I do love me some RoboCop toys, but after picking up the Hot Toys Diecast figure quite a ways back, and just about every NECA release, I decided that Murphy was well represented in my collection, and passed on the Hiya Toys 1:18 (roughly 4-inches) scale figures. But then it happened. Hiya solicited pre-orders for a Cain figure from RoboCop 2. Now all bets were off and I decided to go back and collect what I was missing from the line so I would be ready for Cain’s arrival. As a result, we’re going to take a quick look at four carded releases from RoboCop and RoboCop 2, and then I’ll open one and see what these little guys are all about! At least two of these are some kind of Exclusives, but I can’t remember the details on those.
Let’s start with RoboCop from the original film. All of Hiya’s RoboCops come on old style cards, which look very nice but they are definitely not collector friendly. One odd thing about the packaging here is that the cards each come in sealed window boxes, but they’re all punched and the condition of the cards are a bit rough by collector standards. It’s not a big deal for me, but it certainly may be fore more particular collectors out there and makes me wonder what was the point of the outer box? I love the layout of the original RoboCop’s card, and I really dig the character art. It’s gritty and looks like something from an old pulp magazine. You get some bullet holes superimposed over the image and a movie scene up at the top edge of the card. This is the figure that I’ll be opening to review.
The following three are all from RoboCop 2, starting with the regular vanilla flavor of OCP’s future of law enforcement. The sculpt on this one appears to be identical, but the paint shows some differences in how it portrays that purplish-hue that the armor gave off under certain light. The accessories are also mostly the same, but here you get Cain’s brain container, which is pretty cool! The character art on the card is a very similar pose, but it’s still all new art. Murphy seems to be jutting out his groin a bit more in this one. Cheeky bastard! You also get a scene from RoboCop 2 up at the top edge of the card.
Next, we have the battle damaged version of the last figure. There’s a new character pose on the card and the damage on the figure is mostly found on the front chest plate and the helmet, where he has the burn streaks from Cain’s arc welder.
And finally, and easily my favorite of the variants, you get KIK ME RoboCop, reflecting the scene where Murphy tried to go all Afterschool Special on a bunch of kids and they tagged him with spray paint. The card is given more of an orange hue to the deco and we get another new piece of character art, this time with orange paint on Murhpy’s helmet. I’m assuming it’s also on the front of the figure’s helmet, but I’m never opening this one to find out. It’s just the perfect figure to keep sealed. Also, this one does not come with the Cain Brain Jar. And that’s all the packaged shots I’ve got, let’s get RoboCop from the first movie free and see what he’s all about.
So, straightaway, I’ll credit Hiya for what is a spectacular sculpt for such a small figure. In terms of the detailing in the panel lines and all the finer parts of his exo-skeleton, I’d say this sculpt is every bit as good as what we saw on NECA’s 7-inch versions. And that’s intended as high praise, as NECA’s RoboCop figures are all quite excellent. The sculpted lines might be a little softer in some areas on this little guy, but I’m very impressed that they packed so much of it into so little plastic. They also really nailed his overall proportions, making even this 4-inch figure look powerful and menacing. The figure is simply a delight to hold in the hand and I just don’t see anything in this iconic design that got lost in the translation.
I will say that NECA’s version looks a lot cleaner and smoother, and I think that’s because of the painted finish on this little guy. And while I do like the more polished factory-new look of NECA’s, I think it was sacrificed by Hiya here to better recreate that purplish-silver hue that the suit reflects on screen and when seen in certain light. And to be sure, it’s not an easy thing to reproduce, although the Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece version did a nice job of it. NECA’s captured a little of that, but I think this figure does it better. Whether the trade off is worth it will depend on personal taste. I’m not sure this finish would have worked as well on a bigger figure, but in this scale I’d say it works very well.
The portrait is especially impressive, especially considering the smaller size and there’s only the lower half of the face to work with. Regardless, the likeness in that lower half is superb. The stern expression, and tightly pursed lips leave me with no doubt that it’s Peter Weller under that helmet. There’s a hint of overspray around the lower black part of the helmet and his skin, but it’s really only noticeable when you get in close with the camera. About my only other nitpick with the head sculpt is there’s a hint of seam running across the helmet from the mold process, but it’s really not too bad.
The articulation here contains most everything I would want in my RoboCop figures. The arms have full rotation in the shoulders with just a very little bit of lateral outward movement. The hinged elbows can do 90-degrees, and the wrists are ball joints. The legs have full forward and backward movement at the hips, and a little bit of lateral outward movement. The hinged knees can’t quite make 90-degrees back, and the ankles are hinged. The hydraulics on the ankles and back of the legs are designed exactly like the ones on NECA’s figure, allowing the piston to move in and out with the ankle articulation, and that’s damn cool for the scale! There are two ball joints in the abs, giving him a nice range of movement there, and the neck is ball jointed. The joints all feel solid and he has very nice balance. Robo is basically a walking tank, so I’m not looking for any kind of super articulation here, and I think what Hiya went with replicates his capabilities quite nicely.
You get one set of hands stock hands, which are just open with the fingers slightly splayed. Additionally, the figure comes with a right gun hand and a right fist with his data spike extended. The spike hand is cool, but the spike itself is very bendy and kind of hard to keep straight. What’s the point of putting Adult Collectible on the package if you can’t include a proper eye-poker? Either way, I understand why this is always included in these figures, but it’s not something I’m likely to display with him.
Especially not when that hand needs to be holding RoboCop’s trusty Beretta Auto 9. It fits into the gun hand snugly and he looks damn good holding it. No, the leg doesn’t conceal a holster, which is understandable for this size. Even when NECA pulled it off in the 7-inch scale, the mechanism was pretty complex and fragile. Still, it would have been cool to have part of the leg pull off and a replacement with the open holster pop on. But that would have surely required a big boost in the price tag.
Finally, RoboCop comes with a little stand to display him on. It’s a simple rectangular block with some sculpted tiles, which look like they’ve been crushed under the weight of our hero. If you noticed the weird H-shaped plastic pieces in the packaged shot, those are connectors so you can join multiple bases together and display all your RoboCopses on one big platform. It’s a pretty cool idea, and certainly a nice bonus.
In the end, Hiya’s little RoboCop isn’t going to replace the NECA or Hot Toys versions as my favorite, but that’s not to say I don’t love it a lot. The new scale certainly has possibilities that are already paying off with the upcoming release of Cain. And yes, Hiya has already released an ED-209, and I hope to get around to checking him out next week. And who knows? Maybe we can even get a Ford Taurus (or Mustang for you RoboCop TV Series fans) for this little guy to drive around in! Probably not, but a little wishing never hurts! Probably the best thing of all is that these little RoboCops sell for about $20 a pop, and that’s not too bad considering a lot of retro-styled figures with far less detail and articulation are among the competition at this scale these days.