It’s finally time! RoboCop is here and I’m really excited to check out this figure! Those of you who have been kicking around FFZ, either here or on Twitter or Facebook, know the delays involved in getting Hot Toys’ RoboCop in hand. I pre-ordered this guy in May of last year. He was originally due to ship in Q1, but he got bumped back to August and then to September and then to October. There were times when my faith began to falter, but he finally shipped earlier this month and now that I have him, I can honestly say he was absolutely worth all the waiting and all the precious monies he cost. RoboCop is certainly one of my all time favorite movies, but even more than that I think this design is the one of my favorite iconic sci-fi character designs of the 80’s and that’s saying an awful lot. That’s why I’m so happy to say that the end result of Hot Toys’ labors on this figure is quite spectacular. In fact, I’ll lay it down right now that there are only two issues I have with this him, and one is really just an annoyance. Well, we’ve got a lot to look at, so let’s jump right in and check out The Future of Law Enforcement!
I haven’t been overly impressed with the packaging and presentation of some of my Hot Toys figures lately. I haven’t seen anything bad, but maybe not as special as they could be. I’m not really big into package design as part of the collectible experience, but when you’re paying a lot for these things, a higher level of presentation is expcted. This box mostly delivers by being something different and something special, and for a $300 figure it well should! The front and sides of the top portion of the box have illustrations of Robo and the whole thing is covered in a clear plastic laminate. The back features the cast of artists that worked on the figure. I love that Hot Toys does this. These guys are indeed artists and I it’s only right that they should get mention on the packaging.
The top three-quarters of the box lifts off to reveal a brick of styrofoam underneath with the RoboCop logo sculpted into it. Here we can take the top off to reveal the tray with the figure and his accessories around him. The back of the styrofoam has a smaller tray that lifts out the back and contains the instruction booklet, figure stand, the remote control, a magnet tool, and three button batteries. To activate the electronics you will need two LR-1 batteries which are not included. So, all in all, I think the packaging and presentation is a win. It’s elegant, it’s very collector friendly. The only other gripe I have is that I found it curious that “ROBOCOP” isn’t lettered out the way it looked on the posters or the film’s title screen. Robo comes out of the box and ready for action and he is indeed spectacular. As soon as I got him out I scrutinized the figure top to bottom and front to back to see if there were any QC issues, but this figure is absolutely flawless. There isn’t a scratch or a blemish anywhere to be seen and that’s incredible when you consider that almost every inch of this guy is either metallic silver or high gloss paint. The silver also gives off that exquisite purplish hue when the light hits it just so. In fact, I’m going to come out and say that I actually think the silver on this figure looks better in person than it does in the official publicity shots for the figure. How often does that happen? I’ll confess I was a little apprehensive about the use of diecast in the figure throwing off the balance or making it awkward to pose, but it does quite the contrary. The diecast in the lower legs give him a stable and steady stance even without the stand and Robo has strong ratchets in the legs to support him. And yeah, it does add that satisfying heft that feels good in a figure that just set me back three bills. In fact, that was probably the first thing I noticed when I removed him from the box.
There’s all sorts of great detail on the armor. Both the sculpted seams and the panel lining look phenomenal, but I’ll just point out a couple of my favorites other points of attraction. First off, I love the way they designed the pistons on the back of his calves. They’re hinged at the ankles and ball jointed at the tops and work like real pistons. The rods are also flexible so they will bend to accommodate the ankle movement until you reposition the ball joints at the top. To me, they also feel like the most delicate thing about the figure and require some care when laying the figure down. I also dig the OCP marking running down his left leg. The fact that OCP branded the hell out of RoboCop was a great extension of the film’s corporate satire. The carved lettering is sharp and looks great, both here and on the helmet.
Speaking of the helmet, the portrait is definitely up to Hot Toys best. I’m not sure if it was easier or more difficult for them to work with just the lower half of the face to get Peter Weller’s half-likeness, but they certainly nailed it. The skin tone is eeriely realistic right down to the pores and the way the entire helmet assembly fits around the facial area is perfect. The sheen on the black parts surrounding the head is so brilliant that it shows off finger prints like crazy, so it’s not a bad idea to have a soft cloth available for when you’re done handling him!
The articulation here is very well done. Let’s face it, RoboCop was a walking tank and wasn’t exactly a fellow with a lot of range of motion. I think what we got mimics his on screen capabilities quite well. The most impressive thing to me is the way the shoulder joints pull out a bit to give him that greater range of motion in the shoulders. Apart from those ball jointed shoulders, the arms feature hinged elbows and ball joints just below the elbows and again at the wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, heavy ratchets in the knees, a slight swivel just under the knees, and hinges in the ankles and again in the toes. The lower torso features a ball joint and the neck has a particularly generous ball joint. Weller relied on a lot of head movement for expression and the figure certainly pays respects to that.
Obviously, one of the coolest things about Robo’s design is the leg holster and Hot Toys certainly did it justice. To open it, you simply get your fingernail on the tab and slide the hatch to the back, revealing the holster inside the leg. The gun sits comfortably in the framework inside and is easy to remove. I’m a little surprised that this whole assembly feels as simple and solid as it is. I was a little worried that I would be afraid to open it because it would be too delicate, but in hand, I’ve got no such concerns. It’s just pure functional elegance.
