting was one of the driving forces of getting the movie made, and a lot of the film’s marketing focused on his big return to the role. This time around, he takes up a part not unlike “Uncle Bob” in T2, operating as Sarah’s father figure “Pops.” The film seems to draw from the learning ability of the T-800’s CPU established in the extended cut of T2. Here it’s been in operation for a while, allowing Arnold to play a character with a little more warmth and human understanding. That’s not to say he’s completely abandoned his robotic nature, though; it makes its way to the forefront a few times, generally in the more action oriented scenes, but also in a few humorous moments.

The film has more than a few humorous moments, sprinkled throughout. It feels like they’ve gotten the mix of humor and drama right this time around. Part of what I enjoyed so much about T2 was its seamless blending of humor and serious moments. The movies that followed never got this balance down. T3 went too goofy and Salvation went too dreary and hopeless, resulting in both films suffering. Genisys gets it right.

Humor is one thing, but a movie is hardly a proper Terminator movie without some action. Genisys offers a nice selection of action sequences. There are lots of call backs to older movies (especially in the first battle with the T-1000) but there’s a lot of new stuff too, which keeps things interesting. Some sequences relied a little too heavily on CGI, but it never gets distracting to the point of pulling the viewer out of the film. The newest version of Terminator plays a big part in making the action feel new and exciting. One of my biggest problems with the last two films was the stagnation of the Terminators. The T-1000 offered a significant upgrade over the first film’s T-800, and this movie’s magnetically-charged nanite-powered Terminator felt like a worthy upgrade to the seemingly unstoppable T-1000.

I spoke about Arnold’s performance, but what about the rest of the cast? Well, if there’s a weak link, it’s probably Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese. The biggest issue is that he really doesn’t look like Kyle Reese. Michael Biehn has a particular look, especially in Terminator. He’s not a clean cut, stacked action hero. Jai Courtney kind of is. His performance isn’t terrible, and he had grown on me by the end of the film, but he still felt a little off. Perhaps if Anton Yelchin’s turn as Kyle in Salvation hadn’t been one of that film’s few redeeming qualities, I’d be more forgiving.

Emilia Clarke, on the other hand, feels like a pretty worthy successor to Linda Hamilton. She plays Sarah with a lot of strength and presence, calling back to the T2 version of the character, but she also manages to still play up a lot of the uncertainty we saw in Terminator, giving us the best of both worlds. She and Arnold Schwarzenegger have a lot of chemistry, which really helped to make the movie work.

Jason Clarke takes over from Christian Bale as John Connor, and is probably the strongest of the re-cast parts. He actually plays the role in such a way that you can understand how this guy could lead the resistance to victory.

Byung-hun Lee gives a good performance as the T-1000, though he feels a little under-utilized here. I’m not sure rehashing the plot of T2 would have been the best way to go, but I felt like he should have had a little more to do.

JK Simmons and Matt Smith both give good performances in their respective roles. Simmons once again feels a little under-used, but the few scenes he does take part in use him pretty well. I’ll talk about Smith’s performance more in the spoiler section.

The film has a running theme of “old, but not obsolete.” This line is said more than once by Arnold’s Pops T-800, and it really
feels like it applies to the franchise as a whole as well. The movie strives to show us that this franchise may be old, but it’s not quite outmoded.

Spoilers after the jump.

Continue reading

#0493: Terminator Cyberdyne Assault Minimates

CYBERNETIC T-800, SWAT SARAH CONNOR, MILES DYSON, & SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

TERMINATOR 2 MINIMATES

So, like, it’s been a whole twelve days since my last Minimate review. And that was just a Sisko Minimate (plus some other dude I really don’t care enough about to know his name. I think it was Jim or something…). You have to ask yourself, does Sisko really count? Anyway, it’s time for my first look into the world of Terminator 2 Minimates, which is a line that I kinda feel was the first “modern Minimate line.” Seriously, these guys were really influential to how future lines were handled, in character selection, property selection, assortment layout and even distribution. They were pretty darn epic!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four figures were released as a San Diego Comicon exclusive set, distributed by Action Figure Xpress. AFX aren’t really one of the big players online toy sales anymore, but they used to be at the top of the list, and they were pivotal to helping Minimates get on the map. Anyway, the set was dubbed “Cyberdyne Assault” after the attack on the Cyberdyne building late in the movie.

