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I really do have to see Terminator: Salvation. Sadly, I'll have to wait until November 23rd to pick up a blu-ray copy and enjoy the latest installment in the
However, I've been getting the Hot Toys figures all along, without worrying about whether said film is any good or not - I loves me some Terminators, regardless of the ups and downs of the franchise. The T-600 is just damn cool even if he does a disgraceful song and dance number on screen, and adding in the T-700 was easy enough. John Connor was a bit more of a stretch, since how cool he ends up does depend a bit on the flick...but it's still John Connor. You can't have any Terminator movie (or show) without him.
But then Hot Toys announced Marcus Wright, a character we'll only see in this film. Probably. When it comes to time traveling movies, you should never say never. Let's assume however, that he's a Salvation character only.
So if my Salvation viewing experience turns out to somewhere between Terminator 3 and a dental visit, do I really want a $150 figure to remind me? I pondered this deeply - at least as deeply as I ponder anything - before shelling out the cash. The deciding factor was a combination of two things. First, everyone that I trusted who saw this film raved about how cool the Wright character is. And two, he's wearing that damn cool coat. With a combo like that, I figured I couldn't go wrong.
You can pick this guy up for around $150, although a few places have him for less. We'll see the skin wearing T-600 pretty soon too, with another version of Connor before the end of the year, and I suspect that with the six or more releases that Hot Toys gives us for this license in 2009, that it will be high on the list for many folks for best series of the year.
Packaging - ****
They continue with the cool machined metal look to the foam packages. Not only does every package have it's own personalized slip cover, but the name of the character is laser cut into the foam box as well.
Inside, the figure, accessories and coats are packed safely and in a completely collector friendly manner. The coats are even hung on mannequin type half torsos, similar to what the old Captain Action sets used back in the day. This keeps them from getting too crushed or wrinkled prior to being put on the figure.
Sculpting - ***1/2
The problem with Marcus Wright and the actor that plays him, Sam Worthington, is that he's like every other good looking guy - there's nothing to set his face apart. All the features are evenly spaced, properly sized, without a blemish, scar or big nose to be seen.
That means that I'll get a bunch of emails telling me this sculpt looks like at least 10 different actors. And it does. Leading men, like beautiful actresses, tend to look very similar.
That being said, I think HT did a great job getting enough Sam in there to make him recognizable. Of course, the hair cut helps a whole lot, and the fine detail work on the strands is a highlight. It also helps that the skin texture is crazy good, and when you add in the texturing for the lips, stubble and eyebrows, you get an exceptionally life-like sculpt.
There's a few minor quibbles. The nose actually looks too large for Sam or Marcus, and I think the chin is a little long. But these are very, very minor nits I'm picking at now.
The alternate head is battle damaged, with exposed Terminator bits. The damage is fairly extensive, revealing quite a bit of the underlying mechanical misfit. Again, the sculpt of the facial features is excellent, but there are minor problems with the appearance of the damage. The chin, which was already big in the normal sculpt, seems even larger here due to the amount of exposed metal. And unlike the prototype version, the damaged head is a bit flat on the metal side, appearing as though not just skin was ripped off, but a hunk of skull is missing too. That doesn't look quite right to me, since there is no skull to be missing.
While the issues are very minor - and may not bother you in the least - I was surprised that the damaged head didn't do much for me. I assumed prior to opening the package that the exposed head was the one I'd prefer for display - now I'm not so sure.
Both heads suffer a bit from the dreaded giraffe neck syndrome, but it's a trade off. Hot Toys knows that nothing looks worse - or makes a sixth scale figure look less real - than a stumpy neck inside a suit or jacket. And if you scale the neck of the figure to look right without the clothing (like they would have to do for Marcus in just the t-shirt), then you end up with a no-neck figure in the leather jacket or long coat. The trade off is that the neck is going to look a little too long without the coat. It's one of those Catch-22 situations, but if you're like me and plan on displaying this guy wearing the outer garments, then you'll be happy he has the extra length.
The hands he's wearing in the box are sculpted in a relaxed pose, with cloth wrappings glued in place. They tend to come unglued since you have to handle them so much, but re-gluing them (or just wrapping the end under, which I did) is easy enough.
