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T-800 - Terminator 1
Hot Toys

Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


My overall favorite high end line in 2010 was Hot Toys Terminator, a sixth scale series that covered several films. Quite a few collectors considered their T-800 from Terminator 2 to be the best sixth scale figure of the year, and it would be hard to argue with them.

Now we have another T-800, but this time he's from the original film. This isn't the kinder, gentler version that helped John Connor survive against the T-1000 - no, this is the mindless killing machine of the future, sent back to end the life of Sarah Connor and prevent John from ever being born.

While some people might argue that this sort of role is easy to play, thus the perfect venue for someone like Arnold, I'd argue that it's a difficult role, and yet that's exactly why he was the perfect person for it. Great actors can't play robotic roles like this, because they try too hard to 'act'. For them, it's all about emotion and intensity, and they would have been hopelessly driven to make the T-800 something more than he was. But an actor like Arnold didn't try to stretch the character or himself. Instead, he was as unemotional and calm as possible - and it worked perfectly.

If you missed out on ordering the T1 version of the T-800 when it went up for pre-order, you might find yourself out of luck at this point, at least in terms of paying retail. Originally, he cost around $180 - $190, depending on the retailer of course. But just like the T2 T-800, he sold out quickly. You can still find him at some retailers if you hunt, but I wouldn't wait long - he's going to be history soon, and you're only option will be paying a premium on ebay.
Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is a bit more straight forward than the usual Hot Toys release. There's the bright, shiny silver outer box with small die cut windows on the side, and inside this is a fairly basic window box that contains the inner plastic tray.

While the design is pretty minimalist compared to some of their other package work, it's just as collector friendly as it can be. There's no twisties or bands, and only a couple tape circles hold smaller items in place.

There is no Certificate of Authenticity, in case you were wondering, but that's standard for Hot Toys. There's no edition size either, but that doesn't mean these won't be fairly limited. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that these are more limited than some other heavily advertised 'limited' editions from other companies.

Sculpting - ****
The critical aspect for this category is the portrait, of course, and this time we get not one but two versions of the character from the original film.

The one I suspect most people will use, at least until they can kit together enough of a second outfit, is the standard young Arnie, with longer hair and no damage. This look goes best with the outfit, especially during the key early scenes in the movie when he kills the Sarahs and attacks Kyle and Sarah at the night club.

If there's one actor that Hot Toys now has down to a science, it's Arnold. This is an amazing likeness, and when you combine that with those realistic touches that only Hot Toys seems to do perfectly - skin textures, hair strands, fine facial hair like eyebrows - you end up with perhaps the best likeness of the actor and certainly the character that I've ever seen.

The second portrait is from later in the film, after he's taken some pretty serious abuse. The left eye is bleeding and useless, the hair is shorter and spiky, but it's still young Arnold with the deadly Terminator expression.

Of the two, I actually think the damaged head is the slightly better likeness in person. It's hard to see in photos, but in person you will notice that the lips and chin on the regular head stick out slightly more, almost like he's pouting. It's minor, and I'll be sticking with the undamaged look for this outfit, but the difference was there. Perhaps it was a manufacturing issue - this sort of thing can sometimes be caused by pulling the part out of the mold too early.

The glassy eyes are about as lifelike as they get, and he's looking upward slightly in a classic evil expression. When you see that look, you're a dead man walking.

The hands are all sculpted to work with the accessories and a variety of poses. They are in scale, and the sculpted gloves look terrific.

Paint - ****
Hot Toys and amazing paint are like Charlie Sheen and trouble. You just don't expect one without the other.

The subtle skin tones are amazing, while the lips and eyebrows are scary real. The glassy eyes have a gloss finish that gives a wet appearance, and allows them to produce their own natural catch lights. The hair line is perfect, and even the hair is done with enough variation, slight as it is between high points and low, to give the sculpt depth and definition.

The scarred face also sports some blood work, and again there's a glossy, wet appearance that's extremely realistic. The drips down the face look like natural flow, not like someone painted them on, and the color would have a vampire salivating. Even the eyebrows on the damaged head are all but missing, just like on screen!

Articulation - ***1/2
This figure uses the larger, more buff body that we've seen a few times in the past. It's slightly less articulated than some of the other slimmer TrueTypes, but can still manage a reasonably good range of poses.

The neck works terrific, with a double ball joint that allows for a ton of tilting and personality. Take care though, and pay attention to the instructions - twist the head in certain ways and you could damage the rubber skin covering the neck.

The heads swap easily too, but don't bobble or wobble. While the shoulders and elbows are a bit more restricted with this bulked up body, the joints are still tight and extremely sturdy.

I did have plenty of trouble getting the right arm off to swap with the damaged version, and I suggest taking some care. Follow the instructions, use constant, even force, and it should pop free.

The hands didn't have that issue, and didn't pop off at the slightest touch either. I swapped them quite a few times too, and when they work this easily, it is an inducement to try out different poses.

Accessories - ****
Holy crap! Now this is what I consider a well outfitted action figure.

There's the extra portrait, which I already mentioned in the sculpt and paint sections. It's worth mentioning again though, and goes a long way to boosting the score here and in the Value section. The heads swap easily too, something that's always a plus.

There are four extra hands to go with the two fisted versions he comes wearing. There are two left and two right, each in a different relaxed grip pose. These work well with most of the accessories, although I would have liked at least one hand that could easily hold the tinier tools.

