Hot Toys Matrix 1:16 Scale SENTINEL
"A Sentinel for every man, woman, and child in Zion." - Morpheus
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With Hot Toys obtaining the Matrix license, fans have been waiting with baited breath to see just what they will produce. Their first product released to the masses is the Sentinel: a cold, squid-like killing machine whose main goal is to seek out and stop the unauthorized hacking into the Matrix.
PACKAGING: The box is roughly about the size of one of those door-fit 12-packs of soda, and the box is made of nice and heavy stock. The print quality is nice as well; Vivid Matrix code is on the top, front and back, while tentacles adorn the sides.
You slide out the package to reveal a window box. There is a nice collage of Sentinels printed on top. Inside the window box, the Sentinel is housed in standard form fitted plastic, held securely by twist ties.
Once you remove the Sentinel from the package, it won't take you very long to attach it to its base, and position the tentacles just how you want it. While you immediately appreciate the quality of the piece, unfortunately you can't help but notice the size, which is severely underwhelming. The head only measures 2 inches wide by 2 inches deep, making it smaller than even the version that was put out by N2 Toys back when the movie was out. However, the tentacles are longer at about 9 inches.
SCULPT: There is no doubting the quality of the Hot Toys team, as the sculpt work is very nice. From the many individual red eyes to the grooved tentacles, the detail is certainly above average. This Sentinel has a radar dish on one of its 15 tentacles, which is a great addition that the other versions do not offer.
The smaller your sculpt, the less room you have for detail, and smaller parts such as the pinchers take the hit. I have to wonder just how good the sculpt could have been had this piece been just a bit larger.
PAINT: The paint job is pretty impeccable. Rich reds fill the creases of the tentacles, and the silvers and grays have a nice faint metallic tint to them - with just the right amount of weathering. Not all is perfect, however. The 15 or so eyes on the front are made up of a combination of red paint and a translucent plastic material. Why they aren’t ALL using the translucent plastic seems like a curious choice to me.
ARTICULATION: The tentacles don't just look good; they feel good too. Sturdy, yet flexible, they are extremely agreeable when choosing how you wish to display your Sentinel. Wherever you move each one, it stays.
While the simple design of the black base feels somewhat out of place -- the boomerang shape looks like it should be holding up a Starship Enterprise instead -- it is very well made and offers various display options. The height and angle of the arm can be adjusted, allowing you to display your Sentinel high with tentacles widely spread, or low and sleek with the tentacles straight back, as if the Sentinel was in full pursuit.
Lastly, aside from the fixed radar dish, each of the remaining 14 tentacles have a fully poseable claw, much like the ones available on McFarlane's Sentinel, allowing you to pose them opened, closed, or anywhere in between. Unlike McFarlane's, however, these are made of a hard, sharp plastic, so they won't bend out of shape.
COMPARISON: There has been several comparisons made during this review which I now wish to address. Seeing as how this is the third Sentinel to make its way into collector’s hands, it's not only fair to make these comparisons; but inevitable.
First, N2 Toys offered a toy-like version in the 2nd series in their Matrix line based on the first movie and it retailed for around $10. The quality was lacking, to be sure, but the price reflected that.
By the time the second movie came out, McFarlane Toys made a deluxe version of their own to go with their 6-inch line of figures. With a price of $30, this was an absolute steal. It was not only large in scale, but the quality was great as well.
Lastly, we have the newest entry by Hot Toys. Unfortunately, the Hot Toys is not only the smallest of the 3, but the most expensive, with a retail price of near $60.
Now, there are 2 silver linings which favor the Hot Toys version, which must be taken into account. First, the strength of this Sentinel is the quality on its own. If you wish to display the Sentinel by itself, it fits very nicely into a glass Detolf case from IKEA and looks gorgeous on a shelf. Secondly, while displaying it next to the other Sentinel figures might be a bad idea; displaying it with McFarlane's Deluxe APU makes it look darn near perfect. They are very close to one another in terms of scale and really work well together.
COST & OVERALL IMPRESSION: Personally, the Hot Toys Sentinel seems overpriced and underwhelming. While the quality is certainly above average and deserving of praise, the size is simply tragic, especially for the cost. If it were twice the size or half the price, I would be less critical, but it’s not so I can’t.
As a recommendation, I would simply say to take a long look at the Hot Toys Sentinel before making a decision. It is undoubtedly a fine piece of craftsmanship featuring amazing detail and great quality on its own, but keep it away from McFarlane’s Matrix Sentinel. That said, keep it as close to McFarlane’s APU as possible which will help the Hot Toys Sentinel stand out in a way it truly deserves.
Review and Photos by Eric Beyhl
Review Sample Courtesy of Hot Toys
Re: Hot Toys Matrix 1:16 Scale SENTINEL
Impressive picture of all three versions of the Sentinel! Bravo!