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You’d have to be living under a rock, and it would have to be a pretty big rock at that, to not realize that May is the movie month for 2009. There’s some potentially great films coming out later this summer, including G.I. Joe, Harry Potter and Transformers 2, but May has four big ones hitting us that are all required viewing.

One of the four is Terminator: Salvation, the fourth film in the story of Skynet and the destruction of the human race. Opening on the 21st (a Thursday), this film takes us back…uh, forward…in time to the early days of the war, before the T-800 was developed, when the first T-600 and T-700 Terminators were terrorizing the Resistance.

The current brouhaha over the movie has to do with the MPAA rating. Most assumed it would be R, just like the first three films in the franchise. The trailer certainly appears to have R-like tendencies. But recent rumors have it at a PG-13, and this has caused quite the stir. Some have said that the Terminator:Salvation toy line is part of the reasoning for Warner Brothers to push for the lighter rating, in an attempt to get at least some kids indoctrinated in the film franchise. But plenty of R rated movies have had toy lines in the past, and if you swing by your local Toys R Us right now you can find Watchmen action figures, clearly a movie not intended for kids. The mere existence of a toy line does not indicate the rating, but it does tend to indicate the amount of whining some parents may do.

Playmates Toys, probably best known for there long running Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek and World of Springfield action figure lines, picked up the license for the Terminator: Salvation toys. They are producing action figures in three scales - 3 3/4″, 6″ and 10″. I’ve already covered several of the 6″ figures over at my site, and I’ll be hitting up at least one of the 10″ versions as well. This week here at QSE I’m looking at four of the 3 3/4″ figures, including the T-600, T-700, T-R.I.P. and Marcus.

If you have any questions of comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com or visit my site, Michael’s Review of the Week - Captain Toy.

Terminator: Salvation - 1/18th action figures

Just to keep things straight in the review, the T-600 is the huge endo with the skin and clothes, Marcus is the much smaller endo with skin and clothes, the T-700 is the dark endo, and the T-R.I.P. is the brighter silver endo pictured below. Although I can’t be sure, I’m assuming the T-R.I.P. is a T-800 prototype of some sort.

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These figures are about 1/18th scale, also often called 3 3/4″ although most figures in this scale (like Star Wars or Indiana Jones) are generally closer to 4″ tall.

Packaging - ***
The packaging matches the larger scale 6″ line, with good golor and bright graphics, but it comes across a tad cartoonish. I like the inclusion of a little personalization on the front bubble (there’s a very small bio of each character), and showing the whole series on the cardback is good. The big downside is the ridiculous number of twist ties for this scale figure, with arms, legs and even torsos often strapped in place.

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Sculpting - T-700, T-R.I.P. ***; T-600, Marcus **1/2
I was pretty hard on the non Endoskeleton 6″ figures in this series, and with good reason. Even the Endos were pretty mediocre, but in this smaller scale, I’m liking the whole bunch a lot better.

One of my major grips with the 6″ T-600 was the extremely cartoon-like styling of the skin covered head. Some folks ragged me, saying of course it was cartoonish, because it was supposed to look fake. The 3 3/4″ figure makes my point for me though - it DOES look fake here, just like it should, but doesn’t look like it could double as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bad guy. Both this version and the 10″ version have the proper look to the skin, while the 6″ fails completely. Considering how much smaller this figure is, that’s no small feat.

However, he still has one issue in common with his larger brother - he’s huge. He stands just over 5″ tall, making him about 8 feet tall in true 1/18th scale. Both Marcus and the Endos are almost 4″ tall though, so it isn’t *quite* that bad, but he’s still gargantuan compared to them. I don’t think the fake skin, no matter how realistic, would fool anyone into thinking a T-600 was a person.

The work on the clothing is better than on the larger scale figure too, another plus in his favor. He has less clothing (the pants are ripped up a bit more) which helps quite a bit. There’s a few weird, unrealistic rips (did someone take a bit out of the hood?), but it’s still an improvement.

