This is the first Terminator action figure in my collection. Even though Terminator is one of my favorite Arnold movies, a close second to Predator, I was never attracted to the figures that NECA was putting on the market. These figures had almost no articulation, a mortal sin for an action figure. But NECA announced that they will revisit their Terminator line and release a series of figures with updated articulation. They started this “new” line with re-releasing the T-800 endoskeleton, since this figure already had a decent amount of articulation when it was released for the first time. Being a classic cinema character, I had to pick this toy up.
The T-800 endoskeleton comes in a simple, reusable, cardboard window box. I’m not really keen on the graphic design on the packaging. I think NECA tried to convey a retro feel, but for some reason it just comes of amateurish. With its slapped-on filters and textures, it just looks like something that a Photoshop novice would create. It’s obviously just a personal preference, but I don’t like any of the artwork or design elements on this box.
On a positive note; the figure is nicely presented inside the box, being well lit and almost entirely visible. The read up on the back, featuring the specs of the T-800, is also pretty cool.
Now I have to be honest with myself here; I really want to love this figure, but the reality of the situation is that I’m very disappointed with the T-800 endoskeleton. This figure is just such a mixed bag. The sculpt is amazing, it has tons of detail and if memory serves me right, it is a perfect representation of its onscreen counterpart. I love the head sculpt, it’s very menacing and I hear the Terminator beat (you know what I’m talking about) in my head when I look at it. Just standing on my table, this figure looks amazing, it is when I pick it up that the drawbacks start piling up. The biggest problem being that the endoskeleton is just so damn fragile. It is a long long time ago that I broke a figure right out of the packaging. I’m always super careful on my first articulation check. Regardless, I broke the right bicep piston while trying to bend the arm. And there is no way of fixing it, because the parts are just so tiny. So this is a major bummer! The figure is still fine and the arm can still bend, but the piston just looks like crap, missing a part.
I do have to applaud NECA for trying to produce a figure with such an intricate design, with all the working pistons and tubes and hoses. But in my opinion it just doesn’t work. This is a case of too much of a good thing. Maybe the T-800 endoskeleton design is just not suitable to be a practical action figure at this scale. I’m in constant fear of breaking something while posing the figure around.
And this brings us to another great drawback of this figure. This T-800 looks to be fully possible, but most of the joints just don’t work or are totally impractical. Now I don’t need my Terminators to get in hyper dynamic poses, but I do expect them to pull off a convincing “walking pose”. This figure can’t do it. The way the hip joints are constructed, the leg moves outward at a 30 degree angle, instead of straight forward. Sure, the hip joint looks amazing with all the working pistons and it is very impressive how all the parts move around each other. But it just doesn’t work the way you need it to work to get poses that you want. The arm and head articulation are fine, disregarding the fact that one of the bicep pistons broke. All in all, you can’t do much with the present articulation except for a static standing pose. And that’s just very disappointing.
The Endoskeleton comes with a single accessory, being its iconic plasma rifle. I like it, it looks pretty cool and very recognizable from the movie. It’s not overly detailed sculpt wise, but good enough. It is painted well and the silver parts have a nice black wash to bring out the details. The figure holds the rifle with a loose grip. You can steady the weapon using the figures both hands, but it’s far from being optimal. Another thing worth pointing out, is the fact that while holding the rifle, the endoskeleton is somewhat hard to balance. The weapon is just to heavy in comparison with the flimsy figure.
In closing; I cannot remember the last time that I was disappointed with a NECA product. For the last three years I have been buying their figures with the confidence that I will enjoy my purchase in all aspects. The T-800 endoskeleton however is just not a fun figure. It is too fragile and impractical to be enjoyed. The fact that I really want to love this figure and was planning to pick up three of them to make a little Terminator squad makes it even worse. After posing this guy and putting it on a shelf I will probably never touch it again to repose it. And that is not a good sign.
Not wanting to end on a negative note; I do like how the figure looks just standing there. It is a piece of cinema history in miniature plastic form. And the more I stare at it, the more I realize how much of an engineering achievement this figure is. But all the intricate parts are just the thing that are holding this figure back from being amazing. Therefore I can only recommend it to the greatest of Terminator fans among us. If you are “just” an action figure enthusiast, you should probably skip it. Because you won’t get much actionfigureing out of it.
+ Very detailed sculpt
+ Looks just like in the movies
+ Working pistons
– Working pistons
– Very fragile
– No real posing options
– Impractical articulation
– Very hard to stand up