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“ This guy however looks nothing like Arnie as most of his face has been ripped off. Royalties issue, probably. ”

Jeff Parker reviews the Hot Toys T-800 Terminator

T-800 Terminator from Hot Toys review

Date: September 12th, 2005
By: Jeff Parker

Here I go again with another Terminator figure, this guy, from the first and best 'Terminator' movie has been released as part of a duo (bought separately) with Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn in the original film) being his nemesis.

Now I've said in the past I wasn't that enamored of T-2 (in no way a bad movie, just not one of the best) but having only recently got round to seeing 'Rise of the Machines' and expecting to be disappointed, I was hugely surprised to really enjoy it. All the timelines married up and Arnie actually brought some character to the T-850 (I still wouldn't vote for him though!).

But any way back to this figure, I saw some pics of these two on the web about four or five months ago and instantly thought if the quality matched the prototype photos they would be a must have! Well I'm very pleased to say that in the flesh they have surpassed my expectations, so lets break him down.

Packaging - ****

I have a very limited knowledge of Hot Toys as the only other I own is the v-v-limited Eric So 'James Dean' which I reviewed some time ago. I know amongst modern military collectors they are highly regarded and now I see why. This packaging is great.

Firstly, you get a metallic embossed slide off sleeve, full colour with lots of pics of the figure and bits of info about the T-800, you know the deal, 'ultimate war machine yadda yadda yadda'. It lets us know that it's licensed through Studio Canal and is manufactured by Hot Toys as part of their 'Movie Masterpiece Collection'; and having seen some pics of the upcoming Colonial Marines and Predators they have planned, it looks like this is going to be one of the most movie accurate 1/6 scale collections to date.

Onto the box itself, about the size of your average Sideshow box, flap fronted, and again a wealth of pics. The front of the flap has a large bust shot of the figure holding the mini-gun, inside the flap is a full figure shot holding both the shot gun and Uzi. The back of pack has photo's of the other two figures in the range, Kyle Reese (I shall try and do his review in the next week or so) and the T-800 endoskeleton (I haven't seen one of these yet, but looking at the quality of the two I have, I think it's gonna be as good or maybe even better than the Aoshima version, which was the first review I did for Michael,

Under the three figures is a pic of his kit. You get, a shotgun, Uzi, laser-targeted automatic pistol, mini-gun with belt fed ammo, a hold all to sling over the shoulder and carry your ammo and lastly, but by no means least, the trade mark shades. Slide out the tray and there's your man, sitting in a black plastic vacuum-formed tray with another clear vacuum tray over the top to hold him and the weapons in place; then over the top of both is another clear flat-fronted tray to protect the whole lot and form the window when in position. There are three twisties for the nek waist and ankles.

Sculpting - ***1/2

I feel kind of mean docking half a point, but when I reviewed the last Terminator figure I got, the Popsalute T-850 (and Andy at Popsalute was the guy I bought these two through, you can find him as a trader on eBay). I was hugely impressed at how accurate the sculpt of Arnie was on that figure.

This guy however looks nothing like Arnie as most of his face has been ripped off, and for the Terminator purists out there I don't think at any point in the film the T-800 actually had this degree of mutilation. But its my guess it was to get round paying the Governor of California any royalties, and have, as Tim Burton said of Planet of the Apes, re-imagined the sculpt. So once you've got your head round the fact this is 're-imagined' you will see just how cool the sculpt is. Where flesh meets metal the fine sculpting is brilliant, enhanced greatly by some great paint ops, but more on that later.

As you can hopefully see from my photos there's a lot of fine sculpting on the hair too. Lastly the gloved hands, these are as ravaged as his face, covered in holes revealing bits of flesh and endoskeleton. Superfine attention to detail with some deep sculpting and accurate casting again highlighted by some fantastic paint ops.

Now onto one of this figure's coolest features, I wasn't sure what category to put it under, and I shall almost certainly mention it again in 'Fun Factor' but it kind of has to be mentioned in sculpting as they've done such a fine job of making this feature not detract from the figure when you're not using it. Basically, flip a small switch on the back of his neck and two very tiny but incredibly bright LED lights come on in his eyes, so bright in fact that they tell you not to look directly into them, I did (you can't tell me anything) and I think I've given myself laser eye surgery... be warned.

Paint - ***3/4

A fantastic job on the paint, great flesh tones and even better metallic paint on the exposed skull. Some really nice washes to simulate the blood and ravaged flesh, this effect carries over to the gloved hands which are painted as accurately as the face, giving the whole thing the feel of a top quality customized figure (and we all know how much they can cost). All the guns have some nice subtle metal effects with weathering also.

Articulation - ****

Top marks without a doubt, I've been playing with this guy all morning and you can pose him however you like, all the double joints and cuts you'd expect and the swivel neck joint means his head can be tilted as well. You'll have to excuse me for not stripping him off, I can see it can be done, but the outfit is all laying so well I don't want to risk not being able to get it back how it is!

