RoboCop Vs Terminator: Endocop and Terminator Dog by NECA

I know, most of you came here to see a Transformers Thursday review, but until the new wave of Hasbro’s official convertorobots starts showing up, TF Thursday will have to go on hiatus. I do need to get caught up on my Masterpiece figures, so maybe I’ll add one of them to the collection this month. In the meantime, we’re almost two months into the new year and I still haven’t done a NECA review. And with all the cool shit they showed off at Toy Fair, I do believe I had better get cracking on getting caught up. So let’s remedy that today by checking out the recently released Endocop and Terminator Dog from the RoboCop Vs Terminator comic by Dark Horse!

Holy shit, look at that snazzy packaging!!! I gotta be honest, there could be nothing in that box and I would probably have still bought it. The artwork is fantastic and the logo is printed in a brilliantly reflective foil lettering that screams, “I’M COOL, BUY ME!!!!” Granted, I don’t think I’ve read this comic more than a couple times since it came out. I remember being pretty stoked at finding all four issues at a used book store on the way home from one of my classes one day. I remember tearing into it and being so intrigued by the cross-over and digging the time travel elements, but it just wasn’t something I went back to a lot. Nowadays, when I think of RvT, I tend to think of the video game more then anything else. But that going to stop me from enjoying these figures.

I don’t know if this technically counts as one of NECA’s Ultimate Series releases, but the packaging is very similar, complete with the folding front flap covering the window. The presentation is top notch and everything is collector friendly and that’s a good thing, because while I toss most of my action figure packages, I like to keep all these NECA boxes lined up on my shelves for easy access. The packaging also showcases Future RoboCop as coming soon and indeed, he’s already here! Inside the box, Endocop comes on a tray with the Termitator Dog (T-Dog, hereafter) positioned in front of his legs. Let’s start with Endocop!

The Endocop looks like a kitbash, and that’s totally appropriate since these guys are basically RoboCop’s own design augmented by Terminator parts. And so it’s only natural that NECA raided the cupboard for some parts for this figure. The torso and legs are taken from their regular RoboCop figure, with the biggest change being the rocket boosters added to his lower legs. The chest might be knew, as this one looks a little smaller than the one on my original figure. Either way, you still get all that amazing detail in the sculpt, right down to the OCP logos and the working pistons that connect his legs to his ankles. The silver paint job is a little more dynamic than the original RoboCop release as well. It has some blue spray here and there to simulate that blue-purple sheen that the costume had when seen under just the right lighting. The pelvis is also painted silver here instead of black.

The new arms are patterned after the Terminator Endoskeleton designs. I’m pretty sure these are newly sculpted parts, because they’re a lot beefier and a lot less fragile than the arms on my most recent NECA Endoskeleton. Most notably, the shoulders are much bigger and more pronounced. The arms also include some articulated pistons in the biceps, which are cool enough that they justify the lack of a bicep swivel. Every time I play around with my Endoskeleton I get worried I’m going to break something, but Endocop presents no such worries. He’s a solid dude!

The head sculpt is brand new and it is creepy as all hell. It’s basically Robo’s helmet, but with the grim visage of the lower half of an Endoskeleton’s face where Murphy’s face should be. Here’s where I let you all in on a little secret. Robots with real human looking teeth really freak me the hell out. You ever see those dolls dentists practice on? I’m talking nightmare fuel! Anyway, I really dig the extra parts fitted to the torso to help support the arms. These include some discs where the shoulders attach, and the pistons that sword of resemble a human clavicle. Very cool!

The Endocop comes with Murphy’s Auto-9 pistol, which fits quite well into the right hand, and the trigger finger is soft enough so that it can go through the trigger guard. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping track of some of the story elements from this comic, and I can’t for the life of me remember why Murphy would replicate his gun for his Endocops, but whatever. Keep in mind, since this figure uses the earlier RoboCop release, it does not include the spring-loaded leg holster, so there isn’t anywhere to put the gun when he isn’t holding it. That’s probably for the best as that thing was really crazy fragile. All in all, I think NECA did a beautiful job with this figure, and while it does reuse some parts, they still went the extra mile to make the figure feel fresh and new. It would have been a worthy pick up all by himself, and that brings us to the awesome bonus. The T-Dog!

While I was pretty excited about getting The Endocop, The T-Dog was a case of love at first sight. He was the first to come out of the box and I’d say the Endocop didn’t come out until about twenty minutes later because I was busy playing with my new killer robot dog. This sculpt is absolutely magnificent and I found myself just turning the figure over in my hands so that I could drink it in from every angle. Make no mistake, this is a full-fledged figure and not some pack-in accessory. Indeed, I could have seen any number of toy companies stamping out a mostly static PVC piece for this dog, maybe giving it rotation at the tops of the legs, and calling it a day. But NECA just poured the love into this killer mutt. Besides the exquisite sculpt, the articulation goes above and beyond. The legs feature four points each, including ball joints in the feet. You also get a few points of articulation in the body, two points in the neck, and a hinged jaw.

