Terminator 2: T-800 and Endoskeleton by McFarlane

Yes, folks, it’s Pub Night for me and in the interest of doing a really quick feature more quality Toy Closet Finds features, I’ve crawled into the back of my storage and pulled out a random file box. Inside was a wealth of goodies from my glorious KayBee Toy Outlet days. No, actually, it contained a bunch of shit that I should probably go drop off at Goodwill, but there are a few decent pieces in there. I used to hit the KB Toy Outlet once every week or so with a goal of spending no more than $20 and it’s amazing some of the stuff I used to come out with. I really miss that place. A lot of the figures I used to buy were from McFarlane Toys and today we’re going to talk Terminators: Specifically, the T-800 and the Endoskeleton from the Movie Maniacs line. I was really impressed with these guys when I picked them up way back when. Let’s see how well they aged.

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Kicking things off with the Endoskeleton… he’s a good example of how investing in McFarlane figures isn’t always a good idea. Sure a lot of them go up in value, but they also deteriorate right before your eyes. This guy was sealed in a nice safe baggie and carefully packed away in the box. When I withdrew the bag, it was full of parts. Did he disassemble himself? I guess after ten years anything is possible. Happilly, I was able to piece him back together, and ultimately the only thing wrong with him is one of the cables on his left shoulder separated. We’ll call it battle damage and move on.

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I think the Endoskeleton holds up really well. This is a pretty complex design that can’t be easy to reproduce at this scale, and yet the sculpt is certainly amazing. There are so many little fantastic details here, particularly in the head and the upper body. It’s funny to think that a decade later, Playmates couldn’t come close to reproducing anything close to this quality of detail with their shitty take on the Terminator: Salvation license. In addition to the superb sculpt, the weathered steel look of the paintjob makes works well. Obviously a mirror polish finish wasn’t going to happen, so it was smart to go with the gritty look. It just makes him look all the more realistic. I’m pretty sure he came with a couple of guns, but I have no idea what became of them.

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As we’ll see in a moment with the T-800, McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs line weren’t known for their articulation, so it’s ironic that the Endoskeleton turns out to be more action figure than statue. His head swivels, and his shoulders can rotate and have lateral movement. His arms have swivels in the biceps and hinged elbows. His legs rotate at the hips, his knees are hinged, and he can swivel below the knees. He can even swivel a bit at the waist and he has an ab crunch! Even better, all his joints have working pistons! It would have been cool if his head angled up and you could get him in a decent crawling position, but considering this is McFarlane we’re talking about, I’ll quit while I’m ahead.

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Moving on to the T-800, this is Arnold from the end of Judgement Day where he’s seriously messed up. It was a cool decision to base the figure off this point in the movie because the battle damage really gave McFarlane’s sculptors a chance to shine with all the little details. Let’s get one thing out of the way first, this is a statue with a few points of articulation to tweak the pose. He has swivel cuts in the neck, shoulders, wrists, waist, thighs, and boots. It may sound like a lot, but it’s not. The Endoskeleton may pass as an action figure, but Arnold here does not.

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But what Arnold lacks in articulation, he makes up with in sculpt. The detail on this piece is insane. His face is blown off, revealing bits of endoskeleton and every little chunk of jagged flesh is lovingly recreated. The leather jacket and pants are replete with little wrinkles, stitches, and zippers. The jacket itself is sculpted separately so it can hang loose around his waist. His bandoleer strap of grenade rounds is also a separate piece, and it’s even missing three of the rounds in the front, and cleverly plugs into the bullet holes on his back. Bullet holes? Oh, the tiny little bullet holes! He’s absolutely riddled with them. Fantastic! A great deal of Arnold gets by with the matte black paint for his leather, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some impressive paintwork on display here, particularly on the head where there is a delightfully disgusting mix of flesh tone, glossy red gore, and burnished steel. The torn up knee is pretty cool too!

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Arnold comes with two weapons: A grenade launcher and an automatic pistol. They are both decent sculpts and the grenade launcher will even break open for loading the breech. They can both be removed from his hands, but there isn’t much point since each weapon is designed for a specific hand and he looks rather funny posed without them.

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Generally speaking, McFarlane figures leave a sour taste in my mouth because a lot of mine didn’t survive storage. And even if they do, they often have a habit of breaking of breaking rather quickly when I take them out and handle them. Case in point, out of all my Viking Age Spawn figures, I think only one has survived to this day. That having been said, this pair do hold up really well even a decade later. I’m not really that into the Terminator franchise anymore, so I doubt these will be on display again anytime soon, but it’s nice to know I can still pull them out and admire them the next time I decide decide to bust out my Blu-Ray of Judgement Day, a movie that I still consider to be one of the best science-fiction-action films ever made.

 

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