Monday, December 9, 2013

Toy Review RoboCop 1.0 from Jada Toys

I had a bit of a problem when I was around twelve years old. I was totally obsessed with RoboCop.
That may not sound all that crazy. But you have to get past the modern overuse of the word “obsession”. People throw it around all the time now. Some chick in the middle of binge watching a show on Netflix is going to say she’s obsessed with it (I say “chick” because females seem more willing to misuse this word than males). She’s only spending a couple of hours a day watching the show and only if it doesn’t interfere with other stuff in her life. She isn’t buying every bit of merchandise she lays eyes on. She can’t recite lines, let alone involuntarily talk along with the show without even realizing it.
People these days don’t even know what obsession is. Nobody’s attention span is long enough to become obsessed with anything because the combination of the internet and the proliferation of portable, immediately accessible media has made us all retarded.
Obsession is coming home after school every single day and watching the VHS tape that you recorded RoboCop on to the point where the tape snaps and you panic because you aren’t old enough to buy a copy and the TV listings don’t show RoboCop coming on HBO again so you might have to go who knows how long without watching the best movie you have ever seen in your life that is barely over a decade in length.
I recorded it again within a week or so, this time on the “SP” setting – best quality and less play time. I always used “EP” for stuff because you could get six hours onto one tape, but the AV quality wasn’t a s good and it stressed the tape more. So for the new recording of RoboCop I used “SP”, I only put RoboCop on the tape, and I snapped the little tab off so it couldn’t be recorded over.
When I say “after school every single day” I am talking about between three and six months, which is an eternity to a twelve-year-old. I know every line. My lifelong love of Peter Weller, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, and Miguel Ferrer are because of this movie. My relationship with Paul Verhoeven started here. And I think this was the first non-horror movie I saw with ridiculous, over-the-top gore. Sure, there were the big action flicks and they were plenty violent, but RoboCop is fucking disgusting. To this day.
I was not upset when I heard about the new RoboCop. If you know me, you know I don’t mind remakes, reboots, reimaginings, or re-pretty much anything. I see such things as an opportunity to update a franchise or look at it in a new way. And it looks like the new RoboCop could be successful at doing both.
But regardless of the quality of the new film, I wasn’t going to be able to walk by a new RoboCop figure in the toy store and not buy it. Especially one coming from a toy company I had never heard of.
First Glance: The packaging was the first clue that ol’ Officer Murphy was coming from some weird, new toy maker. No self-respecting company sells tri-logo stuff in America. But the figure itself looks surprisingly good coming from an unknown entity. It doesn’t appear all that sturdy, but the detailing is nice.
Articulation: This guy has great articulation for a 3.75” scale figure from a new company. I know I’m driving that point into the ground, but for decades now the rule has been that toys from new companies suck. As the review goes on you will see my utter shock at this toy not sucking.
Head – swivel
Shoulder – ball joint
Elbow – swivel/pivot
Hips – ball joint
Knees – swivel/pivot
No, that’s not a ton compared to my normal reviews, but the fact that the knees and elbows all use dual-purpose joints is very exciting.
The shoulders and hips are a bit loose, but in a weird way. They sort of flop around, but still hold poses.
The elbows and knees function well. I could do with a bit more of a pivot, though.
All of the joints function about as well as I could want and defy my expectations by being sturdy. I did a lot of futzing around with this guy and nothing broke off.
Sculpt: I’ve only made the most cursory examinations of the new RoboCop suit because I do my best to avoid spoilers, but just from looking I feel like this is a fantastic sculpt. There’s lots of detail and the lines between all of the plating and gizmos are clean and distinct. The guy still kind of looks like the mech suits from the GI Joe movie, but don’t you think that’s a bit more reasonable than the clunky, older version?
The joints are integrated into the sculpt and are unobtrusive. Of course, this is fairly easy to accomplish on a mechanical figure. I’d like to see how this company does with a more human profile.
This new visor makes RoboCop look kind of bizarre. Like a bird, sort of. But the figure got it right, so good job. The only real sculpt issue is that the right hand looks a bit mushy. Not as bad as an 80s Kenner figure or anything, but it’s a bit sausage-y.
Honestly, this is just a great sculpt. I think the picture alone without scale reference could pass for a 6” figure.
Coloring: I opted for the version with the silver deco for a few reasons. First, it is reminiscent of the classic RoboCop design and I will always like that. Second, it would provide a better indication of how good this company was with paint apps. Third, it just looks more interesting.
It turns out Jada toys is mostly good with paint apps.
The mechanical portions look superb. The black portions are a bit flat. The silver portions have a nice metallic look. What impressed me the most in this age of lackluster paint apps and corner-cutting were the little pistons painted silver in amongst the black portions. Not just that they are painted so well, but that they’re there at all. Jada Toys could have easily left those off and nobody would have thought twice about it.
The flesh parts – the jaw and right hand – are a good hue and don’t look weird or anything. The only issue is the red on the visor. It blots outside of the sculpt just a bit. It wouldn’t be a big deal, but the red is so vibrant against the rest of the figure that it stands out. I bought two of these – one for me and one for Lil’ Troublemaker – and both had visor paint that was very slightly off.
Overall, though, this figure has very solid paint. Again – I am surprised. And pleased.
Accessories: RoboCop comes with two guns. One is an update of the pistol we all know and love. It’s basically just bigger and badder-asser. The paint on this thing is astonishing. Okay, maybe not astonishing, but it’s great. The fact that it even has paint is a shocker. That the paint is applied well and cleanly is amazing. Yes, I was right the first time. It’s astonishing. Also, the figure can hold it perfectly. It doesn’t store in his elg, but c’mon – these guys are on a roll.
The other gun is more like a rifle. It fits into RoboCop’s left hand and looks pretty rad. The stock fits around the figure’s arm. And once again the paint is great. The fact that “OCP” is stamped on the clip is insane.
Side Note: OCP (or Omni Consumer Products) is called OmniCorp in the new movie, so I’m not sure where “OCP” comes in. Maybe it’s just OmniCorp Products. I dunno.
Packaging: While I am always delighted by a simple blister card, this one is bogged down by all of the languages. It has a nice shape and eye-catching design, but the triple labeling make it look cheap and crappy.
I like that there's a synopsis of the flick on the back. It makes things seem very slightly less cheap and crappy. 
The full range of products isn't very... full. But if everything is as fun as this figure I think it's a good start. Better than flooding the market with 20 variations of the same scale RoboCop, anyway.
Value: This figure is an absolute steal for only $6.99 at Toys R Us. If anywhere else does end up carrying them I doubt they’ll be cheaper, but TRU does tend to be the most expensive place to buy toys.
Overall: I am totally delighted by this action figure. Aside from the visor paint it looks great, the sculpt is excellent, the accessories look great and can interact with the figure, and it’s just fun to play with. I want to give it a perfect score, but it doesn’t quite get there. This RoboCop is still an outstanding release from a new company. I can’t wait to see more.
4 out of 5
I haven’t checked to see if these are online anywhere, but Toys R Us had plenty of them. Rest assured, I plan on buying and reviewing one of the 6” scale versions. I might even pick up the black version of this one. I’m curious to see if they might have used different glosses.
-Phantom


4 comments:

  1. I think I'm gonna grab one as soon as I see one. FYI, Jada Toys is a well known toy company that specializes in Die Cast cars. It is surprising that a die cast toy car company managed to make an action figure THIS good...

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  2. im just waiting for them to make 1 diecast since its from a diecast company

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    1. I'd like to see that. An affordable die-cast RoboCop would be cool. I say affordable because I'm sure some Japanese company has done one and I'm sure it was five hundred dollars.

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