Look at that face! The piercing red eyes and realistically painted teeth make him all the more terrifying! Remember what I said about robots with human teeth? Well apparently it goes for robots with animal teeth too. The T-Dog is no little lap dog either. If you stand him up on his hind legs he’s as tall as the Endocop. He’s also very sturdy and has a nice heft to him. The paint finish is a little less dynamic than The Endocop’s, but it looks like real metal with a little wash to give it a worn patina.

As a two-pack, this release set me back a little more than the usual NECA boxed figure. I was able to get it for $35 from one of the major online retailers, and I’m guessing that’s about what the MSRP is. Considering that the single packed figures go for $22-25 these days, I think this is a pretty good deal. And as excited as I was to get it, this set impressed me even more once I had the figures out and in hand. From the art direction on the box to the little touches of detail on the figures, this is yet another love letter to the fans, and I love NECA for that. So much so, that I can see picking up a second one of these is in my future. And speaking of future, I’ll have a review of the RvT Future RoboCop coming up either next week or the week after.

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Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate T-1000 (Motorcycle Cop) by NECA

It’s always a great day when a new one of these NECA “Ultimate” figures arrives on my doorstep. Today, I’m opening up the fourth figure in this series from Terminator 2, which also happens to be the second release of the T-1000 from that film (check out the first release here!). This time he appears in his motorcycle cop disguise with a bevy of accessories, some old and some new. I’m always thrilled to pick up another figure from this movie, because it was so groundbreaking and I think it stands as one of the best Summer Sci-Fi-Action flicks of all time. Hell, I can still remember how pumped I was coming out of the theater after seeing it for the first time!

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I’ve gushed on and on (and on!) about how much I love the packaging for this line. The figure comes in a collector friendly box with a front flap secured by velcro. Open it up to reveal a window that offers a great look at the contents. As always, the box evokes the feel of a VHS tape in its sleeve, only a lot more chunkier. NECA also does a wonderful job of matching up these packages, so they look great all lined up on the shelf together.

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And here’s why they call these “Ultimate” figures. As you can see from the tray, you get a lot of stuff. The other great thing about these figures is they really serve to enhance each other. Having either one of these T-1000’s is cool enough, but if you own both of them, you can mix and match parts to recreate whatever you want.

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But make no mistake, this isn’t some minor variant release. With the exception of the belt and maybe the pelvis, this body is an entirely new sculpt. The torso features a motorcycle jacket that is brimming with detail. Besides the usual stitching, pockets, and wrinkles, you get some meticulously detailed shoulder patches and a tiny, but beautiful, badge. I’m really blown away by how much attention NECA spent on this jacket. The trousers feature piping on the sides and he’s wearing tall boots. Finally, the familiar belt features a sculpted walkie-talkie, handcuff pouch, two magazine pouches, and a working holster for his pistol.

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The stock head features the helmet and sunglasses. This noggin looks amazing, and I particularly love the glossy paintwork on the helmet itself.

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In addition to the helmeted head, you get two more portraits. One is just a standard one with a fantastic sculpt of Robert Patrick’s “determined to kill you” mug. It’s very similar to the one that came with the last T-1000 and I’m honestly not sure if it’s the same sculpt or not. This one seems to have more of an intense stare, I’m talking crazy peepers! But that could just be the paint. Either way, the likeness is fantastic and it’s an amazing piece of work.

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The other is a nice compliment to the “zipping up” head that came with the previous release. Here the head is totally blown apart and the effect is fantastic. Some may remember that I had a tough time swapping the heads on the first T-1000 because of a super tight fit. I’m happy to say that these go on and off very easily. And if you’re keeping score at home…

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That’s a total of six Robert Patrick heads so far, assuming you own both releases. That’s a lot of Robert Patrick!!

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The articulation here is pretty standard for the line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the elbows, and the hands are attached with ball joints. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips and knees, with the knee joints actually being slightly below the knee to conceal the joints in the boots. The ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another at the base of the neck. OK… let’s talk accessories!

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For starters, you get two guns. The first is the same service pistol, which I believe is a Beretta 92FS, that came with the original release. You also get a pair of gun-holding hands and the gun will fit in the holster on his belt. The other is the H&K sub-machine gun that the T-1000 used during the motorcycle chase.

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In addition to the relaxed hands and gun-holding hands, you also get a pair of the extended metal finger hands. These are the same ones that came with the last T-100 release, with one a little longer than the other.

