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 with a
look at figure I said was going to be a top contender for figure of the
year when I reviewed it,
and I still stand by that! Tell us all about the T-800, Jeff...
After my laptop picked up a particularly virulent virus recently,
it meant a good number of my documents were wiped from existence;
amongst them was the first draft of this review. So feeling a little
like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (though if I were being more topical
perhaps I should have said Jake Gyllenhaall in Source Code) I set to
work as quick as I could and managed to remember 80% of what I wrote
first time around, I just hope the extra 20% I made up is better than
before, anyway enough with my cyber mishaps here is my second version.
seems like an eternity ago now, but was actually just a little over
five and a half years previous that I reviewed the MMS 002 from Hot
Toys, the Battle damaged T800 from The Terminator.
I then followed up with the MMS 001 of Kyle
and it’s fair to say that with the next few releases from the company
bought, reviewed and under my belt, I got pretty addicted to what
became the regular Hot Toys ‘fix’!
Fast forward to the
present, and here we are with the MMS 136, and it’s time to revisit the
original Terminator movie, and furthermore it’s plain to see, that even
though those two original releases were impressive, they were also very
much of their time when compared to the incredible portraits and paint
apps that we get routinely from the company today!
And the ‘two
heads’ of the creative team, that have helped cement the position of
the company, (namely Yulli Choi on sculpting duties and JC Hong on
paint) have come together to give us ‘two heads’ on the definitive
version of ‘THE’ Terminator (at this point in time at least… please do
a DX for us HT!).
I’ve already worn my heart on my sleeve with
my love of the original Terminator movie over the inferior sequels that
followed, I freely admit that T2 was by far and away the best of these
by a wide country mile, but the original still stands head and
shoulders above what followed. Not always in terms of production
values, and certainly not in terms of wardrobe and woeful 80’s
hairstyling, but as an original, well conceived, independently produced
work of art that helped set the die for what modern action movies are
today! So when viewed in this light The Terminator is important with a
capitol ‘I’, and it don’t hurt none that it was also solid gold
cinematic entertainment as well.
It was amongst the movies
that helped put Arnie on the road to super stardom and eventual
political office (OK, I guess it had some downsides). But it was the
perfect vehicle for his particular set of talents, as it showed him
playing the Terminator as just that… ‘The Terminator’!
original he was not some reformatted and reprogrammed quasi-father
figure and surrogate protector. Oh no, here he was an emotionless,
ruthless killing machine, and it has to be said that Mr Schwarzenegger
found his absolute perfect role in this movie, he was born to play the
T800, and he excelled. He didn’t over play it and he certainly didn’t
underplay it. In fact James Cameron managed to coax out of Arnie his
best and most memorable celluloid performance ever… You may disagree,
but you’d be wrong!
So yet again I’ve spelt out that this is my
favourite movie that both Arnie and Cameron have made, both
independently and together, so what am I gonna make of 1/6th version?
What do you think!
I already said I wasn’t that impressed with the T2 boxes, and this
doesn’t truly excite me either. However it has a few extra details and
flourishes that make it a more interesting design, to my mind anyway.
outer sleeve, like the T2 boxes has a closed top/lid, but there is no
duotone photography here, instead we have an embossed abstract design
mimicking elements of the Endoskeletons mechanical body, shown in
relief out of a metallic steel back ground. The metallic colour is made
out of three finishes, a darker steel tone, from which the mechanical
embossing is shown, then a secondary lighter brushed steel, and lastly
a super glossy band of polished steel running around the middle, out of
which the movie logo is shown. The side has die-cut windows through
which you can see pics of the figure on the side of the darker inner
box. This inner box has a large window on the front
the figure alongside all his accessories. The back has another photo of
the figure alongside a full list of production credits.
