Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Ultimate Sarah Connor NECA, Terminator Wave/Series : Ultimate Series Released : December 2015
Price : £22.99-£24.99
When NECA ran their first Terminator series of figures, they never got as far as releasing a Sarah Connor figure. It was therefore a bonus to fans that when the Terminator figures moved to an Ultimate Format that NECA announced that the 2nd figure in that line would be Sarah.
For anyone unfamiliar with NECA's Ultimate Format - these are figures that are packed with various swappable parts and accessories so that you can choose which version of the character to have on display. Other released to date include the T800 from Terminator 2, as well as John Matrix from Commando and Freddie Krueger.
Sarah Connor arrives in the black/blue Terminator themed glossy box. Design wise it is identical to the T800 box from last year, and will be used again on the upcoming Ultimate T1000. The front cover is updated to show an image of Sarah directly from the movie as played by Linda Hamilton. This image, or at least the head shot, is repeated on each spine. Round the back and the figure is now photographed and sits alongside a short piece of text that summarises the plot of Terminator 2. Underneath the text are a couple of inserts showing the alternative heads that Sarah is packed with.
Like all Ultimates, the actual figure is not on immediate show, being hidden behind a Velcro fastened flap. Once opened the inner part of the flap has a larger image of the Sarah figure from the back of the packaging. You can then view the figure via the viewing window.
Opened up and Sarah is laid out with a number of accessories around the main figure. She comes with one head fitted, and two more alongside. She is then armed with a hand gun, rifle and shotgun. We will look at each of these in due course.
Sarah stands 6 1/2 inches high, comparable with the movie where Linda Hamilton stands 1.6m tall vs the 1.8m (6ft) frame of Arnie. Starting with the feet upward for a change, and Sarah comes with a pair of black army boots which are sculpted to include laces all the way up through the shin area. These have a very subtle wash on top of the base colour to just raise those lace details. Combat trousers are relatively plain, but with folds and creases where you would expect them and a couple of pockets down the side. There is more detail round the back of these trousers where you can see the stitching on around the seams. Like the boots I think there is a very subtle second wash on top of the base black colour.
Sarah's belt is studded, and with a fairly intricate buckle and all of this details is crisply sculpted and more importantly crisply painted in a silver finish. A knife sheath hangs from the belt at Sarah's right hand side, and rather than be sculpted the knife actually slides in and out as an extra accessory. Unfortunately NECA have chosen to attach a very odd piece of elasticated thread to the knife, and at this scale it just looks wrong and sits sticking out to the side.
The upper torso is made up of an grey vest, on top of which is the combat vest. The shirt is quite plain and coloured a lighter grey than the rest of the outfit. The combat vest contains much more detail with straps, pouches, pockets and stitching right round from front to back. Unusually it has been left a flat black colour with no attempt to bring any of these details out?
The vest is a separate piece, but there is no function to remove this to create another look for Sarah. This is a shame, but I can see how the extra engineering and getting a removable vest to fit snugly may be a step too far.
Sarah's arms are bare skin, and despite this are really well done with some defined muscle tone and with the joints treated sympathetically so not to ruin the look of the figure. The left arm has a sweatband at the wrist, and this does show some signs of paint bleed with the skin tone creeping round the sides of the green band.
The initial head that Sarah comes "wearing" is the capped version. The sculpt is nothing short of stunning, with a really good likeness to Hamilton. The hat sits neatly and naturally on the head, but like the vest is not removable. Round the back is a pony tail, washed and shaded to add depth and hanging neatly down the back of Sarah's vest - not stuck out or looking unnatural as can often happen with sculpted long hair. The glasses are perhaps a tad too big, but that is only really evident up close. All of the skin tone is painted well and with very subtle hints of a "blusher" to bring out the cheekbones.
Swapping the heads is quite traumatic. Although not as bad as the recent Genisys T800, it is still quite tough to get them off, and even harder to get them back on. That much handling will also have a negative effect on paint, so watch out for paint wear if you are changing the head look frequently.
Head number two is the hair down head, and like the first is a really good likeness. Each head sculpt is going to be using the same base head, but it is important to any likeness that hair and any accessories don't ruin a good base sculpt. The hair down version is perfect with loads of layers in the hair style and with it all sculpted to flow either side of the shoulders once popped into position.
Head number three is the pony tail, and like the hatted version the hair is well painted and sits nicely down the back of the figure. To me though the fringe feels too big on this figure, and it has a habit to be looking down rather than straight ahead.
The head is on a ball joint of such, and therefore all three versions have a good range of articulation. The shoulders are also ball jointed and can be moved out to the side to almost 90 degrees while then rotating fully. Both elbows rotate and bend to just under 90 degrees. Watch out for wrongly positioned elbows, as my left arm was fitted backwards in the box so I almost snapped it when trying to bend it the wrong way. A quick swivel and all was well. Both wrists are on a peg so can also rotate and bend up and down.
There is a pretty impressive waist joint, which not only rotates - as you would expect - but also pivots up and down like a torso joint. The hips are jointed but like many NECA figures are not particularly manoeuvrable. There is also an issue if you move the hips too much that they start to push out the newly designed crotch area, which is now a rubber piece over the inner "skeleton" of the figure. Knees, like always, are really well hidden and still work well - but again like the recent Genisys figure the back of the knee joint is a different colour plastic and stands out considerably. The final joints are smack bang in the middle of the boots which does spoil the look slightly. However, these rockers are crucial for getting Sarah to stand firmly.
Looking at the weapons, and each of them is sculpted with a good deal of accuracy. The handgun sits snugly in Sarah's right hand with her trigger finger sitting into the trigger of the gun. The handgun is painted with a different coloured grip and my only criticism is there is no holster to tuck this away when not being used.
The rifle is quite plain, but the central section is painted a different shade to the rest of the weapon. Again, it sits neatly into the right hand and with a bit of faffing you can get the barrel to be held in Sarah's left hand. It's not particularly natural though and you will need to be either pointing the barrel down into the ground, or have Sarah's right hand almost popping out of its wrist joint. To me the Rifle looks best shoulder slung using the strap provided.
The final weapon is a shotgun, which has a folding shoulder rest which also holds additional cartridges. This is the most intricate paint job, with each cartridge painted out in blue with bronze caps. The shoulder rest also actually folds in or out, but is prone to dropping off quite easily considering its held in with two small pins. Like the rifle the shotgun is easily held one handed, but two handed is more of a challenge. It can be done, but again will start to pull the hand out of the joint. The shotgun is also not as snug a fit in the right hand and the grip feels quite loose and I suspect the hand will get weaker over time considering it is quite slender on the fingers.
Considering the only other Sarah Connor figure we've had at this scale is now 14 years old, that was the McFarlane Movie Maniacs Sarah, then this release was always going to be a massive improvement. In fact it is even better than that, allowing the collector to tweak the look to at least three specific looks of Sarah from the T2 movie. There are very minor flaws, but nothing substantial and I can't in good conscious award Ultimate Sarah Connor anything other than 5 stars.