|Character Design||Syd Mead|
Review by VF5SS
My first exposure to Robocop came with fleeting glimpses of a dodgy early morning cartoon that I would later revisit through hilarious Youtube montages. Kenner created a tie-in to this cartoon with the Robocop and the Ultra Police line. The only knowledge I had of those toys was through a catalog that was also advertising some weird toys of buildings that could fall apart as their action feature and the sadly forgotten MEGAFORCE (I only had Brimstone). In the mid 90's when American animation was going through a rough patch, there was a new cartoon called Robocop: Alpha Commando in where Robocop was revived by a special organization to fight the criminals of the future (like some weird dude made of wires) alongside a really hawt cop lady and same nerdy dude that was in every cartoon back then. For whatever reason they gave Robocop a bunch of built-in gadgets that would activate as a separate robotic voice voice would call out the name of the device. I also played the decent little SNES game Robocop vs. the Terminator.
Funny that all these things came from a violent R rated movie.
Long before Paul Verhoeven would deface a book that only I like, he directed the blockbuster hit called Robocop. I believe I saw the sequel before ever seeing the original Robocop as that's how the local channels chose to run weekend movies. In preparation for this review I did take the time to re-watch the original Robocop to get a feel for the character and give me ammunition for pointless nitpicking. Robocop is a film that plays to the strengths of Verhoeven as a director as it creates a grim vision of that perpetual 80's near future where one good cop played by Peter Weller (and his lips) has one very bad day on the job. In the broken down rust belt of old Detroit, the corporate conglomerate OCP runs the police force and seeks to replace human officers with stair impaired robots that squeal like a piggy. Barring that, one freshly deceased man in uniform makes a perfect volunteer to be converted into a cyborg using the power of bulky CRTs and the best in American Tokusatsu level technology.
Max Factory's Figma line continues to both astound and disgust many toy buyers with its coverage of a wide variety of subjects. While the majority of the line consists of anime and anime byproduct characters of the female persuasion, it has branched out into bold new territories like Kamen Rider Loophole and even the King of Pop himself.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the newest breakthrough in toy shelf law enforcement. Commanded by a combination of powerful effect parts and PVC construction. This is Figma Robocop.
Figma Robocop is a highly anticipated release as it is one of the few Figmas that isn't one of many interchangeable waifu characters. Robocop stands 155mms tall and is primarily painted in a metallic gray with purple highlights to capture the look of the original costume from the first film. Will nitpickers (who are legion) may notice the proportions on this Robocop are somewhat slimmer than the costume. Having recently rewatched the film I noticed after I stopped staring lovingly at his lips that Peter Weller is a pretty skinny guy which helps keep the bulk of the suit down. The toy is a more proportional take on the overall design. That aside, the Figma's sculpt still captures the overall feel of a proper Robocop. The only drawback to the figure's default state is the holster gimmick leaves a small seam in the right leg.
Once you take your eyes off Murphy's firm pneumatics, you can see a lot of detailing is given panel lining to accentuate the mechanical bits. Also the pistons that connect his calves to his heels do in fact work. Do note that the ball-joint on the piston can pop out when posing which will cause the piston to fall out of the shaft and possibly get lost in the carpet. OCP doesn't give replacement parts for cheap.
Practically every detail for the chest plate is replicated on this figure. The metallic paint even has a good shine to it which belies the PVC construction of the toy. All black parts are done in a glossy finish. In some ways the figure has a greater freedom of movement than Peter Weller and his stuntmen did as the Figma has both an upper chest swivel and a ball-jointed waist. His shiny black diaper is not connected to the waist in any way to allow it to move with the hip joints.
Now here's the one area where the Figma Robocop falters. People following this toy through its development noted that before it was hit with numerous delays, the prototype had a much more detailed face sculpt. Possibly due to issues with licensing Peter Weller's lips, Max Factory decided to base this face off of Mr. Weller's less known Asian counterpart Piitaa Ueraa. Honestly, I can't help but see :3 when looking closely at the head but that doesn't bother me for some reason.
