DST seem to think that killer robots are a good sell to comic and specialty stores in the single pack format. Following on from the Battlestar Galactica cases of retro, modern and “Razor” Cylons comes this case of Endoskeleton army building, Terminator 2-style.
The case box has the top half of the distinctive Endoskeleton, realised in “Minimate control art” style. There are 12 single Minimate boxes which are arranged in three rows of four. The side artwork has the Minimate’d version of Arnie’s T-800, which is slightly misleading as he doesn’t feature anywhere in this case assortment. It has the upside of keeping the packaging looking similar to the 2-pack releases, though, and he features most prominently in those.
The Minimate boxes are the same as the previous single packs; a rectangular, windowed box to show off the Minimate and a sticker on the back to show which one it is. The sides have control art of all 5 Minimates in the case assortment.
The breakdown of the case assortment is as follows:
3 x Endoskeleton
3 x Battle Damaged Endoskeleton
3 x Half Human Terminator
2 x Silver T-1000
1 x General John Connor
First off, it would me remiss of me not to point you all to karamazov80’s T-800 & Endoskeleton 2-pack review. The 2-pack is available in US Toys R Us stores and will also be found in comic stores that use the Previews catalogue. The Endoskeleton in this case assortment is identical, but for an army-building figure that’s understandable. It makes sense for fans to be able to get one of these bad boys in different ways as they are so iconic as a villain.
The Endoskeleton face is superb. An amazing amount of detail is present. Sometimes on human Minimates, a high level of detail can be bad as it can all look a bit too overdone. No such problems here, though. This has to rank up there with being a fantastic likeness, even if the Minimate block makes the head a tad too square when the source material has a much thinner one.
Now we come to the controversial aspects of this figure. Rarely do we see a standard Minimate block figure with no sculpted parts these days. Some believe this trend to add sculpted elements and extra pieces obscures their clean lines and ruins the minimalistic aesthetic that is part of the innate charm of the Minimate design.
The Endoskeletons are sleek, their frames are slender to allow human skin over the top. Why then, did DST believe it necessary to add a chest piece to the Endoskeleton which blocks some arm movement and makes the body much more bulky than it should be? And then add a crotch piece? The creation of new hands to mimic the skeletal fingers of the Terminator has just meant that the Endoskeleton has abnormally large hands which hold accessories awkwardly. The feet are also new pieces which are slightly taller than normal Minimate feet.
And yet… and yet… It still looks great. For all the faults of the sculpted pieces, they somehow manage to combine into something greater than the sum of its parts. The Endoskeleton looks like a vicious killing machine, just as it should. I think the level of detail on the sculpted pieces works with the superb painted detail on the arms and legs of the figure to help complete the overall look.
The chest piece is removable and the chest block itself does have enough detailing on it to work without the chest piece if that’s more your thing. Sadly the same cannot be said of the T-crotch piece, which has no tampo, breaking up the detailing between the chest and the legs in jarring fashion if the crotch sleeve is removed.
The Endoskeleton comes with a plasma rifle. It’s hard to get it into the Minimates hands and I don’t think my pictures have him holding it right because the stock is larger and easier to hold than the handle.
In conclusion: A Minimate that will divide the fandom due to its over-reliance on sculpted pieces. However, the more I play with this one, the more I like the “bulky” look.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Battle Damaged Endoskeleton
Ah, the industry-standard variant of “battle damage”. Every long-term Minimate line has incorporated the battle damaged variant in their lineup somewhere, usually with the main heroic characters. Battlestar Galactica, in a direct comparison to this line, had battle damaged villains – Cylons. However, in the BSG line the battle damage was poorly done, consisting simply of black soot-like spots painted randomly onto the figure, meaning the difference between a regular Cylon and a battle damaged one was negligible. How does the Battle Damaged Endoskeleton fair?
Well, it still has the blackened soot-like effect applied liberally to it, and this time the effect works because the normal Endoskeleton is pretty shiny, and the scoring marks on this one make it look a lot darker and messed up.
The good thing about this Minimate is that the battle damaged is also tampoed on. The face has taken a real beating – one eye has been gouged out of its socket, leaving a black hole, and the cheek and mouth has a massive hole in it. This is accentuated by the head block being translucent with the paint then applied, because you can see into the open mouth which gives a really nice effect for what they are trying to convey, that the head block is skeletal and damaged.
If you remove the chest piece you’ll see that the Battle Damaged Endoskeleton also has damage detailing on its chest block. This is again good attention to detail.
The Battle Damaged Endoskeleton comes with the same plasma rifle as the normal Endoskeleton.
