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PLAYBACK 2019_ The RoboYear in Review... (and the Decade)

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Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:27 am Reply with quote

Happy New Year RoboFam. As the fireworks bang outside my window louder than shotguns in a disused steel mill, here's a quick Robo review/round-up of 2019 and the decade I think we are calling the Tens...

10 / Dishonorable Mention
KFC commercials

These even managed to annoy Neill Blomkamp. Funnily enough I only saw them once when I sought them out, so I've almost forgotten they happened now. Weller returned to overdub the actor in the suit. Made me want to go vegan.

Citizens Arrest trade paperback

Makes more sense reading in one go then installments. It's actually not a bad story, but the character of Robo feels completely wrong (why that coat?? at least in PD, you could argue it was meant to be funny) and actually feels they've attempted to weave him into the story after - it worked with John McClane in Die Hard 3. No so much here.

R2 Deluxe OST

I’ll be honest, I never cared for this score. It's one of the things I dislike most about R2, but for completion, it's nice to see it get the same treatment as the other classic trilogy scores.

R3 MAF EX figure

Screen accurate with R3's silver/grey tint. Completes the trilogy set.

R2 MAF EX figure

Great ideas for props (Cain brain!) put this one just above the R3 counterpart.

5 / Honorable Mention
Capital Combat 90 official VHS

Didn't even know this existed. My brother managed to locate this on eBay as a Christmas present.

Bottleneck Gallery Mike Bryan Art Print Foil Variant poster & Matthew Skiff Foil Print Art poster

Amazing pieces of art. I don't know what else to say. Just look at 'em!

Super 7 figures

A melting Emil figure (aka Toxic Waste Thug)! Okay, it's not screen accurate like Neca could do, but it's an affordable price. Great blister card art on both Robo & Emil, and the Night-Fighter style NYCC Glow-In-the-Dark exclusive editions knew how to appeal to my love of retro throwback stuff. Toxic Waste Thug Life!

RoboDoc previews

The YouTube preview really gave a taste of just how slick this documentary is going to be. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Click here-> The team also appeared at a sci-fi convention in Manchester, UK in December with a further preview.

Arrow box set & steelbook

So last year ended with news that Arrow would be releasing an edition of RoboCop. A few people (myself included) where sceptical as to whether they could improve on the 2013/2014 MGM reissue. Well, actually they didn't (it IS the same transfer) but what they did instead was provide a whole bunch of new features and some lavish packaging that was just too good to pass up. The new box art is fanastic, showing all the main characters including a ghostly presence of a very human Murphy. But just to keep us purists happy, we finally got a steelbook of that classic, iconic '87 poster image (something I've been hoping for since steelbooks became a thing.) The exclusion of "Flesh + Steel" is very odd, but at least it means I have an excuse to keep hold of my MGM Blu-Ray. Inclusion of the TV version material was something I really did not expect. Arrow, I salute you. Now, if you could do the same with R1 & R3... Smile

So that's the year.... Now as a bonus....


NECA line

Whilst RoboCop never gets the same love as their Predator line (which now exceeds 100 figures!), nor Alien, nor even Terminator, it's nice to see Neca starting to include some affordable variants in their line. I still hold out hope they'll do some Ultra Police updates one day. If you haven't snapped up the ED-209, it's been re-released recently.

The Definitive History book

Great looking, glossy hardback coffee table book. RoboCop logo is even embossed under the dust cover. Easy to overlook a few minor annoyances like no Animated Series pictures.

Basil Poledouris Complete Soundtracks

Both R1&3's full scores were reissued in full on CD, with R1 receiving a silver vinyl release too as part of Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn’s classic soundtrack range.

BOOM! Studios' RVT Gallery Edition & Dead Or Alive series

With their new 12-part original story, titled "Dead Or Alive" in 3 collected trade paperback editions, BOOM! Studios gave us the best new RoboCop comic since the Dark Horse days of the early 90s. Even more exquisite was the massive RVT Gallery Edition, boasting Walt Simonson's original line art from the classic crossover comic.

Chronicle Collectibles 1:2 scale RoboCop bust

I never understood the appeal of half-scale busts until I started seeing pictures of this beautiful piece in the days when I used to do social media. Although the likeness is more-or-less perfect, it's that paint job that really makes the piece pop. Loved it so much, I went straight on eBay to buy an Arnie T-800 bust for him to face off with.

RoboCop 2 & 3: Collector’s Edition Blu-Rays

Finally, Scream Factory’s releases gave us the special features that fans had been waiting for since the barebones vanilla DVDs of the sequels in the early noughties. Highlights are R2's new transfer and BTS footage, as well as Fred Dekker's candid director commentary for R3. (Still need that R2 graveyard scene though. Come on, RoboDoc team!!)

Hot Toys Robo Battle-Damaged Version & Alex Murphy double pack

Just when I was almost starting to get bored of different companies snatching up the rights to the franchise and just putting out their version of a clean helmeted Robo, Hot Toys released both figures that I'd been hoping for since I was 10. Great likeness to Weller, with intricate detail to the bodies. See NECA/Chronicle, toy companies CAN get Weller's likeness - but presumably it's pricey.

