Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hot Toys DX10 ~ T2 : T-800.

In the movie The Expendables 2, Arnie and Bruce have had a comparatively longer screen time than the first one. The dialogues are incredibly fun, with these veterans throwing humorous sarcasm and poking funs at each others stereotypical roles they were famous for at the height of their acting careers. Here's one. Trench (Arnie) says to Church (Bruce), "I'll be back", of which Church retorts, " You've been back enough! I'll be back!" of which a perplexed Trench says sheepishly, "Yippee-ki-yay". So, what does that got to do with DX10 T2 T800? Hot Toys seems to subscribe the signature Arnie line, literally. Suddenly there's a slew of The Terminator related figures focusing on Arnie, unofficially making this year the Year of the Governator. And Year of Mee Maggi for me. I guessimate Hot Toys' marketing teams really paid attention during Marketing Strategy 101.
Allow me to cowpehcowboh for abit. The T2 T-800 was released awhile back as a MMS format figure. Personally, it is one of the most outstanding figures I ever own. Solid, menacing, no dodgy QC issue/concern. Hot Toys really hit "solid gold" with that. Heck, I even hunt down those minigun, grenade launcher, bandoleer, bag from Coomodel to "complete" the look. It stands proud in the display as one of the best. Until Hot Toys decides to embark on a series of "re-issues" - version 2, re-releases etc. An upgrade or if I missed out on a classic figure I like due to nostalgic attachment to a movie is fine but lately, barely few years have passed and wham, "here's version 2 or a DX version of so and so". With the concern I have had with the TDKR thunder thigh, thick waist, fat Bats and guy-o-liner inflicted Indy, I starts to have doubt over Hot Toys capability in managing the expectation of their DX line. When I sees the promo pics of DX10, I am sold, despite a nagging hesitation and voice in the back of head saying "NO!! STOP! ARE U SERIOUS?". But I pushed it all aside, coz it's...Arnie. In his classic most memorable role and one of fav movies. I POed it, slapped down the DP to a smiling David and downed couple of Xanax as I walked back to the car park. Bromance is costly indeed.
And now its 'ere. First to collect from BST xl-shop. Wonder if  there's discount but that's pushin it. Dave opened the brown box for inspection as well as, like me, eager to see the real stuff. My heart pumpin like it's on turbo boost. Palms sweatin. Why? Coz curiously, the DX10 was released over the States side before hitting Asian market. The forums were buzzin with all forms of positive and negative POV. Typical. But still, I have my reservations.
The box is all signature DX, supposedly covered with lather, I mean, leather but most probably faux skin, with a nifty "T-2" logo of which I can slide horizontally across to reveal the half pic of Arnie. Goosebumps were raised all around as I broke into my best rendition of the opening theme of The Terminator as Dave slid it. The first thingy to inspect is the headsculpt. Initial pics shown in forums drawn some scepticism (but has now met with extremely positive reviews thus far). Personally, I view the headsculpt as the "liposuctioned, Nip/Tuck, Botox-fied" version of Arnie. Skynet really works wonder, does it? Man, he/it looks as smooth as Smooth Criminal. Oil of Ulan again? I don't remember the T2 T-800 looking so...fresh and "young". The attire is now made of leather. I am not sure which unfortunate animal skin the Terminator used but David raised a (valid) point that some Muslim customers have reservations over collecting it. The minigun's there, grenade launcher, bandoleer, and to "justify" the DX tag, it comes with the CPU micro-processor, dampener and a made of metal plier. There's the Pringle made of skin, for the more creative and adventurous to re-create the deleted scene of which Sinead O Connor, I mean, Sarah Connor retrives the CPU after surgically slice open the scalp of the T-800. These stuffs are tiny. So far so good. Even if Arnie looks kinda young-ish. Off to home I went. And leaves it in the storeroom for awhile.
Couple of days later, I took it out, for its time to lookit properly and yup, comparison with the hit MMS version. My chest feels like being hit with a freight train of bewilderment. What a huge difference. Firstly, the head sculpt. Arnie may looks young-ish (even when compared to the "bad" T-800 from the first movie) but side by side with the MMS version, it is very obvious that Hot Toys has put effort in improving the look, and perhaps take it to another level. The MMS version now looks like  a "caricature" when posed side by side. I ain't joking. The skin tone also different. The DX version is more tan, like going out more often in the sun, than the MMS version, which now looks like suffering from some skin pigmentation concerns. Nevertheless, the MMS version headsculpt still exudes a menacing look, something which I could not achieve with the DX, irregardless of the PERS. But slap on the upgraded, proportion corrected Stingray shades, however, the DX wins by miles in term of "you've got the look" over the MMS. I experimented abit by swapping the 'eadsculpts and immediately changed it back due to a different skin tone and "giraffe neck" look. Darn. However, the DX neck is kinda, well, thick-ish. Like a tree trunk. The MMS version, to me at least, seems a tad more proportionate. 
The new made of leather attire looks slightly better than MMS version but just. Maybe the advantage could be to achieve a real life worn leather look after posing, playing with it. What the MMS version scores are in terms of overall height, and body mass. The DX looks kinda small abit when standing side by side with its earlier, more sanely priced doppleganger. And I thought it looks like havin a "lollipop" head syndrome. Again, Hot Toys inflicted a perfectly macho killing machine with a girl size motorcycle boots, unlike the manly one worn by the MMS version. This also makes it kinda harder to stand and pose when fully armed. The sillouette and the manner of which the attire "hangs" on the MMS also looks somewhat more "natural". The DX version, particularly the pants, looks a tad tight, with zero "stacks". This may be due to the body itself, as I think the DX version's thigh seems a bit beefier. All in all, the DX version has a slight case of "Honey, I shrunk the kids". Sigh...could have been perfect but that's life.
Nothing breaks this time 'round, and the built is par excellent as the MMS. Hot Toys could have combined these two into one single release. But that's wishful thinking...Also, I think they left out the smoke launcher. Another version in the pipeline? No more, man. Just hopin Hot Toys would re-visit their early MMS like Rambo and Rocky instead of going round and round various versions of The Terminator, The Predator and Iron Man. Licensing concerns I guess. And I would still keep the original gangsta of the T-800 around. I have a feeling that I could kitbash it for a certain character from Frank Miller's Sin City series. And oh, there's DX13 coming next year. And POed. There's also whispers of a 1/6th scale T-800 endoskeleton in the pipeline. Yippee-ki-yay indeed.

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