I have to admit, I was afraid when McFarlane Toys managed the T3 license this year, to make a line of 6" figures and whatever else they pleased from the recent-ish hit movie. Not because I was worried about the Arnold Schwarzenegger facial sculpt, of which was so poorly destroyed in past Movie Maniacs series, or because I feared that the mighty McToys would make a balls-up of my favourite action hero / uber-governor, but because I was actually being attacked by bears at the time.
Nevertheless, one of the figures from the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines line is the T-850, one of the Arnold-bots from the future sent back to help our protagonists survive. This T-850 is one of two from the line; this terminator is armed with two weapons, whereas the other (and better, in my humble opinion) includes the massive coffin and weapon, plus a host of accessories.
Both versions share a similar impressive facial sculpt - McFarlane Toys has finally cleaned up with the Arnold face and made an accurate facial sculpt of the man himself, with glasses. Later glasses-less variants have been enormously disappointing, but beholding the originals is a great testament to McToys' sculpting ability, and a joy for all Arnie fans. Relax! Relax!!!
Standing 7" or so tall, Arnie packs not only a wicked facial sculpt, but his entire action-figure body is awesome. My favourite part of him is the clothes - the realistic attention to detail in his clothes is mighty impressive. Just admiring his crumpled pants is awesome in itself, and you have to love that action figure ass.
As a fan of action figure asses, I have to be impressed. Moving on, his top is creased nicely with bullet holes and all as well, not to mention his awesome leather jacket - this coat rocks. The details are staggering - bullet holes, zips, belts, it's 100% realistic to the source material. Excellent!
Paint is also sweet, with nice apps all over. I really like his facial expression, which just screams "Relax!!!" Each individual bullet hole, zipper, belt buckle is detailed authentically, showing the work McToys put into the product. Spiffy! It's just a shame that the articulation sucks major ass - Arnie has a poor seven points of articulation. This weighs in as shoulders (where are the freaking ball joints?!), wrists (completely useless due to the clothing), neck, waist and one elbow joint. A total balls-up. Even though Arnie is Arnie, armed with two guns, he can't be played with at all. That means that this particular beast is collectors-only, which is a rotten shame for those who wanted a sweet T-toy to shoot up stuff with.
Arnie's accessories are also a total balls-up; the T-850 includes two guns (a grenade launcher-esque gun and a shotgun) and a base, all of which are immensely flawed. The guns are cheap and unimpressive: the grenade launcher opens up in the middle to remove the barrel, which will fall out on its own and become lost quickly.
Even worse is that there are six tiny bullets in the barrel which will be lost even quicker, and none of it is at all detailed. The entire grenade-launcher is just black plastic, no paint or detailing. The shotty also stinks; it's flimsy, bending in the package, and poorly detailed, despite the cool leather gun strap hanging from it. Very shoddy. And that's the entire armory that's included with the Terminator. Very disappointing.
The "custom base" included with the T-850 is laughable, especially when compared to the much cooler base included with the T-X Endoskeleton. It's a slab on concrete with broken up rubble on it. Yay. The effect with Arnie on it is kind of cool, but it's encumbered by the fact that Arnie can't stand on it - the footpeg breaks off faster than my brain snaps on a day ending with y. With the peg broken, the T-850 just falls off of it, rendering it useless. Lame.
Overall, the T-850 is a mixed bag. The big plus is that it's a well-sculpted, nifty-for-display Arnold figure. This alone is enough for most fans to run out and buy it - the big negatives are that the accessories are lame and that it can't be played with. For these reasons, I prefer the T-850 with the coffin, although this isn't a bad figure, just a bit disappointing. Hey Todd, let's bring on a super-articulated Arnie next!
Will McFarlane ever make a good toy again? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.