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
|One of my favorite figures so
far this year is the T-800 from Termintor 2, released by Hot Toys. I
did my review a
short while ago, but tonight Jeff Parker is giving us his take on it.
Tell us all about it, Jeff!
A big thank you to Michael, who scored this guy and reviewed him
about a month ago, it was a comprehensive low-down, so, did I really
need to stick my two cents in? Hell yeah, when something is this good I
wasn’t gonna leave it off my hectic rota of cool 1/6th figures that
MUST be reviewed!
OK, I’ve already gone on record in the past
saying that James Cameron is not my personal director du jour. I’m
invariably entertained by his movies, he certainly knows how to make a
crowd pleaser and put aheluvalot of bums on seats, but I guess the fact
that he directed the worlds two biggest grossing movies of all time
spells that out big time. My problem has always been his lack of
originality… well, apart from his seminal Terminator movie that is, of
course even that isn’t perfect and is flawed in many ways (try making
any time-travel movie and you open a nest of ‘quantum mechanical’
vipers, plus there’s the unfortunate setting in the early 80’s, a time
famous for its crimes against fashion, music and of course big hair)
but it still remains the movie of his I can watch without feeling like
I’ve seen it all before somewhere else. Which of inevitably brings us
on to Terminator: 2 (T2), but the déjà vu is excusable here, because at
least Cameron was referencing himself, and as sequels go it’s gotta be
up there with some of the best, in fact along with ALIENS it’s arguable
he managed to make two of the finest sci-fi sequels ever made (though
Kershner has him beat with Empire imho).
In the movie the
titular Terminator, the machine that absolutely would never stop, would
never rest until it’s mark was wiped from the face of the Earth, all of
a sudden became protector, hero, almost verging on a father figure.
Supposedly this was part of Arnie's stipulation, as with his star
status rising rapidly at the time, he wanted to be seen as a good guy,
not just a relentless killing machine. And it has to be said respect is
due to Cameron, as the change in dynamics could have turned out pretty
saccharine, but it certainly didn’t end up that way.
worth pointing out, that though T2 is an also ran compared to the
original Terminator (for me), to many other people (mostly those too
young to remember the impact the original had when it hit cinemas) it
is THE Terminator movie. It was bigger, brasher and a lot more polished
than its predecessor, and the fact Arnie got to be the hero made him
even more of an icon than he already was! And when Hot Toys carried out
a poll on their website as to which version the fans wanted to see
first, then this version won by a huge landslide.
|So, if you are a
fan of the man mountain that is Arnold Alois
Schwarzenegger, the man who has spent the last seven years as the
republican Governor of California (it really could only happen in
America), then this is just about the most iconic version of him that
you could wish to have for your shelf. And it sure don’t hurt that it
turned out to be one of Hot Toys finest figures to date!
sorry; this just did not float my boat. It’s a nice solid bit of
design, but the reliance on photos of the figure and the monochrome
colour-way just don’t get me too excited.
I’d guess that with
Mr Cameron’s notoriety rising ever higher, he perhaps understands the
power and iconography of his own back catalogue, and as such the use of
images from the movie in promoting related items is probably so
prohibitively expensive that Hot Toys thought better of it… and I say
good for them.
Jim Cameron’s pockets are lined more than well
enough already, and greedy licensors can go **** themselves (and no,
that is not a 4 star rating!). However the final design they settled on
is to my way of thinking just a little dull. I’m sure it might come
into it’s own once a few more figures from the movie have fleshed the
line out, making the display options (well for the MIB'ers anyway) a
little more impactful.
It’s basically an outer slipcase box that
slides on/off over the top (and only the top, as it has a lid). It has
a monochrome image of the figures face wearing the shades on the front
alongside an embossed T2 logo. The stock the images are printed onto is
an iridescent silver colour which helps give depth to the photos but
sadly it also kills the contrast, it reminds me of the silver gelatine
prints I used to do in the dark room, back in the halcyon days before
digital photography (gets misty eyed and floats away for a while). The
inner box has a large window on the front showing the fully constructed
and clothed figure, well, I say showing. Hot Toys have actually peen
pretty conservative with the size of the box here (which I hasten to
add I think is a good thing) meaning that with figure measuring in at a
little over 12” (Arnie is 6’2”, well done HT!) the top of the head is
just clipped, so he peeks from beneath the fop edge.
