Terminator 2 is a movie that was marketed very well,- to the point that they got away with quite a lot. Yes, Terminator 2 did have money in mind as the dark gritty Terminator franchise would take the first step into commercialism and ultimately T2: Judgment Day and its success would be copied by studio fat cats to this day (always failing) and subsequently without James Cameron (the king of the world) and Gale Anne Hurd’s (the first lady of sci-fi) involvement the once mighty Terminator series would become one of the most generic summer action throw-away events known to mankind.
The bad now out weighs the good and we will never find that acceptable for a series that began in greatness.
While we are fans of the first two Terminator movies, even on T2’s release there were outraged ‘The Terminator’ fans complaining about the tone and way things were headed for the franchise, including Arnold being a good guy Terminator, the difference being that there was no mass internet presence for fans to have any sort of vocal opinion or to complain to the level we have today. While the internet has many negatives it can also come with positives as fans now can express an honest opinion without studios largely being able to shut them down even though they do a pretty good job at “terminating the naysayers”; obviously they can try but when a movie is as bad as Terminator 3 or Genisys then you are rightly going to get a big ear bashing from the real fans… at least Terminator Salvation began life as an R movie and wasn’t touted from the offset as a Soft R fraud like T3: ROTM or a blatant PG-13 cash in like Terminator Genisys which would take scenes from all 4 previous Terminator movies and bastardize them to the hilt tainting the whole franchise with the guilt by association tack and awful movie making.
2000 AD is the British born comic that stemmed from the core of ultra-violence and is most well known for the appearance of Judge Dredd. It was controversial, it was violent and the kids loved it. 2000 AD was the big middle finger to the system, they didn’t mind being vocal and sticking it to the man and the publication still goes strong today.
So, in 1991/92 who was better to advertise Kenner’s upcoming line of Terminator 2 Action Figures in one aspect of UK publication marketing?
Terminator Fan Sam Zerafa sent us this awesome scan of a full page T2 Kenner advert from issue 87 of 2000 AD Monthly.
In the UK you had to be 15 years old to watch Terminator 2 at a theater; an accompanying adult WOULD NOT gain you entry. The first Terminator was rated 18 from 1984-2001, in 2001 it was reclassified to 15 for the first ultimate edition DVD… The UK rating system reveals a truer representation of how the franchise has been watered down over the years. T1=18, T2=15, T3=15, T:S=12, T:G=12.
That did not stop Carolco/Kenner from targeting children with lines of figures for a movie that children would not even see at the theater (in the UK) but they pretty much knew that most parents wouldn’t give a shit if their children saw T2 in comparison to say the first Terminator movie, which used to be a pretty top shelf movie at your old video rental store. This made Terminator popular with kids, it was out of bounds and when your parents tell you not to do something like watching a particular movie, children usually do the opposite. This was much the same with Aliens; again a movie with Jim and Gale in lead, another line of action figures and another child in a lead role. The science-fiction horror of Alien and Terminator would be replaced with summer action driven stories, a certain level of artistry and acclaim would still be retained with the talent involved but serious money was to be made.
Arnold would remain the good guy from now on (the success of T2 determined it and so did political correctness and Arnold’s love of the family movie motif) but we still had a threatening Terminator in the guise of Robert Patrick,- who we consider THE TERMINATOR of Terminator 2. Without the excellent performances of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor and Robert Patrick as the T-1000 we would start to wonder if T2 would have turned out as good as it did.
One final thought… while not featured in the advertisement John Connor did get his own Kenner figure with dirt bike included, but a Linda Hamilton Sarah Connor figure never happened with Kenner; sexism again comes to mind and what a missed opportunity it was too, even Aliens’ Ripley got her own Kenner figure but thankfully NECA recently healed all those wounds with their fantastic Ultimate Sarah Connor T2 action figure… though it took a couple of decades and fan demand to become a reality…. THANKS NECA!
It also goes to prove that R Rated movies can have successful figure lines that can be hugely successful with children and adults.