Speaking of the tools, there are six. All are made from metal, with working parts. There are four clamps, the sort used by surgeons to pinch off blood vessels or hold together wounds. There is also a set of locking pliers, sometimes referred to by the brand name 'vise grips'. While they don't lock, they do move, and can be posed in a number of cool ways.

The fifth tool is a small Exacto knife, which he used to operate on his damaged parts, particularly his eye. The only tool that fits perfectly in the various sculpted hands is the pliers, but you can finagle the others to work with a little patience.

The damaged right arm is included as well, with the forearm cut back to expose the inner mechanics. The hand on this arm is sculpted without the glove, and with the fingers sculpted in a pose that looks like he's testing the hydraulics, just like on screen.

The arm swap is not as easy as the hand or head swap, and in fact, I was very worried that I'd break something. It finally did pop out after pulling straight for an extended period of time, but I think I'll be sticking with the regular arm in my display.

He needs weapons of course, and there are three provided. My favorite and perhaps the most unique and recognizable is the .45 longslide pistol with the laser sight. They've reproduced it beautifully, complete with moving slide and hammer, as well as removable clip. Interesting side note - back in 84, laser sights were still some what science fiction, requiring a ton of juice. For the film, there was a battery pack inside Arnold's jacket that was wired to the gun's sight, and he turned it on with a switch in his other hand.

Purchased by the Terminator at the same time as the .45, there's the Uzi sub-machine gun. Hot Toys usual attention to detail is evident, right down to the leather strap around the stock.

Finally, there's a pump 12 gauge shotgun, which Arnold snagged when he stole one of the police cars. As I recall, Kyle Reese used a gun like this for a longer period in the film, but at least the T-800 did have it in his hands at one point.

There's a display stand too, of course, and like usual you really won't need it. There's also a couple extra wrist pegs, and hopefully you'll never need those, either. Nothing wrong with a little insurance though!

Outfit - ***1/2
Time travel in the Terminator Universe requires a complete lack of modesty, since non-organic items like clothes can't make the jump. That means Arnie got the chance to show up buck nekkid on screen, and not for the first time. Upon his arrival in present day, his first order of business was to get some clothes, and the first people he happened upon were three stupid punks (literally - remember this was 1984, when the punk scene was still big) wearing what passed for cool back then. This is that outfit, right down to the funky black shirt with graphitti-like designs.

Along with the sleeveless shirt, there's the cargo pants, gray coat, and classic square toed motorcycle boots. The pants and jacket look terrific, with very high quality material and stitching. The jacket even has a nylon liner, and all the buttons, pockets and zipper are in scale. The tailoring is top notch, and everything fits the underlying base body well.

I love the rivet pattern on the back, and this (as well as the chain around the left arm and shoulder) are real metal.

My only disappointment with the outfit is the boots, and it's a fairly minor disappointment. Generally, the boot sculpts and construction from Hot Toys is one of the highlights of a figure, but here they look cheaper than usual. It's hard for me to put my finger on just what it is, but something about them makes them seem more toyish and less realistic than we're accustomed to.

Fun Factor - ***
This is a very sturdy sixth scale action figure, especially for Hot Toys. Using metal for the small tools made them much stronger and less likely to break, and the rest of the accessories and costume are very durable. I still wouldn't give it to my 10 year old son to play with, but he'd have one Hell of a good time with it if I did. I just can't take that kind of stress anymore.

Value - **1/2
While this T-800 is on the high end even for Hot Toys, the impressive array of extras makes up for it. He's almost as well equipped as one of their DX releases, at a slightly lower price. You aren't getting a steal, but I'm comfortable giving him an average rating here.

Things to Watch Out For -
It didn't feel like I could break the right elbow when I was swapping the arms, but I still took my time, pulled straight, and used very even force. Any sharp movements to the side and you could snap the post.

Overall - ****
I hate to say it, but the competition for best male sixth scale figure is already done, and it's only February. This figure is great on so many levels, I'm not sure how anyone else is going to compete.

Hot Toys has done a terrific job providing fans of the franchise with the characters we want, and this figure pretty much finishes up my need for the T-800. If we can get the must have Kyle Reese, a young Sarah Connor, and a T-X, then I'd be about as happy with the series as I could possibly be.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Finding this guy now might be a bit tricky - there's some international dealers who still have him, but it looks like a lot of U.S. dealers are sold out. You can search ebay for a deal though and keep your fingers crossed!

Related Links -
Past Terminator reviews include:

- most recent was the T-1000, and the T-1000 as Sarah Connor.

- Sarah Connor from Hot Toys was also a recent release.

- check out the T-800 from T2, also from from Hot Toys.

- Hot Toys has a number of other Terminator sixth scale figures, including Marcus Wright, John Connor and the T-600, the T-600 with skin, as well as the T-700 and T-700 Diorama. They also have a T-800 Endo.

- also in the 12" range is the Sarah Connor sixth scale figure from Sideshow.

- then there's the guest review of the Hot Toys Kyle Reese, T-1000, the Kotobukiya TX, the Aoshima T-800 skeleton, Mcfarlane 12" Terminator 3.

- a recent release was the Premium Format T-800 from Sideshow.

- NECA also did a smaller version of the Endoskeleton with their Cult Classics, and McFarlane included one with the fifth series of Movie Maniacs. McFarlane also did figures based on T-3.

- and for the fans of smaller figures, there's the T2 mini-figures.

Discussion:
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Terminator T-800 sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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