Packaging - ****
You'll note that I skipped the packaged photo this time, although I do
really like what they've done. I wanted to include more photos of the
figures though, and you can see what it looks like (albeit
with slightly different sleeve graphics) in the T-700 diorama review I
The outer sleeve has shots of
either John or the T-600, and it only half covers the very cool
Styrofoam box. The box is in two halves, and is formed to appear as
machinery, like something right out of the film. The sharply cut
formations also spell out both the name of the movie and the character
The sleeve slides off, and
inside are all the various parts and pieces, held in place with plastic
liners. It's all quite collector friendly, since you won't need to
damage anything to get them out, but you may find other reasons not to
put them back in their foam coffins. More on that later.
There are a few pieces of round
tape that hold the plastic liners in place, but you could theoretically
re-use these, or just do what I did and ball them up and trash them.
The liners stay in place just fine without them.
I really do wish they'd add in
some instructions for assembly, though. They have a small sheet to
explain how to turn on the light and switch the batteries, but I could
figure that one out for myself. On the other hand, getting the backpack
on the T-600, or putting together all the various pieces of John's
outfit was far more puzzling than it should have been.
Sculpting - ****
This is another outstanding sculpt from Hot Toys, both of the Christian
Bale John Connor, and the uber-evil T-600 Endoskeleton.
This is an Endoskeleton. I have
no idea how you could ever confuse this thing with a human, no matter
what skin you put on the outside, because he's HUGE. He stands a
whopping 13 1/2" tall, towering over John Connor - and over the future
All that bulk is truly
impressive on the shelf. They've given him the finely textured look to
the various faux metal parts, making it look like wrought iron. Other
areas, like the pistons, are smooth and clean. The sculpt works
extremely well with the articulation. allowing for far more posability
than we've seen in any Endoskeleton before.
There's also more use of metal,
including springs, rods, pins, screws and those cool springy tubes.
Most of the rods used with the pistons are plastic, but connector rods
(like those that the two pistons attach to above the knee) are metal.
He has a much more solid feel to his construction than past HT Endos.
John Connor is an amazingly good
portrait, one of Hot Toys best. It is just as realistic as ever, but it
captures the character and actor better than some of their other recent
attempts, such as Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark.
The sculptors at Hot Toys can
take everyone else to school on how to create perfect hair, skin
texture and lifelike eyes. Enterbay might be nipping at their heels,
but they'll have to produce a greater quantity of figures before they
can claim a seat at the head table with HT.
There are still nits you can
pick on the likeness, but even someone who has never seen a single
trailer for the movie will know instantly that this is Christian Bale.
Both figures stand great on
their own, and John's only set of hands are sculpted to work with the
accessories, particularly the rifle.
Paint - ****
The paint work on both figures is just about as perfect as you can get.
I don't know who sold their soul to the devil to get this kind of
production paint work on a regular basis, but I'd like to thank him or
her for their sacrifice.
The paint work on the textured
skin and hair is what makes the exceptional sculpt stand out. With a
weaker paint job, the beauty of the sculpt wouldn't have a chance to
come through, but here you can appreciate just how great every aspect
of the work is.
I do have a slight rub mark on
John's forehead, but you can only see it under bright light and at just
the right angle. I suspect it was caused by the packaging.
The T-600 has a wash designed to
enhance the appearance of wrought or cast iron. Steel looks like steel,
and some of the pieces have a worn, rough look. This is what a
realistic metallic paint job looks like, and it is the kind of thing
that spoils us for any other company.
Articulation - ****
John comes on the usual TrueType body, and you can't argue with
perfection. He has all the range of movement you expect from the TT,
and can hold natural, flowing poses without any trouble at all. I also
found him more disposed to action poses, although the rubber boots tend
to inhibit the ankles slightly.
But while you expect all that
with John Connor, it's really the T-600 that astounds. I've
talked about the engineering marvels that Hot Toys has produced before
- the T-800 Endo, the T-700 Endo, and the Robo-Cop. But the all pale in
comparison to this big guy!
