Hot Toys Terminator Salvation
T-600 Weathered and Concept Versions

   "The 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 guest author."

With Terminator: Salvation arriving in U.S. stores today, it seemed only right that we have a Jeff Parker review of two of the T-600 variations. Take it away, Jeff!

A big thank you to Michael.

I think it’s fair to say that the figure that best sums up the movie Terminator: Salvation is the T-600… and Hot Toys have done the figure proud!

They kicked off with the plain uncluttered basic version which I reviewed here, now, if you’re a fan of Endoskeletons in their most basic unencumbered form, then this was the one for you, as those fully jointed fingers, engineered feet and indeed the full shebang is fully on show!

However, if you’ve seen the movie then you have to admit the T-600’s were at their creepiest when badly attempting to disguise themselves as humans in clothes and masks. But we’re not talking pristine outfits and shiny new masks, oh no!

This movie is set in a dystopian war ravaged future in which mankind is quite literally gripping on to existence by its dirty fingernails. So the remnants of the once new disguises that the T-600’s wear are pretty threadbare, meaning they consist mainly of rags and the masks are well worn, filthy and peppered with holes.

The end result is that these hulking guardians of Skynet end up looking like post apocalyptic robo-zombies… and there’s not much to dislike about that is there!

Packaging ****
Once again the gunmetal Styrofoam case is utilised for these two figures, it’s the same drill as before, split along the outside edge to separate into two halves, one side holding the figure, the other his mammoth gun and other accessories.

Outside, the case shows implied casting and machining in a dull, dark grey palette and has a full colour printed narrow sleeve to give a photographic glimpse of what lies within.
I loved these boxes from the moment I saw that first T-700 diorama, and guess what, I love them just as much now. I admit they are not my favourite packaging this year, but it’s been such an incredibly strong year packaging wise, that the competition has been mighty stiff. But whatever you think of these boxes they certainly get the accolade of being the most distinctive line by a wide country mile!

Sculpting- ****
I’m sorry to say I’m gonna be a little lazy here… well, not really lazy, but I can’t see the point of repeating myself when 90 percent of these figures construction is identical to the basic T-600 I already reviewed. In fact not just me, Michael went into great depth as well in his lowdown on the standard T-600, and he’s also covered the weathered version as well.

So for a detailed description of the body, please revisit these reviews-
T-600 and T-700’s, T-600 + John Connor, T-600 Weathered.
So to sum up, as if you didn’t already know it, the engineered and robotic elements on these things are sculpted to sheer perfection. But there are a few different aspects worthy of note here as well. To aid in their disguise when trying to infiltrate human resistance groups, they wear tattered gloves and clodhopper booted feet, both of which are observed beautifully here. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking a real pair of 1/6th distressed leather boots and a knackered old pair of Oakley tactical gloves had been put on the figure, as the quality of the sculpting and observed details where the implied holes show the mechanical digits below is nothing short of perfection.

They also wear ‘Michael Ryan’ styled rubber masks- but without the hair, the two masks differ quite a bit here, the regular weathered version has a split up the back and covers the full skull, but for a few strategic holes here and there. The concept version shows a much more Jekyll and Hyde or perhaps 2 Face appearance, meaning the implied battle damage has blown half of the masks face away, so it shows half of the Endo-skull beneath, I have to admit I’m loving this one much more out of the two, as it seems a crime to cover up all the über cool work done on the skulls detailing. The material the masks are made from is quite stiff, so I’d advise a good long blast from a hot hairdryer before attempting to put them on (and likewise before removing), I found that once they were nice and pliable they went on pretty easily. Just match the chin up with the skull then position the rest so the eyes can peer through the eyeholes. Once everything is lined up they do look pretty darn creepy, then all that remains is to futz the rest of the clothes and his scarf till you are happy with the way it all lays.

Both figures come with impressive figure stands. The concept versions base looks like a generic bit of debris with layers of deformed steel and pitted copper, it’s a nice looking piece and far outshines the regular black stands. But it’s the base from the weathered version that is most notable, it’s sculpted to mimic a patch of rough earth and rocks, and is scattered with human skulls. I don’t usually use the stands, let alone the support bars that attach to the figures, but this is one case where I will. Why, well because the best pose seems to be with the T-600 in mid step, about to crush one of those skulls underfoot, so I’m going against my unwritten rule and displaying him this way!