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Finally, you get the sword arm, which attaches at the shoulder. I really like how they did this piece, since despite it morphing from the jacketed arm, it still works and looks just fine on the first release.

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It’s impossible for me to end any review of a NECA “Ultimate” figure without remarking on what a great value these are. If you’re lucky enough to have a TRU or an FYE in your area, you should be able to grab these for about $22-25. And when you consider the attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into these releases, that’s one of the best deals going in the action figure aisles today. Not to mention all the extras and the premium packaging. What’s even better is that NECA isn’t done with this film yet. They’ve already teased another T-800 release, this time with the flower box and shotgun from the beginning of the film. Just keep making them, NECA, and I’ll keep buying them!

The Terminator: Ultimate T-800 (Police Station Assault) by NECA

Even as I finished the feature for the last Ultimate T-800 figure, I knew he’d be back. And sure enough, here I am ready to open up a another Ultimate T-800 from NECA. Today’s release is the third T-800 in this series and the second from the original movie. I already looked at the version from the “Tech Noir” Nightclub and today I’m checking out what in my mind is the most iconic version of this time-travelling killer cyborg… The “Police Station Assault” T-800!

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I think “Police Station Assault” is the official name for this figure, but it doesn’t appear anywhere on the box. As always, the Ultimate figures come in window boxes with a front flap secured by velcro. These look like over-sized VHS tape sleeves and this one features some artwork on the front that I don’t recall ever seeing before. It looks like lesser seen promotional artwork for the film. The last release snagged the art from the poster I know best, so it’s nice that they tried to mix things up a bit with this package art. The side panels feature the title of the film along with a very 80’s style grid pattern, this time in blue. Obviously, everything is collector friendly and there’s even a J-hook on top if you want to hang it on the wall or a peg.

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Like I said earlier, this is the iconic version of the T-800 to me. Leather jacket, sunglasses, a cold and calculating killing machine wrapped up in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body. If you own the “Tech Noir” version, you’ll surely recognize some of the parts here. From the waist down this version is lifted directly from the previous release with just some natural paint variation to mark any differences. The leather jacket is new and packs some crazy detail. The collar and lapels are popped a bit to give the figure some lovely depth and it features the usual action figure jacket trickery where the jacket is sculpted as a vest and the sleeves are sculpted as the arms. Besides the detailed stitching and realistic texture of worn leather, you get some sharp silver paint apps on the zippers and buckles of the jacket and the same on the biker boots. The sculptors at NECA have become wizards at rendering clothing in plastic, and nowhere is that more evident than here.

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The front and back of the jacket feature bullet holes too, with some bloody paint apps around the holes.

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The previous two Ultimate T-800’s each came with three separate head sculpts, and NECA isn’t breaking with tradition here. This release comes out of the box with the classic head with shades. It’s another great likeness and the big glasses hide the fact that by this point in the movie, he’s had his eyebrows singed off.

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The second head is sans glasses and eyebrows, and features the damage to his left eye. The organic part of the eye and and surrounding tissue has been blown away and you can see his mechanical eye showing through. This effect is so beautifully done, thanks to a solid sculpt and some great paintwork.

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Last up, we have the severely damaged head. In addition to the exposed left eye, you can now see the inner workings of the skull where his left cheek has been blown off. Part of the skull plate is showing and there are abrasions on the right side of the face. Again, this is fantastic sculpting and paintwork on display here. I will note this third head was a bitch to get on. I had to go in with a razor and clean away some of the plastic before getting it to fit right. In addition to the three heads, the T-800 comes with an extra set of battle damaged hands. All four hands are designed to work with the guns.

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If you’re keeping score at home, we now have six portraits of the T-800 from the first film!

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The articulation here is identical to the “Tech Noir” T-800. The points are all there and it looks fine on paper, but there are a few instances where I wish there was a better range of motion. Here’s what you get: Rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The wrists are ball jointed, as is the neck. The legs swivel at the hips and have swivel cuts at the tops of the boots. Finally, you get a ball joint just above the waist. Once again, the elbows barely give 90-degrees, so getting him to hold a weapon raised and close to his shoulder isn’t going to happen. I have been able to get him to hold the shotgun in both hands, but it involves exploiting the fact that his right elbow is pegged in and has a little play.

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Of course, we can’t do a T-800 figure review without talking about guns. This fella comes with three of them. First you get the dinky little Smith & Wesson Model 15. It has a chromed finish and painted natural wood grips. It also looks comically small in the T-800’s hands. That’s not a criticism of the accessory, it’s a nice piece and it appears to be scaled correctly. It’s just a little understated for what I want in my T-800 figure displays.

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OK, now we’re talking. Next up is the SPAS-12 shotgun. Another fine sculpt cast in the sexy tactical matte black finish and with some lovely details.