Chronicle Collectibles ED-209 & RoboCain Monster statue

A screen-perfect statue of the iconic ED-209 in a fantastic mid-walk pose. And whilst I'll always be fonder of ED than Cain, there's no denying that Chronicle knocked it out the park with their complex Cain statue. One of the very few RoboCains that have ever materialized (we're still waiting threezero!!). Amazing box art too!

Enterbay 1:4 RoboCop 3 figure

It seems sacriligous to put a Robert Burke figure above a Weller likeness on this list, but this figure is one of my favorite Robo pieces. Unmasked, complete with jetpack and stand, it just looks fantastic.

2014 film

Regardless of whether you love, hate or meh this movie, it was good to see Robo return to cinemas where he rightfully belongs.

Just as the original took satirical swipes at Reaganomics, this incarnation sends up the drone warfare of Obama’s tenure. Although set in 2028, the film essentially grounds the original man-in-the-machine concept in the recognizable real world of the time it was released, much like the Christopher Eccleston series of Doctor Who or Batman Begins.

Murphy does not have his memory blanked (not until later anyway) and so spends a lot of the film in the state he is by the end of the original. There is even an explicit reason this time why Robo has to be a man in a machine, rather than a robot.

Although the critical response was mixed, the film holds a respectable scores on IMDB and Amazon with general viewers. Even if you hate the film (and I know a lot of you really do!) looking back, it was still the biggest thing to happen to the character this decade, and led to a renewed interest in the franchise. Robo lives!

So that's the year and decade wrapped up. But what next for Robo?


Chronicle Collectibles 1:1 Robo Bust
Although the battle-damaged version has now been cancelled, this clean version has been resculpted following unfavorable feedback earlier in the year and now looks fantastic. Available for pre-order, due to ship in Feb 2020.

Following the YouTube and Manchester sci-fi convention previews, this ambitious documentary should finally arrive in 2020.

Hiya Toys Trilogy figures
One clean from each film, then a PX exclusive battle-damaged for each too (all helmetted though). '87 figs due August.

...and of course RoboCop Returns
Now Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe has taken the reins, we should get more pre-production (and maybe production news) on this new theatrical RoboCop movie.

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Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:55 am Reply with quote

I personally would have swapped the Mafex R2 with the Super 7 in your list, and put Mafex R3 right below. Don't get me wrong I really like the S7 figs especially the inclusion of Melting Man Emil and their cheap price point.
But the Mafex are astoundingly excellent pieces. They are some of the best figures I've seen for their scale and absolutely worth every penny and then some. The R2 and it's well done paintjob and likeness/aesthetic work alone deserve to put in much higher. And then there's the awesome accessories. And that follows with the R3 as well. Honestly they're the best Robo figures you can get aside from the Enterbay and really the only thing it has going for it over the Mafex is size.

BUT I didn't do this list so bah. tongue
Otherwise I agree pretty much totally. Yes even with the R2014 mention that however much of a shit-taste it left in one's mouth it was indeed a catalyst for renewed interest in Robo as a whole that has culminated into every remotely awesome thing about Robo in the past half-decade, which includes pretty much all the rest of the stuff on your lists. (dumbass KFC ad not included in that, of course).

Well here's to the '20s roaring in even more RoboCop awesome! Smile
I don't wanna pay that, PhotoBucket. Now maybe you haven't heard, but I'm the guy in old Archive. So hows about you just shit snow for a year and I'll figure out something else. Sayonara!

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Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:08 pm Reply with quote

Nice list, if a rough year. You know its been slow for Robo when the list is pieced together with honorable mentions and unofficial sources, and a further delayed documentary taking the #2 spot. However, it hasn't been such a bad decade for RoboCop and there are many great things on your end of decade list. Personally, my favorite RobCop product of the decade is the RvT Gallery Edition, something that was quite unexpected but totally perfect and remains a highlight of my RoboCop collection. Also, seeing a picture of all the NECA toys shows what a strong line of figures they quietly put together over the past few years. While new RoboCop content may have reached an all time low, there is no shortage of amazing and high quality RoboCop figures to pick from now, and that's gotta count for something. The number one spot on the end of decade list really does show what the biggest even for RoboCop was this decade: the reboot, which slithered back into the shadows quickly for the average moviegoer and by the end of this decade is mostly only remembered or at least talked about by us RoboCop fans. So yeah, not the best time to be a RoboCop fan, but if this is the decade of the reboot then I am optimistic that the 2020's will bring us a true RoboCop sequel. Or at very least that RoboCop documentary should be out by 2030 so at least these is still something to look forward to!

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Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:14 pm Reply with quote

Great fun to read the list as always! Smile

It hasn't been a very good Robo year that is for certain. Here's hoping 2020 doesn't go by without some actual progress for Robo returns.

The Robo2 figure and super7 melting man was the only real original products we got, as much of the rest was more variations of the same stuff we already got. The arrow Robo1 release was nice but yet another edition of a movie I have too many copies of already. ( i still got it of course...)

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