NECA's Terminator 2 - SERIES 2
"Come with me if you want to live."
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For good or bad, the release of Terminator Salvation has ushered in a new surge of Terminator-related merchandise. While a couple of toy companies gambled with the fourth film (hey, I liked it!), NECA found a comfortable niche with a tried-and-true classic: Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Taking four of Arnold Schwarzenegger's most iconic looks as the T-800 and throwing in an evil Endoskeleton for good measure, this line of 7-inch action figures amazes with good looks and kick-butt Ahnold attitude. Series 1 released earlier this year was cool, but with figures now fetching around $15 a pop, cool just doesn't cut it for me. They have to knock my socks off. T2 Series 2 does just that, delivering an impressive minigun-toting Arnie from the Cyberdyne Showdown scene and a Final Battle T-800 with extensive battle damage and grenade launcher. The re-release of the T-800 Endoskeleton in this wave even excels over the first assortment, the cyborg trading in its tired Phased Plasma Rifle for a wicked Phased Plasma Minigun.
T-800 [Cyberdyne Showdown]
With this awesome figure fans can pretend Arnold isn't some goody two-shoes Terminator, but an actual unstoppable killing machine, ala Terminator 1, mowing down everything and EVERYONE with his handheld General Electric M134 Minigun. The weapon is very cool, featuring a long chain of ammo that feeds into a black shoulder bag. The bullet belt is affixed to both the bag and minigun so there is no worry of the ammo coming detached. The bag slips on his right shoulder easy as pie, though it has a tendency to fall off if posing your figure. Since I don't plan on ever taking it off, I placed a small dab of glue on the strap to keep it in place. The Cyberdyne Showdown T-800 also includes a Vietnam-era M79 grenade launcher that slings over his other shoulder. Again, it is prone to slide off, so I glued mine down. I see no reason to have him hold it, his GE M134 Minigun is MORE than adequate.
The headsculpt for this figure is undeniably Arnold Schwarzenegger, especially in profile. It's certainly the best Arnold we've gotten in action figure form on this scale. What's extra nice about it is the ball-joint NECA used for neck articulation. The articulation point, used in the Final Battle T-800 and first two Series 1 figures as well, allows for a wide range of movement: Tilted sternly down, cocked to the side or peering straight up. Having ball-jointed heads on these figures also allows you to swap out Arnold heads. Want that super battle-damaged head on the Cyberdyne Arnie? No problemo.
With big guns and a "clean" mug, the T2 Cyberdyne Showdown figure is the one to grab. For an Arnie a little rough around the edges, look no further than...
T-800 [Final Battle]
Fans received a figure similar to this way back with McFarlane's Movie Maniacs. Way back when Arnold Schwarzenegger's portrait was off-limits. NECA's Final Battle T-800 ups the ante on Todd's uber-battle damaged "Arnold" by giving collectors not only a heavily marred headsculpt that still resembles Arnie, but also a less damaged head that is unquestionably the Govenator.
Deciding on which head to put on my figure was HARD, but I ultimately went with the been-through-hell-and-back sculpt. The figure's composition this way flows fantastically; one's eye is drawn from the steel skull poking through half his face, past the huge hole in his chest, over to the savagely ripped off left arm, and down to his exposed Endoskeleton knee cap.
Pictured above is a closer look at that missing arm; gore and wires spewing in all directions. Good stuff. Other fine details on this figure include fine bullet holes riddled across the back of his leather jacket and the absence of grenades on the bandolier strapped across his chest. Each "cloth" grenade ring is slightly collapsed, realistically miming how real material would behave. This is an amazing recreation of Arnold on his last leg, his last grenade, his final stand.
I passed on the Series 1 re-release of this Terminator because it was just to similar to the one I purchased back in the Cult Classics line. A new headsculpt and paint job just weren't enough to sway me. It took an entirely new weapon, in addition to those improvements, to make me budge. Packing a Phased Plasma Minigun, the Series 2 T-800 Endoskeleton is that heavy weapons specialist my Terminator army has been looking for. I had a bit of trouble getting him to hold the gun properily, however, but nothing a small dab of Superglue on his left, forward gripping hand couldn't fix. The T-800 Endo also comes with an alternate open right hand for those wishing to display him sans awesome weapon (Shame on you!)
Like the Series 1 Endo with Phased Plasma Rifle, this one too features a new paint job. It's much more chrome-like than the Cult Classics version and is a very welcome change. The other alteration NECA made is with the headsculpt. These new Endos ditch the wide-eyed blank stare for a way cooler, menacing squinted look. There's two additonal new neck wires as well, further showing NECA really wanted to make this the most accurate small scale Endoskeleton out there. And it ALMOST is. It has articulation out the wazoo, a great sculpt and a killer weapon, BUT it lacks that very cool display base NECA released with the Cult Classics version. I absolutely love that base, but with economic times the way they are, I totally understand why it wasn't included. Perhaps we can get a fully loaded T-800 Endoskeleton boxed set in the future?
NECA has stated that they COULD do a third wave, but have no plans to do so at this time. Personally I can't think of any other Arnold T2 looks that I'd like to see, though a NECA action figure of the original 1984 Terminator Arnie would make my day.
T2 Series 2 is an outstanding trio of figures that no Terminator fan should be without.
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Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor