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He’ll Be Back: NECA’s Ultimate Terminator

NECA-Terminator-T-800A lesser-known look of the unstoppable killing machine is tapped by NECA for the latest Ultimate Terminator action figure release.

When we’re talking Terminator, one iconic image comes to mind for most of us– Arnold Schwarzenegger, steel-eyed and stone-faced, in his black leather jacket, short cropped hair, and sunglasses.  It’s easy to forget this is actually one of two very different looks the cyborg sports in James Cameron’s classic (three, if you count the stripped down Endoskeleton).

NECA has reached back to this first film for their latest Ultimate Terminator, and they’re going back to the beginning, featuring the T-800 in its street punk outfit instead of the more iconic black jacket.  I like the variety this figure offers, made doubly appealing since the original punk Terminator hasn’t been available for almost five years.  Like the other Ultimate figures, the new release employs some tooling seen on NECA’s previous figure, but with increased articulation in the legs, and some very cool accessories and alternate pieces added to the mix.

The sculpt on this figure is fantastic, whether we’re talking the realistic texture worked into the Terminator’s jacket and pants, or the three (!!!) perfect Schwarzenegger portraits featured on the figure’s alternate heads.  Just as impressive is the color work by Jon Wardell and Geoffrey Trapp, whose painted details add depth and authenticity to the sculpt, while also making this guy a colorful and eye-catching addition to a toy line that is, predominantly, people dressed head-to-toe in black.

NECA Terminator T800 014

I appreciate the enhanced articulation on this figure, but the true appeal of this Terminator are the extra pieces he includes.  As I mentioned earlier, the figure is packed with three unique head sculpts– long-haired, burned short hair, and damaged eye– all of which can be easily popped on and off the very secure neck joint.  As if the heads weren’t enough, the Terminator also sports an extra left hand, sculpted into a fist, and an alternate bare right forearm, complete with a delightfully grisly wound revealing the cybernetics beneath the killing machine’s flesh.

A Terminator just wouldn’t be a Terminator without some guns, and the Ultimate T-800 is packing some significant heat.  He includes a Desert Eagle with laser sight, a shotgun, and an uzi, all of which he can hold quite naturally… albeit mostly one-handed, due to the limited range of the elbows and shoulders due to the bulk of the jacket.  Quite possibly the most fun added feature are the two surgical scissors which factor into the exposed right arm.  It’s a neat little accessory which serves as a great nod to one of the coolest, creepiest moments in the film.

Some people were disappointed to see this Terminator get the Ultimate treatment before the leather jacket version, but not me.  The original costume is a far more unique look for the character, offering a welcome bit of visual diversity to the Ultimate Terminator collection.  And the added accessories, articulation and design details (including a real chain hanging from the figure’s pauldron) featured on this figure make him the perfect example of what NECA is trying to achieve with their Ultimate line.  This new version is so well done, I can honestly say he’d be a must-buy even if I owned the older, more limited figure released by NECA years ago.  Having this be the first punk Terminator I own makes this Ultimate edition all the better, and I cannot imagine a better version of the character than this.

The Ultimate Terminator is available now through NECA’s eBay store, Toys R Us, and other specialty retailers.

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