Packaging - ***1/2
Hot Toys does a nice job with their packaging, although I do find the
outer sleeve that fits over the fifth panel box to be a bit of overkill.
But unlike the recently reviewed Rambo from Hot Toys, there were no twisties
holding in the Endo, so if I have to put up with that outer sleeve to get no
twisties inside, I'll gladly make the trade.
The contents of the interior tray are held in place with the usual two
top plastic trays. Again, this makes me much happier than twisties, or
tape, or dental floss used to hold things in.
I would like a bit more text, especially since there's plenty of real
estate for it with this type of box, but that's a minor complaint.
Sculpting - ****
For the most part, this is a tremendously impressive sculpt job.
The texture gives the realistic impression of steel, and the various
internal and external proportions are extremely good. The sculpt and
articulation work amazingly well together - I'll be blabbering about that in
detail in the Articulation section - and I think this is the best Endo
sculpt we've ever gotten.
While I'll get into more detail in the Articulation section on the
working pistons, I wanted to mention here that the 'hoses' you see around
his neck aren't rubber or plastic at all...they're metal! They're made
from stretchy metal tubing, which works great with trying to pose the
figure. There's more play in them this way, and this is the one area
where I didn't worry about breaking them when I was moving the shoulders and
The paint does rub off them a bit though, which is the downside of being
made of something that hard. Ah well, there's always a price to be
The sculpting on the teeth is very realistic, and the various mechanical
parts look great. There are lots of great little touches, like the big
toe on each foot being *slightly* larger than the other four identical toes.
These are called 'model kits', just like most Hot Toys releases.
But unlike Predator, Alien or Robocop, there's no actual assembly. The
figure comes complete, and you just stick a weapon in his highly articulated
hands. I don't know how they're getting away with the model kits label
on these, but I was happy that I didn't have to try to put any of this
complex guy together myself.
Some folks may find the scale a tad small for them. He stands
almost exactly 12" tall, and in person (and standing next to other
sixth scale figures), he does seem a bit puny to me. Now, logically I
realize that this is probably accurate, since he is the skeleton of a T-800
after all. There would be plenty of flesh packed on this body, then
boots and clothes, pushing him up several inches IRL. But ignoring
logic, which is far too easy to do, it still seems to me that he's a bit
I'm also sure that some serious fans will find various minor technical
flaws in the appearance. But I don't think you're going to see a
better overall interpretation of this character produced.
Paint - ***
If there was one disappointment with the figure, it was with the paint.
And I don't think you can really call it a disappointment - that sounds too
The photos I'd seen of this particular version on sites like at Sideshow
showed a very shiny, bright, light colored paint, representing very clean
steel. What we got instead was a very dark, gun metal gray
color. It still reflects light (as you can see in the photos) but not
at the degree I was expecting or would really like.
There's no slop anywhere on the paint job, but I'm also not real keen on
the black areas on the hydraulics. The lower housings for the pistons
have quite a bit of black on them, and look out of place to me and draw too
much attention to themselves.
The head is also a fair bit shinier and more bright metallic in color
than the rest of the body. I'm not quite sure what's up there, and had
the entire body been more like the head I would have been much happier.
Articulation - ****
We've all seen amazing sculpts and amazing paint jobs, but articulation is
usually pretty straight forward. But articulation is often
standardized across the board, especially in the sixth scale world.
That makes the work on a figure like this all the more impressive.
There is a ball jointed neck, jointed jaw, pin elbows and knees, double
pin shoulders (one into the torso, and one through that pin, perpendicular
to it) that allows the arm to rotate forward and back, as well as out from
the body, cut biceps and calves, ball jointed hips, ball jointed ankles and
wrists, and a ball jointed waist. If that's not enough, each toe is
individually articulated, and each finger AND the thumb has three - count
them, three! - pin joints. The lowest knuckle on the finger is a
fourth joint that runs in the opposite direction, so that each finger (not
the thumb) can also tilt up and down in relation to the palm of the hand!
Okay, so that's a buttload of articulation, but does any of it function?
The big problem with the Endo's design is that he has all these pistons on
his body, at the neck, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, ankles...can any of
these joints actually move any where?
And that's where the real marvel comes in. Yes, they can! The
pistons still do restrict the movement, but not nearly at the level you
might expect. They are designed to work in a very realistic way, and
to allow for as much movement as possible. It's really quite
impressive, and you'll find yourself marveling over it for hours. Or
at least minutes.
