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Robocop w/ Jetpack

Robocop
by Rustin Parr

Oh man, this is another figure we've been waiting a looooong time for, and NECA has nailed it!

It's Megacop vs. Megacorp when Detroit's cyborg crimefighter hits the streets to protect the innocent - this time from corporate greed! When the ruthless corporation that runs Motor City begins kicking families out of their homes to clear space for a profitable new real estate project, Robocop joins forces with a renegade band of freedom fighters to save them. But Robocop must face some deadly foes, including a lethally efficient android and a dangerous gang of thugs. Robocop's latest arsenal of high-tech weaponry only somewhat evens the battlefield as this one lone superhero takes on the entire army of corporate militia in an all-out war to control Detroit!

Robocop 3 is not only pretty bad, it's also the one I've seen the most (thanks to '90s HBO), and that was right in the midst of my jetpack obsession, so it's been a favorite design for quite a while. In fact, I got the model kit from the movie just because there were no good Robocop toys back then and it was the only way to get the jetpack.

We've already reviewed NECA Robocops four times already here on OAFE - plain and battle-damaged and gimmicky and even more gimmicky - and that's not even all the Robocops they've made! (We'll get to you eventually, 8-bit version.) This, though, might be the most exciting one yet. But it's mostly the same as those, so first, the repeats:

The packaging credits the sculpt to Thomas Gwyn, which means it's the same as one we've seen before, and the most accurate body available - with one notable exception.

This version includes the spring-loaded thigh with removable gun which is (and just as) annoying/frustrating as it seemed to be. It's remarkably hard to close the thigh with the rear panel popping off regularly and threatening to break the tiny plastic pegs and clips that are supposed to hold it in place. Likewise it's fairly tough to get the gun in or out of the holster.

The whole look of the thing is just "close enough" rather than the high level of screen-accuracy NECA is known for. I'd infinitely prefer a fully sculpted open thigh. I just can't believe they didn't do any sculpting on the interior to make it look less toy-ish. It's bad enough to be stuck with a play feature but one that spits in the face of NECA's illustrious and self-professed screen accuracy is just aggravating.

At least the play feature doesn't get in the way of the articulation. Robo gets hinged ankles and knees, balljointed hips, swivel waist, balljointed torso, swivel forearms, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge shoulders and a balljointed neck. But overall, I have to say the best thing is the paint on Robocop himself - it recreates the film's look perfectly, giving him a metallic blue sheen with a sense of iridescent purple. Silver will always be Robocop's true color but damned if this doesn't look really cool!

But I didn't buy the toy for the shiny new paint, and neither will you. Dearly beloved, the reason we have gathered here today is for the jetpack. NECA has really done a great job on the sculpt - I always imagined it'd require a retooled torso and glue but this sucker is fully removable and fits onto the existing figure very snugly (it is a bit tough to pop on due to the figure's head) and in extra trademark NECA coolness, the underside has a bunch of sculpted and painted wires, all of which are true to visual consultant Craig Hayes' prop for the film.

The pack really just rests on the toy's shoulders. There are notches where his shoulder-loops (or whatever they are) fit in, but that's just a space concern, not actual support - so no threats of breakage there. In the world of the film, the silver panel on the interior of the pack is an interface/power-up port meant to line up with the iPod-shaped whatsis on Robocop's back, and it still lines up perfectly on this toy (but again, it's just for show, not a physical connection).

The only real complaint here is that the "arms" of the pack are cast in pretty soft plastic and just connect to the jetpack with a ball-and-socket joint, so they feel like they'll rip apart every time you try to move them. Our advice? Carefully pop the arms off their balljoints, then reattach them. It loosens them up nicely. Alas, there are no swivels where the forearm armor joins the jetpack's arms, and that means there's no way to attach them to Robocop's arms the way they should fit.

In addition to the jetpack, Robocop comes with a big, giant gun from the first film (and whose two poseable kickstands seem like they're going to break off at any minute) and the totally ridiculous (fun) "assualt cannon" arm from the film. I'm really pleased they've done that cannon, though it feels like it desperately needs some muzzle flash or fire effects that could be plugged in. And if you look at stills from Robocop 3, it looks like part of the gun is missing, on the smaller muzzle above the main muzzle.

There are two packaging variations for this figure: the first wave just said "Robocop" across the top, while later shipments will rightly credit "Robocop 3" as the origin. Will one be rarer than the other? No telling. Also, who cares? The toy inside is the same.

No matter how many times I've seen the film, Robocop 3 remains pretty awful - thanks again, Frank Miller! But there's no denying the iconicness of Robocop speeding through the sky (speeding so you couldn't recognize that it was just a stop-motion puppet), just as there's no denying that NECA nailed the jetpack. There is a very good chance I'll end up getting a second one of these!

-- 12/24/14


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