NECA expanded their 7 inch Terminator line with two new figures from the 2019 Terminator Dark Fate movie. Released in January 2020, Sarah Connor and the T-800 were packed in window box packaging and were initially planned as the first of at least two waves. As it stands it seems NECA have halted plans for any more Dark Fate figures.
The Dark Fate packaging is similar to that used on the Terminator Genisys line in 2015 although the Dark Fate releases use a very dark colour scheme with black as the base and red prominently used for highlighting the artwork and the figure itself with a red backdrop included behind the figure tray. If you look closer the box carries a number of smaller details rather than being plain black - these include technical readouts in feint grey text and some metallic grey borders, with hotter red metal type effects around the window.
The boxes are generic and the only difference between the T-800 box and Sarah Connor's is the yellow lettered name on the front and round the back. The right hand side panel has a very striking image of a Rev-9 exoskeleton while the opposite side carries a large movie logo. Round the back we have another image of the Rev-9 skull underneath a short synopsis of the movie itself.
"Dani Ramos is living a simple life in Mexico City when a highly advanced and deadly new Rev-09 Terminator travels back through time to hunt and kill her.
Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace, an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor.
As the Rev-9 ruthlessly hunts for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 from Sarah's past that may be their last best hope."
Paint & Sculpt 3/5
NECA have a very good track record of Arnold Schwarzenegger sculpts, and this is another good one - although perhaps not as good as some of the Ultimates figures, but we are dealing with an older Arnie in this movie. The likeness to the T-800 / Carl from Dark Fate is good, with the beard sculpted as part of the head. The stern look remains with the eyes starting out from under that furrowed brow.
The hair is shaved back and sides with a swept back look on top. The shaved areas around the back are then faded from the brown of the hair down to a wispy white with the skin tone underneath. A similar process is used on the sideburns and beard and the overall painting across the face is neat. Arnie even gets the scar under this right eye.
The figure boasts a second head, which to my eye is the same as the first but with a pair of trademark Terminator sunglasses glued on top. The glasses are well proportioned and do not look oversized - often an issue at this scale. There is a problem however in that they have been fixed slightly too high and sit above the ridge of the nose while remaining fixed at the sides over the ears. This look is disappointing and is not easy to fix without glueing the glasses directly to the nose. The head swap is not the easiest as NECA are using a very slim peg above the neckline.
The costume is spot on with a pair of dark jeans, black T-shirt and weathered jacket over the top. The paint applications across the costume are very well done particularly the nubuck boots with the defined line of the sole.
As you would expect, the T-800 comes with a small armoury of weapons. To help wield these there is also a second set of hands. The spare hands are not so much specific to a certain weapons - as all hands hold all weapons - and are more around positioning of said weapons and the ability to hold or cradle them with the left hand.
Weapon one is an assault rifle. This is cast in very sharp, but brittle, plastic that means a lot of detail is carried in the sculpt - but it is prone to breaking, particularly the slim barrel.
Weapon 2 is a grenade launcher, cast again in the hard plastic. The central barrel is actually articulated on this and can be spun round. The smaller of the left gripping hands is needed for this one to hold onto the forward handle.
Our third weapon is a combination submachine gun and shotgun with two triggers. Once more its cast in hard plastic with plenty of detail on show.
The T-800 comes in with a total of 16 points of articulation, a few short of what we;ve had on previous Ultimate Terminator figures
Head : neck peg
Body : waist ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, forearm swivel, rotating wrist peg
Legs : ball joint hips, single rotating knee, ankle rocker
The legs are practically fixed as neither the hips or knees move enough for kneeling poses. You can get some wider stances but the ankle rockers are also a bit limited so Carl struggles to stand in anything other than neutral stances.
The arms are a bit more mobile, and all weapons can be held in a relaxed pose. For shooting poses the figure would need better elbow articulation and a wrist pivot, not just a peg that rotates. The head and body work fine and are fully mobile.
The Dark Fate T-800 is a great looking figure, with two head options - although the sunglasses head is spoiled (on mine at least) by the way the glasses are fixed too high over the nose.
The weapon selection is great and the articulation is sufficient to pose Carl holding each of these menacingly, even if not in more dynamic fighting poses.
In real terms the T-800 Dark Fate figure from NECA comes in at 3.5 out of 5. When you consider the price of this is well over £25 here in the UK vs say a better articulated Marvel or Star Wars figure at £20 then I will factor in the value for money aspect and give the T-800 a final ranking of 3 out of 5.
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, NECA, Terminator, T-800, T800, Carl, Dark Fate, Sarah Connor