Terminator: Salvation Final Battle
Exclusive version - Hot Toys
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff is back tonight to look at
the latest Terminator Salvation figure from Hot Toys - the battle
damaged John! I should be doing my own take on this figure soon, but
tonight we'll see what Jeff thinks - take it away, Mr. Parker!
2010 promises a whole crop of great new fan favourite block-buster
movies, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans and Tron:
Legacy to name but a few. As we know Hot Toys has already secured the
license for all of these, so it’s a year that might be remembered for
all the overtime we need to do, if we are to be able to afford all the
stuff that’s gonna be hitting us so very soon.
Last years blockbusters are now feeling like a distant memory, and some
didn’t quite do the business that was hoped of them.
Terminator: Salvation (T: S) was amongst the also rans, it did
perfectly respectable box-office, but these days respectable don’t cut
the mustard, and with Mr Cameron’s new 3D yardstick, it’s a whole new
ball game out there! Anyway, regardless of how the movie performed the
figures from Hot Toys for T: S were among the strongest of the year, so
here we are with what seems to be their last offering from the movie,
note the choice of the word ‘seems’, as with Hot Toys you can never
quite tell… and we should never write ANY license off!
|Both Mike and
myself have covered this line of figures pretty
extensively throughout 2009, and it proved to be one of the most
popular series of the year (doing well in the Poppies, Peoples Choice
and Mikes personal faves of the year).
After all, how could it
fail, when it comes to ‘action figures’, what do we all want… robots,
cyborgs, zombies and post apocalyptic heroes that are armed to the
teeth, and this line managed to deliver all of these… OK, OK, the
zombies were robots disguised as humans that looked like zombies, but
hey… it’s still a good strike rate!
So, if you’ve read the book,
seen the movie, bought the T-shirt and already have the first version
of JC… do you really need another?
Well, this one comes with an über cool multi-articulated, light up
OK, I’m gonna make a leap of faith here by taking for granted that you
have been following our reviews for the Hot Toys series of figures from
So I admit that in that respect this is gonna be a bit of a lazy
review, as some aspects of this figure are either similar to, or
re-used from the first JC release. This packaging needs no introduction
or explanation at all, it’s very much part of the same stable as The Endos, Marcus Wright,
and of course the first version of John
So it’s the same design of Styrofoam boxes we’ve had for that
selection, and as far as I’m concerned that’s a pretty cool
continuation, no complaints here!
You’ll find the figure packed in one half of the case and the hydrobot
and environment stand in the other. All are held securely with no need
for twisties. The outside again has the full colour printed narrow
sleeve to give an idea of the goodies that lay nestled within.
To be honest this appears to be the exact same sculpt as was used on
the previous JC, but this version has a few bumps and scratches after
his encounter with Skynets finest.
So, as that first one got a full a score there’s no way this one
couldn’t. However that’s not to say I don’t have a modicum of
disappointment, part of me would dearly have loved Mr Ko Jun to revisit
his original sculpt with a slightly different, perhaps more extreme
expression. But I guess when the stars have aligned enough to get a
first sculpt this good, it does kind of make sense for HT to milk it,
at least a little.
So, once again, we have the portrait of Bale with his favourite intense
expression (his ‘blue steel’ if you will), that gives Ko Jun an excuse
to show off his masterful work on skin texturing and super fine hair
I really have very little to say that hasn’t been said in my first
low-down on the figure, other than this has the ‘battle damage’
consisting of a Y shaped cut on his left cheek and a crescent shaped
cut on the left of his forehead plus a bit of general blood spattering.
This has to be up there with some of Hot Toys finest work to date, and
although there are still some people out there saying it looks like
David Beckham, to me it is undeniably 100% Christian Bale.
Although this utilises the same sculpt as the earlier version, the
paint app is slightly different because of that battle damage, but on
the whole it still shares a lot of ground with the first. The base skin
tones are similar, but where as that first one had quite a matte
finish, this new version looks slightly dirtier and sweatier. All the
cuts are achieved with the paint app using quite a thick ‘built up’
paint to give the effect of the cut or scar beneath. The colour used on
the blood here is very convincing too, as often the temptation is to go
too red or too brown when blood is painted onto a figure. The eyes are
as crisp and clear as ever with that trademark glint in them… sometimes
I swear these things are going to blink.
All other paint apps are on his hands, boots and accessories, but I’ll
single out his boots for a special mention as the detail work on the
tiny zips and laces is so easy to overlook when taking the figure in as
a whole. But when you really scrutinise these figures it makes you
appreciate just how seriously every aspect of the figures production
has been taken. Outstanding.
