Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the biggest movie of 1991, ushering in a new generation of kids who were maybe-kinda-sorta interested in Terminator toys.
Kenner held the license and gave it a good shot. Though the standard-sized action figures are probably the ones you remember most, the collection’s best figure stood over a foot tall!
It was called… THE ULTIMATE TERMINATOR.
Can I start by gushing over the box? Because this really is a gush-worthy box.
It’s just so ‘90s. From the torn metal graphics (appropriate for Terminator toys, but by no means exclusive to them) to the use of 87 different fonts, the box was more a product of its time than the actual thing inside it.
The adventure started badly. THE ULTIMATE TERMINATOR requires three “AAA” batteries, but by some miracle, that wasn’t an issue.
The problem was that the battery compartment had a screw-protected cover, and it was one of those screws that nobody has a screwdriver for. I know that we discussed this on Facebook, but I don’t care what you lunatics claim. NOBODY has a screwdriver that would fit this screw head.
I eventually got the cover off, but it wasn’t through any natural unscrewing. I just kept at it until the thing disintegrated. (Which means I can never accurately resell this as a “complete” figure. That dumb screw cheated me out of six bucks. More than thirteen stamps!)
The figure is enormous. It’s more than a foot tall, and heavy enough to work like a bat if you ever want to play a really stupid kind of baseball.
Only the arms are articulated, but that’s made up for by the details. The T-800 is battle-damaged, with big gaping wounds that reveal his endoskeleton. Kenner didn’t cheap out on the injuries, either. Arnold has a messy chest, face, hand and knee, and if you found someone who didn’t know how Terminators work, they’d think this was all very disgusting.
The only flaw is that he doesn’t stand very well. To keep the figure upright involved the kind of ballet-level tip-toeing that I previously never knew I was capable of. There’s a reason you’ve never seen anyone rain dance around an upright ULTIMATE TERMINATOR.
ULTIMATE TERMINATOR comes with two accessories. The first is a pair of wraparound sunglasses, which are not only removable, but perfectly sized to fit my thumb. So now all I want to do is shoot imaginary Ziploc Fingerman commercials.
The second accessory is what Kenner called an “Awesome Hand Blaster.” That’s one thing I have in common with Kenner’s copywriter: A complete lack of interest in looking up the real name of Terminator’s gun.
Eh, fine. I’ll Google it.
“Handheld GE M134 Minigun.”
There. Now say it like it’s the universal greeting from Transformers: The Movie. It works oddly perfectly.
Let’s get back to those batteries. ULTIMATE TERMINATOR’s back is covered with buttons, and Kenner certainly wasn’t cruel enough to give you a button-covered back if those buttons weren’t intended to do anything. Indeed, those buttons cause terrific things to happen! (Matt: When editing, don’t forget to gut this paragraph. It needs a lot of work. Maybe use this space to talk about your favorite color. Position “vivid tangerine” as something soothing yet powerful.)
The center button makes Arnold’s eyes glow red. If there’s any no-fail way to make me love something forever, it’s the inclusion of glowing red eyes. (Grand Admiral Thrawn is my favorite Star Wars character, and I have no idea who he is.)
The surrounding buttons are even better. Not only do they make his eyes glow, but they also make him shout various phrases from the movie!
(Well, he shouts two phrases. The remaining buttons just summon “battle sounds.” But let’s not pretend that the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger adding his own “rat-tat-tats” isn’t amazing.)
Here’s a video demonstration:
At 107 seconds, the video is ten times longer than it needs to be. That was my sneaky way of turning Dino Drac into a stickier site. Advertisers love that shit.
I can see it now: “Review of Cornish Game Hen Pop-Tarts, brought to you by Gatorade.”
Kenner’s ULTIMATE TERMINATOR gets a solid score from me. I’d say 8, maybe even 8.5. His eyes glow, he has sunglasses, and his box looks like the opening credits from WCW Saturday Night.
8.5, maybe 9.