Packaging - ***
The graphics on the box, using a Sentinel to wrap around the front and sides,
look terrific. The box also is very misleading, as it is smaller than the
usual deluxe figure packaging. But once you pick it up and practically
drop it, you'll realize you're getting more than meets the eye. This
bugger is heavy, and with such a small box that weight translates to a dense
I did see that many of them had a lot of paint
rubbed off the 'eyes' and onto the plastic window. The fit is very tight,
and you know how McToys likes to pack these things when the paint is still
fresh. Be careful when you're picking yours out, and watch for red and
gray rub marks.
Sculpting - ****
This is one of the best looking figures this year, and that's damn hard to
do considering what we've seen. It's easily the best figure in the entire
Matrix series so far, although it might have some competition when the APU hits
The claws and tentacles look both movie accurate
and realistic as hell. Sure, the tentacles are all pretty much the same,
and they really only have three types of claws - closed, fully open, and
articulated. Even though they are repeating, and therefore more cost
effective, they're still terrific sculpts.
The body of the beast is where the real beauty is. Both the heft of the
solid body and the excellent sculpting detail add realism to the metal
monster. There's a set of 10 large and many smaller arms underneath the
body, all with tool-like ends.
This thing is huge, if you didn't notice. Not only does it weigh a ton,
the tentacles stretch out over two feet behind the body. It's in scale
with the figures, and is going to look truly amazing with the APU.
Paint - ***1/2
Mcfarlane manages some amazing paint applications. They managed a terrific job
again of capturing a realistic metal appearance, with just the right rusty wash.
They lose some points though around the red
light eyes. These didn't work quite as well, with some sloppy definition
between the colors, and some bleed onto the gray around them.
One of the advantages to this figure is the
variety of color. Often, McToys figures tend to blend together, but here
there's enough shades of gray and brown, along with red and silver, to make the
figure pop visually. It's not exactly a chromatic smorgasbord, but it's
better than it could have been.
Oh, and this figure stinks. I mean REALLY
stinks. All of Todd's products smell up the place when you open them, but
this one will make your eyes water. I had the toy sitting in a room about
20x20, and I had to take it out to the garage to air out - it was stinking up
the entire room. Gotta love those fluorocarbons.
Articulation - ***
Let me start out by saying this figure couldn't have had more articulation,
and actually could have used less.
Of course, every one of the tentacles, including
the two extras in the base, are bendy. They are stiff enough to hold
any position, and you can bend them at just about any angle. They are also
jointed at the body, so they can be turned in different directions.
Unfortunately, those joints tend to be loose, so it can be tough to get the
upper tentacles to stay in positions above the body, but if you play with it for
awhile, you'll get it to work just fine.
The little arms beneath the body - the ten
medium sized ones, actually - are also articulated with a ball joint at the
body. That allows for some decent positioning, although they pop off
pretty easily. Mine was actually missing one of them right from the
factory, so try to be sure that yours has all of them, and that you don't loose
one after you've opened him up.
A handful of the claws are also articulated with
two joints on each finger. This is the one area where the joints could
have been skipped. They are too weak to actually hold anything, they come
out of the package fairly bent up, and they are tough to get into any reasonably
decent looking pose. I would have prefered a different claw sculpt,
something between the completely open and completely closed, that might
have been able to hold items.
Accessories - ***
There's only one - the base. It's well sculpted, and is pretty
critical to hold this puppy up. I did have some trouble getting the metal
bar to fit into the base, but once I did it seemed fairly sturdy and likely to
last. Make sure you get it deeply into both the body and the base to avoid
fat-toy-droop over time.
Value - ***1/2
I'm scoring this at the $25 I paid. If you manage to pick one up
closer to $20, you can add another half star. Even at five bucks more,
this is a terrific deal. This is a huge, heavy, detailed action figure,
that looks like he just swam off the screen.
Overall - ***1/2
This should really be a four star figure. It's that good -
except. There's those minor paint application issues around the
'eyes'. And there's the rather clumsy articulated claws. Still, this
thing is so close to four stars it's almost a crime not to give it to him just
on coolness factor alone. And that coolness is what could make this figure
the best of 2003, four stars or not.
Where to Buy -
I picked this one up at Gamestop, but you have some on-line options as well:
Toys has the Sentinel in stock for $22.
Earth is charging $30.