Ueraa-san isn't quite as handsome without the helmet.
Regardless of issues with the face, the details on the helmet are spot on. From the terminal port on the back to the tiny lettering along the blue band, the details are all there. Robocop's head sits on a double ball-jointed neck that moves about as well as the costume can.
Also included is a separate damaged face mask to replicate Murphy's encounter with Mr. ED. The scorch mark detailing is alright, but there is no visible eye through the hole in the visor.
I would like to point out Max Factory's excellent paint application process as both upper helmets are actually cast in flesh tone plastic. You can see a small unpainted spot in the middle of each piece.
The arms are interesting as Max Factory attempted to replicate the costume's lack of lateral bicep movement by insetting the hard plastic Figma joint into the the upper arm. You can pull it out a bit for a normal bicep swivel. Observant readers can see this figure comes with some nice open palm hands unlike some lesser SH Figuarts.
Can you fly, Murphy?
Despite the overall thoughtful design of the articulation, there are some funny things that happen when you pose Murphy to the extreme. The plastic sleeves around the shoulders and hips meant to seal up the gaps between limbs can force things into goofy positions. Also note there is no detailing on the soles of the feet save for a tampo copyright mark.
In the days before USB, Robocop had to interface with near future 80's computers using this computer access device, which fans have nicknamed the "dataspike." Information technology is never a lewd gesture.
Also included are a pair of pointing hands for when you need to tell someone to step outside.
Of course Robocop's most memorable and toyetic gimmick was the leg mounted holster for his gun. Naturally due to the size of the figure this does involve some parts swapping. The top piece is the default leg cover while the bottom two are the replacement parts that represent the open holster. The left piece represents the opened leg panels and is made of softer PVC while the right piece is the holster itself and is made of hard plastic.
To pry off the default panel, start at the rear of the thigh to unplug the two pegs holding it on. Then insert the holster piece in first follow by the opened leg panel piece. The holster connects to those two vertical slots while the opened leg panel piece goes into the holes at the back of the thigh.
Just slide in the gun and you're ready to replicate some movie magic.
Robocop's signature weapon, the Auto-9, is a fairly detailed accessory despite being rendered in glossy black painted plastic. Coupled with the very natural feel to the articulation, you can achieve many of the iconic poses seen in the movie. My Figma came with two right and one left gun-holding hands. No I have no idea why it has two right gun-holding hands as they appear identical.
For the figure's only effects part, you get a plastic muzzle flash that fits around the barrel of the gun. You kinda have to lightly jam it on there. One attached, you too can replicate the Auto-9's distinct gunfire effect as well as its unlimited ammo feature. Now you're ready to mow through henchmen to get to the President of the Federation, who was once a loving father until he became a living sin against creation.
Come quietly or there will be... trouble.
Imagine some hapless extra being squibbed up there.
He totally killed some guy with his arms cross while not even looking at his target.
The ever present Figma stand allows you to indulge in your wildest Robocop fantasies.
Also included is the official Figma baggie for when you need to recreate scenes of Robocop trapped inside a plastic otaku bag.
Robocop is a very solid figure and compares favorably with my only other Figma, who is also of the robotic persuasion. His shoes don't excite me as much though.
My only personal gripe against this figure is the lack of a Cobra Assault Cannon. For some state of the art bang bang, Murphy has to borrow from a friend.
Coming soon to NBC:
He's a smart-mouthed, watermelon loving beetle but he's a by the book chunk of flesh in an iron lung.
Together they're gonna clean up Manhattan Gamma.
The Figma Robocop is an excellent action figure and a very solid entry in the Figma line. Having a much wider appeal and a (theoretically) lower price than most high-end figures, this Robocop is perfect hand candy for your shelf or desk. He certainly gets along with the citizens of my shelves.
|Posted 6 December, 2011 - 20:04 by VF5SS|