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Lastly, we get the AR-18 with folded stock and magazines taped together. This is another excellent sculpt also cast all in black matte plastic, but it is also a little bendy, particularly at the end of the muzzle.

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As mentioned earlier, both his hands can hold the weapons, so you can have him dual wielding for maximum effect as he cuts his way through the police station in what was one of the more intense scenes from the film.

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Now here’s the tough question. You’re in the market for a T-800 figure from the first film. Which one do you get? Well, this is certainly the definitive look for him as far as I’m concerned. And I’ll go ahead and say the two damaged heads in this box work very strongly in its favor. On the other hand, the “Tech Noir” figure includes the clean portrait from the beginning of the movie, as well as the swap-out damaged arm and three unique weapons. There’s no way I could choose, but my guess is that this one is going to be the one that appeals to most casual collectors. The Ultimate figures have been creeping up a bit in price by a few dollars, but this one still retails for under $25 and that’s a damn fine bargain for the craftsmanship and extras that went into this figure. Keep the Terminator figures coming, NECA, and I’ll keep buying them!

The Terminator: Ultimate T-800 (Tech Noir) by NECA

Any day that a new “Ultimate” figure from NECA hits my doorstep, I know is going to be a great one. After three solid releases in the Ultimate Terminator 2 line, NECA is headed back to the film that started it all with the T-800 and his rampage through Club Tech Noir. I can’t wait to check this figure out!

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What’s the first thing I expect from NECA’s Ultimate line? Killer packaging. The figure comes in a box that looks like an over-sized VHS sleeve. You get the title, The Terminator, clearly laid out on both side panels and that iconic poster on the front. The back features some shots of the toy and there’s a velcro-secured opening front flap that allows you to feast your peepers on the figure and accessories inside. Back when I was a kid I joined one of those movie clubs where they let you pick out a bunch of movies for cheap and then you agree to buy one a month for a while. The Terminator was one of the first tapes I got from there, so this box art holds some major nostalgia for me.

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I’d wager that most folks would consider the black leather jacket and shades as the iconic look for the T-800 in the original film. Well, we’re getting that, so be patient. In the meantime, that’s what makes this figure all the more special, because I never thought we’d get this version. Besides being the outfit he wore in the nightclub assault, this is what he was wearing during one of my favorite scenes with Dick Miller in the gun shop. In other words, I dig this look and really happy to get it in figure form.

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The crazy gray jacket is a freaking work of art. The sculpted detail on the stitching and pockets and rumpled fabric is all so incredibly well done. Not to mention the chain looped through the left epaulet and all the studs on the back of the jacket. The zippers are all painted gold, even the one on the back of the collar. Underneath the jacket you get a crazy shirt with the graffiti all over it. This is crazy. I never even noticed how totally metal this outfit was until right now, and I’ve seen this movie a hell of a lot of times.

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You get three portraits with the figure via three swappable heads, and here’s where things get even better. The first head features the T-800’s long hair from the beginning of the scene up to the Club battle. Is it even worth pointing out that this is a great sculpt with a great likeness? Probably not, because NECA has been killing it with the Schwarzenegger likeness for a long, long time now. It’s hard enough for some companies to get the general likeness right, but NECA has done a great job even nailing the age differences.

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After Tech Noir, the T-800 literally gets his hair and eyebrows burned to a crisp, which is reflected in the second head. You also get a slightly different expression. Wow, he really looks pissed. “My eyebrows will be back!”

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The third noggin reflects the shorter hair and no eyebrows, but this time with some facial damage. It’s not as extensive as what we saw in the T2 damaged head, and that’s appropriate, but he does have one eye closed and some bloody paint apps.

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Articulation has been a big part of these Ultimate figures and it’s the only category where this figure comes up a bit short. Don’t get me wrong, the points are all there, but some of them have issues working with the sculpt. Let me run them down before explaining what I mean. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The wrists are ball jointed, as is the neck. The legs swivel at the hips and have swivel cuts at the tops of the boots. Finally, you get a ball joint just above the waist. The issue here is all in the elbows. The way the sleeves are sculpted make the range of motion there very limited. I think NECA was worried about sacrificing aesthetics in the arms and as much as I would have liked more elbow movement, I still think they made the right choice. Alas, it does make it difficult to make use of the next extra bits that I’m going to talk about…

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Yes, you get a replacement right forearm recreating the scene where the T-800 had to do a little self-maintenance. You also get two pairs of forceps. He can even hold them pretty well in the extra left hand, but with those elbow limitations, he can’t really get them anywhere near the arm to look like he’s poking around in there. Still, it’s a cool piece with some impressive sculpting and paintwork that shows the inner workings of his arm with all the “meat” torn away. Hey, how about some guns?