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The T-700 and T-R.I.P. look to have the same sculpt as the larger versions, but as you might expect, when you shrink down a sculpt the detailing improves. There’s still soft areas, particularly with the T-700. Because the paint is so dark, and because there’s no wash to bring out the detail, much of it is lost visually.

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Both of the Endos are about 4″ tall, making them fit in much better with other modern lines in this scale (like Star Wars) than the other Playmates 1/18th line on the shelf right now, Star Trek. That’s good news, since one of the biggest attractions to this smaller scale is putting figures from different licenses together. They’re still a smidge shrimpy, but it’s not a major issue.

My biggest issue with both Endos in this category is the forearms. They are long to begin with, and because of the lack of a wrist joint, the hand and forearm become one piece visually, making them appear even longer. It throws off the proportions somewhat on an otherwise solid job.

It’s worth pointing out that both are sculpted with open mouths, a complaint I know lots of folks have had with the Endos in all the scales. I don’t mind, but you might not be as forgiving.

Of the various scale Marcus figures I’ve seen so far, this one is my favorite. That doesn’t mean he’s great, but he’s an improvement over the other versions out there.

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The likeness isn’t great, but half the face is damaged, showing off the underlying endo parts. The detailing on these robotic sections is quite good, although they look nothing like a T-700, which is what I assume (perhaps incorrectly) he is.

I did have a couple sculpt issues, however. The biggest one is a weird warp to the lower half of the left leg. I don’t think it’s just from the insert tray (although it could be due to a bad package design), because there’s no gapping at the joint on either side. The leg looks like it is actually designed to bend slightly off to the side, and it makes it tough to get him to stand properly.

They cheaped out a bit on his hands too. The left and right hand are both sculpted as though they are exposed endoskeleton, but the right hand is painted flesh colored with a painted glove. It stands out, even at this scale.

Finally, the boots are a bit wonky. The idea is that one has the pant leg tucked in, while the other has the pant leg hanging down over half the boot. Unfortunately, the sculpt doesn’t really translate. Because of the way the edge between the pant leg and boot is sculpted on both sides, they both look like the leg is tucked in, making it look like he’s wearing two different boots.

Paint - Marcus **1/2; the others ***
Again, keep in mind the scale here. The detailing is quite good, especially for a mass market line.

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The T-R.I.P. is the basic silver, but has a nice wash to bring out the sculpting. He also has very cool eyes, painted with some sort of reflective paint. Notice how on both he and the T-700, the eyes look lit up in the photos, but they aren’t. Unlike the larger versions, there’s no plastic tubes to bring light down to the eyes, but the bright paint appears to glow even in normal room light.

As I mentioned in the Sculpt section, much of the detail work on the T-700 is lost since the paint is so dark. However, that dark contrast makes his glowing eyes stand out even more.

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The paint work on the T-600 is a little less cartoonish than the larger scale figure, and there’s a wash used on the pants to make them a little less goofy looking. Thankfully, the pelvis is actually painted the right color too! The same wash on the endo parts brings out the finer details there, making this version a huge improvement over the 6″ figure.

Marcus also has a solid paint job, although he has fewer details. The overall figure (both clothing and endo sections) lacks any wash, making him look a bit cheaper than the other three. The cut lines and general quality of the paint work is decent, but he lacks some of the visual pop of the others. He’s reasonable considering the price point, but nothing special.

Articulation - T-700, T-R.I.P., T-600 ***; Marcus **1/2
These are fairly well articulated for this scale, with just a few issues holding them back.

Marcus had the most potential, but the wonky legs end up hurting him. He is the only one to have a ball jointed neck, and it works quite well. He also has ball jointed shoulders (pin/post style), pin/post elbows, and cut wrists, making his arms quite poseable. He adds in a cut waist, single pin knees, and T hips.

With just the T hips and single pin knees, there’s not much you can do with the legs, and because of the warping of the right one, he has trouble standing. This ends up pulling him down slightly over the other three.

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The T-600 has a cut neck, which is fine since he’d be a pretty stiff guy in person. He has the same style shoulders as Marcus, with single pin elbows and cut wrists. That means his forearms can’t move inward and outward from the body, making his arms a little less poseable. He finishes off with the same cut waist, single pin knees, and T hips. He really needs some sort of cut joint on the legs to improve his overall posability, but he stands great on his own in basic stances.