The back of
the inner box shows another large head shot of the figure but without
the shades. It’s testament to the combined work of Yulli and JC Hong
that the 1/6th sculpt can be blown up this big and still look so darned
impressive. The untrained eye, at first glance would invariably think
it was an actual photo of Arnie in character.
Inside the box the figure and accessories are held secure in a black
vac-formed tray without the need for any twisties.
as I said a solid piece of design, well put together and constructed of
sturdy cardboard, just not one my favourites from Dixon Chan &
Monster Jnr (who have in the past been responsible for many of the most
memorable bits of packaging for HT, well, for me anyway).
you do a thing, the better you get at that thing, and Yulli, the chief
sculptor at Hot Toys has shown this to be true time after time. It’s
most evident on her Sly Stallone sculpts which started out strong but
soon went to being sublime. And here she does it again!
Last year I reviewed her work on the figure of Major ‘Dutch' Schaefer
from Predator, and I still maintain it’s a sculpt that would take a lot
of beating… but somehow she’s done it, she has managed to trump
herself. But I guess if anyone is going to better a Yulli sculpt, who
better to do it than Yulli.
The expression is so spot-on, and is
captured to utter consummate perfection; she has made what is for now
the definitive 1/6th sculpt of Arnie… (Well, till she does the next
one). The face is fixed in a ruthlessly determined stare, brow
furrowed, mouth slightly down turned and eyes staring straight forward.
The deft detailing on the skin texturing and fine lines and wrinkles is
nothing short of amazing, especially when you consider the scale. The
hair is also worthy of note, as getting spiky hair to look convincing
at ANY scale can be quite a challenge, but here it is carried out with
breathtaking efficiency. It really does bear the closest of scrutiny,
and looks incredibly accurate to the way Arnie wore it in the movie.
The top section over his forehead goes straight up, and then as it
spreads over the top it begins to gently lie down before radiating flat
at the back. He also comes with a selection of six hands two fists, two
in a general resting pose and two gripping to interact with the various
Quite simply this is a stunning portrait of Arnie,
and one destined to be a much sought after classic for years to come,
mark my words.
We all now
know that Hot Toys head painter (in all senses of the word), Mr JC Hong
is adept in the art of figure painting, but we should never lose sight
of just how outstanding his work is. There are companies creating 1/1
busts that don’t measure up to this work.
So once again we get
faultless application with skin texturing and colouration that carries
on from the head right over the body. The subtle variations in tone
show gentle mottling and texturing that really bring the figure to
life. The eyes are as always crisp, clean and glossy and the hair is
kept simple to let Yulli’s work shine through. Just another tick in the
box next to ‘perfect paint app achieved’, amazing!
If you said
the name Arnold Schwarzenegger to just about anyone, I’d guess the
first image to pop into their head would be this guy. OK, I know some
obsessive fan boys out there might take exception, and lisp loudly at
me “I’d think of Dutch/Conan”, some of the more obtuse might even say
Douglas Quaid, and I’m certain at least one will think of Mr Freeze, if
so… shame on you! Further more if you thought Dr. Alex Hesse, what the
hell is freakin wrong with you?
So, the point I’m making is
this; Arnie in a pair of shades and bikers leathers is without a doubt
the most enduring and iconic image of the guy, meaning it was important
to get the look just right. But hey, we’re dealing wit Hot Toys here,
they are after all past masters of taking an individual and by the use
of some kind of ancient Chinese magic (probably mixed in with a little
Voodoo) actually managing to shrink the individual down to one-sixth
their size, clothes and all, and then cloning them ad nauseam!
Well, it seems that way to me!
again we get a jaw droppingly, ‘soul sold to the devil’, ‘how the hell
do they do it’, amazing outfit, I mean, do they actually have miniature
tailors working around the clock to produce bespoke outfits for each
Well, it seems that way to me! I’ll stop there, I wouldn’t want it to
become a catchphrase.
It consists of moulded boots, but moulded oh so well. Leather trousers
with working pockets and belt, a choice of grey or black T-shirt and
black leather bikers jacket. The cut and tailoring on all these is
supremely well engineered and all the garments fit snugly to the new
base figure, giving a very realistic silhouette. The standout piece for
me is undeniably the jacket. The fine observations on the working
scaled zips, pockets, laces and studs are nothing short of fantastic.
