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Battle-Damaged Robocop with Chair

by yo go re

NECA's first new collector toyline, 20 years ago, was Hellraiser - something fans had been asking McFarlane Toys to make for years, but were repeatedly told it wasn't possible. Two decades on, "the undoable" remains NECA's brand.

NECA first made a Robocop in 2011, and kept dribbling out related releases over the next few years, with the last ones being based on the RoboCop vs. Terminator comic. But 2022 was the 35th anniversary of the original movie, so NECA did two new releases (that just squeaked in under the wire in mid-December): a regular Ultimate release, and this deluxe set.

The Robo in this set is battle damaged, which we've seen before. Comparing this to the 2012 figure, it appears to be the same sculpt, and we would have declared it to be so, if not for the credits on the package: the insert from a decade ago identified Thomas Gwyn as the sculptor, while today's box says Kyle Windrix and Jason Frailey. Windrix did the original 2011 release, and is credited for the concurrent Ultimate Robocop, so we're going to take a big chance here and say that the credit on the deluxe box is simply wrong, possibly copied and pasted between projects with no one catching the mistake. Or maybe Chris Longo was just given the wrong info to work from. It happens.

The good thing is, for specifics about the figure, we can now just point you at that review. There are some paint differences between the two - the oily, dirty slop on the silver chassis is going to vary from figure to figure anyway, but the collar around his neck is black this time rather than accidentally being left unpainted, so that's an improvement.

What's new and what's driving sales of both these 35th Anniversary releases is the inclusion of a second head. After years of trying, NECA finally gets to give us a Peter Weller likeness! (Previously, the hold-up was that they couldn't even get Weller's agent to ask him about the rights, not a question of costs; clearly things have finally changed.) The head is the same on both figures - no different expressions or deco or anything - but there's no mistaking who it is. The odd stare, the pursed lips, the bullet wound in the forehead... it's pure Murphy!

While a removable helmet would have been our first choice, that wouldn't have worked as well as what we've got here. The entire shell of the head has been removed, silver helmet and black casing alike. That means we see a lot more of the mechanics and inner workings, making it clear that this is a machine, not just a man wearing fancy body armor. The heads swap out on a balljoint, and since these are existing bodies, you should be able to finally unmask your older Robocop toys, too!

Robocop comes with an interchangeable "data spike" fist and his Auto-9 pistol, though using the Battle Damaged molds means he doesn't get the working leg holster (the Ultimate version does, though, so get that if you want it). The gun gets a new muzzle flare piece that can slip onto the end, which is a cool little inclusion.

The thing that makes this a deluxe set is the inclusion of a chair. No, not like a wrestler [although... --ed.], the chair he sat in at the police station for diagnostics/​repairs/storage. Like when the robot at the grocery store backs into its little charging dock. This is a full, freestanding piece, not some half-measure. It's about 7" wide, 8" tall, and 3½" deep, and is sturdy enough that the toy can actually sit in it.

But this isn't just an average display base thing: pieces actually move and adjust the same as they would on the real prop. The monitors and the arms they're mounted on rotate, the head/backrest can slide up and down, the arms of the chair move forward and back, and the entire seat can turn on the support arm that holds it up in the air. You can even lower the footrest! The four tiny wheels on the bottom actually roll! This thing is like a high-end gaming chair, except it doesn't look stupid. There are unidentified knobs and dials on the counterweight area, and black plastic tubs run all over the back, connectiong things. Seriously, this is an Accessory of the Year contender. There's just one thing we'd change: the image of Robocop on the TV screen appears to be a still from the film; why not make it a photo of the toy?

Getting a Robocop figure with an uncovered Murphy head fulfills the last outstanding item on the wishlist we made back when NECA announced this license - success! I'd be happier if this wasn't 85% the same toy I already bought in 2012, but then, that's why I went for the one with the chair instead of just the plain Ultimate release: it makes the double-dipping easier to excuse. And hey, reusing the old body means all the old toys are just as compatible with the chair as this new one is, so there's a lot of fun to look forward to.

-- 04/02/23

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