6 Dec 2013

Hot Toys DX13 T-800 Terminator (Battle Damaged Version)

When Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released in 1991, I was only in Year 10 at high school, and saw the movie with my dad and brother. Needless to say, the movie blew us all away with its incredible action and state-of-the-art special effects (for its time). Even now, more than 20 years later, the movie still packs a punch in the action department, and I think still represents both Arnie and James Cameron at their very best.

So when I got into Hot Toys collecting almost 2 years ago, my search was on for Terminator related figures. Hot Toys had released some previously with Sarah Connor and the T-1000, but I never got them because the T800 Terminator figure at the time (MMS117) just didn't look right to me.

It was lucky for me that Hot Toys re-released the classic T-800 Terminator with a new DX10 figure that had an improved head sculpt and some nice accessories (mini-gun!). Still it wasn't perfect, with the head sculpt looking like a younger version of Arnie rather than his older look in the T2 movie. As a DX package, overall DX10 was quite light on, and left many collectors wishing there was more included.

To add more controversy, upon the release of DX10, Hot Toys then announced the DX13 T-800 (Battle Damaged Version), which pretty much had all the things the collectors had wanted with the DX10 figure! At first I was also annoyed, but once I started looking at the prototype photos of DX13 and how different the body and accessories were, I was suddenly all for having both a clean T-800 look plus the battle damaged, torn up look as well! Both would complement each other perfectly!!

And now that DX13 has finally been released after a few months of delay, all I can say is it was definitely worth the wait! As a figure in its own right, the DX13 T-800 ranks right up there with the best from Hot Toys. And as an overall DX package, again the DX13 comes packed to the rim with awesome accessories. Read on to find out all about this incredible collectible! :)

PACKAGING:
As with all DX packages, the DX13 box and contents are beautifully designed and arranged. The box matches the faux-leather look and feel of the DX10, this time obviously with the battle damage befitting the figure. The bullet holes and subtle bleeding effect is very nicely done.




As with all DX designs, the box lid is held closed with magnets, and flips open to show some text and artwork relating to the source material. I like that Hot Toys have slightly changed the design of the opening flap where the hinge is now at the bottom of the box, not the top (a trend I think they started with the DX11 Joker figure). Having the hinge at the top edge of the box caused rips in previous figures, but this new design allows the lid to open flat, which is a huge improvement.




Again as with all DX figures, the contents are first covered by a thick piece of cardboard with their signature dark foam backing. Each card always has some sort of accessory or artwork, with the DX13 having a cutout piece of the Terminator's battle damaged jacket. A nice touch if nothing else.




Once that cardboard insert is removed, the contents are revealed in all their glory! And what a sight to behold the DX13 figure is! This is the first DX figure that does not have an all foam layout, with the T-1000 accessories on the right being placed in plastic clamshell material instead of foam. I would've preferred foam, but not matter. The T1000 statue and exclusive version head sculpt were nicely wrapped in grey soft material to prevent damage.




The first impression at seeing a DX figure sitting brand new in its foam is almost always one of amazement, and DX13 is definitely no exception. Just seeing the two battle damaged head sculpts for the first time is pretty damn exciting I have to say :)




As I mentioned above, the additional T-1000 head sculpt is a Sideshow exclusive accessory that is not included in the regular version that most other retailers will sell. It's just another nice to have feature in being able to swap the statues head, or perhaps even use the head sculpt on a custom T-1000 figure.




ACCESSORIES:
All DX figures should come packed with accessories, and thankfully DX13 is one that comes pretty well jammed packed! As mentioned above, there's the alternate head sculpt for the T-1000, but it's definitely the alternate fully battle damaged head that steals the show.

The detailing on the head sculpt is incredible, with the paint app really highlighting the subtle details in the flesh, skin tone, exposed endoskeleton, and the impressive light up eye. The left eye retains the ability to be moved via the rolling eyeball system, whereas the right exposes eye has a great LED to show the red eye that is so iconic. See further down for some pics of the eye while lit.





The various battle damaged hands are incredibly detailed, with all sorts of blood, torn flesh and leather, and metallic endoskeleton showing through. It's great that Hot Toys included the iconic thumbs-up gesture to recreate that final scene.




Of course being the battle damaged version, one of the key accessories is the broken arm that happens after his fight with the T-1000. This is attached by removing the regular left forearm of the figure and swapping with this accessory. The swap out is a little tricky, with the joint being tight, but just go slow and nothing should snap off. I'd also recommend doing it after you've removed the jacket. The paint app on the torn arm is pretty good, with some nice blood detailing on the chrome exposed endoskeleton.




With both the semi-battle damaged and fully battle damaged head sculpts, DX13 also comes packed with the accessories to accompany both looks depending on the time in the movie. So it includes the grenade launcher with grenades and bandolier, machine gun, pistol, and that awesome steel rod that the T-1000 drives through him in their epic battle. Depending on which part of the movie you want the figure to represent on your display, it'll have the accessories to go with it!




Of course with the torn arm accessory, the jacket needed to suit that look, and so Hot Toys have also included a second jacket with the figure to go specifically with that look. This fully battle damaged jacket is nicely tailored, riddled with bullet holes and weathering effects, and the tears are cut just right.




It's great that little details like the bullet holes are also accompanied with slight blood seeping out. It just totally adds to the realism that is designed into this piece.




Last but not least, the other key accessory is the T-1000 statue itself. It comes standard with the "silver surfer" type head, and the overall chrome paint app is fantastic. They even include a small lint free cloth for you to buff it up and remove any finger prints!

