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.

mmmterm1

mmmterm2

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.

mmmterm3

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.

mmmterm4

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.

mmmterm5

mmmterm6

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.

mmmterm8

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!

mmmterm7

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.

mmmterm9

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.

 

Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorne and Adranath by McFarlane

I know there’s a little thing called Toy Fair going on and I’m burning a lot of my spare time pouring over the reports from on the scene. I don’t do news here, so I won’t be doing any regular updates about it, but at some point this week I will post some random thoughts about what we’re seeing. As for today… like duct tape holding together the middle of the week… this is more Toy Closet Finds! It’s frightening just how many loose McFarlane figures I have rattling around in the bottoms of totes. It’s even more frightening considering I unloaded dozens of these things at a yard sale once. How do I still have so many? Are they breeding? Since this isn’t the first time I’ve featured one of the Ultima Online figures here, I’ll skip the long prelude about the adoration I had for the Ultima game series growing up and the bitter soul-crushing betrayal I felt when the franchise turned into an MMORPG. Good thing I never have to feel that kind of disappointment again, right? I mean, a single-player game that I love turning on its roots and becoming exclusively online. I don’t have to worry about that happening again…

The-Elder-Scrolls-Online1

Oh… Right. Anyway, when I stumbled upon a nearly full set of these figures at KB Toys’ liquidator store many years ago I bought them based on the novelty of actually owning some Ultima figures. It didn’t matter that the characters were unfamiliar to me. There weren’t any Shamino or Iolo figures hanging on the pegs, so these would have to do. It also didn’t hurt that they were $4.88 each. The packages are long gone, but suffice it to say they came in your typical McFarlane clamshells. Let’s start with Lord Blackthorne first.

DSCN0129

Lord Blackthorne was one of the coolest twists of the original Ultima games. He was basically a guy who took over the kingdom of Lord British and warped the Virtues to serve his autocracy. He turned The Avatar from a hero to an outlaw and boy did I learn to hate that bastard. There are times when I think, “maybe I didn’t give Ultima Online a chance. Maybe I missed out on something that respected and enriched my beloved franchise.” And then I see this figure and banish all such thoughts from my head. Yes… apparently somewhere along the way in Ultima Online he turned into some kind of f’ing steampunk cyborg. Sigh.

DSCN0130

I’m going to do this guy a favor and completely detach it from Ultima. Once I stop thinking about this guy as Lord Blackthorne I can really get behind this figure because everything about him is awesome. He’s only about three-quarters of a torso as his entire lower half has been replaced by a giant spike and his left arm has been replaced by a massive robotic claw. His hard plastic cape is sculpted to serve as a base and make him appear to be hovering. It’s a clever design and it supports the figure really well. He has some kind of giant tank strapped to his back, shoulder armor, and hoses and wires running all over the place.

DSCN0131

The sculpted detail and paintwork on Blackthorne is beyond impressive. The metal parts have all their sculpted rivets, screws, and panel lines. There are welding marks along the seams of the tank on his back and all the artificial bits have rough, hammered surfaces. Even the organic bits are beautifully recreated. He has veins in his arms, staples along a gash on his head and a grim expression. If you’re into nasty looking steampunk cyborg dudes, this is a guy that belongs in your collection.

Blackthorne’s articulation features a head that rotates, rotating shoulders, and a waist swivel. His robotic arm has an elbow hinge and one of the claws is hinged as well. There’s also a hinge on his left shoulder armor to allow for greater movement in that arm. Unfortunately, a couple of points of articulation are better left unused. Rotating Blackthorne’s head will cause the cable running into his head to tear and rotating him at the waist will cause part of his cape to come away from its socket. Like most McFarlane figures, he’s best left to stand on the shelf and look cool.

DSCN0132

And then there’s Adranath. I had to look this guy up because after hundreds upon hundreds of hours spent in the Ultima universe, I had no idea who this asshole was and that’s because he was a new character introduced in the online game. I still couldn’t find a lot of info on him, so it makes me wonder if all the characters in UO are so shallow that this guy deserved an action figure over the others. Apparently he’s some kind of necromancer and he dresses well.

