Updated: Nov 25, 2018
It is fair to say that over at NECA it is their older licences that always out perform their new licences. Prometheus was a flop, where as Aliens goes from strength to strength. Planet of the Apes Classic was better received than the modern POTA interpretation. And now the Terminator licence is looking likely to follow that trend with the Genisys line being short lived, whilst characters from the earlier movies will eclipse them this year and next. I must applaud NECA for still going after the modern licences, and I believe in time that these short lived modern lines like POTA, Prometheus and Genisys will be highly sought after due to their limited runs.
Of the Genisys figures that have hit shelves to date (Nov 2016), we are today reviewing the T-1000.
NECA continue the boxed packaging with Genisys, and the box design is particularly striking vs the more muted darker tones that NECA have preferred on other licences. The box base colour is predominantly a striking red within which is a background scene including T800 Endoskeletons and on the rear a hovering Hunter Killer. The window is cut out at an angular shape, and the bottom of the box moves to a gun metal colouring emblazoned by a T800 Endoskeleton skull logo. The character's full name in this bottom panel is T-1000 Police Disguise, and a top this sits the Genisys movie logo. Both box sides repeat the Endoskeleton head logo, with the character name printed at the base of each side spine and the Genisys movie logo at the very top. On the reverse you will find a black box to the right hand side, in which is a breakdown of the T-1000 under the headers Description, Strengths, Weaknesses and Interesting Facts, the last one feeling a bit out of place. Under this biography box are torso images of the T-800 Guardian, which was released at the same time, and the T-800 2017 Guardian ("Pops") who is marked as Coming Soon. At the very base of the rear are three images of the T-1000 figure, each showing a different configuration of parts. Upon opening the box there is the usual inner perspex tray and a dark grey cardboard back insert.
You cannot knock this figure for a lack of options or accessories. The T-1000 comes out of the box with two head options, two chest options, a swap-able arm, alternative hands, a Police revolver and a liquid metal spear. The head & chest combinations alone allow for four different configurations, and loose collectors will spend a while deciding how best to display the T-1000, or perhaps invest in one or two more to display variant options.
Let's look at the sculpt first, and it is as strong as any other NECA property. The heads, both of them, are a strong likeness for Lee Byung-hun and both portray that dead pan emotionless face that we have come to associate with any Terminator, be it Arnie, the original T-1000 Robert Patrick or indeed Lee Byung-hun's portrayal in Genisys. The damaged head is my personal favourite as it shows the T-1000 for what it is and the liquid metal crater here is really well done as it goes back into the head cavity itself giving depth to the damage. The body sculpt is reasonably plain, so doesn't lend itself to large amounts of detail. The Police Uniform is neatly done with the relevant pockets, buttons and lapels. The belt and holster accommodate the supplied revolver and the Police Department Badge is replicated well enough on the chest. Where the head damage was really well done, I found myself disappointed with the damaged chest option. Rather than any extension back into the torso, the liquid metal holes here look more stuck on and float on top of the uniform rather than extend into it.
Paint applications are a bit muted vs usual NECA standards. Compare the T-1000 head for example to that of the recent T-800 Ultimate Terminator and it just looks and feels a bit soft. I can't put my finger on why as the eyes are neatly done and the lips a good natural colour. I think the fact there is some bleed of skin tone into the hair makes it look a bit sloppy, and the skin tone is just that - one tone - so doesn't pick out any depth. It may also just be that the actor's face is relatively smooth and featureless?
The Uniform is painted a flat black, but there is definition in finish between uniform and the shoes which are a glossier finish and have a defined brown sole. The detail, such as it is, is picked up in silver paint - buttons, belt buckle and the officer ID. The Police Badge has a silver base, with blue detail on top. All the silver damage is just that, one tone solid silver and again the head one looks a lot better as there is more depth into the head to give some shadow.
Before we hit articulation, let's look at the swap-able elements. The idea of a complete Torso exchange is a new one on me, but it works well enough with pegs within the body to accept either of the two chests. I am going to drift back to the body damage here which as I mentioned earlier looks "stuck on". The fact that they went with two different Torso's makes this even more frustrating as the damage could have been sculpted back into the body. The way it is presented here could have probably been achieved with stuck on parts on magnets or similar? The hands are a little easier to swap than some other NECA figures we have had recently. All the hand options are a right hand, giving three different versions - one flat palmed, one to hold the gun and another to hold the spear. The left hand option is a liquid metal stump mimicking damage sustained in the film. The left arm pops off at the elbow joint, and this again works well - although I don't feel it looks particularly effective vs what we saw in the film. The spear doesn't quite fit snugly into any hand provided and has a tendency to slide out of the grip. It is also a bit of a let down when you consider the overriding image of a T-1000 (from either Genisys or Judgement Day) is him turning his arms into hook like weapons, and I wish NECA had dropped the damage arm, one of the hands and the spear - and gone with some swap-able hook arm weapons (although I appreciate this is what they are doing with their 2016 Ultimate T-1000 fro T2).
Articulation is very good on the T-1000. Even though it is changeable and not a ball joint, the head still rotates a decent way either side and can look up and down with a good range of motion. Ball jointed shoulders allow the arms to move out perpendicular to the body - which is great for "aiming his pistol" shots. They can also rotate and go above his head, which works well for a spear throwing pose. The arms are further bolstered with a rotating elbow joint and pegged wrists which rotate. Because of the torso arrangements, there is no mid torso joint, but there is a waist joint which allows some swivel in the top half vs the legs. The ball jointed hips can get out into the splits, or into a sitting position. They are aided in this by a flexible crotch which is made out of a rubber material and moves with the legs. No thigh swivel, so the next leg option is the wonderful NECA hidden knee joint and the figure ends with an ankle rocker. T-1000 is really easy to pose and stands well enough. He can be made to look like he is aiming his spear or sword or dropped into a neutral pose, or you can even get close to that menacing arms by side march that will eventually turn into a run as he makes chase to our heroes.
For value for money, this figure is packed with options - NECA could have easily badged it as an Ultimate version. Sadly I think the chest damage isn;t done well enough, and I wanted the arm weapons, not the pretty poor spear or the chopped off at the elbow look. The paint on the head is lacking just a touch and the whole figure doesn't look "NECA" enough - which shows how high they had set the bar of late. I am going to score the T-1000 a 3 out of 5.
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