SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Terminator T-800
Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format

Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles

I promised more Terminator reviews this week, but this isn't probably the one you were expecting. Don't worry, over at Quick Stop I have a review of some of the Playmates 3 3/4" Salvation figures.

But no matter how good (or bad) Salvation turns out to be, there will always only be one true Terminator for millions of fans - the T-800. In a role that helped cement his claim to stardom, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave us his greatest robotic performance. On purpose, this time.

Sideshow has done a number of smaller scaled figures based on the original films, as well as some larger Endoskeleton statues, but for their first Premium Format mixed media figure, they went with a non-battle damaged Arnie. There are two versions of course, a standard one that sells for $300 and was limited to 1500, and an exclusive (with an extra accessory) that sells for $320 and was limited to 750.

I'll be looking at the exclusive version, but the only difference is the price and the additional accessory, so all my comments on sculpt, outfit, paint, etc will apply to either version.

Packaging - ***
Hey, look! It's a big box! Yea, the packaging for the Premium Format statues is pretty straight forward, and I'd like it if we actually got some reference photos on them, but it does do job 1 really well - keeping the contents safe. Everything is packed tight and secure, with plenty of foam and wrapping to ensure safe arrival at your door.
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles
Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles

Sculpting - **1/2
My issues with this sculpt have nothing to do with the Arnold as T-800 likeness. In fact, it's an excellent portrait, and in person is one of the best we've gotten of the actor. From the steely eyed squint, to the particular shape of his head and jawline, to the size of the nose and lips, they've captured his appearance, at least from the neck up, extremely well.

However, I have to balance what's going on from the neck up with what's going on from the neck down, and that's not nearly as positive. It's not the pose - yes, it's a bit stiff and less dynamic that some folks might like, but this is a Terminator after all, not a character known for particularly dynamic poses - but rather the scale and proportions of the body.

The body is simply too slender and svelte. He's not skinny by any means, but this isn't the bulked up Arnold we all know and love. The chest, arms and shoulders are too thin and narrow to capture the proper look, and end up making the head look large.

This isn't an issue of cost, or at least it shouldn't be. Assuming the underlying body is largely new for this PF, it would not have cost them any more to get it right than to get it wrong. And considering the $300 price tag, they better get it right.

The base looks good, with an industrial appearance that reminds you of machines and factories without being too specific.

Paint - ***
The paint is very good work, flawed only in a few fairly minor ways. Of course, this goes back to mostly the head, but there are some paint ops on the hands and boots as well.

The skin tone is excellent, and the realistic work on the eyes and lips is great. The eyebrows are still a bit heavy handed, looking less realistic than the work done by Hot Toys or Enterbay at a smaller scale, but are at least clean and even.

The hair is decent, with a good multi-tone effect that gives it depth and brings out detail, but the hairline is slightly sloppy. The eyes show off some bleed as well, although with the squint it's tough to see.

As I said, the skin tone is good, but it does seem as though there's some extra grit in the paint itself. Many companies, Sideshow included, are going for a more textured look to the skin to add a realistic quality, which worked extremely well with their recent Hellboy II PF. There is some of that texturing here in the sculpt, and that looks excellent, but the paint itself also seems to have a bit of a texture, as though sand or dirt were present. They may have done that on purpose to add an additional roughness to the skin, but it doesn't work as well as the sculpted markings.

The gloves are a clean black that looks enough like leather to blend in with the outfit. The boots sport a nice dirty, weathered paint job which looks just like the real deal.

Articulation - Bupkis
As you'd expect with the modern Premium Format figure, he's just a statue. Some past PF's have actually included articulation, so this is worth noting in case you were expecting it, but the lack of it won't effect my overall score.

Accessories - **1/2
The exclusive version includes an accessory - a quarter scale version of the amputated Endoskeleton arm that Dr. Miles Dyson (you knew there was some sort of Cyberdyne technology inside those great vacuums!) kept secreted away.

The arm is in proper quarter scale, with some wonderful sculpting. There's even little wires on the inside of the forearm, that would control the movement of the fingers on the actual hand. It fits nicely in the base, and looks terrific. As an exclusive accessory, it's decent but not outstanding.

You could also count the belt and shells as accessories, since the six rounds can be removed from their loops, and the belt itself can be taken off the figure pretty easily.

I'm hitting them hard in this category because what we really needed - especially at this price point - was a swappable head. Yea, the endo arm is cute an all, but what we really need in a $300+ PF is an additional head sculpt - and with this figure, it's inclusion was simply too obvious. A battle damaged version, showing the exposed Endoskeleton beneath, really was a must have and not including it is a huge blow to this PF.

Outfit - ***1/2
While I fully admit that the likeness is excellent, it's really the outfit that's my favorite part of this PF. The leather like material looks amazing, is well tailored (taking into consideration the incorrectly proportioned body), and has some amazing details.

The tiny zippers on the jacket are in perfect scale, and the buttons, straps and buckles all look absolutely dead on. The stitching is high quality, and even the underlying gray shirt looks perfect. Jacket length was a problem for Indy, but not so for the T-800.

Value - *1/2
The exclusive version will run you $320 from Sideshow. That makes him one of their higher end PF's, but without a second head, he's really not worth the price. Compare this to their exceptional Indiana Jones, who was a great value at $280, and whose exclusive included a second hat-less head at that price!  This exclusive is costing you a full $40 more, earning it a much lower score in this category.

Things To Watch Out For
The metal post that attaches the statue to the base is a tight fit, and is much harder than the polyresin. Take your time to avoid damaging the base.

Overall - **1/2
I'm sure a fair share of folks are going to feel I'm being too harsh on this PF, but the simple fact is that he's a very expensive statue, even for a PF, and at that price point, he needs to be damn near perfect. The likeness and outfit are great, but the disproportioned body hurts the overall appearance of this statue far more than I thought it would.

And while the inclusion of the Endoskeleton arm is nice, this figure at this price point really required a second damaged head sculpt. There's really no good excuse for not including it.

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

Where to Buy -
Options include:

- the regular and exclusive versions were originally available at Sideshow, and the exclusive is currently available through the second chance opportunity offer.

- Corner Store Comics also it still on pre-order at $270.

- or you can peruse ebay looking for a deal.

Related Links -
With the upcoming movie, I'm covering a bunch of Terminator collectibles:

- last week, I looked at several of the 6" figures, and this week at Quick Stop I'm looking at several of the 3 3/4".

- backing up from there, there is the nicest Terminator toy produced (so far), the Endoskeleton from Hot Toys. I say so far, because they are also producing several sixth scale figures for the new movie.

- 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, and the Hot Toys T-800.

- 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:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!



Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Terminator T-800 statue premium format by Sideshow Collectibles



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

This page copyright 2000 - 2008, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com