Movie Maniacs 7

The seventh series of Movie Maniacs figures from Mcfarlane Toys are now hitting pegs, at least at some retailers. I've seen them at Gamestop, and I know Tower Records has them in, but other retailers like Media Play, Suncoast, Meijers and Electronics Boutique should have them soom.

This series of six figures is almost entirely based on a single film - the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now, I could go on a rant at this point about how putting together a series of the new Leatherface, Erin, Old Monty, and Sheriff Hoyt might not have been the best move, but I'm betting that to get the rights to do the new look Leatherface (which turned out excellent btw), they had to agree to a multi-figure deal. Unfortunately, when I see the amazing detail and sculpting on Hoyt and Monty, and can only imagine how cool it would have been had they gone with the remake of Dawn of the Dead instead, and given us three or four zombies at a similar level of quality.

While I had no interest in Hoyt and Monty, after seeing them on the shelf I have to admit they are excellent work. There's a huge wtf factor there though.  I won't even discuss Erin, in her driving-the-lane pose and less than stellar head sculpt, and don't get me started on Hicks, a figure that not only looks nothing like the actual film character, but looks nothing like an actual human.

There is one tremendously bright and shining moment in this series though - Robocop. Here's a character that's been campaigned for hard on the Spawn boards for years now, and all that work finally paid off in one of the nicest MM figures to date. That's who I'm reviewing tonight, and I picked him up at the local Gamestop for $13. I have some other suggestions for on-line buys at the end of the review.

Packaging - ***1/2
The usual McToys clamshell, with a nicely done insert. Good graphics, reasonable if not outstanding text, and the design shows off the figure well without taking up TOO much space. This style packaging resists shelf wear and theft well, and looks good hanging on the wall. Of course, if you open your stuff, be sure to have a heavy knife handy to get the sucker open.

Sculpting - ****
No matter what else you might say about Mcfarlane Toys, you can't fault their sculpting. At least not all the time. And this figure shows just what made them the industry leader.

This sculpt is extremely movie accurate, and I doubt that even the most particular Robocop fan is going to find much to complain about. Every detail is here, right down to the 'OCP Police - 001' embossed on the side of the helmet and printed on the left leg. While he lacks the opening holster on the side of his leg (and really, for this price did you really expect it?), he has all the minute detail that you expect and more. Perhaps the most impressive is the pistons on the back of his calves. These are attached to the foot and calf - and actually work! The ankle is articulated, and the piston moves up and down as you move the foot.  Yes, we've seen this before in the Terminator line, but I was still very pleasantly surprised.

A robot doesn't have nearly the amount of intricate surface detail of, say, a wrinkled up old man in a wheel chair, but they managed to make this sculpt one of the cleanest and most realistic of their entire line all year. The sculpt also works well with the articulation, providing an adequate range of motion, yet not disturbing the overall quality of the appearance.

The head sculpt seems a tad small, but after looking at some movie stills, I think it's much more accurate than I originally felt.  A swappable helmet-less head might have been nice, but isn't necessary to make this a terrific figure. 

His overall scale fits in nicely with the other MM figures, and can even work with lines like Marvel Legends if push comes to shove.

Paint - ****
Almost as perfect as the sculpt is the paint. There aren't that many paint ops of course, since Robocop wasn't some sort of day-glow, multi-colored, rainbow robot, but the silver, black and flesh tones all look extremely consistent and clean. The silver/metal paint ops are particularly well done, looking much more like real steel than simple plastic. This silver has a glossier finish than the black, making it reflect more light and appear more realistic.

There's a few minor mishaps, and the lack of complexity makes it far simpler to capture the look, but overall there's few nits to pick in this category.

Articulation - ***
Lots of people think of Mcfarlane toys as unarticulated statues, and I have to be honest and say that too often they are. But that's not always true, and this Robocop is a very pleasant exception. Don't go expecting 40 points of super articulation, but what's here is certainly adequate for most folks.

The cop previously known as Murphy has a pseudo ball jointed neck that clicks into place, ball jointed shoulders and hips, forearms, waist, pin elbows, pin knees and pin ankles. As I mentioned earlier, the nifty ankle joints tie in with the piston rods on the back of his calves, and as you move the foot back and forth, the piston moves with it. That's so damn impressive, especially in this scale and in plastic, that I'm still not quite over it.

The ball jointed hips aren't quite what you expect, either. Rather than a large ball on the appendage at the joint, the leg appears like a cut joint would. The post coming out from the torso has a ball on the end, and the appendage can then turn in more directions on this ball. It doesn't have quite the range of motion as a usual ball joint, but it looks far better and still works pretty well.  You can see the pins in some positions, but the joints aren't nearly as unsightly as standard ball joints.

Accessories - ***
Here's where he's a tad light, particularly considering the price point. He comes with two accessories - the required gun, and a display stand.

The gun has a great sculpt, but is a tad small in terms of scale. It does fit well in the right hand though, and he the scale issue isn't big enough to cause much consternation.

The display stand is pretty basic, with a barrel (I'm assuming this is one of the barrels of cocaine from the warehouse), box, couple guns and various spent shell casings lying around his feet. It's a decent stand, with nice sculpting, and shows off the figure well without overpowering it.

One thing that this series is missing is the marquees.  Either that, or in the progression of continuously shrinking from wave to wave, they simply got so small that they disappeared.  Either way, it's not a great loss, but it would have been nice to see the number of accessories increase in relation.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
I believe this is the highest fun factor I've ever given a figure from Mcfarlane, but it's clearly worth it. With a reasonable amount of articulation, a figure that stands well, and few parts (outside of the pistons) that can easily break, this is the most kid friendly toy they've done in years, if not ever.

It also helps that while the movie was pretty graphic back in the day, it's considered much tamer now. That's due in part to the weaker sequels that didn't have the teeth of the first, but it does mean that kids are more likely to know who Robocop is, and have fun with the figure.

Value - **1/2
I'm grading this at $13, which is what I paid at Gamestop. If you pick it up closer to $10, which is what I expect at Meijers, you can easily add another half star. The quality is great, and a ten spot is much more solid value.

Overall - ***1/2
This is by far my favorite of the seventh series of Movie Maniacs, and one of the nicest figures McToys has produced all year.  He's not quite perfect, but he's damn close to it, and I'm happy to add him to the shelf.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
I picked it up at Gamestop, but you have some on-line options as well. Unfortunately, he's packed one per case right now, so he may be a little tougher to find, but here's to hoping that the case assortment evens up over time:

- has the best price at $10, but who knows if they'll up and cancel your order if they don't get enough in next week.

- has him listed for $12.

- CornerStoreComics has him at $13, and are awaiting another shipment this week. They also have a set of all six for $75.

- Killer Toys has him for $17.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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