Review > T-800 Pescadero Escape (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

I’m willing to argue with anyone that Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the high water mark of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film career. Between his performance as the cybernetic villain in the first film and the 1991 sequel, he’d become an international superstar with a string of hits including Commando, Predator, Twins, and Total Recall. After T2, Schwarzenegger would veer between serviceable action flicks (True Lies, Eraser, Terminator 3) and bombs (Last Action Hero, Batman & Robin) before giving up acting for the lesser stress of governing the world’s fifth-largest economy. But none of the post-T2 films came close to matching that same mixture of action, storytelling, and good old fun.

Now, as they have so many times before, NECA has answered my prayers–this time for a true Terminator 2 figure, complete with an Arnold likeness worthy of, dare I say it, Hot Toys themselves. According to the packaging, there are five figures in the line (though I’m not sure they’re all out yet): an Endoskeleton, the “Man or Machine” model with the stripped-off cybernetic arm, the demolished “Final Battle” T-800, the “Cyberdyne Showdown” T-800 carrying the minigun, and the subject of this review, the “Pescadero Escape” T-800. I chose this one for the simple reason that he’s the basic, iconic Terminator.

Specs: Model T-800 {Pescadero Escape}

–Under direct orders from John Connor, the T-800 sets out to rescue Sarah Connor from Pescadero State Hospital where she has been institutionalized for 10 years.

–Armed with a Winchester Shotgun the T-800 fights off the liquid metal T-1000, an advanced new prototype programmed to kill John. Ironically the same model Terminator that was once sent to kill Sarah has now come to protect John & reunite mother and son.

Packaging: Like most NECA figures, the T-800 comes in a clamshell package with some nice graphics work. NECA always does a good job of making these sub-lines look unique, while always paying tribute to the design and aesthetics of the film’s original marketing.

Sculpt: One word: wow. NECA’s Kyle “Tankman” Windrix once again proves he’s one of the best in the business when it comes to detailed sculpting and high-quality likenesses. As I wrote above, this head sculpt is practically worthy of Hot Toys. Schwarzenegger’s distinctive jaw line and cheek structure can sometimes be tricky to capture in a sculpt, but Tankman has nailed it.

I was so busy marveling at the sculpt, I almost didn’t notice the superb work on the jacket, shirt and pants. Every detail, from the texture of the leather to the teeth of the zippers, is present and accounted for.

Plastic & Paint: Credit where credit is due–while NECA has sometimes had problems getting their overseas factories to accurately reproduce their figures from the prototype stage to the production stage, the T-800 seems to have made the transition almost entirely intact.

I can’t say enough about the texture of the jacket (which is made from a more rubbery material, except for the arms, which are solid). It’s some of the best-looking leather in this scale I’ve come across. The figure itself has some serious heft, and unlike other NECA figures, no major issues with brittle plastic anywhere.

As for the paint applications: once again, Jon Wardell and Geoff Trapp deliver some of the best work I’ve ever seen, and the factories have reproduced it faithfully. The applications are clean, shiny or matte in all the right places with virtually no flaws.

Articulation: While NECA has been giving their videogame figures some excellent articulation, for some reason their movie figures have been getting shafted a bit, and the T-800 is no exception.

He does have an excellent ball jointed neck, which actually moves not at the place where the head meets the neck, but at the base of the neck. I don’t think this would work for all action figures, but it works perfectly here.

His shoulders have ball and post joints with a somewhat minimal range of motion, which is common for NECA figures. This is aided by the elbows, which aren’t just regular hinges but also have a swivel joint (much like the “elbrows” of Hasbro’s contemporary G.I. Joe figures). Finally, the wrists are ball-and-socket joints. All of this arm articulation allows for a decent range of variation in posing him with the shotgun.

The legs, however, are an almost solid sculpt. There’s a swivel at the waist and some very slight swiveling at the feet to help the figure stand solidly, as well as an almost entirely useless cut joint at the upper left thigh. This lack of leg articulation is by far the most disappointing aspect of the figure. (Reader Monkey Boy also pointed out that there’s a cut joint in middle of the left calf, though again, not very useful.)

Accessories: Arnold comes with his trusty, iconic Winchester 1887 shotgun. I seem to remember the gun looking a lot darker and less silvery in the movie, but I’m not sure of how accurate this paint work is. In any event, it looks excellent. Just be careful placing it in Arnold’s hands, as the lever loop is fragile.

Quality Control: No issues, other than a few minor paint flaws (such as speckling).

Overall

11111/2

If it’s given us nothing else–and judging from the reviews, it hasn’t– Terminator: Salvation has been the occasion for NECA to finally give us a T2 Terminator with a dead-on Arnold likeness.

While the lack of any leg articulation keeps me from giving him a full five-raven rating, this figure is about as close as I’ll ever get to giving one to a more statue-style figure like this. It’s a shame NECA couldn’t give the figure the excellent articulation they’ve been giving their videogame figures. But as of right now, this is the definitive T-800 Arnold figure in this scale.

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10 Comments

  1. This figure looks really cool, but the basically nonexistent leg articulation is off-putting. I know that NECA can make figures like their Ryu Hayabusa, so this is sort of disappointing.

  2. t-800

    Is a big 18"/45cm version in planning ? THX

  3. Rich

    This shotgun Arnie, the robot arm Arnie, and the Endo showed up at TRU here in MD last Friday. I preordered shotgun Arnie and the Endo as soon as they were posted at CornerStore Comics (CSC) because I had no desire to check TRU's pegwarmers on a constant basis. And for guys like me who weren't collecting when the Endo came out a few years back, this re-issue is welcome indeed. CSC has 12" Pescadero Arnie up but hasn't posted a 12" Endo yet. I'll probably get both of those too! I love 12" figures.

  4. Drunken Fist

    I had no idea these were showing up already. I definitely want this version and the endoskeleton. Might have to pick up the final battle or Cyberdyne showdown figures; haven't seen pics of them yet. Hoipefully TRU will get these soon!

  5. monkey boy

    anybody notice he also has a joint at his left mid-calf? found that one by accident. probably there for the sake of being able to re-use the sculpt for the "battle damage" version, as i'm pretty sure all the arnies share most of their lower body.

  6. Mark

    lol yeah along with chuck norris and rambo figures there was also last action hero figures and a turbo man…does that count as a jingle all the way figure?

  7. Fengschwing

    There were some Commando action figures brought out, I remember seeing them at TRU YEARS ago. They looked nothing like Arnie at all, but I was quite taken with one in a hockey mask.

    Off to google…

  8. JediCreeper

    actually… the thigh cut is there so they didn't have to completely resculpt his legs for the Final battle version. they can just place the damaged knee part, and keep the rest the same.. so it is a cost cutting thing.. which is also probably why there is no leg articulation..

    I'm with everyone, in that I would prefer it.. but this is the first truly iconic terminator toy ever made, in my opinion.

  9. monkey boy

    i think some people may be excited because they didn't get the endo last time. as for me i'm hoping the new endo might (fingers crossed) utilize better plastic and not be a flimsy bendy ragdoll.

  10. PresidentJuggernaut

    I'd buy a Commando Arnie. But I'd rather have a Dutch.

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