Hot Toys - The Terminator (MMS136) - Review

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I’m a huge Terminator fan.  I have a liking for anything sci-fi related that contains robots, androids or cyborgs, but in particular; it’s the Terminator franchise that really hits the spot for me.  Hot Toys started their Movie Masterpiece collection with MMS001 and MMS002, Kyle Reece and the T-800 respectively, and many years on the genre is still proving popular for the manufacturer.  It was with great regret that I started this hobby after this particular figure, MMS136 was released and long since sold out, therefore I had little hope of obtaining one for my collection at a decent price, until one lucky day I scored a bargain on eBay.  For the sum of $250 including free shipping, the T-800 from the first Terminator movies was in my hands, finally, and took it’s rightful place in my cabinet along with my T-1000, Sarah Connor, T2 T-800 (DX10) and another custom ‘female terminator’.

The T-800 from the first ‘Terminator’ movie was announced on September 24th 2010, and considering it is now 3 years old the quality is every bit as good as more recent releases.  So let’s take a look at the T-800 in more detail:

Starting with the packaging, the outer box is the usual MMS affair, in bright ‘chrome’ effect to mimic the metallic look of the endoskeleton.  This outer cover slips off to reveal a plastic windowed box which contains the tray holding the figure.  Removing the tray from the box we’re able to admire all of the accessories which include:

(1) Additional interchangeable left eye damaged head
(1) Pair of relaxed palms
(1) Pair of gloved fists
(1) Pair for holding gun
(1) Additional wrist pegs
(1) Damaged right arm
(1) AMT 'Hardballer' long slide pistol
(1) Uzi 9mm sub-machine gun
(1) Ithaca 37 Shotgun
(1) Medical pincer
(1) Medical knife
(4) Pairs of medical scissors
(1) Figure stand with T800 nameplate and the Terminator movie logo

Taking the figure out of the box and like most Hoy Toys figures, it has a nice weight to it as one would expect for a body of these proportions.  The tailoring of the clothing is superb and one cannot help but admire the intricate detailing.  The torso does seem slightly more bulky than the T2 DX10 model, but then that would be an accurate depiction of Arnold at the time of making this film, when he was at his physical peak in terms of muscular build, whereas by 1991 he’d started to slim down somewhat. 

I began by stripping the figure down so we could get a better look at the articulation and in doing so we can better examine the provided outfit.

First let’s take a closer inspection of the jacket.  Those of you who have seen the film (and I’m sure most of you have) will know that the T-800 gets the outfit represented in this release within the opening few minutes of the film from of the three local dead-beats.  Whilst the jacket may look fairly roomy on the person whom he takes it from, on the T-800 it’s a nice snug fit.  Faithfully reproducing everything you see on the big screen in encompasses four functional pockets on the front, a tiny and fully functional zipper, leather effect patches on the back and elbow with real metal studs affixed, and of course that traditional 80’s look biker chain hanging from the left shoulder.  The jacket also features a drawstring bottom and mid-section, along with being fully lined; it really is a 1/6th scale masterpiece.  A couple of stitches on the lapel keep the jacket hanging nicely in an open fashion, and there are tiny buttons on the shoulder tabs along with micro poppers (again functional) on the cuffs.

The sleeveless vest underneath is again faithfully reproduced from the film, a somewhat iconic 80’s fashion piece typical of the times.  It’s worth nothing that all of these clothing items are tailored to fit this particular body, so if you’re ‘bashing’ something together, make sure it’s a muscular body of equal proportions for a good fit!

The combat style trousers, in my opinion, are unfortunately the wrong shade.  After studying several scenes from the film, in different lighting conditions, the offering from HT appears far to ‘tan’ in appearance, whereas it’s a darker khaki colour on screen.  No matter, they still look great on the figure and not too out of place at all.  As mentioned above, the fit is intended for this body type and there is not much in spare material around the leg.  I decided to lift the trouser leg mostly out of the length of boot and re-tuck it in the top, flaring them slightly to allow for a baggier look.#

The boots, as with the DX10 are the ‘peg’ type without an actual foot inside.  The ‘spurs’ effect chain on the left boot could have perhaps benefited from being metal, just like the hanging chain on the shoulder, for a more realistic look; but is good none the less.

Once the clothing is off, we can admire the sculpted muscular body that Hot Toys have put together for this release.  This, along with the T2 (MMS release) bodies are still very much sought after for kit-bashing purposes, and it’s easy to see why.  Whilst it is true the articulation in these figures is somewhat limited, specifically at the elbow and shoulder, they certainly do look great when you need those bulging muscles to be on display.  Whilst both the T1 and T2 bodies seem remarkably similar, there are subtle differences, and as mentioned at the beginning of the review, that reflects the size of Arnie in 1984 as opposed to 1991.  A picture showing the comparison between the two bodies is located on this thread on OSW.