Paint- ****
Faultless, faultless, faultless! One of these days Hot Toys will get it wrong, maybe even very wrong, but it ain’t happened here. All the metallic hues come together beautifully to actually make this thing look like it is made of real metal, but not just one type of metal, this mimics brushed steel, cast-iron and some smaller areas even have coppery tones where it looks like rust has taken a grip in the machined grooves. And of course we have the matte, distressed leather of the boots, and the dirty tan leather tactical gloves through which we get glimpses of the steel appendages beneath. The Masks also show a fair degree of implied dirt and grime, as do the accessories and bases, with nicely applied sponging and airbrushing to give them just the right post Armageddon feel. In fact the stand for the weathered version is worthy of special note again, as the paint app here is just beautiful, picking out some great paint effects and textures on the earth and rocks, with special attention being lavished on the dirt and grime covered old bone skulls.

I can think of very little else to say, apart from what I said at the beginning…faultless!

Articulation ****
These are an absolute master-class in 1/6th engineering, and truly deserve the highest praises anyone can heap on them. You really need to hold one of them and play around with all the joints to get an understanding of how complex and well thought through all these hinges and pistons are. However we’ve been well over this ground before so for this section it really is time to direct you to those previous reviews again. All that needs to be added is that these guys obviously have different hands and feet meaning you don’t get those cool articulated fingers. But as these are wearing gloved hands specifically designed to hold his Vulcan mini-guns and grenade launchers (more on this shortly) I don’t think you’ll miss them too much. So it’s pretty much an identical set up in terms of articulation, however his general poseability is slightly different, as those rags and protective pads do offer a little resistance to some of his movements. But it’s not enough to bother their final scores, as you’ll still get just about any kick ass pose out of these that you could possibly want… well, within reason!

But back to those hands, well, more specifically getting then to hold the weapons. On the first version you just slotted the rigid ‘O’ ring on the mini-gun over the hand and secured it to the relevant position on the fore-arm, but with these gloved characters you’ll struggle to get that ring over the hand at all… but stop, that’s not how you do this… I know because I tried.

Then I found the small printed instruction sheet polly-bagged and taped to the inside box. Basically, both of the hands are removable, they just pull clean off. I’d still exercise restraint, don’t just yank’em off. But a firm, strong, pull will get them off easily. Each hand has a small ball shaped peg that matches up with the main piston. This just pushes back into place, the slightly trickier part is making sure the other three piston rods attached to the glove line-up with the holes in the three piston chambers still attached to the arm, it’s a little fiddly, but not too stressful. This has to be done twice for the weathered version as he has to hold his grenade launcher as well.

Outfit ****
This guy did not require the services of the Harue Creative team, but don’t let that make you think it’s any less well observed. I looked through my Terminator: Salvation companion book and the designers have created a great little facsimile of the outfit we first see a T-600 in when it tackles with Marcus and Kyle. Well, I say outfit, you can tell that this was once a set of BDU’s but the years and mileage have not been kind to them. However I suppose when you are a murderous Terminator, going out everyday a shootin and a killin and a stabbin humanity into extinction, then you can bet those pesky humans is just gonna keep fightin right back atcha sometimes!

And so, although it looks like the T-600 has survived the odd mortar blast and direct fit from the occasional shotgun, his wardrobe didn’t fair quite so well.

What we actually have are the very tattered remains of a pair of combat trousers and what looks like it might once have been a tactical vest. Over this he wears an assortment of odds and ends, a knee pad here, an elbow pad there, a laced up webbing belt, an assortment of rags and bandages wrapped around his wrists and ankles and lastly a scarf loosely hung around his neck. So not what you’d call sartorially elegant, but a great job in looking downright sinister, and Hot Toys have done a great job in actually making this stuff look like it’s genuinely dirty and genuinely old and knackered, which is quite a feet at this scale… I love it!

Accessories Weathered ****+, Concept ****
The weathered version comes with a slightly better selection, but the extras with the Concept version are so cool I don’t feel justified in marking it down just because the others are better… if that makes sense.. well, it does to me, so I’ll just give the weathered an extra +!
The concept version comes with a different mask and the specially designed gun and ammo drum; these are based on the preliminary sketches and concept art produced by Martin Laing for the movies production. As with any motion picture with a multi-million dollar budget, every aspect of its design under goes numerous revisions and re-thinks, but sometimes it’s cool to see that early work make it into the collectables market. Sideshow have been doing it with some of their maquettes, and even Hasbro gave us McQuarries concept figures from the original Star Wars trilogy.

