Packaging - ***1/2
Hot Toys does a nice job with
their packaging, although I do find the outer sleeve that fits over the
fifth panel box to be a bit of overkill. But unlike the
recently reviewed Rambo from Hot Toys, there were no twisties holding
in the Endo, so if I have to put up with that outer sleeve to get no
twisties inside, I'll gladly make the trade.
The contents of the interior
tray are held in place with the usual two top plastic trays.
Again, this makes me much happier than twisties, or tape, or dental
floss used to hold things in.
I would like a bit more text,
especially since there's plenty of real estate for it with this type of
box, but that's a minor complaint.
Sculpting - ****
For the most part, this is a
tremendously impressive sculpt job. The texture gives the
realistic impression of steel, and the various internal and external
proportions are extremely good. The sculpt and articulation
work amazingly well together - I'll be blabbering about that in detail
in the Articulation section - and I think this is the best Endo sculpt
we've ever gotten.
While I'll get into more detail
in the Articulation section on the working pistons, I wanted to mention
here that the 'hoses' you see around his neck aren't rubber or plastic
at all...they're metal! They're made from stretchy metal
tubing, which works great with trying to pose the figure.
There's more play in them this way, and this is the one area where I
didn't worry about breaking them when I was moving the shoulders and
The paint does rub off them a
bit though, which is the downside of being made of something that
hard. Ah well, there's always a price to be paid.
The sculpting on the teeth is
very realistic, and the various mechanical parts look great.
There are lots of great little touches, like the big toe on each foot
being *slightly* larger than the other four identical toes.
These are called 'model kits',
just like most Hot Toys releases. But unlike Predator, Alien
or Robocop, there's no actual assembly. The figure comes
complete, and you just stick a weapon in his highly articulated
hands. I don't know how they're getting away with the model
kits label on these, but I was happy that I didn't have to try to put
any of this complex guy together myself.
Some folks may find the scale a
tad small for them. He stands almost exactly 12" tall, and in
person (and standing next to other sixth scale figures), he does seem a
bit puny to me. Now, logically I realize that this is
probably accurate, since he is the skeleton of a T-800 after
all. There would be plenty of flesh packed on this body, then
boots and clothes, pushing him up several inches IRL. But
ignoring logic, which is far too easy to do, it still seems to me that
he's a bit short.
I'm also sure that some serious
fans will find various minor technical flaws in the
appearance. But I don't think you're going to see a better
overall interpretation of this character produced.
Paint - ***
If there was one disappointment with the figure, it was with the
paint. And I don't think you can really call it a
disappointment - that sounds too harsh.
The photos I'd seen of this
particular version on sites like at Sideshow showed a very shiny,
bright, light colored paint, representing very clean steel.
What we got instead was a very dark, gun metal gray color. It
still reflects light (as you can see in the photos) but not at the
degree I was expecting or would really like.
There's no slop anywhere on the
paint job, but I'm also not real keen on the black areas on the
hydraulics. The lower housings for the pistons have quite a
bit of black on them, and look out of place to me and draw too much
attention to themselves.
The head is also a fair bit
shinier and more bright metallic in color than the rest of the
body. I'm not quite sure what's up there, and had the entire
body been more like the head I would have been much happier.
Articulation - ****
We've all seen amazing sculpts and amazing paint jobs, but articulation
is usually pretty straight forward. But articulation is often
standardized across the board, especially in the sixth scale
world. That makes the work on a figure like this all the more
There is a ball jointed neck,
jointed jaw, pin elbows and knees, double pin shoulders (one into the
torso, and one through that pin, perpendicular to it) that allows the
arm to rotate forward and back, as well as out from the body, cut
biceps and calves, ball jointed hips, ball jointed ankles and wrists,
and a ball jointed waist. If that's not enough, each toe is
individually articulated, and each finger AND the thumb has three -
count them, three! - pin joints. The lowest knuckle on the
finger is a fourth joint that runs in the opposite direction, so that
each finger (not the thumb) can also tilt up and down in relation to
the palm of the hand!
Okay, so that's a buttload of
articulation, but does any of it function? The big problem
with the Endo's design is that he has all these pistons on his body, at
the neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, ankles...can any of these
joints actually move any where?
And that's where the real marvel
comes in. Yes, they can! The pistons still do restrict the
movement, but not nearly at the level you might expect. They
are designed to work in a very realistic way, and to allow for as much
movement as possible. It's really quite impressive, and
you'll find yourself marveling over it for hours. Or at least
It does raise one problem, but
it's not something I'm holding against the figure. This guy
is FRAGILE. Yes, I'm talking uppercase fragile.