Outfit - ****

For those of you who read the Popsalute T-850 review, you'll know I said the leather jacket on that was in my opinion the best 1/6 scale I'd seen, well this quite frankly dumps on it from a great height. I happen to own a Schott 'Perfecto' biker jacket as worn by and indeed designed for Marlon Brando in 'The Wild One' also favoured by James Dean and Steve McQueen, so I'm in good company (pity it doesn't fit me anymore). So I can say with a small degree of authority that this is pretty damned accurate.

The scale zips on the pockets and cuffs even work... now that's nice! The rest of his outfit is nicely realized as well, a gray sleeveless T-shirt with bullet holes, army combat trousers and black biker boots, and yes they did remember the studded strip on the left one.

Lastly the shades, these are tinted plastic rather than solid, so when the eyes are switched on they shine through, and very cool it looks too.

Accessories - ***1/2

Guns, guns, guns, well what do you expect. He absolutely will not give up... ever, so he's carrying the firepower to prove it! As we've come to expect these days, all the guns are perfect scale realisations of the real thing, as I said and to quote myself you get "a shotgun, Uzi, laser targeted automatic pistol, mini-gun with belt fed ammo, a holdall to sling over the shoulder and carry your ammo and lastly but by no means least, the trade mark shades" all are nice solid sculpts with all the attention to detail you'd expect.

The thing I failed to mention above, however, is the stand, and it's a nice'un, a black oval with 'The Terminator' written in red and in front of that a 'Toblerone' shaped (do you have Toblerone Swiss chocolate bars in the US ?) bit of plastic with 'Battle damaged T-800' written on it.

Fun Factor - ***1/2

Any teenage boy would love this figure, the face sculpt would gross your Mom out, his freakin eye's light up and he has a bunch of guns... what's not to like. But as always Far East imports are expensive and he is designed as a collectible display item rather than a toy, so elements of it are not that play friendly.

The shades and mini-gun in particular are a very brittle plastic, so great care is needed when using them. I found he also has a similar problem to the Popsalute T-850's hand posts, these don't seem as weak, but it's worth taking note and being careful.

Value - ***1/2

I got a great deal on these two, so I guess I should base my 'VFM' on the usual eBay prices I've seen. There are a few up at the moment with the T-800 going for around $110 to $140 and Kyle going for $99 to $130. Not cheap but you get a lot of doll for your money, and as it is officially licensed and limited it don't seem too bad to me (but bear in mind I'm used to paying UK prices, and your average Sideshow figure retails for around £34 (about $65) and the pound is strong at the moment, so my scale probably isn't the same as yours!

I've also noticed one trader selling all the component parts for kit bashers, nice to know you can get spares, but boy is it expensive! The T-800 leather jacket alone is at $27 with two days to go.

Things to Watch Out For

As I mentioned above, the hand posts look like they could present problems if not treated with care, that said mine are fine, so I only draw your attention rather than complain. And on a separate note, not related to the figure's quality, rather its 'naming'.

If you're bothered by this sort of thing and my friend James is, you may be getting confused why the Terminator from the first film is known by the numbers T-800 and T-101, well if that kind of thing keeps you up at night read this link, it'll make your mind boggle, I showed it to James (Terminator afficianado and he still wasn't convinced) but you can make your own mind up.

James seems to think model 101 is the name for the endoskeleton and the T-800/T-850 refers to the fleshy Arnie coating they give it (meaning the T-600/T-700 are just variation on the human disguise) I'll trust him on that one, though truth be known, I don't give a flying monkey's bollock what it's all about, it's just a cool figure.

Overall - ***1/2

I see the bar being constantly risen in the whole of the toy collecting world, but right now a lot of 1/6 scale stuff is exceptional. I think I'm going to have to reassess my point marking system so all the high end figures don't keep getting such high marks. But that said they deserve them, you just have to look at Michaels review of the Medicom Vader to see how much love is being lavished on these small production runs.

We're getting the same attention to detail once reserved for museum quality military figures, now being given to movie action figures. The good news is it can only get better, the bad news... it's going to be getting expensive. But I'd rather be selective and have a few top quality figures on my shelf, than an entire collection of mediocre ones (all my Hasbro Star Wars stuff is now in storage, bar the Speeder Bike and Scout). But I wait with baited breath to see what Sideshow deliver.

Score Recap:

  • Packaging - ****
  • Sculpt - ***1/2
  • Paint - ***3/4
  • Articulation - ****
  • Outfit - ****
  • Accessories - ***1/2
  • Fun Factor - ***1/2
  • Value - ***1/2
  • Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy

I got mine from Andy at Popsalute on eBay, reliable as ever and very well packed. He always has loads of Far East collectibles so check him out. But if you can't find what you're after drop him a line and tell him you saw the link here and you never know he might be able to cut you a deal depending on availability.


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Page last modified: April 24, 2012 | 11:49:09