Retro Review: Neca (2011) Robocop Action Figure


Image © Dan's ToyBox 2022

It's another Saturday RETRO REVIEW with Dan's ToyBox. Today, we dig into the depths of the toybox and find the 2011 NECA ROBOCOP! I remember when I first bought this figure. It was a complete impulse buy and I'm glad I did. What he lacks in articulation, he makes up for in sheer cool factor. I keep telling myself that I'm going to add more Robocop figures to my collection but haven't done so yet. Perhaps this will get me moving!


Alex J. Murphy was a loving husband, caring father, and dedicated Detroit Police Officer. That is, until the day he and his partner, Anne Lewis, responded to a call, that put them in a deadly game of cat and mouse with notorious cop-killer Clarence Boddicker. Murphy and Lewis pursued the gang to their hideout but were separated in their search. Murphy soon finds himself trapped, with no backup as Lewis has been incapacitated herself. Facing Boddicker and his goons, Murphy is brutally gunned down in cold blood. Enter OCP, the corporate conglomerate that essentially owns the Detroit Police Department. Murphy's dying remains are recovered and he becomes the first of a new crime fighting hero. Murphy is transformed into the Cyborg known as Robocop, OCP's answer to crime in Detroit. Covered in a Kevlar/Titanium armor, armed with his powerful Auto-9 pistol, built-in high-speed processors, radio monitoring capabilities, tracking and firing solution assisted software and ingrained with Four Prime Directives: 1) Serve the Public Trust, 2) Protect the Innocent, 3) Uphold the Law, 4) CLASSIFIED. Robocop begins his service and is hailed as a hero, until he uncovers a much darker secret and corruption within OCP. Prohibited from acting against OCP due to Prime Directive 4, Robo finds himself battling for his life against Boddicker's Gang, OCP's lethal Enforcement Droid series 209 (ED-209), and even fellow police officers. Will Murphy survive? (If you haven't seen the movie by now... what are you waiting for?!?)


How's that for a dramatic set up?!? So, let's not waste any further time and start talking about this rather cool figure! We will stick with our tried-and-true formula of Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability and give Robocop his overall grade of zero to five toyboxes at the end.



Image © Dan's ToyBox 2022

ACCESSORIES

Unlike the newer figures, this only comes with Robocop's Auto-9 Pistol and an alternate hand with extended Data Spike. As Neca began doing more with action figures, the amount of "stuff" they packed increased, but back then... eleven years ago... getting anything extra for this scale figure was a pretty big deal. Admittedly, I've seen toys with many more accessories that came out long before this figure was released, but on a much smaller scale. For the time this came out, other than perhaps battle-damaged swappable pieces or an alternate head, there really isn't much else we could ask for. That being said, it's still a bit disappointing to be so limited and though I like the figure, I can't really give it an accessory grade.



Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022


APPEARANCE

One huge thing that Neca has always done well is when it comes to the appearance replication of their figures. The amount of detail packed into this Robocop is incredible. First off, the silver/gray paint scheme of the armor is overlayed with an almost prismatic effect in which different hues are reflected off the paint. Much like in the first movie, upon which this figure is based, the effect looks amazing. The gloss black pieces are also very detailed to match the movie appearance. Even his weapon has its own share of detailed sculpting. Nothing is ignored on this figure. What impressed me most though, was the attention paid to small, yet noticeable elements, such as the OCP stamp on his helmet. and the blue internal workings of his thigh holster.


Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022

When you look at this figure, compared to his silver screen counterpart, you just can't help but be impressed with what Neca has done. Even the mouth sculpt looks like Murphy underneath the helmet. Looking at what Neca is doing now, all I can say is that they took great work from over a decade ago and have only got better over time. As much as I like import figures and the quality there, or the photo realistic tech used on Marvel Legends, I'll willingly admit that Neca is by far the best at screen accurate reproductions. Even at eleven years old, this Robocop stands the test of time and looks just as good on the shelf as his newer counterparts. I'm really happy to give him an A for Appearance.



Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022

ARTICULATION

Sadly, this is where Robocop meets his match. Yes, I get that he is limited by his cybernetic body for flexibility in the film and there is a designed mechanical purpose in his movements. That said, the design of the figure itself is a limitation to the ability to pose this Robocop. His head turns easily enough, can tilt, and look down as it sits on a ball socket. The same can be said of his shoulder joint. It sits on a ball and due to the design, cannot be raised out to his side much at all. The shoulder will fully rotate though. The elbows are a single joint which have terribly limited bend. In fact, in the pictures above, you can see the maximum flex for the forearms at the elbow. The forearms will pivot, mainly due to the peg for swapping his right hand out with the data spike hand. The upper torso has some limited twist to it and there is a lower waist swivel. The design of his legs allows for a full rotation, which means he can swivel his legs a full 360 degrees at the hip joint. His knees are on a single joint but bend deeper than his elbows and his ankles will hinge up and down, though there is no rocker motion. There is a spring release on the back of his right thigh, which opens the hidden holster that the pistol can then be plugged into. Simply pressing down on the front panel causes both pieces to snap back into place, making for convenient weapon storage. I do like the hydraulic "struts" on the back of his legs, which simulate the piston movement for his ankle hinge as well. Small details like that help to offset the overall limitations to this figure. Unfortunately, design alone is a large reason this figure can't move as well as I'm sure we'd all like it to do. You can get this figure into some of Robo's more conventional poses, but it's really more of a display piece than a playable figure in my opinion. Going to give him a reluctant A- for Articulation, though, simply because the legs are a pleasant surprise on the figure and even in the limited poses, he still conveys the greatness of the character.


AFFORDABILITY

I remember picking this figure up in a store, which no longer exists, at our local mall. The irony though is that I recall paying around $20 for it at the time. Looking online now, this figure is available on sites such as eBay for $40 and higher. If you are a fan of the character, this really isn't an unreasonable price to pay. The fact that it's only maybe doubled in value in over a decade makes this an affordable figure for any collection, which easily earns an A for Affordability.


Overall, the nostalgia value alone makes this a nice figure to have. Yes, it has shortcomings in terms of accessories and the limitations on articulation can be frustrating, but it's still fun and incredibly nice to look at. All things considered, I do really like this figure and will give it a solid:


3 out of 5 Toyboxes!

Make sure to check out our next review as I'll be further revamping the ratings system, in order to give you even better figure buying guidance! I know you were all probably hoping I'd find some way to work a Robocop quote into the review. Sorry to let you down, but until next time... DEAD OR ALIVE, YOU'RE PLAYING WITH ME. See ya!