Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: Playmates Terminator Salvation T-1

This is going to be a quick review because it is a very simple toy. The toy comes pretty much pre-assembled, you only need to put the torso and clip the rear tracks onto the lower tank part of the robot to complete it. The toy is like a bigger version of something you'd get with a McD happy meal. There's some mass to it, just because of the sheer size of it, but that's about the only good part about it. The paint apps are sloppy, looks like the worker painting this one was in a hurry to get home or something. The "mud" is a sloppy wash of red, light and dark brown. The feature is the "firing projectiles", which shoots out the barrels of the machine guns on its arms. I don't know who came up with this idea, I thought it would be obvious that machine guns are suppose to shoot out bullets and not shoot out the whole barrel to hit the enemy in the face, apparently the toy designers at Playmates think otherwise. One "neat" feature is that the torso rotates about 90 degrees back and forth when you roll the toy, it is triggered by a gear mechanism connected to one of the wheels under the tracks. I'd prefer it if they kept it as a simple rotating joint and add some articulation to the "arms". But it's a cool feature none the less, it sort of simulates scouting. There are no joints on the arms of the upper part except for the mount for the machine guns (if you can even consider that as a joint). It rotates about 45 degrees and come loose every so often when you try to rotate it. Another interesting thing to note is that the pictures on the front of the packaging, as well as, the instructions are wrong. It shows the robot with the lower part mounted 180 degrees backwards. I actually assembled it this way and thought it looked out of place at first. A quick check on wiki shows the correct look of the robot.

Overall, I would give this toy a 6/10. The machine gun barrel projectiles and the inaccurate display pictures just shows the ignorance of the designers at Playmates. The "scouting" feature and the sculpt saves it though. Sculpt-wise, I think it is quite nice. I only picked this up because it was on clearance for $5, I would have never paid the original $13 for this toy. I think a lot of people think so too because these have been peg-warming ever since they were released. Even at $5, I couldn't bring myself to buy the T-rip or T-700 because they were too poorly made (poor paint, articulation, face sculpt). I only picked up the T-1 because I thought it would fit in the Star Wars or Joe-verse. I will definitely fix it up and give it a quick repaint when I have time. With all that said, I think I'd pick a few more up at $5 if I see them again just because they look so cool.


  1. this will look nice after you finish re-painting it...looking forward to it!

  2. if you're looking for the t800's you could try NECA's line of terminator figures, they're pretty good for their pricepoint and damn accurate ...

  3. @LPM: Thanks! I am currently working on something so I can paint indoors in the winter, once that's done, I will start whipping out some repaints haha

    @Joshua: Thanks for the tip! I just checked them out online and they look good! Will check them out at the comic store once I go back to school!

  4. It look like a droid beside the stormtrooper. LOL It's still nice tho.

  5. This toy can be inproved pretty easily with carefully removing the third tread and some other minor fixes.

    Time needed is max 1h, screwdriver is needed, a handful of washers, screw nuts... lead would be even better but I had none, maybe you should loot your local fishing equipment seller. Superglue and two component epoxy putty is needed as well. Disposable vinyl gloves come in handy when working with epoxy putty.

    Disassemble as far as possible without screwdriver - *plopp, plopp, plopp, plopp*, guns can stay in place.

    Then pick screwdriver, disassemble treads and lower body, remove all gears responsible for jerky turret turning. This as well removes the annoying ratchet connector between torso and turret.

    Cut part holding superflous third tread after unscrewing - cut such a way, a neat little rectangle remains to be screwed again into base.

    Now, T-1 would topple backwards if just beeing assembled again. This is why everything had to be unscrewed earlier.

    Put some washers, screw nuts, lead or what else is at hand into thread parts, check that wheels can rotate freely afterwards. Keep in mind that you want to increase weight at front especially. Also keep in mind that you should be able to reattach the treads onto torso later on, there are pegs to be plugged into the holes on the inner sides of the treads. So there are not many washers or nuts going into the treads, there is simply too few space. However, after finding right place and amount, preliminary glue with instant adhesive, this even makes putting as much heavy stuff into treads as possible easier. As I don't trust instant adhesive too much (it however makes an excellent finger to finger or to tools glue), I later put two component epoxy putty into the treads as well, keeping every washer in place forever.

    The more interesting part in terms of weight gain is the torso you removed some gears from earlier. There is quite some space for washers and other metal stuff. It's the torso which should get as much as weight in front as possible. Possible means that turret base should still fit and freely rotate and the two torso halves should still be able to be put togeter. If enougth washers and stuff are put into, reassemble without the screws, to test if T-1 still topples. If it keeps upright even when (now possible) letting turret spin and if it can be leaned backwards a little without toppling instantanous, open again and fixate washers etc. with epoxy putty. Put together, feel free to glue turret into it's turning base to prevent letting the now really heavy base crash onto your kitchen tiles when carrying T-1 holding only the turret.

    Now you could glue this damn barrel shoot out feature to death to prevent accidentally losing the barrels if wished. I put instant adhesive onto barrel and shoved into gun, put some glue around trigger button base as well. No barrel stays where barrel belongs.

    Have fun.