Let me say this to start.
I love toys. I've always loved them since my parents gave me my first G1 Transformers when I was but a young lad who always mined gold in his nostrils. Now with me actually being a productive member of society, I've taken up the toy habit again. And I'm going to review one of them tonight, with Mai's blessing.
Now, please bear in mind that I'm really not a toy 'collector' of any sort - I just buy toys because I like them and love to play with them - so I may not be able to give accurate comparisons of the toy I'm reviewing to other toys. So sorry about that. Also I tend to babble on a lot, but I'll try my best to keep a lid on it and stop acting like a douche so much.
In any case, let's get on with it with my first Super-Awesome Toy, The Matrix Sentinel by McFarlane Toys!
When I first saw this sucker on a window display en route to Wasabi I knew I had to get him. I'm a huge fan of huge toys (no pun intended) and a large, hefty figure of one of the best-looking robot monster designs ever is a proper treat for me. He was going for a price that's well and above his original asking price, but we do have to keep in mind that McToys did release the Sentinel around in '03, thus making it quite the antique figure. I'm not too sure if he's rare or not, but hey, I wasn't going to pass him up. I mean, come on, it's a huge robotic octopus with fifteen huge fully-articulated tentacles - what's not to like?
Now let's get him out of that cardboard prison. To deal with the copious amounts of scotch tape sealing the edges, I've armed myself with a rusty box cutter, and sure enough I got them out of the way.
However, when I made to open the box, I realized in horror that I would have to do the unthinkable: DESTROY the box to get the Sentinel out. The actual 'lid' isn't the roof of the box at all, but at the bottom, and hinged in such a way that it also forms the back wall of the box. To make matters worse, the lid itself is stuck to the bottom with a huge amount of...glue? Paste? Unthinkable sticky liquid perhaps? Whatever it was, it was set on not letting me keep the box intact. SO I DIDN'T. I tore that sucker open.
Smell that new toy smell. Well, old new toy smell. But still a glorious scent nonetheless!
And so this is the McFarlane Toys' Deluxed Box Version of the Matrix Sentinel, unboxed and laid out in its full, coiled-and-ready-to-rape-anything-in-the-area glory. It's bigger than it looks, and I'll illustrate that in just a second, after we get the twisty ties out of the way.
Ho yes, there are twisty ties, but in a surprisingly SCANT amount. In fact it was a bit disappointing, until I realized that something more insidious barred me from traipsing into the land of Happy Fun Tentacle Time.
I can forgive the sadomasochistic box enclosure, I can forget the finger-wrecking twisty ties. But this is just going too far, now! This is the same type of tie they use for disposable handcuffs! And there was no other way to remove the dang thing but to cut it open, so I had to go at it with the rusty cutter from before.
After some careful, CAREFUL cutting...
Look at him! He's so cute, all wrapped up tight like a ball! And with his inner claws like that it's like he's just waiting for a cuddle. I henceforth call this form Squidball!
But yeah, he's out. Much rejoicing.
One thing you notice immediately when you take him out of the box is how freaking HEAVY he is. No joke - while I can certainly do with more exercise, I do find some objects that people consider as heavy to be 'cartable' - but Sentinel here weighs a ton(nothing wrong with that, that just says that it's a solidly built figure and no mistake). After the weight you notice just how much of a big deal he really is, and despite his overinflated price tag, whatever you pay for him, you're getting your money's worth.
That's because he is ridiculously DETAILED. When McFarlane Toys does Deluxe Toys, they really go the entire nine yars. Everything, from the eyes to the claws to even the small teeth-like 'mini-claws' on the underside of the Sentinel's body is sculpted, a painstaking effort to make this piece of toy heaven as movie-accurate as possible. I can't think of anything to criticize it with. It's PURE FURY.
And then we get to the tentacles. Oh yes, the main star of this toy, the tentacles. Unfurled from their curled position, these babies measure almost two feet long, making the Sentinel my biggest (or rather, longest) toy to date. Each tentacle is fully poseable and bendable, and they will firmly hold whatever pose you put them in (that includes raised or lowered positions). One thing to note here though is that this is where the Sentinel drops a bit in movie accuracy: the original Sentinels had red piping on their tentacles. But seeing as those red markings were dropped in the sequels, I guess we could forgive it for that.
Each tentacle comes equipped with a four-pronged claw, and there are three variations of the claw: a permanently closed one, a permanently opened one, and an articulated one that you can freely switch between rape mode, grab mode and grope mode. Now this is where the packaging starts to get on my nerves: The box actually crushes the latter kind of claws into bent, unidentifiable pieces of plastic. This is easily remedied with the hot water process, but it just screams WRONG when an integral part of a toy's appeal is deliberately compromised like that.
The Sentinel's inner claws are pretty well-detailed as well, and you can pose them somewhat, seeing as they're attached to the main body by balljoints. However, it's pretty easy to have them fall off. Not easy like Revoltech Lazengann's fists easy, but too much movement and they pop out. You can easily pop them back in, though, and they catch on tightly.
I'm really pleased with this figure. He's got heft, he's got poseability coming out of his ears, and out of the box he's just one massive toy that is literally BEGGING to be played with. Of course, one of the tentacles did come off from the body after I started trying to pose it properly, but further investigation revealed that there was not enough adhesive applied to it. I fixed that with just a smidgin of Mighty Bond and it's back on, stronger than ever.
Now, you might be wondering about the obvious - can the tentacles actually do what they're supposed to do, when the schoolgirl figures come a-running? Yes, but sadly no. See, the tentacles themselves are thick, so while they're poseable as heck, you can't have them wrap around something as small as, say, a figma Asakura's angle or arm. You can however wrap them around her waist, and the claws do allow for some grabbing/pinching/penetrating action if you know what I mean. Please do watch out for an upcoming gallery featuring female figurines interacting with The Sentinel. But it's all going to be wholesome!
And now, to the scores:
Costume and Expressions: 10
Sculpt and Paint: 10
Gimmicks/Accessories/Base: 7 (The Deluxe Boxed Set came with a Real World Neo that can attach to the base to form a diorama. It sucks but it's considerate.)
Fun Factor: Posing and taking Photos: 10
If you're a robot monster fan (even if you didn't like the Matrix much) and you see this guy going for any price, get him. He's fun, he's cute, and he can be an awesome opponent for all your figmas and busou shinkis.
Thanks for reading!