Take some time getting to understand each of the joints, especially
those with pistons involved. Don't go blindly twisting and
turning because breaking the thin plastic rods is definitely a
possibility. Once you get a feel for just how far they can
turn, you'll be able to pose the figure with much less risk.
There is one pose that they show
on the box that I simply couldn't find a way to do. Because
the cut biceps appear to be the only way to turn the arms, and because
of the way the palms face inward, there was no way to hold the plasma
rifle with the left arm holding it at the stock. You'll
notice I put the left arm on top, in anticipation of the
recoil. But they clearly have him holding it the other way in
the box photos, and I have no idea how they managed to pull that
off. EDIT - word from some collectors is that theirs does
have a cut joint, so mine must be stuck. While the joint
being there is good - the fact mine is stuck is still an
issue. Can't be much of an issue either way though, since he
was getting four stars in this category anyway!
Accessories - ***1/2
There's a nice, healthy assortment of evil doing weapons here, although
at this price point, I can think of a couple more things I'd like.
While a massive mechanical
creature like this can easily squash your head like a grape between his
palms, he's much more impressive when heavily armed.
On the small arms side, he comes
with a laser sighted handgun. While it qualifies as 'small
arms', it's definitely an impressive piece of hardware. It's
well sculpted and quite realistic.
Stepping up we have the Plasma
Rifle. The sculpt is great, and this is a classic Terminator
weapon, but the lightweight nature of most Hot Toys weapons hurts it a
bit. The paint wash also doesn't do a ton for me, since it
appears more toy-like and less realistic than the other weapons.
Finally, there's the impressive
Vulcan M134. The Vulcan is a real weapon of course, usually
used on helicopters or Hummers. It's one of those completely
unrealistic and implausible weapons used in Hollywood films in most
cases - Jesse Ventura wouldn't be able to blast the crap out of a
Predator with it tucked under his arm - but at least in the case of the
Terminator films, the characters carrying the weapon could
theoretically do it.
This Vulcan is also a somewhat
futuristic sculpt. It looks terrific, and the sculpt and
paint really go well with the nekkid Terminator Endo. While
the other two weapons are cool, I suspect this will be the one most
folks use in their displays.
Finally, there's the usual
display base with small name plate. Again, if someone doesn't
know this is an Endoskeleton, they have been living under a rock on the
far side of the moon for several decades, but at least the nameplates
are somewhat unobtrusive.
Light Up Feature -
This feature is pretty straight forward - push a button in the center
of his back, the eyes light up. The button stays in so you
don't have to hold it, and the eyes are nice and bright.
My favorite aspect of the
feature is that the batteries are easy to get to. There's a
little door on his back that just pops open to reveal the two watch
batteries, no screwdriver necessary.
Fun Factor - *
Let's face it, this isn't a figure to be played with. Just
posing it, I was in constant fear of hearing a 'snap'. That
doesn't mean it isn't a lot of fun for the adult fan, but it's pretty
muted fun. And kids? Don't even think about it.
Value - ***
Hot Toys figures generally run $80 - $150, depending on the character
and the intricacy. For example, Robocop ran $110 - $130,
depending on the retailer.
I'm grading this guy on the
current usual price at online retailers - around $110. At
that price point, you're getting quite a complicated, well engineered,
high touch assembly figure. That's a solid value.
Now, if you end up paying closer
to $130, like I did here and with Robocop, you can knock of another
half to full star.
Things to Watch Out For
Have I made myself clear enough on this point yet? BE
CAREFUL! I'm not complaining mind you, and the naturally
fragile nature of something like this won't hurt the overall
score. I'm just trying to warn you, and save you some heart
ache. Don't squeeze anything, don't pull on anything
abruptly, and definitely don't twist any joints without paying extreme
attention to the many little pistons.
Overall - ***1/2
You'll spend the first half hour after opening this guy up just
marveling at the engineering of the articulation. This is
truly an impressive figure, and I really, really wanted to give it a
full four stars. I've had a lot of terrific items in this
last month, but this one really stands out, and is going to be on my
list for consideration as one of the best 12" figures of the year.
That being said, my personal
issues with the paint held back my final choice on the overall
score. If you can overlook the gun metal color, I doubt you'd
find any other major issues.