I would've preferred a more static pose, as the one they have chosen is a very specific battle scene from the movie where the T-1000 holds and twists the T-800's arm. That is the intent, where the arm of the DX13 figure is inserted through the hole, and the fist attached on the other end, given the illusion of the hold/twist. It's a nice touch, but I'm not sure a lot of collectors will use it.




FIGURE:
Onto the figure itself, and this new body is amazing to say the least. The gaping wound in the chest is beautifully painted, with all the requisite gore surrounding the exposed endoskeleton. It's incredible that the t-shirt is cut to perfectly fit, and has blood seepage and bullet holes to add that incredible realism.

The articulation is also top-notch, with barely anything that is missing from figures of this sort. The arms have double jointed elbows so that it can achieve those weapon holding poses in a natural manner, and the biceps and wrists all articulate nicely.




The exposed left knee is also beautifully done, and articulates via a single knee joint that is very strong and stable. Again the paint app with the exposed flesh and skeleton, and the torn leather pants is also incredibly done. The lower leg can also swivel to point the feet, and overall the legs articulate as they would with any other 1/6th scale figure. The only real limitation in the legs is the tightness of the pants, which restrict the extent to which the legs can be moved forward or to the sides. But that's a minor problem in the scheme of things.




As an initial comparison against the previous DX10 clean version, both straight out of the box look pretty amazing. But the DX13 is just a huge improvement in the likeness to Arnold Schwarzenneger. The DX10 still just has that younger, less wrinkled, less defined look to it. That could perhaps be a fault of the somewhat soft and less-detailed paint app on the head, where the skin tone is very flat. But with the DX13, even the smallest details are present in the facial paint app and sculpting, with wrinkles, skin texture, and overall sculp improvements all showcasing how far Hot Toys can improve within a short space of time.




Pick any iconic scene, pose, or gesture from the movie, and DX13 can pretty much replicate it without too much of an issue. I have to say that I haven't had this much fun playing around posing a figure since perhaps the DX07 Luke Skywalker or DX11 Joker figures.




As mentioned above, the LED light up feature on the eye is nicely done, and is quite bright in all light conditions. Swapping out the heads on the body was relatively easy, and the light up feature is easily accessed by removing the back of the head as with other DX figures.




The full battle damaged look of DX13 is where this figure absolutely shines. Here in the pic below it's pretty much decked out with all the accessories relating to the fully damaged look. And it just POPS in the display! The posing options, the exposed flesh and endoskeleton, the light up eye, all just give this piece some serious presence.




Here I'm just having some fun putting the DX10 sunglasses on the DX13 head sculpt. As you can see, the LED is definitely very bright! How amazingly close to Arnie does this look (despite the blurriness of my crappy photos!) :)




With the sunnies on, the DX10 figure looks closer to Arnie that it does without. I would normally leave it like the photo below, but have been warned the sunnies may  bleed colour onto the head sculpt, so I've removed them for display and use them for photo opportunities only. Either way, both DX10 and DX13 together like this is just a beautiful way to display this iconic character in your cabinet!

The only issue I have is that the DX13 body is slightly larger/taller than DX13, which is then made even more pronounced with the higher stand that comes with DX13. But with some creative posing, that slight increase in size can be masked if you still want both figures displayed together.




A bit of angst:
When I first unboxed my figure, my eyes were immediately drawn to this white streak that runs diaginally down from the figure's right hip to the crotch. At first I thought the pants were scratched, or had some strange crease in them.

But on closer inspection, it looked like the weathering effect had been incorrectly added to that spot. So I called Sideshow and asked for replacement pants. Their response was that providing a replacement would not guarantee any better or worse since the weathering effect is hand applied, so each figure is slightly different.




For mine, the visibility of the streak changes dramatically with the angle and lighting conditions. You can see in the photo below how obvious the streak was, so I was quite disappointed with the figure. Upon hearing from collectors that the weather in that location was actually intended, I looked up other review pics, review videos, and even eBay listings of spare pants.

And the vast majority of DX13 figures will have some sort of streak/weathering application in that spot. In fact, you can clearly see it in almost all ebay listings of spare pants. The visibility of the streak varies between figures, so some may not notice it at first.




Either way, it doesn't really bother me much anymore. I was advised to rub in a tiny amount of leather conditioner on the streak, and that seems to have actually helped reduce the visibility of the streak! So in the photos further above of the figure and the poses, the streak can be seen but is not nearly as visible as it was. So if yours comes with it, this is just something to keep in mind.


VIDEO REVIEW:
I did a video review on the Kool Kollectibles youtube channel, so hope you can check it out, subscribe, like, and comment with your own thoughts on the figure! :)



FINAL THOUGHTS:
I thought my 1/6th scale figure of the year was going to easily be the DX11 Joker figure released earlier this year. And that is still one of Hot Toys' best figures ever made. But the detail in everything that comes with the DX13 package just makes it better in my opinion.

The head sculpt likeness in both semi and fully damaged versions is incredible. The accessories are numerous, and complement the figure perfectly - the inclusion of the T-1000 statue is definitely nice to have. And the figure itself is just phenomenal. The new unique body I think warrants the different version release to DX10, and I for one am glad that I can have both side by side.

If you're still on the fence about this figure, don't be!! Jump off and RUN to get it online or instore - anywhere you can find it!! It is an absolute classic figure of one of cinemas iconic characters. I promise you will not regret the purchase :)


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Get the figure from:
- Sideshow Collectibles (click the link to head to the Sideshow website)
- Gametraders (see instore for preorder details)