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Sarah Connor

Movie Maniacs 5
by yo go re

We're very proud of McFarlane Toys this year: not only have they answered fans' long-standing challenge by giving us toys that melded sculpt and articulation, they also raised the bar on their steadfast Movie Maniacs line.

Last year McToys got the rights to produce figures based on Terminator 2, giving us the classic T-800 and the shape-shifting T-1000. While reaction to the figures was mixed, McToys did a wonderful job. They've expanded the line this year with two new offerings: the Terminator's gleaming endoskeleton and tough-as-nails Sarah Connor.

Mother of future resistance leader John Connor, Sarah escapes a mental institution and teams with a T-800 Terminator to protect her son from the shape-shifting cyborg sent back in time to kill him.

When MM5 was unveiled at Toy Fair, the old debate (or, well, as close to a "debate" as a two-sided screaming hissyfit on the internet can be) about what exactly constituted a "movie maniac" was stirred up yet again. This side said that the line was intended to be horror icons, that side said that definition was too narrow. Potaytoe, potahtoe, dummass, doomoss.

In any case, the line continues its growth. Sarah Connor isn't a demon, won't cut you up for stew, and has never come back from the dead. She's just a human woman with a vision of the future that no one believes. She's trained and prepared for what she knows is coming, and made sure John can one day become the leader he must be.

Sarah comes to us from the second half of the movie, after her escape from Pescadero State Hospital. If you want to get really specific, it's from about the time she shows up at Miles Dyson's house looking for blood. She's sporting all the gear she picked up from Enrique in the desert and has, in an attention to detail that most companies can only dream of, a bandage over the cut on her shoulder. That bandage was only seen for about three seconds in the film film, but McToys got it in there.

The sculpt is, as always, wonderful. The figure was sculpted by the same guy who did Valkerie - Jean St.Jean. He seems to be the go-to guy for great-looking women! From the wrinkles in the nylon pants to the sculpted (no pun intended) triceps, Sarah keeps up McToys' high standards. Her clothes even look like they're made from various kinds of material. The detailing on all her accessories is wonderful, the weapons looking just like their real-world counterparts.

Sarah's gear includes a removable combat vest, removable sunglasses, a knife, a .45 caliber pistol (a customized Detonics 1911 ServiceMaster) and what McToys' site calls an M-16 but is actually a Colt Commando CAR-15. The rifle is sculpted with an ACOG scope on top and a laser pointer underneath (though you wouldn't do that in the real world), and instead of the flash suppressor the real Colt 629 has, we get a silencer. A removable silencer! The pistol and knife can both be stored on her combat belt, which is good, since the molded wrist cord on the knife means that it doesn't fit in her hand. What's the deal with that? It's just bad planning, guys.

The articulation on this figure is great for a Movie Maniac: she moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, and ankles. They're all swivel joints, nothing fancy, but that's still 12 points of articulation, some of which are actually useful! She's got interchangeable right arms (one bent, one straight) and left hands (fist and opened). Since the right arm can be removed, that's how you get the vest off.

Unfortunately, there are a few variants of this figure with different heads. There's a version with the scraggly hair seen at the Cyberdyne labs and the steel mill, and a version with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Having seen both, we heartily recommend the ponytail - it just looks better. However, there's even a variant of that! The one you see here in this review, as well as one wearing a dark cap. Again, we recommend the one without the hat - she didn't wear it for very long.

Overall, Movie Maniacs 5 has left me cold; the selection leaves a lot to be desired (the box set doesn't count), and there are too many variants. The best thing we can say about the line is that the poster marquee continues to shrink. Pretty lame. However, Sarah Connor is one of the few shining spots in an otherwise dull line.

For those who have a very narrow definition of what they think this line is supposed to be, Sarah won't be the figure for them. However, for fans of the film and those that know a name is just a name, she's a great find. Well-designed, surprisingly articulated, and packing heat, Sarah Connor is maniacal to the core!

-- 09/29/02

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