12'' T-850 from Popsalute review
Date: April 8th, 2005
By: Jeff Parker
Back last summer I wrote my first review for Michael (which can't have been too bad as he's let me invade these hallowed pages at MWCtoys.com on many occasions since) on the Japanese imported Aoshima die-cast T-800, and now I have a new Far East import, this time from the Hong Kong-based 'new' manufacturer Popsalute.
Now Popsalute has been operating for some time as an eBay trader but has only recently (in fact these are their first licensed release) gone into manufacturing. I shall review the T-850 first and follow it with the female T-X which has been released as a companion/enemy piece.
Packaging - ****
For a company's first piece of packaging this is pretty spectacular. A large format (think two usual 12" figure boxes side by side) with a double width flap front. It has an overall red-tinted appearance and Terminator 3 logos appear on all four sides. The front has a large pic of Arnie's battle ravaged T-850 face along side his silhouette. The back has a stylized image, lots of Chinese writing and a list of production credits (in English), and judging by this, more people were involved on it than the actual movie.
Upon opening the flap you see a representation of the T-850's visual read-out (at least I think that's what it is, as if you read my T-800 review you'll know I'm not the biggest fan of T-2, and I haven't even seen Rise of the Machines' yet!).
And then we get to the interesting part, the window displaying the figure and his absolute wealth of accessories, but more on that later. Inside is a slide out clam-shell tray and once again we are shown by our Far East cousins that not a single twisty tie is needed!
Sculpting - ****
There's a lot of sculpting here if you include all the accessories but as they are being judged in their own right I shall stick to the figure, spare hands and spare/alternative head.
This is a great likeness of Arnie, as good, if not better than anything McFarlane has produced, and of course unlike Todd's stuff he's poseeable with a great fabric costume. I don't care what Todd says (and he says plenty, if you've viewed the extra's on the AVP DVD you'll know what I mean!) I, and I think most other people, want to display their figures in a variety of poses, not just the one Todd thinks best 'suits' the model.
Anyway enough ranting and back to the matter at hand, as I said the face is great and really captures Arnie's steely/vacant/wooden stare. Next is the alternate head showing the T-850 after having half his 'flesh' face blown/sliced off. The sculpting here is great again and is definitely Arnie, but isn't quite as sharp as the main head, but it's more than made up for by the fact that the sculpting on the endoskeleton half is fantastic, and has the added bonus of having a light up robot eye.
Now the material used on the heads is pretty hard/strong so swapping them over is probably going to take a lot of boiling water (not advisable on the head with the light) or mondo 'hair-dryering', so I don't know if I'll ever bother swapping them over. But I'm sure with care it's possible and if you prefer that 'look' would be pretty damn cool.
The only other area left then is the hands. You get two sets, gripping - for the myriad of weapons and fists - for beating seven colours of s**t out of opponents. Both sets are tightly sculpted, perhaps the right hand could be in a more closed position for holding the weapons, but that's academic.
Paint - ***3/4
Very tight paint ops, eyes and hair are accurate and on mine there's no over-painting. The skin tones are fantastic and once again the 'normal' head is just that bit tighter and a little more attention seems to have been paid to subtle shading around the chin and mouth, but that said the attention spent to the endoskeleton half on the alternate head is also nice and tight and the base steel colour has been given an accurate wash effect, making it look like there's still the residue of blood from the flesh that was there. And where the flesh does meet metal there's a very convincing use of a blood-paint that's semi opaque and really does the business.
Articulation - ***
Now I can't fault this guy's articulation, it does everything it should (though a little loose) by modern 1/6 scale standards, and seems to be a more buff version of a dragon body, so you get all the double joints and split cuts you'd expect. So why drop him a star!
Well the arms though reasonably serviceable with the jacket off really struggle once it is put on. The thickness of the biker jacket makes it hard for his arms to hold a position over a 90-degree angle. So some purists out there might find them selves changing the body over to something that holds poses better. Personally I think I can live with it, but it's a shame as so far he's been doing so well.
Another thing to look out for are the wrist joints where I found the post that inserts into the arm to be very weak, and in fact snapped off on mine. You in effect get spares in the form of the alternate hands, but be warned!
Accessories - ***1/2
This guy is 'LOADED'. He comes with two pairs of shades (one battle damaged for the alternate head) three weapons (an H&K G36 rifle 'stockless', an M500 Mossberg shotgun and an M1919 machine gun wit drum mag, I'm sure this all means something to someone!) then there's the coffin for slinging over his shoulder (I may not have seen the movie but I've seen the stills) and lastly there's a credit card-style numbered card letting you and me know that this is number 0085 in a run of 1200.
The only reason for docking the half a point is that the coffin is a shade under 10" long, so unless Arnie's picking up Danny DeVitto for a sequel to Twins set in a funeral home, the scale is a little out. But that said, when it's slung up on his shoulder I think you'd be hard pressed to notice.
Now if anyone knows where I can find a 1/6 scale Harley Fat Boy (for a reasonable price) he'll be complete.
Outfit - ****
Now as I said earlier the thickness of the jacket hampers the articulation, but I think that counts against the body, not the outfit, so I'm giving it a perfect score. The detailing is great on the leather jeans, they have working to scale zips at the bottom of the legs and the boots, which have actual metal chains attached, look great. The tight fitting 'muscle' t-shirt is well tailored, but it's the bikers jacket that steals the show. The zips on the pockets, cuffs and running down the front though not working are perfect to scale and the side panels have working laces. It's also half lined to the sleeve and all in all is the best 1/6 'leather' jacket I've seen, easily better than the Marvel studios Dare Devil and more accurate than the Lara Croft 12" from a few years ago (which was an awful doll, with a pretty good outfit).
Fun Factor - ***
If he'd had a tighter body we would be looking at a perfect score, but this would still make a great 'play' toy and his abundance of accessories would give it even more play value. I, however, will be displaying him next to his Aoshima 'cousin' where I think he belongs.
Value - ***
That might seem like a high score for a figure I've only seen on eBay going for US $130.00. But I cut a good deal, getting this guy and the T-X which on eBay is going for around US $79.00 with free shipping thrown in for US $200 (shipping was calculated for $45.00 for both). So all in all I made a saving of $55.00 which sweetened the pill. But looking at the overall quality and wealth of accessories he seemed like a good buy compared to some Far East limited editions.
Overall - ***1/2
Only let down by the price and those loose arms, otherwise v-highly recommended.
Things to Watch out for
As I mentioned above, the loose body joints and the weak posts on the hand/arm connectors.
Where to Buy
I got mine through Charlesay on eBay so try him, but you'll also find Andy Thong (Mr'Popsalute') is selling for about the $130.00 mark.