Review : Robocop w/Jet Pack NECA, Robocop 3 Wave/Series : N/A Released : Sept 2014
It is a fact that once NECA have a successful sculpt under their belt, they do their utmost to ensure that sculpt is maximised in terms of variant releases. From the initial Robocop we have had a damaged version and a video game version. The same figure is rolled out again here, but now with a wealth of added value and this time based on Murphy's appearance in the 1993 sequel, Robocop 3.
Robocop comes packed in the NECA clamshell packaging, with a brushed chrome effect design and sporting the Robocop logo. There were two variations of packaging, one bearing the standard Robocop logo and a second with the red outlined Robocop 3 logo on the header.
The card back continues the brushed silver design and is quite different to a lot of other NECA cardbacks. First off there is no background for the figure or the film, something that is usually included on a NECA release. Instead the top two thirds of the card is made up of three panels, trimmed in a black and yellow hazard design. Each panel contains an image of the figure, each representing the three individual looks - Assault Rifle, Jet Pack and Cannon Arm. Under this, and taking up the bottom third or so is another hazard design trimmed panel which shows the three steps in opening the spring loaded thigh holster.
Once the outer plastic is cut away and opened you will find the main insert tray where Robocop and the two weapon pieces are strapped into place. Behind this is a smaller tray containing the Jet Pack.
Robocop stands dead on 7 inches high, so he doesn't dominate any of the other NECA figures in terms of height and is consistent with the reported height of Robocop (Peter Weller) at 6ft.
The entirety of the figure is a complete re-use of the original NECA Robocop figure, but when you have a great sculpt then why tweak it. The armour is all beautifully designed and captured and there are loads of little bits of detail all over the figure. Checkout the imprinted serial number on the left thigh, and the imprinted police reference on the either side of the helmet.
Murphy's facial sculpt, or rather the bottom part of it, is well done - although as this is the original figure reused, it is a likeness of Peter Weller and not Robert John Burke who replaced him in the 3rd movie.
While the sculpt is a direct carry over, the paint job has been overhauled to match the bluer hues used in the costume of the 3rd Movie. This looks great, and has some subtle variations and an almost pearlescent look in places. Contrast is provided by the black gloss gloves and the chest and groin area. My figure, as you can maybe make out in the images, did have some paint flaws on the chest but this will be an isolated issue and I put it down to battle damage.
The face, the other contrasting paint area, is picked out in flat flesh tones with a pinker lip colour. And if we are talking detail, have a look at the figure from the chin upwards - and you will see the bottom of Murphy's nose in the rim of the helmet. This could have easily been left off, but it is that attention to detail that keeps NECA ahead of many other manufacturers.
Articulation was never brilliant on the original figure, and there has been no change on this one. Due to the bulk of the armour you won't get much movement out of any of Robocop's limbs, but then again that pretty much matches what we saw in the movies.
The head is probably the most manoeuvrable part and this can move to each side as well as looking up and down. The shoulders will rotate round fully, but any outward movement is blocked by the upper part of the shoulder armour. The same can be said of the single jointed elbows, that get about 45 degrees into the bend before stopping. There is no wrist movement, instead the entire black section of the forearm rotates - and it will be very stiff out of the pack so maybe apply some heat to ease it into life.
There is a joint under the chest plate that allows some movement in the torso, and it is this torso joint that becomes crucial if you are wanting to pose Robocop in any kind of action pose where he is shooting his weapon.
The next joints are the hips which are quite flexible on one axis, and you can sit Robocop down with legs out straight. Like the arms though, and sideways movement is blocked by the top of the thigh armour. The knees are a bit more compliant with a satisfying ratcheted joint allowing a full 90 degree bend.
The feet are also on a simple joint, and the beauty here is the piston on the reverse of the leg which actually moves in and out as you bend the feet. The ankles however have no sideways movement, so anything other than a neutral pose will see Robocop standing on the sides of his feet. The ankles also feel a bit weak and once you add the weight of the jet pack I can see these flopping forward and overbalancing the figure really easily.
One of the big selling points of the original figure was the spring loaded thigh holster, and I was pleasantly surprised that this has still been included on this figure despite all the other accessories. The workings are really well hidden, and the joints so tight you may well think there is nothing there. The only obvious workings when closed is the triangular release switch hidden round the back just above the right knee.
Once pushed the thigh holster clicks open with the two panels separating centrally with one moving forward and the other moving back. Inside the holster you will find another accessory, the iconic Robocop handgun. I do applaud the engineering that has gone into this mechanism, but it is quite flimsy and anyone with fat fingers will find the panels pop off too easily and getting the gun back in place and the panels closed is really difficult.
The gun is another direct re-use of the original weapon, and cast in plain black with no real paint detail although the sculpt is crisp enough and it fits neatly into the right hand with the trigger finger slotting into the trigger nicely.
The second accessory is a swap out cannon arm for the left hand. As I mentioned earlier, the wrist joints are very stubborn on this figure and the same can be said to pop off the arm and more so to replace it back on. However, once the forearm is off the cannon slots on neatly and looks really good to vary the look of your Robocop figure. Like the hand gun, this is cast in black plastic - with a tonne of detail, but no paint apps. A metallic drybrush would have really drawn out some detail.
Packed in with the figure, although from the first movie rather than the third, is the Cobra Assault weapon. This is a beast of a gun, and is almost as long as the figure itself. Again, cast in black plastic, this piece does have some additional features with a flexible rubber shoulder strap and some working struts to allow the weapon to be supported when fired. Robocop can hold this weapon, but in one hand only - there is no way you will ever get him to cradle it. Most fans, if you are going for screen accuracy, would pass this weapon to the original silver Robocop for him to use in his face off with the Deluxe ED-209.
Finally, the title piece of the whole figure - the Jet pack. Now where as the other accessories lacked a bit of paint detail, this thing has paint apps to spare. It is a stunner. Essentially this is sculpted and cast in a gunmetal finish, making it look metallic, but also used rather than fresh off the production line.
The sculpt detail is really good, down to the individual hydraulic piping round the back to the exhaust vents and hydraulic pistons. This is all supported by some neatly applied red paint lining out various areas and some contrasting yellow paint under the shoulder thrusters and round the back of the hand grips. The hand grips themselves are painted in a yellow and black hazard design. And if you want to applaud NECA for attention to detail, where none is really required, then look at the paint apps inside the pack where the wiring is painted red and yellow and additional pieces are painted silver. All this detail is of course then covered up when Robocop wears the jet pack!
There are no pegs, plugs or straps. The pack is designed to snugly slot over Robocop's head and hug his shoulders and fit the curve of his armour - it is perfect engineering. At first the lack of any articulation or joints on the hand grips of the Jet Pack is confusing, but then you realise they have been cast in a flexible plastic so simply bend round into Robocop's grip and will then move fully in conjunction with the arms.
So here is a great figure, re-used yes but in my opinion made better with the addition of some specific accessories and some very clever engineering of a jet pack piece that would have sold this figure on its own - let alone the inclusion of the Cobra rifle, the cannon arm and that spring loaded holster. His articulation isn't the greatest, and of course he will also suffer a little with the stigma of that 3rd movie which was in broad terms perhaps one sequel too far.
If you ignore the blue tint colouring, this is as close as you will get to an Ultimate Robocop figure at this point in time considering he comes with accessories that you can use to represent looks in all three movie's. I am going to score the Jet Pack Robocop a 4 out of 5.