It does raise one problem, but it's not something I'm holding against the
figure. This guy is FRAGILE. Yes, I'm talking uppercase fragile.
Take some time getting to understand each of the joints, especially those
with pistons involved. Don't go blindly twisting and turning because
breaking the thin plastic rods is definitely a possibility. Once you
get a feel for just how far they can turn, you'll be able to pose the figure
with much less risk.
There is one pose that they show on the box that I simply couldn't find a
way to do. Because the cut biceps appear to be the only way to turn
the arms, and because of the way the palms face inward, there was no way to
hold the plasma rifle with the left arm holding it at the stock.
You'll notice I put the left arm on top, in anticipation of the
recoil. But they clearly have him holding it the other way in the box
photos, and I have no idea how they managed to pull that off. EDIT -
word from some collectors is that theirs does have a cut joint, so mine must
be stuck. While the joint being there is good - the fact mine is stuck
is still an issue. Can't be much of an issue either way though, since
he was getting four stars in this category anyway!
Accessories - ***1/2
There's a nice, healthy assortment of evil doing weapons here, although at
this price point, I can think of a couple more things I'd like.
While a massive mechanical creature like this can easily squash your head
like a grape between his palms, he's much more impressive when heavily
On the small arms side, he comes with a laser sighted handgun.
While it qualifies as 'small arms', it's definitely an impressive piece of
hardware. It's well sculpted and quite realistic.
Stepping up we have the Plasma Rifle. The sculpt is great, and this
is a classic Terminator weapon, but the lightweight nature of most Hot Toys
weapons hurts it a bit. The paint wash also doesn't do a ton for me,
since it appears more toy-like and less realistic than the other weapons.
Finally, there's the impressive Vulcan M134. The Vulcan is a real
weapon of course, usually used on helicopters or Hummers. It's one of
those completely unrealistic and implausible weapons used in Hollywood films
in most cases - Jesse Ventura wouldn't be able to blast the crap out of a
Predator with it tucked under his arm - but at least in the case of the
Terminator films, the characters carrying the weapon could theoretically do
This Vulcan is also a somewhat futuristic sculpt. It looks
terrific, and the sculpt and paint really go well with the nekkid Terminator
Endo. While the other two weapons are cool, I suspect this will be the
one most folks use in their displays.
Finally, there's the usual display base with small name plate.
Again, if someone doesn't know this is an Endoskeleton, they have been
living under a rock on the far side of the moon for several decades, but at
least the nameplates are somewhat unobtrusive.
Light Up Feature - ***1/2
This feature is pretty straight forward - push a button in the center of his
back, the eyes light up. The button stays in so you don't have to hold
it, and the eyes are nice and bright.
My favorite aspect of the feature is that the batteries are easy to get
to. There's a little door on his back that just pops open to reveal
the two watch batteries, no screwdriver necessary.
Fun Factor - *
Let's face it, this isn't a figure to be played with. Just posing it,
I was in constant fear of hearing a 'snap'. That doesn't mean it isn't
a lot of fun for the adult fan, but it's pretty muted fun. And kids?
Don't even think about it.
Value - ***
Hot Toys figures generally run $80 - $150, depending on the character and the
intricacy. For example, Robocop ran
$110 - $130, depending on the retailer.
I'm grading this guy on the current usual price at online retailers -
around $110. At that price point, you're getting quite a complicated,
well engineered, high touch assembly figure. That's a solid value.
Now, if you end up paying closer to $130, like I did here and with
Robocop, you can knock of another half to full star.
Things to Watch Out For -
Have I made myself clear enough on this point yet? BE CAREFUL! I'm
not complaining mind you, and the naturally fragile nature of something like
this won't hurt the overall score. I'm just trying to warn you, and
save you some heart ache. Don't squeeze anything, don't pull on
anything abruptly, and definitely don't twist any joints without paying
extreme attention to the many little pistons.
Overall - ***1/2
You'll spend the first half hour after opening this guy up just marveling at
the engineering of the articulation. This is truly an impressive
figure, and I really, really wanted to give it a full four stars. I've
had a lot of terrific items in this last month, but this one really stands
out, and is going to be on my list for consideration as one of the best
12" figures of the year.
That being said, my personal issues with the paint held back my final
choice on the overall score. If you can overlook the gun metal color,
I doubt you'd find any other major issues.