- *** 1/2
John comes on the classic TT
and as this outfit is all fabric, its impact on his movement is pretty
minimal, with the only area of the note being the ankles, as the
sculpted boots make this area pretty immobile. So you’ll get all the
poses you could want, and he can interact with all his accessories very
There really is very little more to say, the hydrobot also has a whole
mess of joints, but I’ll cover his shiny metal ass in accessories.
Even though we pay extra for the privilege, this version of JC comes
packing some most impressive extras, consisting of-
- Backpack (Oakley
- Headset (as before)
- Radio with pouch (as before)
- Pistol Magazine pouch
- Shoulder pad
- Drop leg panels (as before… well nearly)
- Projectile grenades x 4, with arm holder.
- Resistance armband
- HK416 with tactical red dot sight
grenade launcher with elastic sling
- Pistol with holster (as before)
- Environment base (featuring damaged Endoskeleton)
- Hydrobot (articulated with light up feature)
- Hand held portable computer (exclusive version only)
As with some of the other sections, this category features some re-use
of items (which would have been covered in the review linked to above).
So here I’m gonna cover the new bits.
Firstly I’ll get that exclusive item out of the way, it’s a small
handheld PC with some great details, the tiny buttons and keypad even
have microscopic painted elements. The screen has a predominantly red
pic, which seems to be a wire-frame image of a landscape and profile of
a T-600. The screen slides up to reveal the keypad. Ultimately it’s a
non essential bit of kit (which is good, as I believe exclusives should
be a nice bonus, rather than a must have item) but it’s still a cool
addition if you got in early enough.
The weapons are all up to Hot Toys usual standard with some amazing
details and all have articulated elements.
has a sliding stock, a hinge just in front of the magazine to break
forward, a removable magazine (plus 2 spares that fit into holders on
the drop panel on his left leg), a red dot sight and an adjustable
has a slide out stock and a sliding barrel latch to insert the grenades
(which are held in loops on his left arm). The pistol can cock and also
has a removable magazine. His backpack has adjustable carry straps,
working Velcro closing straps, a drawstring top and a zip-open front
panel (ideal for that hand held PC).
There’s also a very impressive dioramic stand featuring a downed T600
on a patch of dirty sandy earth. There are some great details here on
things like the skull and bandoliers with shot-gun shells. I bet I
won’t be the only one to see if the shells are removable… I’ll let you
find out for yourself though. There is a slot to add the figure holder
should you want, but JC stands well without it, so for me it works just
fine as a base, rather than actual support. The paint app here is also
pretty damn good, with some nice convincing metallic tones on the Endo
and differing colours on the straps, shells and earth, which are then
all keyed together with some darker dirt tones which seem to have been
applied in a number of ways from sponging, air-brushing and fine washes.
And lastly, we get the pièce de résistance, the veritable icing on the
cake, and the reason that many people will find this release
indespensible… I give you ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
the multi-articulated hydrobot!
Now apparently Hot Toys originally planned for this to be included with
an earlier release (my guess is Marcus), but they were left scratching
their collective heads about many of the details on this thing, as the
license company made very little reference available to them. All I can
say is, if that’s actually the case, then they still seem to have
pulled an amazing piece of work out of the bag, just look at these
shots of the actual prop
here. Although the one thing I will say is that the prop
looks to have at least 13 vertebrae sections, where as this
representation has eight vertebrae between the head and tail. There are
also some great reference shots
here that show just how supremely well observed this thing
has been. So having studied those shots pretty closely I’m very, very
impressed by this figural representation, especially as Hot Toys have
managed to cram so much articulation and the cool ‘light up’ action
feature on what is in effect quite a diminutive piece of work.
Each vertebra has two rings held top and bottom by an intersecting
panel, all these sections in turn have wire springs running within
these vertebrae down its entire length. This beautifully engineered… I
was going to say toy, but it’s too small a word, ‘piece of 1/6th pop
art’ ends up having a fantastically fluid range of motion. If you hold
the head and tail in separate hands and ‘flex’ it about, you’ll see
just how serpent like it’s motions can be. The head also has six
mandibles with two hinged articulated points on each, and a nasty
looking ‘oral’ drill
bit in its centre that turns freely, for those hard to reach
areas! The top and bottom large mandibles are also connected to two
wire springs on either side… nice.