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The 12-gauge auto loader. It’s Italian!

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The .45 long slide with laser sighting. It’s a good gun. Just touch the trigger, the beam comes on and you put the red dot where you want the bullet to go. You can’t miss! Phased plasma rifle in the 40-Watt range? Hey, just what you see, pal!

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And the Uzi 9mm. The T-800’s right hand is sculpted to accommodate any of the guns, and his left fist can be swapped out with a second gun-toting hand so he can dual wield his hardware.

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The Ultimate line continues to do NECA proud with collector grade packaging, some amazing sculpt and paint, and a hearty helping of accessories. And once again I have to call out just what a great value these figures are. At $22, this T-800 doesn’t quite feel on par with the T2 figures in terms of extras, but it sure feels like I’m getting a lot more than what I paid for. You simply cannot find this kind of craftsmanship and value anywhere else in the toy aisle these days. So long as NECA keeps putting these out there, I’ll keep picking them up!

Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate T-1000 by NECA

It’s time to gush once again all over another of NECA’s Ultimate figures. And what better subject for an Ultimate line of figures than the Ultimate Summer Sci-Fi Action Blockbuster, Terminator 2? This is the third time this series is dipping into the Terminator franchise, and we know it won’t be the last. I’ve already checked out the T-800 and Sarah Connor, so today let’s check out the relentless, liquid metal killing machine that is, the T-1000!

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As usual, the figure comes in a collector friendly window box with a front flap. The deco here matches the other T2 figures perfectly and these look amazing all lined up on a shelf. You get some great stills from the film as well as shots of the figure itself. I’ve already gone on and on about how much I love these boxes, so rather than dawdle any longer, let’s look inside…

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Yup, there’s a reason this line is called Ultimate. I mean, just look at all that stuff! Naturally, I’ll be looking at everything in turn, but let me just run it all down here: An automatic pistol (missing from the tray because I already put it in his holster), a gun-holding right hand, two pry bar arms, two hands with pointy metal index fingers… and if all that isn’t enough you get an extra head, which is split down the middle, and a head and front torso with bullet damage. Wow! The tray is set against an illustrated backdrop that looks like the interior of The Pescadero State Hospital. Brilliant!

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The base figure is quite solid and includes all sorts of detail on the police uniform, from the creases down the front of the trousers, the pen in his pocket, the badge and the individual buttons and rumples across the front of the shirt. Apart from some seams running down the sides of the torso, it’s pretty hard to tell that the top half of this figure is meant to split apart and take a replacement.

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The belt rig is quite detailed and includes a functional holster for his pistol and some non-removable items, like a police radio and a pouch for his handcuffs. Despite having the removable front torso, the articulation is not hampered at all. It does look like they probably built the rotating shoulders on exposed front pins to make it work, but you still get a great range of motion there. You also get rotating hinges in the elbows, knees, and ankles. There are ball joints in the hips, wrists, waist, and neck.

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The likeness to Robert Patrick is pretty spot on. I really dig the way his eyes are painted to look up so they appear natural when the head is pointing down slightly. It achieves that wonderful stern and creepy look he frequently gave in the film, especially when waggling his finger like a cross teacher. No, he doesn’t come with a waggling finger, but let’s get into some of the stuff he does come with…

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The pistol is pretty straightforward and as mentioned it fits in his holster and he comes with a hand made to hold it. It’s the only weapon included with the T-1000 because, let’s face it, he is a weapon unto himself. His liquid metal construction makes him the equivalent of a humanoid swiss army knife.

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The pry-bars are achieved by pulling out the forearms and pegging these into their place. The way the paint transitions from the blue uniform to the silver metal is well done. These are, of course, handy whether you’re chasing down a car and need to hitch a ride or prying open the doors of an elevator when they just won’t hold it for you.

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The two metal pointy “I know this hurts” fingers are just pop-and-swap hands with one metal finger longer than the other. The metal index fingers are naturally a little bendy so you need to finesse them a bit, but they look great. Next up, let’s swap some noggins…

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It’s a testament to the film that they were able to pull off all these Looney Tune injuries and still have it work, oh so well. The first one that the figure lets you recreate is the split head as it’s in the process of being “zipped” back up from the bottom. I love this piece, it looks wonderful right down to the metal paint inside the head. Mine was actually pretty tough to get on the figure, though, and I had to do a little shaving inside the socket to finally get it in.

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Next up is the the hole head that comes attached to the swap-out torso front. The front of the torso simply un-pegs and pulls off allowing you to peg on the replacement. Oddly enough, the first time I’ve seen engineering like this was in Character Options’ Doctor Who line. They did something very similar for their Professor Bracewell figure as well as the Time of the Doctor 11th/12th Doctors. It’s a great gimmick that allows a large variation to the figure without having to create a whole new body. The metal impacts from the bullets are very well done.

