Thursday, November 3, 2011
Ten Terminator Toys That Should Be Made
When it comes to collecting toys, models and miniatures, it's not easy being a Terminator fan. Unlike the larger and more popular sci-fi franchises such as Star Wars and Star Trek, the number of scale replicas for particular robots and vehicles from the Terminator franchise are limited in variety, are often hard to find, and can be very expensive. Here's a list of Terminator robots and vehicles that should be made available in some form (a die-cast miniature, a highly-detailed toy, etc.) for those who enjoy collecting killer machines from the future.
Quality Terminator replicas have never been easy to find and acquire, even from the beginning. I loved the T-800 endoskeleton design when it originally appeared in the first Terminator movie but between the release of that film and the release of its sequel in 1991, the only available T-800 replicas were in the form of complex model kits which required a lot of money to purchase and a high degree of modeling skill to complete (I had neither, of course). Kenner released a line of Terminator toys after Terminator 2, but only a handful of those items were accurate to the movies and were very hard to find.
Since companies such as McFarlane Toys, NECA, Sideshow Collectibles, Hot Toys and Playmates have acquired the Terminator license during the last decade, there are many more highly detailed Terminator replicas available now but most of them are very costly and are limited in their range of diversity. In some ways, I got my wish--all sorts of T-800 endoskeleton replicas are readily available (I even have one that I can display on my Christmas tree), but replicas of other members of Skynet's army of death machines are either in short supply or don't exist at all.
Here's a list of ten replicas that I'd love to own if more are to be made, organized according to their first appearance in the Terminator franchise.
The HK-Centurion is like the HK Tank, but with four legs instead of four treads. It was supposed to make its big screen debut in the future war battle scenes in Terminator 2, but it never got past the concept art drawings. However, it did appear in a few Terminator comic books and in the Terminator: Dawn of Fate video game. A perfect miniaturized replica of this machine would include poseable legs, glowing flood lights, and rotating torso and gun turrets.
2. T-70 Infantry Unit
The T-70 is part of the T2 3D: Battle Across Time ride at the Universal Studios theme parks. Several T-70s appear early in the ride, which takes place in Cyberdine Systems' Miles Bennett Dyson Memorial Auditorium. Given its humanoid shape, the T-70 was clearly designed to be a distant predecessor to the T-800 model. Unfortunately, for as fun as the ride is, I was greatly disappointed to see that the ride's gift shop didn't have a single item bearing the likeness of a T-70.
T-1 is the tank-like robot that appears in the latter half of Terminator 3, where it is reprogrammed by the T-X to gun down all of the humans at Cyber Research Systems (CRS). While a T-1 was part of a T3 miniatures set by Dreamazz, the set was so poorly made that this robot deserves a second chance in the world of killer robot merchandising. In particular, a remote-controlled T-1 would make an excellent toy, particularly if it had the same range of motion as its cinematic counterpart. If it's marketed along with a flying remote-controlled HK-Drone, Terminator fans could use these toys and whatever action figures they have to do re-enactments of the CRS massacre. Bliss!
The T-900 was the standard Skynet foot soldier in all of the Terminator 3 video games. It looks like a midway design between a T-800 endoskeleton and a T-X endoskeleton: It has the overall build and skull-like head of a T-800 with the body armor of a T-X. Like the T-1, a T-900 figure was also included in Dreamazz's T3 miniatures set, so naturally I think that this robot design deserves better. The perfect T-900 figure would feature multiple points of articulation, glowing eyes and armor lighting, and removable armor plates that reveal the inner workings of the T-900.
5. FK Reaper
As Terminator video games go, Terminator 3: The Redemption by Atari was a real cornucopia of new Skynet robot designs, including several new aerial and tank HK units. Of these designs, one of the coolest was that of the FK Reaper. Even though it has a head similar to that of the T-1, the FK Reaper looks like a smaller, more efficient successor to the Harvester robot seen in Terminator Salvation. In fact, it would be really cool if a Terminator miniatures set would be produced with a Harvester and some accompanying FK Reapers, each in the proper scale to each other.
6. HK-Hover 2
Another top-notch design from Terminator 3: The Redemption. There have been many different aerial HK designs throughout the Terminator universe, each with designs that are variations of the original aerial HK unit seen in the first two Terminator movies. The HK-Hover 2 is among the sleeker, more streamlined designs, with a greater range of motion than other aerial HK units.
7. T-888 Endoskeleton
The T-888 was the standard infiltrator unit in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV show. Even though the T-888 endoskeleton looked very similar to the T-800, it featured several improvements to the original design to allow for greater flexibility. In other words, while the T-1000 and T-X models were regarded as the T-800's successors in the Terminator universe, the T-888 endoskeleton was an actual design upgrade of the T-800 endoskeleton. For this reason, a T-888 endoskeleton figure should demonstrate its improvements with more points of articulation than its T-800 counterpart. Then again, if a higher-end company such as Hot Toys put out a T-888 endoskeleton figure, it would be great if it included an optional, newly formed synthetic skin to put on its head and upper torso, a gnarled skin similar to what was seen at the end of "The Turk" episode.
8. T-7T Tetrapod
The T-7T Tetrapod was among the new robot designs for the Terminator Salvation video games and the Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series videos. The T-7Ts are like squat, crab-like mobile gun pods, and they are very insect-like in their movement and behavior. The T-7T Tetrapod would be another design that's ideal for a remote-controlled toy. It would also be great if a Terminator miniatures set would be produced featuring an aforementioned HK-Centurion that's flanked by two T-7T Tetrapods, each in the proper scale to each other.
9. HK Transport
In retrospect, the Terminator Salvation toy line by Playmates was poorly planned and executed in terms of item selections, product designs, and promotion among its target audience. Nevertheless, had Playmates actually succeeded, then a well-made HK Transport vehicle/play set would've been amazing. The HK Transport is the largest of the aerial HK units, and its primary purpose is to transport human prisoners to Skynet work camps. A HK Transport can also transport a Harvester unit, two smaller aerial HKs, and presumably smaller ground-based Skynet units such as T-600s, Moto-Terminators, and T-7Ts. A scale-accurate replica of an HK Transport that includes opening panels and miniatures of both human resistance fighters and various Skynet units would be an absolute must-have.
10. Terminator Hybrid Endoskeleton
The Terminator Hybrid endoskeleton is what Marcus Wright would've looked like in Terminator Salvation if all of his skin and muscle tissue had been removed. Unfortunately, this intricately designed endoskeleton never appeared on screen in the movie and can only be seen in detail as concept art. There's a Hybrid endoskeleton included in the Terminator Cyberskin Generator Laboratory play set, but that was a poorly sculpted figure with no points of articulation. The ideal Terminator Hybrid endoskeleton figure would have many movable joints, human organs that can be removed from its torso, and a human brain that can be removed from its protective skull casing.