Before the term “Commando” became a slang word for brazenly – and perhaps riskily – donning a pair of pants sans any skivvies (underoos, boxers…whatever you wanna call them), there was a not so little era called the 1980’s where the urban dictionary hadn’t been invented yet. Back in that day in age, going Commando meant seeing the one of the manliest movies ever made – in Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s aptly named Commando (1985). If this movie didn’t make you want to throw saw blades at people after swinging from balloons to escape police, then your balls never dropped as a child…or maybe you just weren’t alive when this came out.
For the uninitiated, imagine the movie Taken but with a million machine guns and an evil, bad-ass version of Freddie Mercury (yes, I am referring to Vernon Well’s character, Bennett. A villain so hard he wears chain mail and feeds off electric shocks). What other action movie opens with the hero and his daughter feeding a deer and licking ice cream? What other movie has lines like “I eat green berets for breakfast. And right now I’m very hungry”? Over the top action, action movie clichés, and an onslaught of Arnie quotes – it’s an 80’s masterpiece of epic proportions!
Speaking of things that are of epic proportions (hows that for a segue?), our friends at Sideshow Collectibles (via Hot Toys) have sent us a 1/6th scale John Matrix figure. Yes, the one-man army, with biceps the size of a cement truck, has been immortalized as a high-end, collectible figurine. If you thought the movie was a hit, wait until you feast your eyes on this.
Commando is entertaining because of its capability to be enjoyable, smart, and not taking itself too seriously. The latter, however, is where Hot Toys’ efforts differ. They are very serious… serious about making a screen accurate figure, dripping with as much masculine homo-eroticism as possible. And boy, did they not disappoint.
Packaging with an eye-catching design should make both a physical and psychological connection. This package screams classic 80’s action! It, alone, transports you back to the time when big sweaty men, with big noisy guns, beating and slaughtering dozens of people, ruled the cinemas.
A slick and shiny black box with front graphics looking like a 80’s era action movie poster – features (the figure) John Matrix holding his clutch rocket launcher mid fire, affront a gradient, orange back background (a color of orange I’m pretty sure hasn’t been used since the 80’s). The movie title and character name standing out in a bold type face. It rocks!
The top layer of the box pulls off – like a shoe box – revealing the figure and its accessories laden in plastic containment trays. It should be noted, where most toys/collectibles have made enemies all over the world with cardboard to tear into, twist ties to unbind, and plastic casings to dice through, Hot Toys does none of that. Their packaging is just as pretty as it is functional, with everything all neat and compartmentalized.
Next time someone toy-naps one of your favorite collectibles, you can take John Matrix out for the hunt and put him back in the box without any damage done… to the package, that is.
You can say “Hey Matrix, remember when I said I’d sell you last?…. I lied!” and not have to worry about losing value if you go to resell him.
Head to steel-toe’d boot, this is a 100% likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Matrix in Commando.
The actual head sculpt features a movie accurate facial expression with detailed wrinkles, skin texture, and war paint. It is absolutely spot on. Take a headshot, with just the right light, text it to a friend and they’ll say “why are you texting me a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger” not knowing its that of a toy.
And the body? Make no mistake, this isn’t just some doll with a universally used buck. This is a uniquely sculpted body and head, made to the exact shape and size of the actor himself. Arnold’s signature Mesomorphic (that’s a body building term, folks) body type is captured eerily well, looking exactly as he did in all those shirtless scenes.
The rubber coating of the plastic body gives a life-like look and feel. This is the closest you will ever get to touching Schwarzenegger’s mid 1980’s bodybuilder physique. You can’t help but poke his heaving chest and giggle like a girl.
Regarding the rubberized skin, it stands a double-edged sword. On one hand, its as real to human skin as a figure can get. It also hides joints and seams that would otherwise remind you that what you really have is an expensive doll. On the other hand, its ridiculously fragile. Handle it wrong, and you’ll take chunks out of it. Also, it doesn’t hold onto paint nearly as good as it should. In my case, I was bending the arm for positioning and I suddenly rubbed off some of the black camo war paint on the figure’s right shoulder. You just want to be sure when handling this figure that you’re nails are clipped, and that you wear white gloves or something. The shelf-life of the material also comes into question. After some time, there’s a chance it may crack and dry-out, but I’m not sure. It also feels like it will get very easily dirtied if you keep putting grubby hands on it.
As far as the figure’s outfit is concerned, Hot Toys must have kidnapped the costume design crew who worked on Commando and forced them to recreate John Matrix’s war attire for this 1/6th scale recreation. The black and green-camouflage colored tactical vest, camouflage thigh holster, green colored cargo pants, and black military boots, are identical to that of the movie. Even the texturing of the vest, the stitching, straps, and fasteners… it’s all painstakingly tailored and faithfully recreated. Heck, the wardrobe even has working carabiner’s to secure the vest to the groin/legs and a real working zipper on the vest.
Accessories! Accessories! Accessories! Holy f-bomb, never has a 1/6h scale collectible figure (at least to my knowledge) come with so many accessories. Atop the 7 pieces of interchangeable hands, and figure stand, there is a whole arsenal of weapons. There are so many weapons here that this figure is capable of killing 75 other figures in under 5 minutes.
One of the best scenes in commando is when Matrix is gathering his gear to take on a entire army of assholes. It’s like that scene outta Rambo except Schwarzenegger is bigger, badder, and has a hell of a lot more fire power.
You can recreate this scene in display. Everything is included; from his vest with hanging grenades, M202A1 flash rocket launcher, Desert Eagle hand pistol, Remington 870 shot gun, M-68 machine gun, commando knife, throwing knives, green binoculars, 2 claymoore mines, and 12 shot gun casings. It’s all here.
The attention to detail to these accessories is beyond belief… or of any sound reason for that matter. There is absolutely no reason to have the side arm pistol slide back to mimic chambering of a round, or the underside of the shot gun to move back and fourth simulating a cocking. There’s especially no reason to paint the tips of the rockets in the rocket launcher red, when they’re so far tucked back in the launcher you can barely see them. There’s also no reason to have on Matrix warpaint that goes down past his buttocks and tucked underneath clothes that you’re never going to remove. There is no need for any of that… but, this is what Hot Toys does. This is the absolutely insane level of detail that elevates their figures beyond all measures of doubt. Seriously, beyond weapons that actually fire, you do not get any more real than this.
This is a wonderful display piece, and is something to marvel up close. While no manly man would ever be caught dead playing with a doll, a special exception can be made here. And, in your most private moment of moments, you can go ahead and say, “Wow.”
Honestly, aside from the warpaint being easily scuffed off (which really sucks!) and general fragility of the rubber skin, there is nothing else about this figure in which to lament. It’s practically perfect in every way. If there is anything to nitpick about, you really have to work to find it. You can just go ahead and assert this as a complete and total triumph in toy manufacturing and design, ’cause it is.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the embodiment of the 80’s & 90’s muscle-man action cinema. This figurine does him justice in every conceivable way.
Forget about his days as the Governor of California, his scandal with the house maid, and whatever the hell he’s now doing as the new face of Celebrity Apprentice – this figure will remind you of when Schwarzenegger’s stone face and rippling muscles were judge, jury, and executioner.
Sure, there are plenty of other Commando toys and collectibles out there, old and new, but this…this is the piece de resistance! No one will, or can, top this! It’s that simple.
The $259.99 price point may blow a crater-size hole in your wallet, but if there was ever a time to say “shut up and take my money,” now would be that time.
You can order HERE.
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