Lastly there’s the light up feature, a small well disguised button
behind the top mandible can be depressed to illuminate two wonderfully
bright ‘terminator’ LED eyes, a small thing I know… but it adds oh so
much! The overall paint app here is a dark ‘n’ dirty gun metal, but
it’s very uniform over the whole hydrobot, and manages to make this
thing look like actual metal.
All in all a very cool haul, which ever way you look at it.
By way of personal preference, I would have to say JC’s first outfit
still gets my top vote, but this outfit is still so well put together
it can’t be anything but a full score. If you think of the first
release as wearing his day-to-day, surviving in a post apocalyptic
future, practical yet stylish look. This second release is more his
black ops, ‘do not even think of getting in my way’ utility look.
The boots are the same as before, at first glance I thought the
trousers were too, but they are actually totally different, The tiger
stripe pattern is now gone replaced by a dirty, dark oily green. They
have the same knee pads as before but are a different cut, with more
working pockets and zips running up the outside of the lower leg. He
also comes with a completely new field jacket, it’s a washed out and
battered dark green, I’m loving the weathering and implied dirt on the
elbows and along the edges, very convincing.
It has working pockets, a working zip up the front, a velcroed collar
tab and zip hood panel around the back of the collar, it also features
velco cuff tabs. Over this jacket he wears a netting tactical vest and
webbing harness, incorporating a belt from which his various pouches
and holsters hang. The vest also has a keypad hanging from the right
hand chest strap, handy for plugging in and sabotaging enemy
mainframes. The left arm has the distinctive bright red armband to
denote his allegiance to the resistance and that’s about it as far as
his actual clothes are concerned. So in terms of different elements,
only the boots are reused, both also have t-shirts under the jackets,
but I haven’t undressed either of mine, however I suspect they will be
the same as well. Easily another 4 star category.
Value - *** 1/2
This version of JC has an official price of $189.99, which may seem a
little steep to many, and I can certainly see why. The first figure of
JC retailed at $139.99, so at the end of the day the hydrobot and base
end up adding an extra $50, and you can bet your bottom dollar most of
that went on the hydrobot!
However I checked it out on eBay and the ‘bot’ is demanding a parted
out ‘buy it now price’ of between $65 to $109 by itself… so I guess the
adage ‘you pays your money, and makes your choice’ is pretty apt
here. I suppose if a company like McFarlane had made the
‘bot’ he’d have ended up costing about $20… but it wouldn’t have had
the cool articulated engineering with the metal springs, or the light
up feature, so… as I said… you pays your money, and ultimately you get
what you pay for!
For me, the whole set is so impressive that it ends up feeling like
it’s not actually too overpriced, but had the package been more in the
$160 to $175 price bracket it would have seemed a lot more like a
bargain (check out the where to buy section below as there are some
good deals out there).
As it is, even though this release is creeping dangerously close to the
$200 ceiling, you’re still getting quite a bit of bang for that hard
earned buck. It does make you think back though, there must be plenty
of us out there who remember telling ourselves ‘I’ll never pay over
$100 for a figure’… now look at us!
Factor - ****
Even if this category had only been based on the figure alone I would
have given him a full score, he is just crying out to be posed and
played with. However on this occasion it isn’t just JC, but that cool
hydrobot as well. Now admittedly it’s actually meant to be a compact
hunter killer that moves like a robotic ninja eel through water… but I
don’t think many of us will be playing with ours in the bath (I mean
the hydrobot), as submerging this thing, with it’s metal springs and
battery compartment for the light up feature is surely a recipe for
No, this is purely meant to be displayed either dead and motionless at
JC’s feet or in mid attack with him fighting it off, and luckily both
figures are more than up to either of those tasks. The solid
construction means you can handle both with confidence, but do take
care with some of JC’s accessories, as although it’s officially a toy,
it ain't no child’s play thing by a long shot. As I said in my last JC
review, if you have a kid who wants to play Terminator there are plenty
of Playmates T: S figures going for next to nothing in the clearance
- *** 3/4
In terms of quality this is obviously a four star figure, but that
hefty price tag has meant I just can’t give it a full score when based
on the RRP of $190. However, with a little shopping around you can find
him for as little as $170 in a few stores and on eBay I’ve seen a few
with ‘Buy It Now's’ of $160 and even as low as $150 here,
so if you can get him for this price it’s gotta be a full mark for both
‘price’ and ‘overall’, no problem.
to Buy -
Sideshow had two versions available, the regular for $189.99 and the
exclusive with the extra hand held PC $194.99. You can also try some of
Michael’s sponsor’s below where you’l find a few cheaper options-
Alter Ego Comics
Big Bad Toy Store
Or you can hit eBay.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.