Hot Toys ED-209

Jeff Parker is back tonight with another big review of a big figure - take it away, Jeff!

Thanks to Michael for his patience in me getting this review to you, but the eagle has finally landed; the Enforcement Droid-209 MUST be one of the most anticipated 1/6 figures of the year. And this being the year Takara and Hot Toys both delivered their Batman figures and SST started shipping their Star Wars and LOTR figures that’s saying something….in fact I guess a lot of you might disagree!

Hot toys seem pretty committed to this line and have given us two ED-209’s and no less than 3 versions of Robocop, the latest being in his flight suit mode, great bit of sculpting but sadly the film it’s from ‘Robocop 3’ was so bad it’s virtually unwatchable, so, cool as the hardware might be, It’s only really worth having the characters the way they were portrayed in Paul Verhoevens flawed but still seminal original, IMHO.

We’ve all seen the ED prototype photos, placed our orders and prayed (even the fully paid up atheists) that the production model would match what we saw in those early pics.
We all knew a 1/6 ED-209 would be bulky, and require a big box to protect such a detailed beast…. but none of us expected quite how big…this sucker even comes with its own carry handle. So this all adds up to a figure that’s:

A. Expensive to begin with (if you can find it for under $200 you’re getting one of the better deals) and…

B. Its bulk and weight (over 6 lbs) mean you’ll pay shipping (especially if ordered from the Far East) that’s more than a lot of folk (the sane ones) would consider paying for an actual figure.

But when the crate is finally sitting in your possession, you gently un-box and start to construct the thing……does the pain of its price recede?...was it worth the wait?...hmmmm! 

Packaging - ***
BIG…yes, its big, and while complimenting the other movie masterpiece figures in the range we all guessed it would have to be at least a little different, no pearlescent slip over sleeve here. The only other figures packaging I can liken it to was the Aoshima Terminator Endoskeleton from a couple of years ago. And while that figure came in one piece this one, like many others from this Hot Toys movie Masterpiece range is in semi kit form. All the various body parts are housed in a formed Styrofoam tray to protect the finer details, and on the whole they do a fine job. Mine made it all the way from HK to the UK virtually unscathed, I say virtually as one of the legs ‘extenders’ had come loose, but luckily wasn’t broken and popped back together. This Styrofoam tray is housed in the huge full colour box. This is covered in some great pics of the model and various production credits. It’s all collector friendly as well, so if it isn’t too hard to get him apart once put together he should go back no problem.

Sculpting - ****
It has to be said sculpting a robot or piece of hardware is always going to be easier than a flesh and blood character. But even taking that into consideration this looks better than some of the models used for the stop motion in the film….well at least as good! It really does have the feel of a movie prop rather than a figure and a hell of a lot of work has gone into every square inch of him, the details on the rocket launcher are nice (shame it’s not interactive/moveable) like wise, the leg extenders don’t work but the sculpting is still spot on.

From the Colonial Marines to their Predator line up Hot Toys have proved they have an eye for the finer details, and at the moment in 1/6 collecting that’s what it’s all about. All the wires and textures used here seem to replicate the original prop fantastically, and if I was rich/mad enough I’d love to get the battle damaged version as well. But if I had to make a choice…and lets face it I did, I’d rather have him in his unspoiled mode.

Paint - ****
With their Predators, Hot Toys proved they had moved 1/6 paint ops up a notch… to eleven! And those fine ops translate fantastically to a multi-faceted piece of hardware. So all in all I’m guessing this paint took more than 20 seconds to apply…sorry I couldn’t resist. 
It has an overall battleship gray paintjob with shading/weathering around bolts, rivets and joints, many details are picked out in metallic tones and the large black hood is made from a rubberised material stuck over the top. This is applied very well, but I always worry about the long-term problems of using rubber……on models that is! 

Articulation - **1/2
This is the only area where if I wanted to be cruel I’d say no cigar! Don’t get me wrong though, it has tons of articulation and you’ll have a ball putting this guy in ‘almost’ all of the signature poses, but there are a couple of issues. Firstly the leg extenders that Eddy boy uses to raise himself up to maximum height (ideal for crowd dispersal on an already crowded shelf of other lamer 1/6 figures) don’t actually work. I can see why…he’s heavy and if they had worked balance would have been a big issue. As it is he can stand fine, but for a figure we’ve all waited this long for, working extenders would have put the cherry on top. 