DSCN0133

Either way, the character means nothing to me, but I really dig this figure. Unlike Blackthorne with all his steampunkery, Adranath looks like he’d be right at home in any fantasy setting. His face is wrinkled and puckered, like he’s been chilling out at the bottom of a lake for a couple of hundred years, but the rest of the figure is characterized by a magnificently sculpted lordly outfit. The detail work on his finery really blows my mind and it’s stuff like this that reminds me why I bought so many McFarlane figures back then in the first place. Just looking at all the sculpted detail on the back of his cape, right down to the tiny crosshatch texturing, impresses the hell out of me. He comes with a gnarled twisted wood staff, with gold string hanging some beads from it.

DSCN0134

Adranath has six points of articulation. His head will turn, his arms rotate at the shoulders, his left elbow has a swivel cut and his hands swivel at the wrists.

And that’s all I’m going to have to say about McFarlane’s UO figures. I should hate these figures because they’re tied to the fact that Lord Betrayal British sold out and raped my childhood, but these are amazing figures and I still have to respect that. In spite of what they represent, I usually find a place to display them somewhere, and that says a lot about how good they are.

DSCN0135

Besides these two and the previously featured Juggernaut, there were three more in the series, two of which I owned, but I have no idea what happened to them. There was also a big dragon or wyvern or something, which looked very cool, but he never showed up at the KB Toys closeout store, so I never got him. I guess I like these guys enough that they managed to survive a lot of toy purges, and that’s saying a lot because when I purge, McFarlane figures are usually my first target to go.

Ultima Online: Juggernaut by McFarlane

Rooting around in the FigureFan Toy Closet today, I came up with this little gem from an otherwise deservedly forgotten figure line from our friends at McFarlane toys. I grew up playing the Ultima games, ever since playing the originals on a pea soup green monochrome monitor on my old PC, I stuck out the series through it’s ups and downs until it went online and then I bailed. As a result, I know very little about the Ultima Online world or this character for that matter. Nonetheless, I picked up this entire action figure series one Saturday at a KB Toys Outlet for a total of around $20. Most of these figures were instantly forgettable, but there were two that still hold up really well. One was Lord Blackthorne and the other is Juggernaut here.

Living up to his name, Juggernaut is a huge, bulky figure. He’s a cyborg and it’s tough to say how much of his organic stuff is actually inside his massive, armored hide because all you can actually see is his shriveled raisen of a face. He rolls along on one giant wheel with a small wheel on an outrigger. His arms end in a robotic claw and a drill. Juggernaut doesn’t stand well on his own, but McFarlane was good enough to include a little clear stand to prop up him up.
As we’d expect from McFarlane, the sculpt here is absolutely fantastic. The armor is pitted and worn and you can see the bolts that hold it together as well as additional plates that were bolted on as repairs. His arms include rubbery hoses and cables and under his arms  you can make out all the extra mechanical detail that really shows off the extraordinary amount of loving at work here.
If the sculpt is excellent than the paintjob is extraordinary. The armor has a olive matte green color but it’s washed over with rust and wear that looks simply amazing. The sculpt and paintjob on the armor is so convincing that I’m often surprised at how lightweight the figure actually is when you pick him up. It’s brilliant.
McFarlane’s figures from this period aren’t known for their articulation but Juggernaut fares pretty well. His arms rotate at the shoulders and have lateral movement as well. He has swivel joints in the biceps and hinges in the elbows. There’s not a lot else on him that’s designed to move, although he does roll along pretty well.
My favorite thing about this figure is how well he fits in with my Stroggs from Resarus’ old Quake II lineup. Forget Ultima Online, this guy looks like he was made for the Quake II universe and that’s where I’m content to display him long after the other UO figures have been stowed away at the bottom of some tote in the back of my storage.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 1:6 Scale Leatherface by McFarlane

