In 1986, with about 13 million dollars, Paul Verhoeven started filming a movie that would become a cult classic in just a few years. His star, Peter Weller, would don a 90-pound costume of rubber, plastic, and working machinery and under-go hours of make-up for the roll. Weller lunged at the chance to be Murphy and won the roll without an audition, based on his size and his desire to work with Verhoeven. He spent hours with a mime artist learning his roll, and when not in character, it is said that he listened to mechanical music to keep his mind on RoboCop.
Set in old Detroit, in the shadow of Delta City, crime is at an all time high, and the police are becoming ineffective against it. While Omni Consumer Products grows as the world's largest consumer conglomerate, Detroit withers and begins to die. Detroit's mayor begins transferring police from less crime-ridden areas, like Metro South, to high crime sections of Metro West. Enter Alex J. Murphy, patrolman, and one of the lucky to be transferred.
Murphy was a man who had an endearing love for his family. The son of retired police Captain Russell Murphy, he continued the family tradition by becoming a patrolman. His only child, son Jimmy, idolized him as a dad and as a hero police officer. Sharing time to play football or sit in the family room to watch TJ Lazer, their happiness would soon come to an end, forever changed by one small bank robbery.
Murdered and brought back to life by the people he despised, RoboCop / Murphy starts his crusade against crime in the same department where in which he died. After racking up arrest after arrest he returns to Metro South for down time, only to begin having dreams and nightmares of his death. His dreams intensify as OCP tries to rein him in. RoboCop, using his data spike, finds that he is in fact Murphy and discovers what has happened to him, uncovering a twisted plot instigated by his boss, Dick Jones at OCP. Fellow officer Anne Lewis comes to his aid, and in a fine bit of action-adventure filmmaking, he finally gets his revenge upon his enemies.
Peter Weller explained one time that playing RoboCop was one of the best rolls he had ever taken on. "When I was making it, I knew it was going to be a great thing, but you never know whether they are going to be successful or not. I knew we where making a fantastic social allegory, and, I don't want to sound pretentious, a spiritual one as well." Weller wasn't the only one who thought that RoboCop was a good thing. During an interview, Kurtwood Smith was asked his thoughts on the movie. "I was really happy to do that part. It was a fun part. I could tell while we were doing it and by watching the dailies that it was going to be a good action film, was pretty sure it would be a successful film, but I didn't really know how interesting a movie it was because I didn't see the other parts being shot. I didn't realize the sense of humor of the film until it was all put together. And also a lot of the stuff Peter did made it deeper film than the comic book that it read as."
RoboCop was a success, considering it was made for a paltry 13 million dollars. Unfortunately, RoboCop 2 and 3 would not see the same glory and fame. Even so, the RoboCop movie franchise would spawn several comic book series, a cartoon series, a TV series, and a mini-series. It would lead to several popular model kits and plenty of toys. A trilogy DVD set came out a couple of years ago, which included cut scenes, actor interviews, and a behind the scenes look at the making of the movies. I have to admit though; I am a real fan of the TV series with Richard Eden playing the title roll. It made a great attempt to connect with the first movie without the extreme violence. It humanized the inhuman and dehumanized corporate America, all while keeping the gritty humor intact.
Actors in the suit:
- Peter Weller - RoboCop 1 & 2
- Robert Burke - RoboCop 3
- Richard Eden - RoboCop: The Series
- Page Fletcher - RoboCop: Prime Directives
The Head Sculpt
Hot Toys did a real good job with this. Screen shots and photos from the movie compared to the 12-inch model kit show very little difference. Sur, you can't spoil much copying only a chin and lips, but this is a lot considering that through 80% of the movie Weller had the helmet on and that the jaw and mouth look just like Weller's in close-ups. The helmet lens is clear red, and with a bright light you can see that the eyes are painted. Also OCP serial markings are present and clear in the crown band. BUT there has to be one complaint, which is... I wish it had A REMOVABLE HELMET!
Murphy is different than most of the Sideshow and Hot Toys figures in the fact that it comes with 6 different hands. You get 2 open / flat hands, 1 fisted with 1 clutching his Auto-9 hands, and a fisted and fisted-with-spike hand set. I like the various sets, but my only wish is that the fisted hands were made to hold things. Other than that they are great and can be made to replicate various action poses.
Representative of RoboCop 1 and 2, the armor is near-perfect in scale. With the serial numbers and OCP markings, the seams and screw heads are detailed nicely. The blued armor, representative of RoboCop 2, is done well, right down to the flexible toes and pivoting ankles. The heal actuators with their metal springs are a great detail. The body suit under the armor is replicated nicely in rubber and plastic. Detailed rib-for-rib and down to the gauntlets there is no comparison between this RoboCop model kit and any other.
The Auto-9: A must! RoboCop is not RoboCop without his Auto-9. The gun included is a nice copy of the real gun, which is a converted Baretta M93R. Many people believe that the boxy muzzle of the gun is shaped like a coffin. This could not be farther from the truth. The muzzle brake was based on a compensator used by some competition guns. When fired, the cuts spray flame in a menacing way. The Data Spike: Not designed as a weapon but as an input/output device for OCP's NCIC system, Murphy found it handy as a close in defensive weapon. Replicated here in shape and size and attached to an extra hand it is a great addition to Murphy's arsenal.
I have built other resin and vinyl RoboCop kits from various makers, and I have come to the conclusion that I should have just waited for the Hot Toys plastic and rubber version. While the other kits have set me back over $200, the Hot Toys beauty will set you back only $129 plus shipping. The leg holster actually opens and holds the pistol, plus you are allowed to change his hands and position him however you want.
The Hot Toys RoboCop is well worth the money. Well made and detailed nicely, this is one figure that, even though it may be out of your budget, saving for it is worth it! If you are a fan of movies and the other off shoots, you will be a fan of this figure. Mine sits on the shelf between RoboCop: The Series and the RoboCop Trilogy. Thank you for your cooperation. Good night.