And the scaling/thickness or the faux leather used is pretty darn close
to how we saw the T800 dressed in the movie. The work here is certainly
more impressive than the Wolverine
leather jacket, I still rate that garment in a lot of ways, but the
scaling of the fabric thickness is much more impressive here. Take care
with the base figure when dressing and undressing, and it’s best to
remove the hands when removing the jacket, and also the head if you
want to swap over the T-shirts. I swapped them to take a few photos,
but mine will be staying in the grey T for display purposes. However I
have a feeling a few of the hardcore fans might be getting multiples of
this figure so they can exploit the display options with the T’s and
accessories, and I can’t blame them.
HT delivered the Dutch figure linked to above, they developed an
all-new muscular body for him, but as cool as the aesthetic is of the
rubber muscle bods they just don’t have the range of articulation you
get from a more solid, molded body. So HT went away and developed yet
another new base ‘Arnie’ bod, this is much more like the Wolverine
body, meaning we get a cracking body-sculpt with well-engineered and
concealed articulation. Of course it’s not as effective as fully
articulated base True Type
but the fact that it matches the T800 build and silhouette so well,
means it a pay-off I’m more than happy with.
All the standard joints we expect are here, but simplified to be less
obtrusive in terms of the final look. I took a few photos HERE
that I montaged together to illustrate the positioning of the new
bodies joints, but I warn you, they’re pretty disturbing (does Homer
The upper body is fitted with a close fitting
molded rubber cover so the shoulders look much more natural but aren’t
able to shrug, it splits mid torso and at the waist so it can lean back
and bend forwards with a convincing curve rather than a sudden 45%
bend. The elbows are a plugged hinge joint, so it can twist and bend to
90 degrees while the wrists are of the usual TT design. The neck has a
great range like Wolverine, I’d advise popping the head off (which is
easy) then position the neck to the desired pose and pop the head back
on and reposition. It moves to look up, down and can tilt from side to
side, and because it’s covered in the rubber skin from the chest right
up to the top the neck all the joints are concealed making for some
very realistic and convincing poses. The legs are also more bulked up
to suit the T800’s proportions, showing a thicker set and heavier
musculature. The upper thigh comes quite high over the hip ball joint,
so this coupled with the leather pants means he’s not going to get into
any relaxed, cross legged positions any time soon, but the T800 isn’t
famous for lounging around, in fact he moves like a… well, robot.
Meaning the body here is pretty much perfect for the character it
I’m not however awarding a full score, as the slight
lack of articulation on the arms does mean you have to be a little
creative with the gun poses. Don’t worry; it’s nothing serious, just
not as good as a standard TT, which has become my benchmark. I’m not
taking away too much though as any company willing to produce newly
engineered and character specific bodies deserves a ton of praise, and
for that I salute you Hoy Toys, it’s an amazing looking figure.
This release comes with-
- Automatic pistol (Colt/Detonics M1911A1 Series 70 Hybrid to be
- Sawn off Winchester shotgun (even has the engraving)
- Alternate fully articulated endo-skeleton left arm
- Alternate black T-shirt
- 4 alternate hands (on top of the 2 he comes fitted with a total of 6)
- Gold rose box
- Bouquet of 6 red roses
- Black sunglasses
- Figure stand
That’s not a bad selection, but during the course of the movie the T800
uses a pretty
impressive and it has to be said extensive
just check it all out HERE.
to be fair they hardly scratch the surface. Now this might be for one
of any number of reasons. Perhaps all the R&D put into the new
body, the full set of bikers leathers, 2 guns, a box of roses, spare T
and the fully articulated endo-arm meant that for the official asking
price of $164.99, HT thought we were getting quite a bit of bang for
buck as it was… and to be fair they have a point.
know I’m not alone in thinking the T800 is deserving of a second
version, perhaps even a DX, as not only do we need the grenade
launchers and mini gun, we want to see alternate heads with different
degrees of battle damage and glowing red eyes, c’mon HT, you’ve just
got to have this planned ;)
The accessories we do get are all
well detailed and put together, you can cock the Winchester and see the
shot gun shell nestled inside, the Colt has a removable magazine plus a
working hammer and cocking mechanism. The Winchester can also be hidden
inside the rose box to mimic the iconic scene when he flings it open to
start blasting the T1000
in the shopping mall (that sounds like a euphemism!), the roses are
held together by a plastic wrap, but this slips off easy if you want to
scatter them individually on the ground like in the movie. The hands
all swapped over fine on mine but spare pegs are includes should you
have a mishap.