The way it differs from the screen used weapon is that the gun has a different mechanical configuration and is held above the arm and hand rather than beneath, but let’s face it, the weight and recoil ain’t gonna be bothering this particular MF! The drum on his back is also a more complex shape and doesn’t need the webbing straps to hold it in place as it attaches directly to the T-600’s back. I have to admit in terms of Skynet designing armed, automated, self motivated mobile gun platforms, this does seem like a far more logical answer to the ‘supposed’ brief than the T-600 having what is in effect a ‘strapped-on’ backpack...but hey, I’m not McG and sometimes I guess good sense has to make way for what ‘lesser people’ might consider ‘a more real world feel’, but hey, whadoo’I’know? He also comes with a rubber mask that shows a little more of the Endo’s skull beneath, and I have to say this version looks by far the coolest, well to me anyway, as you get a much better view of the skulls details. He also has a tattered beanie hat that pulls over the top of the mask, this has damage that corresponds nicely with the holes in the mask and once in place sets the whole thing off nicely.

The weathered version has an ammo drum and Vulcan mini-gun that is exactly the same design as the under-slung configuration of the one we got with the regular T-600. It does however have the grenade launcher to be held in the left hand. This too is under-slung, having a ribbed rubber hose with a posing wire hidden inside. This attaches to the back of the launcher and winds round to attach to the side of the drum by means of a small peg. I did find the soft rubbery nature of the peg meant it was tough… no let me rephrase that… ‘nye on impossible’ to get into the hole. I did eventually get it to hold well enough for ‘most’ of my photos, but you might find yourself modifying it a little by trimming the peg or even gluing it in place for long-term displays!

Both also come with cool figure stands, I’ve been over the sculpt and paint on these above, but what I didn’t mention was that both come with a bag of around 20 bullets that you can scatter around the base once your figure is in the pose you want, but take care moving the base once you have added the shells as they are prone to roll everywhere if you forget… again, I found out the hard way!

Fun factor- ****
2 very big, fantastically articulated, supremely engineered, heavily armed, robo-zombies that come with cool display bases. The construction is reasonably robust, and the freaken eyes light up… did I mention that before… no, well I will now. THE FREAKIN EYES LIGHT UP! The weathered version still throws up the same problem as before, i.e. its tricky getting to the on/off button when the ammo drum is strapped in place, but I’m glad to report the concept versions is much more accessible. I kept the lights switched on with mine for quite a while during two photo sessions and so far they haven’t faded at all!

Value for money- ****
The concept version was a limited edition, originally only intended for release as an exclusive at the Hong Kong Ani-Com 2009. I’ve heard it was to be in an edition size of between 300 to 500 units (though I can’t say whether this is accurate or not). If you jumped quick when these first came out then you could have secured one for as little as $145, but that small edition size has pushed the price up pretty quickly, with most on eBay now demanding between $195 to $250, one chancer is even trying for $399.

The weathered version is nowhere near as rare, and was originally available from Sideshow for $175 for the regular and $185 for the exclusive, which had an extra mask. But if you shopped around you could have picked him up for around $140, and he’s still available on eBay for between $150 to $170 even now.

So, if I base my value on a price of around $150 each, then I think for figures that weigh in at a full 14 inches, and that are this complex, with the amount of R+D that must have gone into them, then that is definitely good value in my book, but depending on how much you might end up paying over my $150 guide line, well, then it’s up to you… one mans ‘extortionate’ is another mans ‘bargain’.

Overall- ****
With each passing week it looks less likely that we’d see any more characters from T: S, Kyle Reese was one of the 4 options in the recent HT Terminator poll to find the character, fans would most like made into the next figure. But sadly for Kyle he was up against the Arnie T-800’s from T1, T2 and the rather sexy TX from T3 (OK, I know most people would generally like to forget this was ever made… but the TX design was cool, whatever you think of the movie). The final result being he trailed in a rather sorry fourth with his tail very much between his legs. However, the very fact he made it to the list of options means I haven’t given up all hope yet, after all he is the ‘daddy’ of the resistance, and as such deserves a little respect!
But enough speculation, I’m here to sum up on these two very impressive pieces of kit.

Your biggest dilemma will be which one do you get… or should you get both? I can vouch that having both is obviously the coolest (and most expensive) option as both have very distinct looks, what with the different bases, guns and masks. If I had to make the choice then I’d keep the concept version, as I also have the standard T-600. It’s cool that the concept has so many different features, and his gun is a totally different design, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t miss that fantastic base that comes with the weathered one, or his cool grenade launcher… so luckily I don’t have to choose, which is good as I think both are pretty near perfection!

Where to buy
As I said above, the weathered version was available at Sideshow at prices ranging between $174.99 for the regular and $184.99 for the exclusive with the extra mask
However there are still a few options to be had out there.

Urban Collector - Weathered $157.99

Big Bad Toy Store - Weathered $169.99 

Or you can try ebay where both are available with a wide variety of prices.

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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