CYBERNETIC T-800

It would hardly be a proper T2 set without a version of Arnold (or, as he’s known in the movie, Uncle Bob). This particular version of the character is not from the “assault on Cyberdyne,” but is instead from a scene right before the attack, where the T-800 demonstrates the concept of the machines to Miles by slicing open his hand to reveal the robotic component beneath. Fun times. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, with a unique left hand, as well as add-ons for the hair and belt. All of this figure’s pieces are re-use, but given that he’s a T-800 variant, that’s pretty sensible. The hair and belt are both from the previous T-800s in the line, and the hand is from the basic endoskeleton. The hair’s not bad, though I always found it to be a bit too long for Arnold’s T2 look. The belt is a rather standard piece, so no issue there. The hand is a nice sculpt, but it’s a little weird to see it next to the normal hand on the other side, since it’s actually too big to fit under a normal hand. Just one of those things. The figure’s paint work is fantastic, aside from one small inaccuracy. Namely, those tears in the front of his shirt aren’t accurate, as he hadn’t taken any damage at that point in the movie. But, they’re nicely detailed, so I can’t really complain. Also, the figure’s Arnold likeness is totally spot on, which is great to see. The T-800 included a spare hand in silver (so you could replace the sculpted hand if you want to) and a plasma rifle.

SWAT SARAH CONNOR

So, the other important piece of T2 set is definitely Sarah Connor. According to James Cameron, she’s actually meant to be The Terminator of the movie, so there’s that. Like the T-800, Sarah’s not actually from the attack on Cyberdyne; she’s actually from a little earlier in the movie, when she attacks Dyson’s house. Maybe this set should have been called the “Attack on Dyson’s.” This is Sarah’s most iconic look from the film, so it’s a good choice, regardless of which attack it’s part of. Seeing as this was the first Sarah Connor to actually be released, being iconic is a good thing. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hat/glasses, web gear, and belt. All three of these pieces are new to Sarah, and they are all very well sculpted and accurate to the source material. The hat and glasses in particular are a dead on interpretation of the look from the movie. Sarah’s paint is a lot simpler than the T-800’s, but it’s still rather nicely done. Underneath of the glasses, there’s a pretty great Linda Hamilton likeness, and all of the line work is nice and sharp. Sarah includes an alternate hair piece with the glasses and hat removed, as well as a machine gun.

MILES DYSON

Poor Dyson. This guy really got the short end of the stick, didn’t he? Probably one of the most genuinely likeable people in the movie, and he gets his house blown up, his family attacked, he gets shot (a bunch) and then he dies. But, hey, for what it’s worth, he’s the only figure in this set that’s actually from the attack on Cyberdyne. So there! Dyson is about 2 ½ inches in height and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s got the same body as the others, with add-ons for the hair and coat. The hair is new to Dyson, and it’s a pretty good approximation of hos look from the movie. The coat actually began its life on a cancelled Colonel Tigh Minimate from the BSG line, before making it to an actual release with Miles here. It’s a nice, standard coat piece. It’s well sculpted and rather versatile, so it’s nice that it actually got released somewhere. Dyson probably has my favorite paint work of the set. He has a spot on likeness of actor Joe Morton (great if you want to do any Eureka Minimates), but my favorite part is the detailing on the shirt. With the jacket on, it looks like just a regular button down shirt, but remove the jacket and there’s a fully detailed bandaged gunshot wound, complete with slightly dried blood. It’s a fantastic touch, and something that could have been easily overlooked. Dyson includes a fire axe, which is definitely important to the character and is my favorite accessory in the set.

SCORCHED ENDOSKELETON

Ah, yes, the scorched Endoskeleton, hero of the… no wait, ummm… yeah, so I literally have no idea what this figure is meant to represent. Like, there’s some endoskeletons at the beginning, but they’re all shiny and new. None of them get “scorched” and none of them go back in time, so it doesn’t even really make sense for this figure to be in this set. But, I guess you have to get and endo in somewhere. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. It uses the same body you’ve seen three times before in this review, with unique hands and feet, and well as add-ons for the upper torso and pelvis (which is missing on mine). All of these pieces were initially seen on the normal endo, released both in the first series of two-packs and in the single pack case. I’m of two minds about the pieces. The feet are well done, and the hands, while large, are still pretty cool. But, the torso and pelvis pieces, while nicely sculpted, make the figure way too big to believable be the thing under Arnold’s skin. It just doesn’t work. On the plus side, the figure’s paint has that covered. There’s a fully detailed normal torso under the sculpted one, so you can remove the sculpted piece and have a seeker looking Endo. The figure has some pretty decent paint, with detail lines for all of the various tech pieces. The main difference between the normal endo and this one is that this one is done in more of a dull gray, to look “scorched.” The endo includes a plasma rifle, which is the same as the one with the T-800.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was beyond thrilled when the T2 license was announced for Minimates. I rushed out and bout the first series from TRU (back when TRU was getting their Minimate assortments first!) and I patiently awaited the arrival of others. This set excited me the most, because it offered my favorite version of Sarah, as well as Dyson, the unsung hero of the film. SO, I ordered this set the day it went up on AFX and patiently awaited its arrival. Sadly, it seems not everyone else was quite as thrilled by the set, as it hung around for quite some time, and was eventually clearanced off by the CASE! I still think this a really solid set. Sure, the endo’s pointless and a little boring, but Miles and Sarah more than make up for that, and you get a fun version of the T-800 to boot!

