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Kyle Reese (Human Resistance Soldier)

by yo go re

In an alternate universe, this figure could fit in your Terminator 2 display just as well as it fits in your Terminator display.

Sent back through time by his future son,
Kyle Reese must protect the life of Sarah Connor from the T-800. Arriving in 1984 Los Angeles, Kyle is unarmed and unaware of what awaits. Upon locating Sarah and saving her from the Terminator's attack at the Tech Noir club, Kyle confides in Sarah, informing her of the impending doom of humanity and of her role in our survival.

Sure, you know about the deleted scene in T2 where Sarah hallucinates Kyle in her cell at Pescadero State Hospital, but that's not what we're talking about. The original plan was to totally reverse the roles from the original movie: the good guy would look like the villain, and the villain would look like the good guy. A reprogrammed T-800 would still have been fighting a liquid metal T-1000, but instead of looking like Robert Patrick, it would have taken the form of Kyle Reese. Think how badly that would have messed with Sarah's mind! Shame they changed it.

Kyle was played by Michael Biehn, who you'll also remember from Aliens and The Abyss, proving that James Cameron employs Michael Biehn the way Kevin Smith employs Jason Mewes. The likeness is good, which bodes well for the upcoming Cpl. Hicks figure, but check the paint on his eyes - that was the one area that really varied from figure to figure.

Kyle is taken from the Tech Noir nightclub, as evidenced both by his clothes and his pose. His raincoat is Army surplus, in color AG-274 (for those interested in cosplaying him); his shirt looks too big for him, since he stole it from a hobo, and his pants are covered in paint. Er, they're painted to look like they're covered in paint. It's not a mistake, it's by design. You know what we mean. Technically his shirt should have lots of thin horizontal stripes, but designing those paint apps would have been a total logistical nightmare.

He's also wearing the proper Nike Vandals, but without the swoosh: if NECA wanted to put that curve on the toy, they would have had to pay way too much. The blocky line they put on there definitely gets the idea across, and if it means that much to you, you can always customize the shoes yourself. All the physical details - the placement of the seams and such - are perfect, it's just the app that isn't 100% true to the original.

We said the pose reveals him as being from the Tech Noir shootout, but that isn't to say that he's unarticulated or pre-posed - this is NECA, not McFarlane, here! Reese has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, balljointed wrists and torso, and swivel ankles. With no leg joints, it was slightly hard to find a position that would put both his feet flat on the ground and keep him from tipping forward. You can certainly pose him more than one way, but it's clear he's meant to be aiming his shotgun.

Yes, shotgun. Kyle comes with the Ithaca 37 he stole from an unattended police car, sawed off the stock, and tied a string to so he wouldn't drop it. That's an actual piece of string on the toy, by the way, not plastic. This is the second time NECA's used string recently, after Combat Gizmo. That does mean that the gun is permanently attached to him, but wasn't that the point? Were you really planning to give it to someone else? Of course not. His right hand has the trigger finger extended, while his left hand is curled to work the pump.

The gun isn't the only thing he carried all through the film, and it isn't his only accessory. NECA included an in-scale (1.2cm x 0.9cm) copy of the photo of Sarah that Kyle fell in love with. It's just printed on a piece of cardboard, but it is the exact image seen in Terminator 2. Now, the question is: did NECA have to get rights to Linda Hamilton's likeness to make this, or did they not have to ask because it was only a reproduction of a film still?

There's a "Future Soldier" Kyle Reese on the way, but that's less iconic (and less interesting) than this one. And you gotta have the hero from the first film, right? Who else is the Terminator going to shoot at?

-- 12/09/12

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