Saturday, October 21, 2023

The ABCs of 31 Days of Toy Terror: T is for T-1 Terminator from Terminator Salvation by Playmates

   Hey kids! Want to hear a story about a true haunting? It's the story of the Playmates Terminator Salvation toyline, released in 2009, and how it haunted the action figure aisles for years to come! Ooooohhh! Try as they might, no retailer could get rid of it!

   Ok, yes, the Terminator Salvation toyline was not very impressive, even by 2009 standard; incredibly bland figures, a lack of likeness rights, and too many scales. It didn't help that the movie wasn't particularly well received, either. These figures sat on shelves for what felt like a few years, even at clearance prices. I think at some point I had grabbed a couple of the smaller figures on deep clearance just for the accessories, but the only figure I went out of my way to pickup when the line was new was the T-1. Part of the 1/12th scaled "deluxe" line, the T-1 was actually scaled more properly to the smaller 1/18th scaled figures. These battlefield robots first appeared in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and had a larger role in Salvation. I grabbed the figure because it reminded me of something that could have popped up in Kenner's 1993 Terminator 2: Future War toyline. It's a killer robot, so perfect for some toy terror, right? Let's check out the T-1 after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 4 1/8th inches

Articulation: 5 rolling wheels, swivel rear tread, swivel upper body, and swiveling turrets (x2)

Accessories: Rear tread piece, 2 missiles, and trading card

Year of Release: 2009

Original Retail Price: $10 

The Positives:

* The T-1 is a pretty decent sized killing machine and, because it's a non-humanoid shaped robot, it ought to look right merged in with any Terminator toyline. Heck, it could fit in almost anywhere. It's a much cooler looking toy than the rest of the Terminator Salvation line. 

* The T-1 is a machine, so we've got lots of smooth surfaces broken up the lines from panels and bits of machinery. I actually took most of the pictures for the review before I realized I had the lower body turned around backwards, so I had to flip things around. I retook most of the pictures, but you might see the T-1 flipped around in a shot or two. 

* The T-1 has a teeny, tiny head that looks kind of like one of the Michael Bay Transformers. While the figure is mostly molded in a brownish bronze plastic, there are some nice little paint details scattered here and there.

* Check out those treads! Not only do they look ready to roll across the battlefield but they look like they've been through the muck and mire of combat. Not a bad paintjob, particularly for a 2009 action figure from Playmates. 

* Rather than arms, the T-1 has a mounted Gatling gun on each side of it's body with an ammo belt attached. They do come off, though the ammo belt does not, so they're permanently attached. They also fire, launching a projectile. 

* Being a tank-like robot, the articulation is a bit unusual, but it's not bad considering that this guy wouldn't move a whole lot anyways. The figure rolls (wheels, not functioning treads, though), the rear tread rotates at the top, and the main body can fully rotate with pivoting guns. It's as articulated as you could expect, I guess. 

* The original figure included a glossy collectible card as well, though I have no idea where mine is.

The Negatives:

* See that larger wheel on the bottom? When that rolls the T-1's upper body pivots back and forth. It's kind of difficult to use and it doesn't really do much of anything. The motion is jerky and seems like it's just not engineered quite right.


* So, on those firing arm cannons? Guess what fires? The barrel. Yes, the barrel of the miniguns actually fires out. That's... well, that's kind of goofy. 

   The Terminator Salvation toyline was pretty forgettable but this guy was for sure the best of the bunch. Again, I really like it displayed with my vintage Kenner Terminator 2 figures as it fits the style of that line so well, even if it is undersized compared to them. The T-1 is a Good and a 1/2 figure and while not a classic by any stretch, it is a unique toy so far as Terminator action figures go. Or, again, a cool little addition to any line. It works just fine as a formidable rolling tank or as a small, mobile drone weapon. Versatility is always fun! Everyone can benefit from a killer robot plowing through their pumpkin patch!

This is my first review of the T-1.


  1. I remember this. I wanted to get an army of them. Would come in handy for many properties. I remember when the movie came had so much potential. I still like it, but not having Christian Bale's likeness rights really sucked.

    1. Yeah, the toyline was really uneven. It was hilarious that every version of John Connor had the face covered completely with goggles, helmets, bandannas, and such. It's quite hilarious looking back at it.


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