So, as I
said, there is nothing actually wrong with this box, but Hot Toys have
set a very high bar with their past releases, and this is nice, but
ultimately ‘no cigar’!*
(* well, not a full on Cuban- Cohiba anyway, maybe a Slim Panatela)
Sculpting - ****
Toys is building an ever more respected stable of creative talent,
totally across the board, not just sculpting and paint apps, but in
terms of tailoring, accessory design and graphic design as well. I
guess it’s fair to say that Howard Chan is da man when it comes to
having the eye for up and coming talent, and he obviously wants to make
every aspect of the Hot Toys ‘experience’ as outstanding and memorable
However, the two biggies that you HAVE to get right
when it comes to the ever improving arena of 1/6th is always going be
the sculpting and paint apps! And the two heads of the relevant
departments at Hot Toys are Yulli Choi and JC Hong, (would the word
legend be too big for the dynamic duo?
Well maybe to the
uninitiated, but for the collecting fan geeks out there it may be
considered a gross understatement, as between them they have
revolutionised the quality of the product we now get from hi-end
manufacturers, elevating it to almost beyond recognition of what we
were used to receiving a mere five or six years ago.
And on this
occasion the two heads of departments don’t just deliver one
outstanding character head in the package but two… yes two head
portraits from Yulli… oh happy day!
The work she did on the
sculpt for the T2 figure was so outstanding that I feared this version
would struggle to live up to the standard it had set, but I worried
unduly, as this is a spot on likeness and shows Arnie as a slightly
younger and chunkier man than he was by the time T2 came around!
at the two sculpts we get here side by side it became instantly
apparent that from the ears and nose down they share the exact same
sculpt, but Yulli has reworked the eyes, eyebrows (or lack of them) and
hair on the damaged head to suit his unique injuries. Both are
uncannily accurate, and show why Hot Toys are still so very revered in
this market. The fine tuning on the skin texturing and the amazing
detail captured in the way the two hair styles fall (with each
individual hair picked out), is just mind boggling! The work on the
damaged heads singed semi-mullet is nothing short of fantastic, but
it’s the undamaged heads slightly droopy fringe that captures the
classic look of Arnie in this role so, so perfectly for me.
this is up there with the very best 1/6th portraiture that Hot Toys
have ever done, and is arguably a contender for that very top spot. It
is a mini work of art, that along with the T2 version makes them just
about the strongest representations of the Terminator made commercially
available at any scale, well, in my most humble opinion anyway!
So far JC Hong
has never let us down, and once again he just blows our socks off with
another sublime paint app! The flesh tones are as always understated
but still manage to look spookily life-like, but it’s those super
glossy wet look eyes that truly bring the figure to life. On the
damaged head the left eye is closed-up and slightly swollen, and is
made all the more visceral by the clever use of the semi translucent
glossy ‘blood’ paint, that streams down over the cheek. The hair on
both is painted a flat matte brown, but this dull tone helps the light
and shadow define the underlying details perfectly.
All the hands
bar the one for the damaged arm are wearing fingerless, studded leather
gloves, and the division lines and individual studs are all picked out
crisply and accurately. Another 4 star job all round!
sometimes think that literally every other company producing 1/6th
(well, pretty much any scale really) must despair. Sure some other
companies have licences that I’m sure Hot Toys would give their eye
teeth for, but when it comes to the actual final quality of the product
we get delivered, then in paint terms alone Hot Toys are in a league of
There’s is no
denying than when it comes to iconic looks then the full bike leathers
ensemble certainly gave the T800 a big boost of badassness in T2, but
one could say that the look was also more than a little clichéd.
in the original movie we get a more ‘on the run’ thrift-shop aesthetic
from both the time travelling hero Reese and his nemesis the T800.
