Hot Toys - T-1000 Sarah Connor Disguise - Review

DSCF9213Earlier this year, I placed pre-orders for three of the most highly anticipated Hot Toys releases of some time, that being the Avengers: Black Widow, The Dark Knight Rises DX figure and the Terminator 2 T-800 DX release.  As I already own a custom T-1000 bash, and would be receiving his nemesis the T-800 within days of writing this; I thought it only fitting that I try and 'complete' the collection with the legendary Sarah Connor.  It was then that I embarked upon my mission to find her, and it was easier than I thought!

Originally I toyed with the idea of putting together a custom from loose parts.  I'd already seen the head sculpt as a loose item on eBay, but it attracted an asking price of around £56...  Combine that with a Phicen body, and then the relevant clothing items and we're looking in the region of £150 total parts spent.  That, I thought, wasn't bad considering I'd seen the boxed Sarah Connor go on eBay for about £250... in some cases £350+ (yes, some crazy people out there will pay these prices!).  I'd already made a conscious decision that I wanted the rooted hair variant, that being the T-1000 in 'Sarah Connor' disguise.  In all it is essentially the same figure, apart from the rooted hair, which I much preferred over sculpted hair, and the magnetic bullet hits...

I'd pretty much given up hope of finding an affordable boxed version of this figure, until I stumbled upon one by mistake!  I was in the process of contacting 1/6th retailers to let them know about the website, and whilst I visited one particular website 'Why So Serious Online' (UK based) I browsed through their figure selection, just idly looking at general prices and what was in stock, low and behold there she was, Sarah Connor and for a mere £149; which for a rare sideshow exclusive was a mighty fine price indeed.

I went to bed that night un-decided as to whether I could afford the figure, having just spent a lot of money (paid in full) for the pre-orders mentioned above.  I almost couldn't sleep with worry that I may never get an opportunity to own this figure again, especially at such an excellent price... by morning, my mind was made up; I went ahead and ordered it.  This was on the Sunday morning, and by Tuesday I had her in my hands; I must say I was very impressed with 'Why So Serious's quick turn-around on the order and it arrived extremely well packed.

I find it quite ironic that Sarah Connor is actually my first Hot Toys figure, yet she will be oldest release that I own within the next couple of months.  I've been into 1/6th scale figures now for over eighteen months, and in that time I've amassed a collection of about 35 figures, not including Sarah, that are mostly custom kit-bashes that I've put together.  Prior to Sarah's arrival I owned just two figures that could be considered 'out of the box' without any modification or customisation.  In terms of release dates my first figure should have been The Dark Knight Rises DX, however that is still on it's way to the UK via a boat (oh the joys of living on an island!) and it transpires that the DX-10 T-800 figure that was released afterwards will actually turn up before!   However, as fate would have it, Sarah Connor becomes my first Hot Toys figure in my hand, and having no prior experience of Hot Toys figures (aside from loose parts); I can look upon this review with virgin eyes, unbiased by previous opinion or comparison...   So let's look at her a little more closely:

Now, normally I would ramble on somewhat in a review with regards to a little background history of the figure in question, with historical facts if it was a military figure, or perhaps some references to the film etc...   I'm going to try not to on this occasion and that is for one simple reason...  if you have not seen Terminator 2, or indeed ANY of the Terminator franchise then you sir, have been living in a cave for the past 25 years.  Surely, everyone reading this would know who Sarah Connor is and her significance in the Terminator genre?  You do?  Excellent, then we shall continue!

The box is the usual high quality Hot Toys affair, in 'brushed steel' effect, depicting an image of Sarah Connor, or more accurately the T-1000 disguised as Sarah Connor with liquid metal bullet damage to the middle of her / his torso.  We must remember that although I have purchased this figure as 'Sarah Connor', it has been marketed as the T-1000... perhaps it was just an excuse to produce another Sarah Connor figure, but this time to re-visit the head-sculpt.  Either way, I'm happy they did as I much prefer this version.

So, what do we get inside the box?  This particular figure you could consider perhaps to be a little light on accessories, but as its Sarah Connor, we'll forgive her.  She includes:

Special figure body with seamless joints at the elbow and rubberised upper torso standing approx 28cm tall, special figure stand featuring the T-1000 'melted' boots into the metal frame, shotgun, pistol, knife, 3 pairs of hands in total including a spare set of wrist pins, cigarette, magnetic T-1000 'bullet hits' and the special edition T-1000 head sculpt (not available separately).