The unique feature of the T1 body (much like with the T2 body) is the ability to swap out the right arm for a ‘battle’ damage one we see after the car park shoot out on the movie.  Some care needs to be taken when removing the arm, and although the instructions does not state so, you will find it easier after first heating the elbow joint with a hairdryer prior to removal.

The figure is provided with a total of 6 gloved hands, and an additional set of wrist pins (not including the wrist pin and hand on the battle damaged arm).  These are fairly easy to swap out and don’t require any heating, just some gentle pressure.  The second set of pegs allows you to quickly swap out the hands for the different poses achievable.  I don’t normally display figures with the ‘clenched’ fists, the default installed on the figure out of the box, but I do like the combination of the left clenched fist and right hand holding the .45 pistol.

Two head sculpts are provided with this figure, the default ‘long haired’ version, and the ‘battle damage’ version showing the shorter burnt hair (along with missing eyebrows) and eye damage.  The default one is certainly the best and captures the image of Arnold strikingly, albeit with perhaps slightly longer hair than depicted in the film.  As I mention at the beginning of this review, the paint application is every bit as good as more recent Hot Toys releases, testament to the fact they really got this one spot on at the time.  Although the ‘battle damage’ head sculpt is nice, I will most likely part with this as I cannot see this being displayed.  I will most likely part with the damaged arm two, and this is the reason I have not photographed this pieces in situ, as I wish to keep them in ‘new’ condition.  Had the second head sculpt detailed the removed eye, showing the endo-eye underneath, then I would have definitely had kept this!

So let’s take a look at the other accessories provided with the figure...  In terms of weapons we see three of the main weapons used until roughly the middle of the film, these being the .45 longslide with laser sight, the Uzi 9mm and the Ithaca 37 shotgun taken from the stolen police car.  Towards the start of the film we see a plethora of weapons purchased from the gun store including the SPAS-12 shotgun and AR-18 assault rifle, but we won’t see these until later in the film.

The .45 longslide pistol, manufactured by AMT, is wonderfully represented in 1/6th scale by Hot Toys.  It has a working slide, hammer and removable magazine and really is an iconic piece instantly recognised as from the movie.  At the time of shooting the movie laser sights were particularly rare and required a high level of power to operate.  What you can’t see in the film is the wiring going up the sleeve of Arnold to a concealed battery box, something by today’s standards would be totally un-required.

The Uzi 9mm, whilst having a removable magazine and working extendable stock, does not incorporate and other moving parts, which is a shame as there was an opportunity for at least a working cocking mechanism.  A brown leather strap attaches around the rear of the gun and folding stock, something that is not clearly seen in the film, and presumably part of the strap that had the machine gun slung under his arm inside the jacket?  Despite the fewer moving parts, the finish on the gun is very good and realistic in appearance.

Lastly the Ithaca 37 shotgun, a standard police issue that we see used during the car park shoot out scene.  This piece has a realistic wood-effect pump grip and stock, and weathered metallic finish.  The ‘pump action’ is also functional on this piece.

The final set of accessories are the medical tools we see the T-800 use to repair his damaged arm and eye after the shoot-out.  These are made up of 4 scissor like forceps, some ‘medical pincers’ (although they look like mole grips to me!) and a scalpel; all of which are made from die-cast metal.  They are great for re-enacting that particular scene and posing the T-800 in some repair-like action, however aside from that I won’t be displaying them; again probably something I’ll part with.

In conclusion…

I’m very happy with my purchase and was glad to finally have the original T-800 on display in my cabinet.  I can’t really find any fault with it, and although my personal choice is to part with some of the included accessories, this is merely because I will not display them all so I can re-coup some of the figure costs by selling them on; not because they are poor quality in any way.

I am surprised that Hot Toys has not chosen to give this figure the ‘DX’ treatment much like they did with the T2 version.  I could envisage a second outfit (the leather jacket seen in the latter half of the film) and a better battle damaged head to show the exposed terminator ‘eye’ would very popular, along with that AR-18 and SPAS-12 shotgun.  If Hot Toys were to produce such a figure as a DX line, I would be certain to purchase it, if not only to display a different version in the cabinet and part with some of the duplicate items.

Whilst this figure is fairly rare, the occasional good deal does pop up on eBay from time to time, and I would strongly advise if you have the opportunity to pick one up, you won’t be disappointed.

As he says in the film… I’ll be back.

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