The T-700 and T-R.I.P. have identical articulation. Neither has any neck joint, but like their skin covered cousins, they have pin/post swivel shoulders. They also have pin/post elbows, which allow for the arms to move inward, very useful with these figures. Unfortunately, they lack cut wrists, making it tough for them to hold the large gun properly.

They have simple pin hips, much like the T hips on the other figures, and single pin knees. Perhaps it’s surprising because of the tiny feet, but they stand great on their own in a number of poses.

Accessories - ***
Most figures in this scale come with one accessory, maybe two if you’re really lucky. Three of the four here have two plastic accessories, plus one paper accessory.

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The T-700 comes with a large scale rifle, which can be held in either hand, although straddling it across is hands is the best way to keep him standing. Unfortunately, due to the lack of wrist articulation mentioned earlier, he can’t really hold it properly in both hands, but he can approximate the look.

He also has a beat up and bent steel girder that he can use to pound on various resistance fighters, or Stormtroopers, your choice. Like the gun, this can fit in either or both hands. It’s a pretty small girder, but it’s a nice change of pace from the steel pipe that was in the 6″ series.

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The T-R.I.P. comes with two guns, but both are pistols, one much smaller than the other. While I’m betting we see these actual guns at some point in the film, I really would have rather gotten a larger cannon style weapon. He can hold both guns at once for some rip roarin’, shootin’ tootin’ poses.

The T-600 has the same large Gatling style cannon that his 6″ cousin carries. The ammo back pack is removable, as is the ammo clip. The gun fits tightly to his arm, and looks great in most poses.

Also like the 6″ scale, each comes with a Topps movie trading card. They are high quality, high gloss cards, but they are identical to the ones you get with the same characters in the larger scale. On top of that, you know my general disdain for paper extras. This kind of stuff almost always ends up in a junk box.

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Fun Factor - Marcus ***; the rest ***1/2
Figures in this scale are always one thing if nothing else - fun. Because these are more in line in both style and size with other current 1/18th lines, these can easily be added to any display or play scenario with the likes of Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Narnia. Kid’s would probably end up frustrated with Marcus’ weird legs, but the other three would make for terrific bad guys, and are sturdy enough to stand up to normal sandbox play.

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Value - ***
These guys will run you around $7 at most stores, about a buck cheaper than many other well known licenses in this scale. On top of that, you’re getting a reasonably good set of accessories, adding to the value. Slightly better articulation, and these would have gotten another half star here.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. You’ll want to check those paint ops carefully when picking them off the peg of course, but once you have them in hand, you should be issue free.

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Overall - T-700, T-R.I.P. ***; T-600, Marcus **1/2
These are quite a bit better than the 3 3/4″ Star Trek line from Playmates, also on pegs right now, and they’re a bit better than I’ve seen most folks giving them credit for. They aren’t amazing by any means, and the work from someone like Mezco in this scale (who did the Hellboy in the photo) blows them away, but the two clean Endoskeletons will fit in pretty well with most other modern 1/18th lines. Marcus doesn’t do much for me, especially with the wonky legs, and the huge, towering T-600 looks like he belongs in another line. But if you’re looking for a basic Endo to go with your Star Wars figures, you should grab the T-R.I.P. or the T-700.

Scoring Recap -
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - T-700, T-R.I.P. ***; T-600, Marcus **1/2
Paint - Marcus **1/2; the others ***
Articulation - T-600, T-700, T-R.I.P. ***; Marcus **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - Marcus ***; the rest ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - T-700, T-R.I.P. ***; T-600, Marcus **1/2

Where to Buy -
Plenty of local retailers should have these, including Toys R Us and Target. Expect to pay around $7 each. online options include:

- Entertainment Earth has them by the case of 12 for $91, or about $7.60 each.

- For the UK folks, Forbidden Planet has them individually for about 6 GBP each.

