T-700 Diorama
Terminator Salvation From Hot Toys

T-700 Diorama Terminator Salvation sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

Okay, I'll admit it - I haven't seen Terminator: Salvation yet. Yea, I know, I'm a baaaaad boy. But when the lukewarm reviews started coming in, I didn't feel the need to see it right away, and then some other films hit that took priority. Such is life - I'll catch it on Blu-ray.

That hasn't dulled my interest in the figures from Hot Toys, however. I jumped on the pre-order for the new T-600 (with rotting skin!) as soon as it went up, and I can't wait for my Marcus and John to hit the porch.

Hot Toys has been adding in some extras lately, little items that can improve the overall look of your display. One of these is the T-700 Diorama, designed to appear like one of the production line Endoskeletons, half built. While the full scale T-700 cost over $100, this diorama version runs around $70 - $80, depending on the retailer.

Packaging -****
Hot Toys has developed a new style of packaging for their Terminator line, going with a sculpted foam box with a smaller cardboard sleeve. The foam is carved to emulate a machined appearance, and includes the logo and name. It's also the same gun metal gray as the T-700, and it is extremely sturdy and solid. I really like this new package, and I also really like the creativity behind the design.

Sculpt - ****
If you like the full sixth scale T-700, you'll like this guy, as they are largely identical.

There's a few differences, most notably the obvious lack of some of the intricate wires and hoses around the shoulders and in the torso, but that befits this mid-assembly version. The detailing is just as amazing as usual, and that hammered metal texturing to the skin is just outstanding. It adds so much realism that you'd swear this was forged iron and not plastic.
T-700 Terminator Salvation diorama sixth scale by Hot Toys
T-700 Diorama Terminator Salvation sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
T-700 Diorama Terminator Salvation sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
T-700 Diorama Terminator Salvation sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
T-700 Diorama Terminator Salvation sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys
The base comes in three pieces. There's the actual overall base, with the Terminator Salvation logo on the front. This is given a more machined, smooth metal look. The second piece is the complete upper section, including the torso and head of the incomplete robot. Finally, there's a third piece, a clear plastic rod that the upper piece slides over, and it then inserts into the base, holding it all together.

The sculpted buttons, lights, switches, etc, are all very well done and look like something you'd see in any assembly plant today. The overall piece stands about 15" tall, giving it a commanding appearance with the other figures.

Paint - ****
Great sculpts deserve great paint. In fact, bad paint can completely obfuscate a beautiful sculpt, rendering the work almost moot.

But great paint can save even a poor sculpt, and when you match great paint with a great sculpt, you get perfection. You thought I was going to say 'great' again, didn't you?

The gun metal paint job on the torso and head is fantastic, and there's even some wear and damage added around the cheeks, nose and other high points. The paint work also highlights the fine texture of the underlying sculpt, bringing out the detail beautifully.

The paint work on the rest of the diorama is intended to give a realistic appearance to the shop machine, and they've added appropriate grime, dirt, oil and wear. Sometimes it's not about matching what would actually be 'real', but about matching our expectations of reality. Sure, think about it too long and you'd realize a factory run by machines making machines would probably be so spotless you could eat off the floor, but this kind of grime is what we come to expect in this type of situation, so it is perfectly appropriate.

Articulation - ***1/2
While this is a static diorama piece, there's still some pretty cool articulation.

Without any arms and legs, you'd think the Endo would be pretty immobile, but he has the same well designed neck and the completed version. He also lacks some of the hoses and attachments that the complete robot includes, giving the neck even a bit more mobility. The head can tilt in multiple, realistic ways, and it can even turn a reasonable distance - considering the pistons on either side - to give you the evil stare.

He also has an articulated jaw, allowing open and closed mouth poses. Some folks prefer one over the other, although I think he looks equally good either way.

Accessories - Bupkis
Other than the pieces for the diorama, there's nothing additional. I won't be deducting anything from overall due to this, since I didn't expect anything, but I wanted to point it out to set your expectation.

Light Up Feature - ***
The light up feature started out strong, but faded pretty quick.

Press a button on the stand (below the T-700) and his eyes light up, as well as the six lights above. Actually, it appears as though there is only one very bright LED behind the six red and green covers, making it look like there are six lights.

The button works well, the batteries are well hidden but relatively easy to change as long as you have a handy small screwdriver, and the batteries are included. When I first turned it on, it was blindingly bright. But it faded out pretty quick. You can see in the photos, where the first and last photo shows how bright it started out, the second photo down on the left shows the top lights pretty much out but the eyes still pretty bright, and by the 4th photo down, even the eyes are starting to fade.

This is probably due to weak batteries, and I don't have any additional ones handy right now to test the theory. It's a minor deduction since it's just the batteries, but giving me (and presumably charging me for) batteries that don't work is worse than giving me no batteries at all.

Another annoyance with the feature is the wires themselves that run from the base to the top and in between. There isn't a way designed into the piece to hide them or wrap them up neatly, so you'll have to come up with your own way to deal with the excess length. For longer term display I plan on wrapping them around the pole and then twisty tying up the excess behind the body, but you'll have to come up with something that you like the look of.

It's not a deduction, but a nice addition to the lights would have been either a blinking pattern to the red and green, or the ability to light them separately. That would have required more than the one LED of course, but it would have been a nice upgrade to the diorama.

Fun Factor - **
While the figures themselves have plenty of play potential (if your last name happens to be Trump), this is really designed as a display item for the collector to add to his shelf. Go in expecting that (like I did) and it's unlikely to have any effect on your overall impression.

Value - **
Things have certainly gotten more expensive in the sixth scale world over the last couple years, but sometimes that extra expense seems truly worth it. Just look at the work involved with a figure like the Iron Man Mark I, and you'll see what I mean.

But other times, it seems like you're paying more than you really should, and this is one of those times. Yes, the sculpt and paint are amazing, but let's remember that this is largely a re-used figure. It's not identical, since it lacks some of the tubes and wires that were included in the torso and neck of the full scale size, but that should even make it cheaper to assemble. It's not outrageously overpriced, but I think that you need to get it around $60 to get that extra half star in this category.

Things To Watch Out For
I found that putting the pieces together, particularly sliding them on to the clear rod, requires a little muscle grease, but I was able to do it without breaking anything. You might want to put a little water on the rod to add some extra lubrication.

Overall - ***1/2
As I said in the intro, I haven't seen the movie yet and I'm still loving Hot Toys work on the overall line. I'm just hoping that we get to see them pick up the older movies, much like they did with the Predator series where they started largely with the newer Aliens Vs Predator line, and worked their way backward to the classic. We've already seen what they can do with Arnie with their Predator Dutch figure - can you imagine how cool a T-800 would be, complete with alternate battle damaged head, arm and coat?

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint -  ****
Articulation  - ***
Accessories - Bupkis
Light Up Feature - ***
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Sideshow is sold out at $80, but you can get on the wait list.

- CornerStoreComics has it for $72.

- or you can hit ebay.

Related Links -
Other Terminator goodies include:

- Hot Toys recently released their sixth scale T-700.

- there's also their T-800 Endo, and the Sarah Conner 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.

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

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

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