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The head is no slouch either. Again, there’s some wonderful paintwork inside the hole and along where the “flesh” has changed back into metal. It’s also worth noting that since the neck posts are on the torso fronts, you can use any head with either torso, so mix and match until your heart’s content!

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When I’m writing up these features on NECA’s Ultimate line, I always feel like I should play it off like one of those infomercials. You get the gun, the gun, hand, the pry bars, and the pointy metal figures. Now how much would you pay? But wait… there’s more… you also get the two extra heads and the replacement torso… all for $21.99! Yes, that’s how much this figure cost me, and I’m continually stunned that NECA can put these figures out there at such great prices. Hey, I love my Marvel Legends as much as the next guy, but there’s so much more craftsmanship that goes into these NECA Ultimate figures and all at the same price, not to mention that they’re based off of a 25-year old film.

Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate Sarah Connor by NECA

Boy, I sure am digging NECA’s Ultimate Series! But, if you’ve been reading FFZ for the last year or so, you already knew that. While the half-dozen or so figures in this line have hit on several different and classic points of action and horror cinema, this newest offerings are going back to T2: Judgement Day, the greatest sci-fi action flick ever produced (IMNSHO) with the most quintessential bad-ass mom of them all, Sarah Connor!

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Sarah joins the first T2 figure in the line, the T-800, with beautifully matched packaging. It’s the same chunky box with a front flap and I dig the way it like an oversized VHS tape sleeve. The flap opens up to allow a look at the figure and all her accessories and there’s a little blurb about the character on the back. Everything is collector friendly, and that’s great because there’s a lot of stuff here to store in it.

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Sarah is sculpted wearing the tactical gear she donned after hooking up with her merc friends and getting ready to go after Dyson. The outfit features high laced combat boots, pocketed pants, a sleeveless t-shirt, and a tactical rig. Everything here is reproduced with NECA’s usual uncanny attention to detail, which includes stitching on the pants, textures on the shirt, individual pouches and straps on the rig, individually painted fixtures on the belt, and a combat knife sheath with removable knife.

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Not to be outdone by the T-800 figure, Sarah also comes with three different portraits. The figure is packaged with the ponytail, military cap, and sunglasses. This one is a great look for the character and a nice likeness even with the glasses on. The glasses appear to be a separate sculpt and are permanently attached. My only point of contention here is that I wish the paint used for the silver rims of the glasses was a little sharper. There’s a lot of slop when you get up close with the lens, but it’s clearly not as bad with the naked eye. Want to take the hat and glasses off? Just pop on the next head…

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This one is the same ponytail, sans hat and glasses, with her bangs down in her eyes. Another great likeness, and I really dig the way they sculpted the bangs as a separate piece. You can actually pull them back and see her eyes under there. Neat!

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Finally, you get a portrait with her hair down and another pretty solid likeness. I think they got a little heavy handed with the eyebrow paint, but I’ve got no other complaints. And even with all that hair, NECA was still able to salvage the neck articulation thanks to the use of soft plastic and the cuts on each side where the hair falls in front of and behind her shoulders.

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Speaking of articulation, the articulation here is pretty solid. You get rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. There are ball joints in the waist and neck. The wrists have swivels and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. Some extra points could have been justified, but I suspect some, like bicep cuts, were left out so as not to compromise the sculpt. If I could have one improvement here it would have been a better range of motion in the elbows. The sculpt stops them about halfway, which makes it more difficult than it should be to achieve certain poses with her guns.

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Naturally, Sarah comes with a nice selection of weaponry, in addition to the combat knife included in the sheath, she has three guns. Starting off with the pistol, she has the Colt-Detonics M1911 Hybrid, which the T-800 acquired at the bikier bar and Sarah picked up in the escape from the mental hospital. There’s some beautiful detailing on this, particularly in the distinctive grip.

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Next up, you get the Remington 870 police shotgun. This is a great looking accessory, which includes a hinged stock with the extra cartridges sculpted on top.

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And finally, you get a really great recreation of the Colt Commando. This one includes the laser site she used to target Dyson outside his home. Owning this figure and the T-800 results in a damn fine collection of iconic weapons in the 7-inch scale.

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Once again the term “Ultimate” is aptly used to describe this line. Sarah is a fantastic figure and with a bevy of weapons and extra likeness options, you get a lot more here then one is inclined to expect from a mass market figure in this scale and all for the ridiculously reasonable price of $21. Needless to say I’m continuing to be on board with every figure NECA puts out in this line, and the next one will keep the T2 love alive with the Ultimate T-1000.

Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate T-800 by NECA

I still consider T2 to be the greatest sci-fi action flick ever made. It’s one of those handful of older movies that I can still remember seeing in the theater because it had such a big impact on me. It’s also a prime example of a franchise that should have been laid to rest after the second installment, not just because most of the subsequent movies have been sub par, but because T2 is almost an impossible act to follow. So, it’s nice to see after all this time, the movie is still getting action figure love, and after a bumpy ride with McFarlane, it’s also nice to see T2 in the far more capable hands of NECA Toys, a company that is proving to be masters at their craft.

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NECA’s relatively new”Ultimate” line of action figures spans many movies and genres and features some damn snazzy packaging. We last saw it when I looked at their Ultimate Freddy Kruger figure and you’ll be seeing it again here many times, possibly as soon as next week. The T-800 comes in a great looking box with an opening front flap that reveals a window, allowing for a good look at the figure and all his accessories. And man, does he come with a lot! With three different head sculpts and a mini arsenal of weapons, it’s no wonder NECA calls this the “Ultimate” T-800! The box features some stills from the movie, and some shots of the figure that practically look like stills from the movie. Everything is collector friendly and that’s a good thing because this box is definitely a keeper.

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The T-800 comes in his bad-ass biker outfit looking like he just stepped right off the screen. The attention to detail on this guy is staggering. From the stitching and wrinkles in the pants, stitching on the gloves, to a jacket that uses every modicum of surface space to pack in more detail. The use of matte black for the pants, boots, and gloves and gloss black for the jacket is a welcome sight and the various silver zippers are all neatly painted on the jacket. This is one of those figures that clearly represents a labor of love on the part of everyone involved in its production.

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I think this is one of the best examples of a figure using the old “vest with sculpted sleeves” trick to mimic an actual jacket. The area around the shoulders where the jacket and sleeves meet just looks like part of the jointing. The back of the jacket features all the individual bullet holes sustained in battle, and the figure comes out of the box wearing the bandoleer strap of M-79 grenade rounds with one round missing.

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As mentioned, you get three different head sculpts with the figure and doing the pop and swap is super easy. The stock head is regular old Arnold featuring a solid likeness and some pretty clean paint. You really need to get in close to see any degree of uneven lines. Also, the neck joint is set deep enough into the shirt collar that you can’t even really see it when the head is attached.

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Next up, we have Arnold with shades. This is my favorite of all three of the portraits. I think the likeness is even better than the stock head and I like the more determined expression on his lips. The creasing between his eyebrows is more pronounced and the muscle definition in his chin is particularly good. This is likely the head that this figure will wear the most on my shelf, although I have been entertaining getting one more of these guys for a couple different display options, because…

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…ripped up cyborg head!!! This thing is a mess and I mean that in every positive way. The meat from half of the T-800’s head is blown off revealing the cyborg parts. The sculpt is fantastic, but what really sells this head is the paint, which is spectacular for a figure in this price range. Yup, if I buy a second one of these guys, this is the other head that will always be on display.

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Articulation is this figure is very solid, which has been one of my biggest gripes with Terminator figures in the past. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, while the legs feature the same in the hips, knees, and ankles. The neck is ball jointed and the torso can swivel at the waist. The only odd thing worth mentioning is that the left leg has swivels in the thigh and boot, while the right leg has only the one swivel at the boot. I found that odd, but it really doesn’t affect the poseability of the figure much. All the joints are nice and strong.

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Moving on to accessories, let’s start small and work our way up. The automatic pistol is pretty standard stuff. It’s a nice sculpt with a detailed paint job. The trigger guard is very soft plastic so you can theoretically get his trigger finger in there, but I’ve avoided it because I don’t want it to tear. That’s happened before on at least one of my DC Collectibles figures.

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Next up is the M1887 lever-action shotgun. Man, I loved the way Arnold worked this thing while on the motorcycle. When I first got the film on DVD I must have watched that scene a dozen times. The sculpt and paint on this piece is great, right down to the wood grain on the stock. It also fits beautifully into his left hand, which of course was the hand Arnold used in the film to show off his flip-cocking prowess.

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Next up is the M79 Grenade Launcher. Just like the shotgun, this little piece is expertly sculpted with great paintwork to pick out the detail between the metal and wooden components. This piece also includes a carry strap. I think this one is designed for his right hand, but I rather like the way he holds it in his left hand too. And you know that one round missing from his bandoleer is in that pipe and ready to go! I’m sure it’s just teargas. Afterall, he did swear not to kill anybody.