The clothing she is wearing accurately depicts Sarah towards the later part of the film, that being from when she assaults the Dyson household about 1:35hr into the film.  She is dressed in black combat fatigues with an OD military style ALICE belt, an OD tank top, and a tactical vest harness with 4 x pockets for M4 style 30 round magazines.  Her boots are US Army issue type which are moulded, but are highly detailed in relation to the brass eyelets etc...  Unlike the previous release of Sarah Connor (MMS 119) this figure does not include the baseball cap and sunglasses, however it does come with a wrist watch which is nice to cover up one of the otherwise exposed wrist pegs, although not seen in the film!

This particular variation of Sarah Connor depicts specifically how she looks towards the very later parts of the film, for those scenes filmed inside 'The Steel Mill', in particular where the damaged T-1000 'disguises' himself as Sarah Connor.  In essence to get this effect, Hot Toys have provided you with a special figure stand that shows the boots melded into part of the metal grill flooring, and the liquid metal 'bullet hits' for when the real Sarah fires upon the T-1000 with her shotgun.  The choice to display Sarah using that foot stand and to apply the bullet hits are entirely optional – meaning without them, you just have a standard (although better in my opinion) rooted hair version of MMS119 Sarah Connor.

DSCF9234By the nature of the outfit that Sarah wears in the film, Hot Toys needed to use a body that suits exposed joints, especially at the elbows.  To this affect they used a new type of body, with a rubberised torso that also includes complete cover of the arm, and from what I can make out this first appeared on MM119, this figure MM125 and then Abigail Whistler on MM128.  Unfortunately, whilst this body type does serve an excellent purpose in terms of offering the highest level of realism, it does so at a cost – articulation.  The arms themselves are able to move upwards and outwards in the usual fashion, to a certain limited degree they can move inwards too due to rotation in the shoulder joint.  At the elbow the joints are able to bend up to 100 degrees (contrary to what has been portrayed in some YouTube video reviews), however, there is no rotation of the elbow meaning poses where Sarah is expected to hold her shotgun in both hands are pretty awkward, and really only one such pose is achievable.  That, as far as I am concerned is the only flaw that concerns me with this figure, it is however a fundamental one as it really does limit the poses that can be fulfilled.  For me, I will continue to adopt poses with the 'arms down the side', it is something that I can live with, but I can understand those who are frustrated with this issue.  One potential option would be to replace the standard HT body with a Phicen 'small bust' version which may add more articulation, however I would tend to avoid such 'overkill' as it would be more hassle than it's worth.  Thankfully some of the more recent femme fatales such as Black Widow has her arms covered, which means body types with the more traditional jointed arms can be used, allowing for a greater range of motion.

Once her clothes are off (although not pictured) you can see the metal plate 'belt' which allow the front and rear magnetic bullet hits to attach to her body.  As I'm going to be displaying her permanently in 'Sarah Connor' configuration, I removed this belt and will probably use the bullet hits on my custom T-1000 instead.

You can see in one of my pictures the Sarah Connor body in pieces.  This was because in trying to remove the head sculpt in stripping the figure down for photographs, I pulled a little too hard and she came apart at the mid-section.  Not to worry, it was double ball jointed, so was supposed to come apart that way but it had me a little worried at first and was difficult to lock back into place.  Whilst I had her in pieces I also photographed the upper-torso and it allows you to see the beautiful realistic skin-tone which has been applied to this figure, freckles and all.  Her navel is sculpted which is nice, and despite the lack of elbow rotation this would have been a fantastic loose nude figure to pick up for custom kit-bashes, although extremely rare now; but long before Phicen's time.

No feet on this figure.  The ankle joints are double ball jointed and correspond with the sockets on the boot feet and the melted T-1000 boot feet stand.  Again, many lovely parts on this figure that if you can get loose, do so, such as the boots which are often difficult to find nice detailed female sized combat boots.

The hand options are 3 pairs in total which comprise of left and right relaxed hands (these are on the figure by default), left and right trigger hands, a left 'dagger holding' hand and a right 'cigarette' holding hand.  All of them are fairly soft rubber which is nice when putting something in the hands, but doesn't provide the best grip for the heaviest item being the shotgun.  It won't fall out of her hand, but it's difficult to get the right trigger hand to hold it properly.