He's wearing soft rubber 'skin' sleeves on both arms, and the right has additional sculpted damage. The forearm has been cut open, as has the back of the upper arm. The underlying sculpted mechanical features look good, and the rough, jagged edge of the sliced skin has a nice, disgusting appearance.
He stands great on his own, as you'd expect, and fits in nicely scale-wise with the rest of the line.
Paint - ***1/2
We get more and more spoiled in every category by Hot Toys, but sometimes they become their own worst enemy.
The work on the glossy eyes, stubble, eyebrows and hair is like a graduate course in production paint ops. In fact, they could turn it into an entire curriculum, with Eyes 101 a prerequisite for Eyebrows 102.
If you don't believe me, just take a gander at that hair line. Even with the finely sculpted edge, there's no paint slop at all.
The painted metal pieces look terrific as well, but there are some issues with the red, bloody edges. They look too fake, too much like bad theatrics. They're almost too clean, and there's not a smooth enough transition from blood to skin. It tends to end abruptly, making the blood look even more like paint that's dabbed on rather than flowing life juice.
While all this work would be outstanding for most companies, Hot Toys has set the bar very high for others...and for themselves. Getting a perfect score from me in this category has gotten much tougher for any company in the sixth scale market, and Hot Toys has no one to blame but themselves.
Articulation - ***1/2
Marcus employs the TrueType body of course, and it's still the best body on the market.
Because of the rubber sleeves from the shoulder down, the elbow articulation is restricted a bit. They even included the little instruction pamphlet to remind you that bending the elbows too far can tear the rubber skin. That's particularly true on the damaged right arm, where there are some very small, thin skin pieces between the upper and lower arms that will tear from too much elbow exercise.
The rest of the joints work well, and I didn't have any problems with the wrists. Remember when I mentioned awhile back that Hot Toys needed to just start including extra wrist pegs with figures? There's two extra included with Marcus, which automatically means they won't break. It's just the way the universe works.
Accessories - ***1/2
There's not a ton of extras with Marcus, certainly nothing like what we have with John Connor. But what's here is well done, and critical for the character.
First up is the aforementioned extra head. I've already pretty much covered my feelings about the sculpt and paint, but it does greatly improve the score in this category simply by it's inclusion.
Swapping heads was a bit tricky, since the o-ring inside the neck is a very tight fit on the post. The entire neck pops out because of it, and they you have to pry the post out carefully, pop the other head on the post, and pop the post back in on the smaller connector on the body. It's not impossible, just a bit more difficult than some.
He also has two more sets of hands. One set is cloth wrapped, just like the set he comes wearing, and they are both rights. One is to properly hold the shotgun with the finger on the trigger, and the other is designed perfectly to hold the knife. That's a huge plus, since most of the time the Hot Toys hands can't grip the smaller accessories at all, let alone tightly.
The other two hands are a set, right and left, both without wrappings and both in solid fists. These look right only when he's wearing the jackets, which cover up the small cloth 'cuffs' that are glued to each wrist. More on that in the next section.
He does have two weapons, his knife and a shotgun. Both sculpts are great, and the paint work is top notch. The knife fits in the sheath up on his chest, although you will have a tough time getting the handle inside the intended pleather wrap. The sheath tends to hug his body, while the hard plastic knife will not. I did put the coat on over the knife and it fit fine, but I preferred removing it, since it did make a small bulge.
The shotgun's pump action does move, but there's no spring. The shells attached to the gun on the side opposite of the ejector are not removable, either from the gun or from the holder.
Finally, there's the usual display stand. You won't have to use it if you don't want to, but including it is always a good idea.
We really needed a few more extras, something that we could add to the loops on the leather pants. Perhaps some additional shotgun shells for the right thigh...something.
Outfit - ****
I mentioned that one of the two reasons I bought this figure was the cool coat, so you can imagine how critical this category was to me.
In the package, Marcus is wearing his t-shirt, leather pants and boots. Both the shirt and pants are very well tailored, and the boot sculpt is excellent.