Comments:

15 Responses to “Terminator: Salvation 3 3/4 Action Figures”

  1. WTF Says:

    SHAZAM! There it is thanks Micheal!!!

    SHAZAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Philip Reed Says:

    I picked up the T-700 and T-R.I.P. (and posted reviews of each at my own site) and was surprised to discover the difference in height between the two figures. I initially wanted a T-600 but after seeing him in the store I passed; too huge and goofy looking.

    Now that I’ve seen the Marcus photos here, I may need to grab one. I also need to snag the 3.75-inch scale Hunter Killer that’s out there now.

  3. Michael Crawford Says:

    I think the T-1 in the 6″ line might fit in better scale-wise with these too.

  4. Philip Reed Says:

    I was avoiding the 6-inch scale , but if the T-1 is a close fit to the 3.75-inch scale then I must own one! Thanks for the info.

  5. dinkydoo Says:

    You guys do know that the T-600’s are supposed to be huge, right? The model that was shown at media junkets was about 9 or 10 feet tall and labelled as “actual size.”

  6. Philip Reed Says:

    Yeah, I figured there was a story reason for the ridiculous size. That doesn’t forgive how _bad_ the figure looks in the pack.

  7. Dfskelleton Says:

    Yeah, The T- R.I.P is the best. I MIGHT Pick Up the Marcus just to have a good guy in the mix.

  8. Dfskelleton Says:

    Edit to my last post: I DID pick up marcus as well as T-600. The 600 is pretty big, but marcus’ legs aren’t THAT horrible. Not to be rude, but you forgot to write about the hydrobot.

  9. Arnold Says:

    These things look like ass. Anyone who thinks otherwise has been payed-off by Playmates.

  10. Philip Reed Says:

    I disagree, Arnold. The T-RIP and T-700 are both pretty nice, and I’m still thinking about grabbing the Hunter Killer because it comes with another T-700 and the HK itself looks nice.

  11. Darth_andosman Says:

    I really like the T-600, but really is he that huge :0. Regardless i’ll probably army build him, and any of the T’s

  12. BeHonest Says:

    Admit these figures are a ripoff for their price point, and it’s a shame that this toy line didn’t go to Mattel or Hasbro.

    At least if it was with Mattel then Christian Bale might have allowed his likeness to be used for a figure. That’s how bad this line is: so bad the movie’s main character can’t even be made with a true likeness.

    Sadly, for a movie as good as Terminator: Salvation is going to be, this line is a giant piece of overpriced crap.

  13. Andrew Says:

    Thanks to Behonest for leveling a real opinion; these toys are no better than Kenner’s T2 line from ten years ago–that’s unbelievable.

    I read Michael’s reviews here and at his home often, yet I am troubled by his ability to high-score obviously hideous figures and terrible sculpts. Perhaps, in the deluge of toys that he looks over, he can no longer identify obvious flaws? I’m certain he purchases most of these review figures on his own, so I doubt he is being swayed by the companies themselves.

    Anyway, these figures look terrible, with articulation that’s long been abandoned for more limber designs, yet most of them get a three star rating? I don’t know, man. Criticism demands true assessment and accurate judgment. Even though it’s figure review, it’s an industry and still deserves to be criticized when applicable.

  14. BIGFELLA Says:

    these figures are way 2 expensive 4 a toy that dont even have a huge amount of articulation. they should cost more like £5 or sumthing. but difinatley not £12.

  15. Dude Man Turner Says:

    Playdough Feet!
    I could mold and maim better figures with Playdough!
    Marvel legends were the best retail figures available and theyre gone/ruined by hasbro so basically judgement day has already happened in the toy universe…
    These are cool for kids i guess but even they deserve better-especially for the price.Theyre has to be some middle ground between NECA and Mcdonalds toys but Playmates definitely isn’t the man for the job,Sadly i don’t think anyone is.
    How is it toys from way back in the day look cooler or about just the same-Someone needs to acknowledge this and put out good toys for once instead of de-evolving and increasing the price.I miss paying 7-8 bucks for a completely detailed figure full of weapons and amazing articulation plus a piece to build another figure…DAMN!
    The hunt is over

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