After arriving naked in 1984 the unstoppable killing machine forcefully
takes his outfit from a hapless street
meaning his look is a mish-mash of different customised garments
consisting of engineers boots with a studded strap on his left ankle,
beige cargo pants, a tight sleeveless T-shirt (with a design that would
get you arrested these days by the taste police, and for good reason…
god the 80’s were awful!) and lastly a severely modded M-65 field
jacket, which can be seen in great detail here
(kudos to Hot Toys on details like the studded elbow pad… nice!). Both
the pants and jacket have working pockets throughout, but the jacket is
just covered in supremely well observed details… of course it doesn’t
alter the fact that it is an absolutely horrendous looking garment, but
that has more to do with the ‘supposed’ fashion of 80’s street punks
rather than an indictment of the T800’s sartorial taste. But it’s also
obvious looking back over the movies that the working T800 in the field
is more concerned with finding garments that:
A- Fit his large frame. And
B- Provide protection for his flesh covering.
am however mystified that his basic programming doesn’t make him search
out clothing to help him blend in and disappear a little more in his
location, OK, I might be taking things just a little too seriously, but
hey, these are the kind of things that keep me awake at night!
ultimately I’m hugely impressed by the detailing here, things like the
abstract patterns on the T-shirt and the size and shape of the links on
the chain that hangs around his left arm are so well realised at this
scale that once again he gets a home run in this category, it’s a no
brainer! (I also want to emphasise that the pics of the T800 in the
leather jacket are made using the first release of the battle damaged
T800 seen here
THEY ARE NOT included in this set).
Like the figure of Arnie
from T2 they have used the newly
developed body specific to the physique of Mr Schwarzenegger. It’s a
base bod that looks great even when the clothing is removed, but to get
that impressive aesthetic, they had to lose some of the finer points of
However you can still achieve a great range of poses, as you can see here from
when I stripped off the T2, T800.
definitely worth reading over the instructions that come with the
figure as they advise you on the posing and moving of the body. The
neck, chest and abdomen are all painted rubber/silicone, so any
abrasive rubbing could damage the outer coat. Don’t worry though, as
with normal ‘respectful’ handling it’s more than up to standard posing,
as it has a pretty robust paint finish, but remember to tilt the face
up before turning the head as the inside of the chin could potentially
scratch the paint on the neck. Apart from that it’s all good to go, and
I’m more than happy with the range of poses I could achieve, however
when compared to a regular True-Type (which for many of us is still the
yardstick by which we measure a 1/6th figures full potential), then
there is no denying this guy comes up a little short, but by god he
does it with style and makes up for it by looking so darned good.
a lot of people I am praying we get a DX version of this guy further
down the road. As a battle damaged T800 with the leather jacket,
Gargoyle shades and a red light up eye feature would be
I still have my original HT T800
fig which has the outfit and extras to make a good
representation of this look, as seen here.
But the quality of every aspect of Hot Toys productions has come so far
since then that I think this is such an iconic character it fully
deservers the DX treatment, and lets face it, all the Arnie figures so
far have sold out quicker than Nick Clegg at a Tory party conference
(sorry bit of a Brit based joke there), so it would seem an obvious
choice to do both the original and T2 T800’s as DX figures, it’s
basically a licence to print money! But back to this figure, what we
actually get here is-
- Battle damaged head (worth the entrance
- One pair of relaxed hands
- One pair of gloved fisted hands
- One pair of hands for holding guns
- One damaged right arm + hand
- One AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide +
laser site hand gun
- One IMI Uzi machine gun
- One Ithaca 37 shot gun
- One pair of medical pliers (metal)
- One surgical scalpel (metal)
- Four pairs of scissor action medical
- Figure stand with T800 nameplate and
the Terminator movie logo
You can get a good look at all the weapons on the ever-reliable IMFDB here,
and suffice to say all the weapons are well represented, well, apart
from the AR-18 and SPAS-12 shotgun… yet more reason for that DX
version! The guns have removable magazines, cocking mechanisms and
‘pump actions’ wherever applicable and the hands provided hold them
well. The medical tools are all made of metal and with some gentle
coaxing and manipulation he can be posed well with them working on the
battle damaged forearm, and apart from the scalpel they all have moving
parts, with the pliers being the most detailed. The arm itself proved
quite tricky to swap over, to the point of a light sweat breaking out.