The shirt appears to be glued at the shoulders, keeping it down over the edge of the fake skin. This isn't a figure that they expected you to strip all the way down, but it's still possible with a little care.
The pants have working zippers, belts and buckles. The boot-top leather coverings look great as well, and I'm surprised that the fit is as good as it is overall. Action figures tend to have no butt, making pants like these sag. That's not the case here, although Marcus still has no butt.
Over the t-shirt, Marcus comes wearing a harness that holds a knife sheath. The harness is a bit stretchy, allowing you to reposition it.
I've mentioned the 'cuffs' a couple times now, and they are glued lightly in place. These are intended to line up with the wraps on the hands, so it looks like a complete glove. The wraps on the hands are cloth as well, and glued in place. I did find that the glue came apart with handling, but re-gluing it was pretty simple.
Over this basic outfit, Marcus can wear one of two different jackets. The first is his leather jacket, complete with patches, stripes and rivets. There's a small strap around the neck that can be closed tight, as well as a working zipper in front that's actually in scale. At least I think the zipper will work - it's way too small for my clumsy fingers to use. It looks great though, and I have no interest in closing the front of the jacket.
Just to prove they know how to do detailing, Hot Toys has also included the damage to the leather jacket on the back of the arm, where it lines up with damage to the skin. It's not obvious in most photos, but from the right angle it looks terrific.
Finally, there's the longer coat. The fit isn't quite as good as the prototype photos made it appear, but it still hangs on his body fairly well. The stitching and material are great - the soft, slightly fuzzy cloth is an excellent reproduction of the screen version.
One of the best features of the coat is the fake wear and damage at the bottom. An older long coat like this always has a worn bottom, and strings hang loose. They've replicated that look here, but haven't actually ruined the lower seam! These hanging threads are added to the coat to mimic the damage without actually damaging it - very impressive!
Fun Factor - ***
Don't buy this for an eight year old - it won't last. But slightly older kids that love the franchise (and they'd have to be slightly older, wouldn't they?) who know how to take care of stuff could have a lot of fun with him. There's nothing here that's particularly fragile, although swapping the hands may require some adult help.
There is the little matter of the price tag, so I wouldn't recommend this as a sand box toy. But even as a collectible, it remembers it's roots - always a plus in my book.
Value - **
While the figure is nice - particularly with two head sculpts - I still think you're slightly overpaying at $150. Not a lot, and you can add another half star here if you pick up Marcus around $130 - $135.
Things to Watch Out For -
You might want to be careful with the little 'cuffs' for the wrapped gloves, since you can tear them up a bit taking the coats on and off. Or you might just carefully pull them loose, like I eventually did, if you plan on displaying him wearing one of the coats most of the time. I figured I could always re-glue them later.
Overall - ***1/2
Marcus Wright is not a critical character for your Terminator collection, but Hot Toys has done a nice job reproducing his on screen persona in action figure form. Giving you both heads allows you to choose how you'd like him displayed, and in fact, with the addition of the two coats and extra hands, you could come up with an alternate outfit that would allow you to display both versions at the same time.
He's a bit expensive for what you're getting, even with the additional portrait. Had there been a few more accessories, or had I been a bit more pleased with the final look of the damaged head, he might have managed that extra half star overall.
I think I'm going to be going with the undamaged head, wearing the long coat for my display. Almost all the photos I used were that way, and that was completely by accident. I shot photos with all three outfits in the damaged head and with the normal head, but when it came time to choose in the editing process, I subconsciously picked the normal head almost every time. I didn't notice it until later, when I was reviewing the whole layout.
We should see the skin wearing T-600 any day now, and pre-orders are already up for the beat up Connor. I'm hoping that Hot Toys tackles some of the older characters next, particularly an Arnie T-800 - I really need a replacement on the shelf!
Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2
Where to Buy
Online options include these site sponsors:
- Sideshow had him at $150, but is sold out. You can still get on the waiting list, however.
- or you can search ebay for a deal.
Related Links -
Other reviews on the Hot Toys TS figures include:
- and if you're looking for other sixth scale Terminator product, check out Sideshow's Sarah Conner.
You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.
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