DSCF9239There is divided opinion on the head sculpt for this particular figure, some saying that they prefer the previous release MMS119 with the sculpted hair style, and others who prefer this version with the rooted hair.  I personally reside firmly in the second camp, with my vote going strongly towards the rooted hair, although I do concede that facially the first edition sculpt had more of a Linda Hamilton likeness, especially around the jaw-line.  What would have been a fantastic compromise would have been a combination of the two, and probably with a little modification not entirely an impossible process – although I don't know anyone willing to spend the money on two expensive and rare head sculpts, just to create one 'perfect' one... but I'm sure those persons are out there!

Depicting Sarah Connor (or more accurately the T-1000 impersonating Sarah Connor; I keep forgetting this!) in the 'Steel Mill' scene, she does come with some 'battle damage', those being small cuts and scrapes to the face.  There is a movie accurate scar on the left arm near the shoulder which I also noticed when watching the DVD back, nice accurate touch Hot Toys!  The instructions that come with the figure suggest using a hair styling product to get that wet almost 'bedraggled' look as she appears towards the end of the movie; I personally will avoid ruining this by doing so.  On the subject of the hair, the overall 'cut' is very nice with layered hair, not all the same length which is nice as it creates a more manageable and realistic look with it hanging down naturally.  On reviewing the film over several times, it's safe to say that the Hot Toys version hair is much more 'red' that than she appears in the movie, in fact it's positively ginger; no matter, I have a thing for red-heads!

Whilst we're looking at head sculpts, now would be a fantastic time to mention the special bonus head that comes with this boxed set, and that is of the T-1000 battle damage head-sculpt which is a special edition, only available with this set.  It shows the shotgun blast to the head which Sarah inflicts shortly before he pins her to the wall with the 'pointy steel finger' scene.  This item is a particularly rare one, and something that I personally will be selling on as I wish to display my T-1000 in it's current split-head configuration, but for most people they will find this added accessory simply fantastic.

Looking at her weapons a little more closely she comes with a Remington 870; Police Combat model with extended magazine tube, a combat knife with black leather sheath, and a 1911 chambered in .45 which oddly does not feature in the film (in the Hot Toys configuration).

The model 870 features the police special extended magazine tube and a folding metal stock with shell holder which comes with five individual shells which are removable, one note on these; the shells in the film shotgun were blue... not red.  In one YouTube review I saw, the reviewer mentioned that you can load the shells into the shotgun, no, you cannot.  You can however pump the slide action, but you'll have to make the 'ker-clack' noises yourself I'm afraid.

DSCF9249The 1911 pistol is a slight oddity in that nowhere in the film, certainly towards the later part where they re-arm at the arms cache does a .45 cal 1911 with wood grips appear, however Hot Toys seem to believe it does.  Sarah actually uses a custom Detonics 1911 with long-slide; this can be seen at Dysons house and in the Cyberdyne factory.  No matter, it's still a nice piece with removable magazine, working slide and cockable hammer.

The knife, is, well a nice shiny pointy combat knife with a black leather sheath.  Slightly inaccurate as the movie version (the scene where she carves 'no fate' into the table) has a dull matte-black blade.

Conclusions...

Well, overall I'm really happy with this figure.  Yes it has a few minor inaccuracies, but nothing that the only the most die-hard Terminator fans may notice, and all of which I can live with.  The pose-ability of the figure is indeed limited due to the lack of elbow rotation, but I'm also happy to pose it in such a way that it does not compromise this drawback.  I would be interested to see the durability of the rubber torso, especially in poses where the elbows are bent at 90 degrees or more, to see if cracks develop in the soft rubber, if you've had your Sarah Connor since it was released in 2010 and have noticed any issues, please get in touch and let us know, or leave a comment at the bottom of this review.

You may have noticed that none of my photos really show Sarah in full T-1000 mode, that being in the figure stand.  That's because I had no real intention of ever displaying Sarah like this, and intend to sell or trade the parts that I don't wish to use, therefore didn't want to risk damaging or marking them; however I have linked to a decent YouTube video review at the bottom of this page which will show you some of the things I may have missed.

I would like to thank Why So Serious at this point also for their excellent customer service and fast shipping.  Unfortunately I had the last T-1000 version of Sarah Connor from them, but they are still out there if you look hard enough.

Thanks for reading!

 Recommended YouTube Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdSUzAYZ898

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