In conclusion: A battle damaged variant executed with a real sense of purpose. The unstoppable nature of the Terminators also add to this ‘mates play value, as you can pull as many bits off him as you like and pretend he’s still gunning for his prey.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Half Human Terminator
I recently watched T2 again in preparation for the onslaught of Minimates from the film but I have to admit, I don’t remember anything like this guy. However the concept of the “half human Terminator” is a stock idea for the franchise so it’s an understandable variant for the single packs.
As with the other Terminators in this set the face is very nicely detailed. He has a chunk of human flesh still attached to the face, in a look very reminiscent of the DC Minimates’ Cyborg Superman. The flesh part is painted on rather than being sculpted to the hairpiece. Speaking of the hairpiece, it’s new, showing off as much of the robotic side of the face as it can. Its detailing is impressive, showing off a distinct line where some of the hair is thinner, and it’s also got part of the hair missing on the back.
The rest of the figure doesn’t fair as well. The design choices for sculpted parts made by AA/DST which work on the Endoskeleton simply do not work on this figure because it’s trying to be a human in disguise. For example, as the other Endoskeletons have the big chest piece, the Half Human Terminator gets one. It would have been great if it had been partially detailed to pass for human, but he just looks silly with a big silver chest when most of the rest of him is black. Obviously it’s removable, but even then the detailing on the chest block shows mostly Terminator silver, mimicking the chest piece. I would have preferred a better transition between the two halves, human and Terminator.
Likewise, the Endoskeleton hand and foot, when only used on one side, really show off how much bigger they are compared to the normal Minimate hands and feet. It is not a good look when the Half Human Terminator can’t stand properly because one leg is longer than the other. I think for this figure you may be better off losing the chest piece and finding a silver hand and foot to go with it.
For accessories he gets the usual plasma rifle, the same as he other Endoskeletons.
In Conclusion: The Half Human Terminator tries mixing the new pieces and the old with disastrous consequences. Parts swapping will make this salvageable as a figure but the execution was flawed.
MMC Score – 3 out of 10
The T-1000, Skynet’s most advanced Terminator, is a silvery liquid metal construct that can change its own form. This Minimate is a representation of that unique ability, depicting the T-1000’s silver form solidifying into a human disguise. The T-1000 impersonated several people throughout the film but seemed to be drawn back to the form of the policeman he initially encountered.
The facial detailing on this figure is almost cartoon-like, an effect emphasised by the mirrored look of his shades, which remind me of “Police Cartman” from South Park. However there’s enough stern, measured expression to be true to the T-1000 although it doesn’t really look like Robert Patrick. The policeman’s look is topped off with a helmet which has been sculpted well, with a visor and badge on the front. It’s held on pretty tightly – I had to resort to the tried and tested “freezer trick” to get the helmet off for the picture.
Silver T-1000 has a chest piece of a police jacket, which also incorporates a belt containing molded pouches and a walkie-talkie. In a nice touch, removing the jacket shows off a detailed shirt underneath, complete with pockets.
Silver T-1000 comes with a tiny silver pistol. Quite why the pistol is silver when he can’t turn himself into a gun is beyond me, but I suspect it’s simply to keep the silver theme going.
In conclusion: A solid but not thrilling figure. Be warned; not being a company to waste newly sculpted pieces, DST have pencilled in a “proper” Police T-1000 Minimate (in actual colours) to appear later on in the line, but this one is still worth getting hold of.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
General John Connor
This is John Connor as we see him in the flash-forward sequence in T2, when he is commanding the Resistance against the machines.
As befits a man leading the remnents of humanity against a foe intent on their destruction, General John Connor looks determined. The detailing on the face is very well done, especially the scars that go either side of his eye and down his cheek. These are done in the same style as Sgt Barnes’s scarring from the Platoon set. It look great there, and it looks great here. Topping this all off is a suitable hairpiece. In’m not sure if it’s a reuse or not, it’s not immediately familiar.
The rest of the Minimate is fairly simple, being clad in military garb. The green shirt has some nice detailing on – the name tag and the symbol on the arm. The skin above the collar is picked out in flesh tones along the top of the chest block. Rarely do Minimates get that kind of attention to detail. The only quibble I have is that the silver buckle on the belt piece seems a bit sloppy, but that’s a minor thing.
General John Connor comes with a pistol, the same as the Silver T-1000’s, except in black. It would have been great to get the binoculars that were shown with the initial, prototype pictures of the set, as he does use them in the film, but they don’t appear with the final figure. Probably due to cost reasons.
In Conclusion: This version of the character was only onscreen for a few moments, but the Minimate representation of him is absolutely spot on.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Final Thoughts: A bit of a mixed bag in terms of scoring for the individual figures, however I can’t stress enough how much these Minimates really start to shine in an army-building capacity. Whatever your thoughts on the sculpted pieces on the Endoskeletons and their variants, there’s not much more of a cooler sight than a dozen or so of these evil machines lined up together. Poor John’s really got his work cut out!
Review and pictures by Danny Mills