Monday, February 2, 2015

Figma RoboCop Part 1

The release before the RoboCop explosion in 2014

After reviewing the third pack from the Gundam Construction Scene (MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM ガンダム大地に建つ) gashapon set, an action figure from the Figma series will be the focus next. ^^

Figma RoboCop
Production company: Max Factory
Release date: November 2011
Price: 3,333 Yen (exclusive of tax).
Product link

Thanks to the reboot movie by José Padilha in 2014, we got a couple waves of RoboCop merchandises hitting the market before the release of "Transformers: Age of Extinction". ^^ While most of them are from the new movie, many hobby companies pushed out action figures based off the old RoboCop from the original 1987 movie by Paul Verhoeven, which are clearly aimed at older fans who grew up with that movie as part of their robot fantasies (me included). ^^ Somehow this "complimentary" merchandising of having toys from the reboot movie coming out together with those from the original movie felt a lot like what Takara Tomy did with their Transformers Movie Advanced line, where the first dozens of releases were a mixture of figures from the fourth Transformers movie, and selected few from the previous three. Then again, many of those Transformers Movie Advanced figures were just rehashed versions of their original releases, while all the RoboCop figure mentioned above were new ones.

Interestingly, this Figma version from Max Factory was released way before the other hobby companies "caught up". ^^ Shooting for the reboot started around September 2012, so the announcement of the movie must be out way earlier than that. Did Max Factory capitalize on that early announcement, and dashed out as the first Japanese hobby company to release this Figma version? or was it in their plan all along? ^^ Either way, I do know that many fans got this figure as well, and its hot-selling status prompted some to try to pawn it off with ridiculously high prices on forums not long after its release. ^^;

As (slightly) mentioned above, the original RoboCop was one of my favorite designs among all mecha-related subjects when I was very young. The movie is very violent, and I noticed that even with the heavy censoring on all the blood and gore from that movie (and all other movies actually) when I first watched it on TV decades ago. ^^; Like the movie itself, the design of the titular character is just as memorable. ^^ There's just something amazing about the clunky RoboCop suit that makes it instantly lovable, at least to me. ^^ By today's standards, with various live-action movies depicting cyborgs, or men in mechanical suits showing super-human flexibility despite having mechanical parts, and incorporating more superior firepower, the original RoboCop design can be considered "obsolete". ^^; Then again, when nostalgia kicks in, the original RoboCop still looks awesome. ^^ For those who grew up watching Peter Weller as the original RoboCop, I'm pretty sure the limitation in technology back then, which include hardware, software, and even the awareness of the subject matter played a huge role in defining the iconic image of RoboCop. Because the idea of extensively blending robotics with a living man was still rather far-fetched in reality back then, we don't need overly fancy design points to wow us. Pistol holster inside the hip, cool; automatic target locator with zooming ability on the goggle monitor, awesome. XD

Trailer of the original "RoboCop".
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

Or maybe all of us were just too simple-minded as kids, and were easily amazed at whatever that seemed cool, or interesting. ^^ Then again, that attitude is not a bad thing at all. ^^

Given the mechanical design of RoboCop, I find it interesting that it wasn't Kaiyodo that put out an action figure of RoboCop first. ^^ It would be a just entry in the Sci-fi Revoltech line, given the classic status of the original RoboCop movie, and the fact that the Revoltech line feature tons of mecha characters - definitely more than Max Factory's Figma series when RoboCop was announced. ^^ Then again, I put more emphasis on the design and quality of an action figure than who makes it, so having RoboCop as a Figma release rather than a Revoltech figure was never an issue to me. ^^

Except for its set of option hand units, and Figma stand, the content of this Figma figure can be seen easily through the front window.

The iconic blocky design of the movie title can be seen on the front window as well.

Typical Figma design on all sides of the box.

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

Box open.


I love how the movie title on the front window casts a shadow on the inner face of the box when the content tray is removed. The design is most likely unintentional, but the effect is pretty cool anyway. ^^

The figure's option hand unit set are placed on a second plastic tray, stored on the back of the top tray.

Front view of the first tray, without the backdrop.

First tray content without the top cover.

Closer look at the content.

Rear view of the first tray.

Closer look at the details.

Second tray content without the top cover.

Rear view of the second tray.

The folded instruction sheet from the content.

The instruction sheet included shows the part-swapping feature of the figure's pistol holster gimmick.

Straight out of box display of RoboCop. ^^

A pretty simple-looking backdrop, but the circuit board pattern most certainly matches the character very well. ^^

Oddly, there is no cover skin cutout section for di:stage display base on the backdrop. The movie title logo may be a bit too wide to be featured for that purpose even if you cut it out according to display base's size. ^^;

A look at Figma RoboCop's accessories and option parts in the next posting. ^^

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