RoboCop actually comes with two Auto-9’s, one plastic and one diecast. The plastic one features all the great detail and features that I’ve come to expect from Hot Toys’ Sixth Scale arsenal. The slide action on it works and you can remove the clip. The diecast gun is just a solid piece of metal. It has the same great detailed sculpt, but it lacks some of the paint apps. Why provide two guns? I’m still not sure on that one, but my best guess is so that you can always keep one in the holster. I tend to keep the diecast one holstered and I use the plastic one for when I want him holding his sidearm. The better detail is nice and I find that the lighter pistol works better in his articulated hands.
Speaking of hands, RoboCop comes with two sets of hands. You get fists and you get the articulated ones. The fists are pretty self explanatory. The articulated ones feature hinges and ball joints in the fingers and these are the ones you use to hold the gun. I’ve found it can be a bit tricky to get him to hold it and the finger tips will sometimes pop out of their hinges and need to be popped back in. I had the exact same issue with the mechanical hand on my Sideshow Major Bludd figure. The fact that the finger tip pops off isn’t such a big deal, but my biggest fear there is that I will lose one of his fingertips. Remember, I said I had two issues with this finger, well that’s number one. I wish they could have found a way to give him a regular gun holding hand.
You also get an extra right hand with the data spike deployed. It’s certainly a necessity to include with the figure, but I don’t have a lot to say about it. It can easily be used for hacking computer terminals or for stabbing bastards in the throat.
RoboCop comes with three extra faces, or in this case half-faces, all mounted on a nifty tray. You get “pursed lip” face, “partially showing teeth” face, and the fan favorite “gritting teeth in pain” face. The swap out is really easy. You just lift off the helmet and make the change. The helmet is held on by a magnet, but I don’t even think that was necessary as it fits snugly on the figure. I do appreciate extra options, especially in this case since with most of his face covered, Peter Weller had to be extra expressive with his mouth when acting the part. That having been said, of the three extra faces, I can only see myself using the clenched teeth expression. The differences between the other two are pretty minor. Plus, the pain face goes so well with the battle damaged parts.
Yes, even though Hot Toys has already revealed their forthcoming battle damaged RoboCop, they still included some extras to kit out this figure with some distress. Those damaged parts include a new helmet and a new chest plate. Once again the swap is easy. The chest plates just clip and unclip at the areas around the shoulder. The sculpting and paintwork on the damaged pieces are really impressive. At first, I thought the helmet looked more like the damage from the cutting torch that Caine used on him in the second film, but having consulted my Blu-Ray it looks pretty much in line with the first film damage. The chest features bullet holes, gashes, some scorch marks, and trails of oil leaking out through the holes and vents. It looks horrible, and by that I mean it looks great!
Of course, you also get a figure stand. In this case it’s a raised hexagonal base with the OCP logo printed on it and layered over with a glossy finish. It also has “ROBOCOP” printed on it in the official title font that was missing from the box. The stand itself is the standard crotch-cradle type, which works well as the wires can be bent out so that they position themselves right inside the gaps of his hip joints. If I had one beef about the stand is that it’s rather small for a figure of this stature. It works fine if you just have Robo standing at attention, but I plan on displaying most of the time with one leg up on the stand and the other on the shelf as he prepares to draw his pistol. To do that you have to turn the base a bit so that the stand will still grab him. No big deal. Plus with the way the remote control doubles as a name plate, you can always place it on the base to orientate the stand no matter what angle your viewing it from.
And that brings us to electronics. Robo features a rotating litany of iconic quotes from the film, but first you have to get him ready to go. First, the three included button batteries go into the remote… easy peasy. Next, you have to put two LR-1 batteries into the compartment in Robo’s back. First you use the official OCP magnet tool (love it!) to easily remove his back plate. Next, you need a small Philips head screwdriver to remove the battery door. This was a little tough as that screw was over-torqued like crazy and I was afraid I was going to strip it. Once the batteries are in you turn on the switch and close him back up. Pressing the button on the remote will cycle through each of his quotes…
- “Serve the public trust. Protect the innocent. Uphold the law.”
- “Drop the gun, you are under arrest.”
- “Thank you for your cooperation. Goodnight.”
- “Stay out of trouble.”
- “Dead or alive, you are coming with me.”
- “Com quietly or there will be… trouble.”
The sound clips are all clear, and while the recordings do pick up some background noise from the film, I think the quality is solid. But, herein lies my second an biggest gripe with the figure. Robo powers down after about five minutes of inactivity. To get him to speak again you need to remove his back plate and switch him off and on again. That sucks! I mean, thankfully the switch isn’t inside the battery compartment itself, but it still sucks. Sounds and lights are usually not a big turn on for me with these types of figures, but I was looking forward to using Robo’s voice chip a lot. With the bother involved, I’ll certainly be using it a lot more sparingly.
If ever a figure deserved the word “Masterpiece” in its title, then Hot Toys RoboCop is certainly that figure. I can’t recall another time when I had to wait this long or built up this much anticipation over a single figure. When I got him in hand, opening him was like an event. It was the culmination of almost two years of excitement and it encapsulated everything about why I collect these bits of plastic. At the same time I was a bit worried that he couldn’t possibly live up to my crazy expectations, but in the end he did just that… and then some. Even after a long wait, and $70 disappearing from my checking account every month for a while, I have no regrets. I’d probably rate it as the finest figure in my collection right now and it’s certainly the best representation of RoboCop I ever expect to own. Lately, I think some of Hot Toys’ releases have been received with a bit less enthusiasm than in the past. At least that’s the feeling I get from reactions in the collector community. Either way, Hot Toys really upped their game on this one. They did a stellar job and it’s made me all the more excited to start seeing The Guardians of the Galaxy figures ship next year! It’s also made me seriously start to consider picking up that Diecast Iron Man Mark III that’s coming out next year.