The neck is completely
unrestricted, with no pistons in the way and only springy tubes
attaching from the body to the head. The jaw is also articulated,
although I tend to prefer him with his mouth closed over open.
The ball jointed shoulders work
extremely well, moving up, down, in and out, and allowing the arms to
spin forward and back. They feel very sturdy, and have a much greater
range of movement than past Endos.
That's true of all the joints,
actually, including the knees, elbows, waist and hips. The fingers have
three pin joints each, and can wrap around and hold the weapon
There's cut joints at the calves
too, and the ankles are the 10th wonder of the world. The pistons move
smoothly, allowing the foot to move not just forward and back, but side
to side, so the feet can remain flat on the floor in deeper stances.
The hips allow for deeper
stances too, something the other Endo's have not been able to do. All
of the joints and all of the pistons seem very sturdy, very solid, and
less likely to break than past versions.
Accessories - T-600 ***1/2; John
Both figures are well equipped, although John has far more tchotchkes
than the Endo.
The Endo comes with his huge
Gatling style weapon, with rubbery ammo belt and ammo backpack. The
regular version comes with a wide base designed to look like
scaffolding or a factory floor. The exclusive also has an
'environmental base', which is more like dirt and girders, mixed in a
pile. Both bases have a connecting point for the back arm of the base.
The gun fits over his right arm
perfectly, and there's an extra belt that helps hold it in place. You
can easily wrap his fingers around the grip as well. The ammo belt runs
from the gun to the pack, where it fits in the top.
Getting the pack on his back is
quite the trick. I found that I had to adjust the back straps so they
were as long as possible first. Then I put one side on over and arm,
already connected, and snapped the other side together. Finally, I
snapped the two shoulder straps together, and snapped the waist belt in
place. You may have to tighten the waist up a bit too, which may be
easier to do before the pack is on. I did mine after it was in place,
and it was a bit frustrating. A knife and some needle nose pliers were
This is one of the reasons that
you may not want to put this guy back in the box once you have him out
and outfitted. Sure, you don't have to damage the package to get him
out, but you may damage your nerves putting him together more than once.
John Connor wasn't quite as
frustrating, but I had to guess quite a bit at where things were
supposed to go.
His key weapon is the M4A1
rifle, complete with scope and flashlight. There's a spring action
which can be moved with the handle on the left side, but I'd be careful
pulling on it - it's very easy to break the handle. The barrel extends,
the stock extends, and the scope is even removable. The flashlight has
a plastic cover, and even an itty bitty wire that connects it to the
gun. He can hold the gun in one or both hands, in just about any
position, and this is the weapon most folks will be displaying him with.
There are six extra clips for
this gun, and I fit these on his back in the small packs. However,
there's only enough for four of the six, so I'm not sure what to do
with the other two.
There's also the smaller gun,
which fits perfectly in his hard plastic holster. There's two
additional magazines for the handgun too, and I found that the pack on
his chest (upper right side) fits them perfectly.
The holster fits on the right
leg pack, although that was a tad frustrating. the pack on the left leg
can hold all four demolition blocks. It was a tight fit, but I think
that's where they belong.
There's a 'line launcher', a gun
that fires a pronged projectile. The projectile can be removed from the
end of the gun, and the prongs tuck in tight or fold out.
You always need a knife, and
Connor has a small tactical blade that fits in a sheath on another
pack. I found that this fit best on the harness on his right side. The
blade is small, and looks better on his body than in his hand.
Finally, there's his headset
which is attached to a very complex looking radio. The radio sports a
terrific sculpt, and included a clear plastic screen. The head set fits
on his left ear tightly, and I found that by attaching the pouch for
the radio on the left side of his chest, I could wrap the cord around
under his arm, out of the way.
That's a ton of extras, and John
also has the required display stand. It's not fancy schmancy, like the
ones that you get with the Endo, and you don't really need it except
for extreme poses, but it's a nice addition.