In the end I removed the hand first then dipped the whole arm in
boiling water, after about a thirty second dunk I found it popped out a
lot easier. I’m tempted to just leave the damaged arm in place, as when
the jacket sleeve is rolled down you can’t see it, and when he carries
out the field surgery in the movie, he carries it out with the jacket
on and the sleeve rolled up. The detailing on the damaged arm is nice
and gory with some finely observed detailing on the exposed servos and
pistons, and the specific hand that is sculpted to accompany the arm is
in a great pose for when the T800 is testing how his repair job has
gone. The extra head was described in detail above, and it’s this
addition that pushes the final score category so high here. As it means
that earlier T800 release can now have a fitting head attached to his shoulders,
and the original head can become some random battle damaged T800 to
stand in the background.
also get a great selection of hands to interact with his haul of
goodies, all of which swapped over easily, so you should have no need
for the extra wrist pegs included. Lastly there is the classic figure
stand, but as always, unless absolutely necessary mine stay in the box,
so this one is destined to life of darkness. Basically this is an
outstanding collection of extras, helping to make this a pretty
essential part of any self respecting Terminator fans collection.
Factor - ****
comes to Terminator movies I have never made it secret that I consider
the original by far and away the best, so for me this has been
something of a grail figure for a very long time. In the past there
have been some exceptional bootlegs and fan made versions, and yes I
have been tempted.
However, the fact that Hot Toys finally got
the green light to create my favourite version of Arnie ever, has made
me a very happy geek indeed!
The outstanding attention to detail
on the costuming, accessories, specially developed body… not to mention
the inclusion of two heads means this is for myself and countless
others something of a dream release. And even though the articulation
is a little limited it still represents the character near perfectly,
and can assume pretty much all the signature poses you could wish for
(OK, the naked crouch he arrives in might be a little tough, but what
sick puppy wants that’s pose?).
That was one of the few scenes where the Terminator arrival was
actually more enjoyable in T3…
guess it had to have some redeeming features.
Of course, as we say till we are blue in the face, this is not one for
kids, but neither was the movie!
for money - ***1/2
people who have waited for an ‘official’ release of this figure, and
who are aware of what kind of prices were being paid for good quality
versions made by customisers, then the asking price here actually might
seem like a gift from the gods.
However, those people will most
likely be in the minority. Lets face it, most sane adults will baulk
when they see the price tag on a glorified GI Joe that asks them to
part with nearly $200 of their hard earned cash. But those same folks
would also be dumbfounded to see just how incredibly fast that same
figure then went on to sell out on all the usual retail sites, and its
price then start to skyrocket on the grey markets!
For those of
us in the know however it was obvious that this was one to get early
and in multiples if you could afford it, as like the T2- T800 it is one
of those instantly recognisable iconic figures, and it has the added
bonus of a pair of portraits that are jaw droppingly good.
So, though I can’t give it a full score, it still gets a lot closer
than many other figures would in this price band.
I guess what I
said in fun factor kind of spills into this category as well. The
overall package is virtually faultless, yeah, it ain’t cheap, but
hi-end über detailed characters from top licences that depict top
Hollywood stars never are.
can beg, borrow… but stop short of stealing the money you need for this
bad boy, then I’d say get him, and get him SOON… but by the time you
read this it may already be too late!
Where to buy
Sideshow sold out of this guy just about as fast as you’d expect, but
the waitlist is always worth a punt.
did try looking it up on some of the sites sponspors, but its dryer out
there than a wamp rats mouth in the midday suns, so your best bet is
gonna be a trade fair or eBay, but on eBay
this guy is already demanding between $250 to $300 a pop. So lets hope
Hot Toys come through and give us a DX or at least a second regular
version of the police station shoot out.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.