I did have quite a job swapping over to the
endo-the arm, the peg was just so darn tight I had to give it
onehelluva yank to free it up. Ironically the right arm that doesn’t
need to swap out was easy to pull off, in fact when I bent it acutely
it could work its way loose. Also take care when pushing the endo-arm
back in, and make sure you grip it with a solid part of the arm as the
articulated robotic parts are all quite fragile. The shades slip on
easily, and like the ones we get with the HT military figures they fit
perfectly, and at 1/6th scale that is quite an achievement. It’s also
cool that the lenses are dark rather than solid molded black plastic,
as with the right light conditions you can catch glimpses of the eyes
behind the lenses, making for a realistic image when photographed.
we get the classic HT figure stand, emblazoned with the movie logo and
the character name, nice for those that like’em, but mine will stay in
the box. So, even though there is a whole world of options for this guy
to have even more extras, the selection we do get is still most
impressive, and a top score selection at that.
this guy come with just one of the bigger guns, I guess the smaller
grenade launcher would have made sense as it would have been a straight
re-use of the Comedians
gun, and had we perhaps also got a lightly battle damaged sculpt
(leaving the option of badly mashed up one for a later figure still
open) then this guy would have got a full score. As it is you still get
a damn good selection of goodies along-side what is one of the best
sculpted, painted and dressed figures to date, so I’m only keeping him
a little off of the full shebang.
One thing I will say though, and I
often warn people not to ‘invest’ in action figures, they are NOT
stocks and shares. However, even if HT do decide to give us an all
singing, all dancing uber version of the T800 at some time later down
the line. As long as this figure keeps some original elements (and I’m
guessing he will) then I think when we look back on this review in a
year or so from now, we might find ourselves feeling a little bit sick
that we didn’t perhaps ‘invest’ in a couple of them when they were
Factor - ****
I tend to keep 98.6% of my reviews
exclusively to hi-end 1/6th, it’s my thang, it’s the way I roll, it’s
my raison d'être, it’s… I’ll stop there!
So, when looking at
the ‘fun factor’ I tend to keep my scoring based much more on how much
‘joy’ the product will bring a collector, rather than a kid! Only a
fool would give this to a kid because:
A- It’s totally inappropriate.
B- It’s an adult collectible and as such is too fragile to be ‘played’
C- It’s too good and too expensive for the little blighters!
basing my score on this, he gets a glowing full score. I haven’t had as
much fun posing a figure in quite a while, and pretty much all the
iconic poses can be achieved. But now I need a 1/6th Harley Fat Boy,
I’m off to eBay!
already been many versions of this figure released by various companies
at differing scales, some a good sight bigger than this one. I know
Sideshow have already given us a Premium Format (PF) figure of T2-T800,
but if you want the REAL premium version of this character then in
terms of likeness this is your ONLY choice, it improves on pretty much
all of the earlier versions without exception, and actually manages to
make the uber expensive Cinemaquette (CMQ)
look like a very mediocre (and very expensive) Arnie look-alike
suffering a bad hair day!
even though they are at a bigger scale, the leap in quality with this
diminutive counterpart is so vast it makes the fact that this is
obtainable for $165 (less if you get lucky) seem like an out and out
bargain. I mean, if you had the choice of the CMQ or this and over a
thousand bucks in the bank, what’s it gonna be?
I rest my case!
into the mix the outstanding paint work here, the cool selection of
accessories and that newly developed body, and this is a full score
figure without a doubt. Instant classic!
to Buy -
were asking the RRP of $164.99 and he went in the blink of an eye, but
you can try the wait list as ‘he might be back’!
Or you can try Michael’s sponsors below-
Bad Toy Store - $154.99
or try eBay where I’ve seen him for prices between $150 to $190.Sadly I
can’t find these with any of Michaels sponsors, but if you search
on eBay you’ll find them for the prices I quoted above. Good
luck hunting them down.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.