Outfit - T-600 N/A; John ****
The T-600 doesn't really have an outfit, although it is worth noting
that he wears the cloth bandanna on his right wrist.
Connor has a very complex
outfit, including one of the nicest leather jackets I've ever seen in
This is his flight jacket,
complete with faux lambskin liner. The fit is perfect, and the zipper
is properly scaled. It's a thing of beauty, no doubt about it.
There's also a T-shirt
underneath it, although I wasn't going to strip him down to find it.
The pants look terrific, with knee pads sewn right on. I did find that
it was tough to keep the pads on the knee area with all the harness'
holding the pant legs pretty much in place, but that's a minor nit.
The boot sculpt is great, but
they do look a little small to me. But maybe John has small feet. The
pants tuck into them pretty easily, and these boots are the actual feet
- there's no feet inside there.
Over all of this is his tactical
full body harness. Thank God this thing came all put together - it was
frustrating enough just figuring out where to put the various pouches.
There's actually a buckle on the front that you can snap together to
bring the harness tighter across his chest, but I liked the look better
with it unsnapped.
He wears a red bandanna on his
left arm. I'm assuming this has particularly special meaning in the
film, since it's such an obvious addition to the outfit.
The costume is outstanding, and
reminds me once again that Hot Toys is still at the top of the heap in
Light Feature - John N/A; T-600
John doesn't have anything that lights up, so he gets a big N/A in this
But the Endo has light up eyes,
activated with a small button on the back. The batteries are included,
but I found that they were wore out mighty fast. After just 15 minutes
or so, the eyes were dead.
The button works quite well, but
once you have the backpack in place, you'll need to use something very
thin, like a knife blade, to reach inside and press it. I almost
stabbed myself in the stomach with the knife though, and I can only
imagine how embarrassing that obituary would be.
Fun Factor - ***
These are more sturdy than several recent Hot Toys releases, and I was
particularly surprised by how solid the T-600 was. You could still
manage to break something, but you'd have to go out of your way to do
it, unlike some of the more fragile recent release.
Of course, that still doesn't
make these great toys for an eight year old, but older kids that know
how to take care of something like this, and who are big sci-fi fans,
are sure to love them.
Value - John ***; T-600
It might be hard to believe - but even at $150, you're getting your
money's worth. These are excellent figures, proving once again that Hot
Toys is the master right now.
You can find John for as little
as $125 at some of my sponsors, and that's an excellent price
considering the number of accessories and detailing on the costume.
Things to Watch Out For -
Take your time with the various pouches and packs. I'd follow my
instructions above on getting the pack on the T-600, as the endeavor
can be down right frustrating otherwise. Be sure you have enough room
in the shoulder harness belts, and you really can't have too much.
Overall - ****
There's a lot of nice sixth scale figures on the market right now, and
with old stand bys like Sideshow and Medicom and new kids on the block
like Enterbay and Go Hero, it's certainly an amazing time to be a
collector. But Hot Toys continues to prove that they are the leader in
the market right now, with not just amazing sculpts, or perfect paint,
but excellent articulation, accessories, costumes, packaging, and even
special electronic features that set them apart. It's one thing to be
the leader in a single category, but with releases like these, they are
at the top of the game in every one.
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - T-600 ***1/2; John ****
Outfit - T-600 N/A; John ****
Light Up Feature - John N/A; T-600 ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - Connor ***; T-600 **1/2
Overall - ****
Where to Buy -
Online options include:
- Sideshow has a wait list for
either John or the T-600, as well as their upcoming skin wearing T-600. A
little birdie tells me there might be an exclusive version of the Final
Battle John too, but it's not available to order yet.
Alter Ego Comics has Connor at
just $125, and the T-600 for $153.
Urban Collector has the T-600
for $180, or the Connor for $150.
- and you can always search
for a deal.
As I mentioned earlier, I've reviewed their T-800 Endoskeleton, T-700
Skeleton, and T-700 diorama. Marcus Wright should be here any day!
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