I wanted to do a few things for Halloween week. I mean, I’m already going to watch a different favorite horror film every night this week and eat half of the bag of bite-sizes Snickers that I bought for the trick-or-treaters, but I aslo wanted to throw out some Halloween themed toy reviews. Unfortunately, I don’t have all that many horror themed figures, which kind of surprised me, since I’m such a fan of the film genre. Once upon a time I had a whole bunch of McFarlane’s horror creations, but not so much these days. So I figured, I’d just do what I can. Let’s go right for the jugular, with the biggest and most impressive horror piece I have left. McFarlane’s giant tribute to Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I’ve had this guy for quite a few years now, so the packaging is long gone. I do remember it came in a huge window box, which I probably would have saved. But this figure, or statue if you prefer, usually gets tossed into a storage tote along with my assortment of spook-decor after Halloween is over. I tend to give McFarlane a hard time because they spent a long time trying to pass off semi-articulated statues as action figures, but this 1:6 scale Leatherface is standing proof that McFarlane new how to craft a great looking statue… er, figure… whatever.

The figure itself is simply amazing. All too often, we’re used to seeing these large scale statues turn out to be just soft, hollow rotorcast. Not Leatherface, here. He’s a hundred percent solid plastic. If I threw Leatherface at your head, it would most certainly hurt like a bastard. He’s got all the heft of a nice chainsaw. Although his shirt and apron are actually separate rubbery plastic, which you can feel come away from the core body. Every inch of this sculpt is pure love. The skin mask almost looks like it’s removable, and there are a ton of wrinkles in his shirt, apron and trousers. Even the rings on his fingers are present, and of course, Leatherface is classy enough to wear a necktie along with his mask made out of human skin. It’s just an all around freakishly great likeness. The chainsaw is pretty huge and it is fully removable from Leatherface’s hand. It’s also chock full of detail, especially around the blade and the controls on the handle.

The paint apps are nothing to sneeze at either. Granted, this isn’t a bright and cheery figure, but there’s a ton of excellent detail work. The individual stripes on his shirt are painted on, and the wash on his mask, particularly around the eye holes is fantastic. The dried blood on the chainsaw is just the icing on the gore cake. There could be some slop here and there, but truthfully, this guy is so nasty, how would you even know?

As expected with McFarlane, this figure has just a few points of articulation. His head can turn and he has swivel cuts on each arm. He’s basically designed to be holding the chainsaw aloft in one hand, although you can have it facing outward or turn it back in toward himself. I think I would have preferred him holding it in both hands, or perhaps even above his head like he’s doing his trademark chainsaw dance. But this is still a decent enough stance.

McFarlane also went all out with the backdrop. Leatherface comes with a base that is nicely sculpted and littered with bones and an old rusted skinning knife. There’s a gallows that towers above him, which comes with a couple of hooks and a winch with a real tattered looking piece of twine rope. There’s a nice delapidated wood grain texture on the gallows, and it just adds a ridiculous amount of height to this whole display. Oh yeah, the set also comes with an extra severed arm that you can place whever you like, or just save it for later to snack on.

I seem to recall Leatherface retailing for around $29.99. At least that used to be the price point of these bigger McFarlane pieces. I’m pretty sure I got this guy at Spencer Gifts during one of their post-Halloween sales and I don’t think I paid more than $15 for him. Either way, he’s well worth the money. A lot of work went into bringing this guy to life.

In retrospect, it’s funny I own this and not a big Jason or Freddy Krueger, because Leatherface is my least favorite of the Big Three of slasher horror icons. Of course, that’s probably a compliment, since I can sit back and laugh at Jason and Freddy’s antics, but the Texas Chainsawmovies are just fucked up and uncomfortable to watch. And that’s what true horror should be about. Either way, the reason I hung on to this as long as I had is because it’s just so damn impressive and no doubt an example of some of McFarlane’s finest work, before they turned into a company that now seems content to just churn out sports and Halo figures. Sigh.