#0344: T800 Terminator

T800 TERMINATOR

THE TERMINATOR REACTION

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The ReAction line is certainly a line of ups and downs. I appreciate what Funko are trying to do with the line. I like the style they’re aiming for, and I really love a lot of the properties they’ve managed to secure in this scale. That being said, a fair number of figures in the line haven’t been as good as they could have been. Of the four figures I’ve looked at from their Terminator line, one was good, two were alright, and one was downright bad. That’s not terrible, but it could be better. There’s one figure left in the series, based on one of the film’s more definitive looks. Has Funko managed to pull this one off?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

T800ShootoutWilsonThe Terminator was released as part of the first series of The Terminator ReAction Figures. He is just shy of 4 inches tall, making him the same height as the Tech Noir version and just a little shorter than the Endoskeleton, and he features the same 5 points of articulation standard for the line. The figure is based on what is probably the T800’s most distinctive look from the first movie, usually referred to as the “police shootout” version. It’s the look the character sports during his attack on the police station where Sarah and Kyle are being held. The figure, like just about every other ReAction figure, features a brand-new sculpt, and a very good one at that. While he doesn’t quite have the girth of Schwarzenegger in the movie, he very nicely translates the look into the Kenner aesthetic. There aren’t any strange proportions or issues of flatness on this sculpt. What’s more, the likeness on the head sculpt is pretty much spot on, which is certainly a change of pace with this line. Even little, seemingly-pointless things, like the slight bend of the arms, have been handled pitch-perfectly. The figure’s paint work is also pretty good. The glasses in place of painted eyes really helps, and I love the heavy shine they put on his jacket. The figure includes a Spas-12 Shotgun and a stockless M16, which are the two weapons he carries through the police station. Both are handled pretty nicely, though the M16 is a little lighter on the details than the other weapons in this series. Special thanks go out to Tim Marron of Timiscal Thoughts for helping me properly identify those weapons!

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Just like every other figure in this set, the Terminator was ordered from Amazon. Thrilling story, right?

I had certain ideas about this set of figures when I ordered them. I knew Sarah would be the weak link. I figured the Endo would be my favorite, and I was looking forward to Kyle and the other Terminator. This one…eh, I just didn’t know. He’d probably be cool, right? Little did I know he’d end up being my favorite figure in the series. Heck, he’s my favorite figure in the entire ReAction line! This figure looks like he stepped right out of the Kenner Star Wars line, and that’s amazing. I hope that this figure is indicative of the future of the ReAction line, because he is a heavy step in the right direction!

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#0341: The Terminator

THE TERMINATOR

THE TERMINATOR REACTION

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Funko’s ReAction line has become one of the bigger splashes in the toy world, mostly due to the large scope of the line. Funko’s massive catalogue of licenses allows the line to have some serious pull. A lot of people are getting into it solely based on some properties getting their first toylines ever. One such license is James Cameron’s The Terminator. While its sequels weren’t short on toys, the original tends to only be seen through a stray figure here or there in a sequel’s line. Recent years of collector lines have added a few more figures from the first film, but never a purely devoted line. Today, I’ll be looking at one of the ReAction versions of the titular Terminator.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

T800TechNoirWilsonThe Terminator is part of the first series of The Terminator ReAction Figures line, which is part of Funko’s larger ReAction line. He stands just shy of 4 inches tall (making him shorter than the Endoskeleton, by the way) and features the standard 5 points of articulation. This figure is based on the Terminator’s “Tech Noir” look, which is the look he sports for the first half of the movie. It’s referred to as the “Tech Noir” look after the name of club that he first confronts Sarah Connor in. It’s the look he has for the longest stretch of the movie, but it isn’t usually considered the definitive Terminator look. The Terminator has an all-new sculpt, based on his look from the movie. It does a pretty good job translating the Terminator to the style, but it’s not perfect. He’s a little bit too skinny for Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator, especially at the neck. The head sort of looks like Schwarzenegger, but it’s not spot on. It’s like the Terminator, if he were a Vulcan. The paint on the Terminator is passable. He’s got a few areas of slop and bleed over, as well as some fuzzy lines. Then, of course, there’s the eyebrows, which are definitely not right. Still, as a whole, the paint is fine, and it seems to have summed up the Terminator’s look nicely. The Terminator includes an Uzi and Colt with a scope, both of which he is seen carrying in this particular outfit. They both are quite well sculpted, especially for the scale and style.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Terminator was another figure purchased from Amazon, along with the rest of the first series. While this isn’t the definitive Terminator look, it is a unique look. It looks pretty great with the rest of the set, and it’s not a bad figure in general. He’s not the best ReAction has to offer, but he’s far from the worst.