When most people think "Terminator," they're probably going to envision a leather-jacketed, sunglasses wearing Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, with close-cropped hair. Basically, Arnie from T2: Judgment Day. That's the iconic Terminator, right? But he didn't start out that way. As we all know, you can't send clothes back through time in James Cameron's mythos, so all heartless robots and would-be saviors show up in our era totes naked. The original T-800 originally met some stereotypical '80s punks, and it was their loud fashion sense he appropriated. At least at first.
- The Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator was sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, the future mother of John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance.
- After repairing the damage sustained during the initial confrontation with Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese the T-800 resumes its mission to terminate Sarah. Now heavily armed with a shotgun and machine gun the Terminator wages a one man war against an entire police station.
The look we all know and love is something of a mix between necessity and accident, at least in-universe. The big ol' sunglasses are to hide the damage done to the T-800's right eye, and the same incident led to his floppy hairdo being singed to spikes.
NECA has been working hard on making just about
every variation of murderous machine from the first two Terminator films, so it was just a matter of time before they gave us the original killer robot in his original bad-ass outfit. The sculpt shares quite a bit with the previously released "Tech Noir" Terminator figure (which was dressed in the "borrowed" punk clothing), including the torso and legs, but he gets a new head sculpt, new arms and a new jacket piece. The jacket is nicely textured, with big '80s lapels and lots of zippers. There are also a fair amount of bullet holes large and small scattered about. The pants sculpt is also nice, managing to make Arnold's bulging legs seem to be straining through the tight cloth. That sounded very suggestive, and I am sorry.
The head sculpt is fantastic, as all of NECA's Arnie sculpts have been. The huge glasses obscure much of the face, but it's still obviously Arnie, and he's not happy. The new hair is very nice and spiky, but it's not a carbon copy of any of the T2 figures' hairpieces.
Paint is handled well through the entire figure. There's a nice weathering
on the jacket and boots, and some silver for the metal elements and some maroon where the bullets have done their damage. The gray shirt and tan pants lack any paint wash, which is good as it seems NECA has learned its lesson about overdone fabric washes. The head is nice too, with a nice skin tone and some highlights on the hair. The only slightly off area are the totally flat black sunglasses. Still, it shouldn't take too much to add a gloss sheen, even if your customizing skills aren't that great.
The articulation falls under the NECA category of "good movement in the upper body, totally a statue below
the waist." While it's certainly preferable to a completely static or preposed figure, it would be nice to see NECA show the Terminator figures the articulation love it doles out to its Gears of War or Predator or Assassin's Creed figures. Still, he's got a balljointed neck, pegged and hinged shoulders and elbows, balljointed wrists, peg waist, and peg boot tops. You can get some nice upper body poses, but the boot tops are only good for keeping him upright.
The T-800 used all kinds of guns in the first film, and this version gets... some of them. Of course NECA has spread
his full arsenal over several T-800 figures, but Police Station Assault is still ready to wreak some havoc. He doesn't come with a car to drive into the police station after delivering his famous "I'll be back," but he does get two powerful armaments: an AR-18, and a SPAS-12 shotgun. Both guns have the stocks removed, and the assault rifle is loaded with two banana clips that have been taped together. Serious armament, to be sure, but just a small fraction of the guns he uses in the film.
There's also an interchangeable head, which is always a welcome addition. The second head lacks glasses, revealing the damage done to the skin of the right eye socket and showing the cybernetic endoskeleton underneath. It also reveals that the T-800's eyebrows have been singed clean off. The heads swap out easily, thanks to the large balljoint.
I'd say if you only get one figure from the original Terminator film, it should be this one. It's the most iconic look, and lacks the goofiness of the Tech Noir outfit. However, the line is full of great figures despite the light articulation, and if you're a Terminator fan, you could definitely do worse than checking out the rest of the line.