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Lastly, we have the grand daddy of all his arsenal… the minigun, which comes complete with the shoulder satchel full of ammo and the belt running from the satchel to the gun. Holy hell, is this a cool ensemble! The satchel wears well on the figure’s shoulder and he can hold the minigun perfectly. I was a little dubious on how well all these weapons would work with the figure only having two hands, but I’m really impressed to find that they all do. There’s a crazy amount of detail in the minigun and I love the silver paint they used on it.

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Honestly, I’m happy with most figures that I buy (and obviously I buy a lot of action figures}, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I was a) blown away by a finished product this much, and b) amazed by the value of a piece. I bought this figure for $22 (regular price, not on sale) and I’m floored that NECA can produce something this good and with so many accessories for that kind of price. I mean, that’s right around the price I’m paying for Hasbro’s 6-inch Black, Marvel Legends and DC Collectibles these days and in terms of craftsmanship, accessories, and even overall packaging and presentation, NECA is blowing those other companies out of the water. Not to mention that producing figures off a 25-year old movie is what some might call a niche-market. When it comes time to start doing my Favorites of 2015 Feature, this figure is going to be damn hard to beat.

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.

 

Terminator Salvation: Hunter-Killer with T-700 by Playmates

I’m not sure what will hurt the Terminator license more in the long run, the terrible movie that was Salvation or the fact that Playmates won the rights to produce the figures and toys. Either way, since the movie stuck with a lot of the traditional Terminator designs developed in the actually good movies, I was a bit interested in seeing some of these toys. Yeah, I realize these toys have come and gone from the shelves, but thanks to that bargain bin clearance toy graveyard known as Ross, I was able to grab a couple of these for next to nothing.

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If you are unfamiliar, the Hunter-Killer, is the VTOL aircraft used by Skynet to hunt down and kill humans. It was shown in flashbacks (or are those flash-forwards?) in Terminator and Terminator 2. The original prototype was also shown in Terminator 3. My first impressions is that this thing is pretty small, not for the 3 3/4″ scale, but for the original price tag. Seriously, Playmates? $24.99 for this thing? It must be pretty awesome when you get it out of the box. Hmm… doesn’t feel heavy enough to have diecast in it. Doesn’t say anything about batteries, so we know there’s no electronics.

See, the problem is that it isn’t pretty awesome. In fact, besides being small, its got a lot of other problems, the biggest of which is that its completely unpainted. Ok, now you can argue with me until the end of time as to whether or not this is how the vehicle was intended to look. I don’t care. The fact is that the package shows a metallic-silver toy. The box holds a vehicle that is simply unpainted brown plastic. I realize the toy clause, “actual product may differ from photos” and I also realize that at least they put it in an open window box, so you know what you’re getting, but this is re-god-damn-diculous. This is a fucking unpainted toy, plain and simple. We pay twenty-five bucks for this thing, and Playmates pockets the money they saved from not painting it? What a bunch of jerks!

Beyond that, the sculpt is actually very good, which is probably why the lack of paint pisses me off so much. There’s tons of detail in the hull plating and in the underlying wires and circuitry. If I ever get the ambition up and decide to spray this thing with a nice silver enamel paint, it will probably look unbelievable. As it is, its like taking a great looking Testers model kit and putting it together without any paint. It looks unfinished.

Besides the fact that at $24.99, Playmates should have been able to paint this toy and still make a huge profit, the Hunter-Killer doesn’t do a whole lot. The VTOL rotors rotate, which is cool. There are two firing missiles, which is ok, I guess. And the landing gear folds up. But apart from that, the only thing it does is have a hatch that opens to store a 3 3/4″ T-700 figure that comes with it. The figure sucks. Its made of bendy plastic, and like the Hunter Killer itself, the figure is completely unpainted and cast in the same brown as the HK. The sad thing is, that this is probably the exact same figure that they slap on a card and sell for $6.99. The fact that the figure goes into the HK makes me wonder whether Playmates knows a good goddamn thing about the franchise at all. The HK was a fucking machine, it didn’t need another machine to fly it. Unless, its just stored in there to deploy, which I think is pretty stupid too.

If you actually bought this thing at a store and at full retail, I really hope you had the backbone to take it back. Or at least put a brick in the box and toss it through a window at the Playmates, Inc. Home Office. [Disclaimer: FigureFan does not condone violence toward any person or corporate entity, any statements made to that effect are made purely for entertainment purposes only. Kids, don’t throw bricks! – DZ.] Its an insult to kids and toy collectors that Playmates can sell a blatantly unfinished toy. And even if it were the right color, the price tag is still way too high. Look at the GI Joe Bravo vehicles. They’re so much better and more substantial than this thing, come with much better figures, and they retail for under $20. Yes, I realize that Hasbro owns that license, but you can’t tell me that Playmates had to pay through the nose for Terminator, because frankly I can’t believe they could afford to.

That’s it. Deep breath and I’m done.