My undying love for Robocop has been well documented here in the past. I’ve bought everything from the excellent NECA figures to the crappy vintage Toy Island stuff. I even have three hundred bucks down on Hot Toys’ new figure, which is now pushed back to August. Oddly enough, I’ve never owned an ED-209, but 2014 certainly seemed like the year to change that. The best choice seemed to be Hot Toys’ version, but even I have my limits, and as much as I would have loved to pony up another $400 on Hot Toys’ ED-209, I managed to stay my hand and I have NECA to thank for that. The fact that they were releasing their own ED-209 to go with their 7-inch scale figures meant that I could add a quality Urban Pacification Robot to my collection without having to break the bank. Will the NECA version scratch my OCP itch? Or will I wind up signing up for ED-209 Flex Pay after all? That’s what we’re here today to find out.
NECA is usually all about clamshells. Hell, even the huge Motorized Patriot from their Bioshock Infinite line came in a gi-normous clamshell. ED-209 bucks that trend with a regular old box. The front of the box features some awesome artwork that looks like it could be on a billboard advertising the newest OCP product. In addition to proclaiming ED-209 to be “The Future of Law Enforcement” the fine print reads, “ED-209 has superior firepower and the reflexes to use it. Developed by Omni Consumer Products.” Man, I love that shit! It really gets into the spirit of the movie. The two side panels show photos of the actual toy and the back has a picture of the toy with NECA’s own Robocop figure and a list of some of the toy’s features. I’m very happy that NECA went the boxed route, as it’s more collector friendly. I’m really anxious to get this guy out, so I’m going to start slicing some tape!
Inside the box, ED comes snug and twisty-tied into his own little cardboard garage. There’s a bubble wrap packet on top to protect his head. It took me a while to get him out, mainly because I wanted to be extra careful. The plastic used for this toy isn’t what I would call rugged or particularly durable. Plus, ED has a ton of little wires and delicate parts and I was a little worried about ripping something off of him while extricating him from the inner box.
So, wow! The detail on this thing is absolutely insane. This is literally the first time I’ve ever personally seen, let alone held, a 3D representation of ED-209, so I spent a long time scrutinizing every little nook and cranny with a big dumb smile on my face. Obviously this piece owes a huge debt to the design artists from the movie that created not only this design but the iconic Robocop suit itself. ED’s design is great because it’s totally credible. It looks like something that we could have cooked up in the “not too distant future” and the only downside of the film for me is that we didn’t get to see enough of him. Someone should have made a game where you got to play as ED-209 rampaging through cities. Actually, I someone more or less did, only without the license. It was called Futurecop LAPD.
Of course, a bitchin design is nothing without the sculptors to back it up and that’s where the wizards at NECA come in. They did a beautiful job recreating all the tiny bolts that hold the plates together as well as the clusters of wires in the arms, the textured dome, the whirling discs and hydraulic pistons in the legs, and even the teeny-tiny caution and hazard labels. All the little attention to detail really sells this thing as a miniaturized version of the OCP death machine. A lot of times I look at a collectible toy and think, “Yeah, that company did a nice job with that.” I look at ED-209 here and I think, “Oh man that is a labor of love!”
The paintwork on this piece is exceptional. Sure, ED’s not the most colorful killer robot in town, but his utilitarian blue-grey finish features a nice metallic sheen and it contrasts beautifully with the matte black that makes up most of the toy’s other coloring. Most impressive are the little instances of brushwork on the exposed wires and cables, the individually painted missiles, the hazard striping, and the little accents of silver scattered here and there. Beautiful!
With all the amazing detail, it was a little difficult to figure out which of ED-209’s parts are actually articulated and which are static. There’s actually a bit less articulation on this piece than I was expecting, but that’s not really a complaint. For example, I expected the toes to be hinged and they aren’t. I don’t mind, because I think having them static creates a more solid foundation for him to stand on. Leg articulation does include swivels at the hips, which allow the legs to move forward and back in a walking motion. They will also swivel outward and inward where the upper legs joint the lower legs. Lastly, the legs do actually extend thanks to ratcheting sliders. I love this feature, because you can shorten him to better fit in a tight display case, but if you want to give him a little extra height on Robo, that’s your option.
Moving on to the upper body, the shoulder plates are hinged and the arms can rotate up or down at the shoulders. The elbows are hinged on some pretty cool looking gears and each gunpod can rotate 360-degrees. The missile launcher on the right arm can also slide into firing position. Lastly, ED-209 can swivel left and right at the waist. I’m particularly happy with the arm articulation, as you can move them inward to target both on a single object.
And that brings us to the electronics. ED has a button located a bit behind his right shoulder. I’m not sure what the first sound clip is supposed to be. It may just be ED-209 powering up and it’s really the only dissatisfying sound in the rotation. If you keep pressing the button you’re treated to these classics…
“Will you please put down your weapon? You have 20 seconds to comply!”
[Growling] “You now have 15 seconds to comply”
[Machine Gun Fire]
“You are illegally parked on private property. You have 20 seconds to move your vehicle.” [Footsteps]
The machine gun firing clip is absolutely hilarious. It lasts for a really long time and is peppered with screams. It also sounds like it’s going to power down about halfway through and then it starts up again. It’s a veritable symphony of carnage. The only thing that’s missing is the sound of ED’s tantrum from when he falls on his back and can’t get up.
NECA’s ED-209 retails at around $60. Some may argue that’s a little steep, I think it was was worth every last penny. The sculpt is staggeringly good making for a wonderful piece that displays flawlessly besides any of the 7-inch Robocop figures. Well, maybe not the glow-in-the-dark one or the 8-bit one, but he looks great with the rest of them. NECA didn’t go nuts with ED’s articulation, but what’s here is quite serviceable and the result is a very solid toy that has absolutely no trouble standing up. I’ve had this beauty on pre-order since it was first unveiled and I gotta say he lived up to all my expectations. I have no doubt that Hot Toys version is going to be a behemoth of beauty, but I can comfortably say I’m happy with this version. It looks fantastic and, above all, I won’t be afraid to play with it from time to time.