Now while on the topic of the fact he can stand fine it leads me well into the fact his feet can only move as one item, i.e. a ball joint at the ankle (be careful here as it’s brittle plastic and both were stiff to free up on mine). This basically means his ‘toes’ don’t move, I was really hoping they would, but alas no!

Apart from these issues the legs move well at the hips on ball joints and torso on a cut/spin joint the arms/cannons also have a great range being attached in the same way as the hips i.e. ball jointed. All these joints are covered in ribbed rubber so any means of movement is disguised once posed.

Now the movie Enforcement Droid-209 had issues with stairs (even with moving toes), most robots do. The Honda developed ‘Asimo’ is getting pretty good at it and if any body out there followed ‘The Great Robot Race’ we now know a robot (well…modified un-manned, non remote controlled car) can negotiate a ten mile course across the Mojave dessert.

ED-209 and Skynet flying hunter killers can only be around the corner…Yay!!!

Accessories - N/A
To consider this to be a character would be wrong, as I’ve pointed out its basically a piece of hardware, just a set of guns and rocket launchers that can just about navigate an urban area on legs (stairs aside!). No personality, no likes, no dislikes so what would its need for possessions be…exactly!

Outfit - N/A
Mines the exclusive Ski vacation version and came with salopettes and scarf….nah, only kidding, again zilch!

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is top of the heap as a display item and a fantastic accompaniment to the Robocop figure, which sadly I don’t have, (if anyone at Hot Toys reads this and wants to send me one so Ed doesn’t get lonely, I could be persuaded to take one off your hands).  So until SST deliver their Jabba and his all-important ‘yet’ sold separately throne, I think this guy will take pride of place in a lot of collections.

As far as ‘FUN’ playing goes, he’s reasonably robust but definitely not to be considered for kids. 



Stand in awe!

Value - ***
This is a difficult area to consider, but when compared to the Tak Bats, it fares well. There aren’t many figure that retail for $195 to $250 when fresh on the shelf, but like many of the 1/6 figures being released at the moment production is being far outstripped by demand. So if you want to get one you have to move quickly. Just look at how much the Medicom ROTJ Vader and Takara Batman I sited earlier are going for on eBay (regularly $230 to $300) and I felt stiffed when I spent $170 on Bats. So ask yourself, do you really need two kidneys anyway?

Things to Watch Out For:
I guess it obvious that supreme amounts of detail add up to a supremely delicate final product. 
Some of the materials used are a little more brittle than I’d have liked. But as long as you treat it with the respect it deserves you won’t have too many problems.

Overall - ***1/2
My ED arrived in the same package as the HT Movie Masterpiece Alien, I have to say the Alien has really blown me away and I’ll review it a.s.a.p. But when I got round to putting ED together I finally got it! It’s scale and attention to detail, give it a real WOW factor. Its home at the moment (and my wife assures me it’s his non-permanent home….I’m not so sure) is on a large cabinet in our dining room, so he stands about chest height to me (I’m 6’4”) and I can not go past it at the moment without a quick re-pose and play.

So all in all I’d say I cant give it a full 4 stars as those couple of articulation issues (in particular the non-moving toes) and the fact it‘s so expensive mean it quite frankly isn’t perfect. But if you’re thinking of getting one… DO IT! And do it quickly they seem to be selling out fast, I am relatively sure that if you can live with the issues I mentioned you will love it…...that said if you’re debating between this and the Alien, I’d personally say get the xenomorph!

Packaging: ***
Sculpting: ****
Paint: ****
Articulation: **1/2
Accessories: N/A
Outfit: N/A
Fun Factor: ***1/2
Value: ***
Overall: ***1/2

Where To Buy:
SST sold out of their supplies long ago, and not many are around on eBay, I just checked and there were two battle-damaged versions (ltd to 200 pieces world wide) for $229. But it’s always worth checking eBay on a regular basis, as just when you’re about to give up, things have a habit of bobbing to the surface.

I got mine from Charles on eBay who you'll find under Charlesay and Kidultgarden and even though I left ordering mine till late, he managed to find one (along with the HT Alien) and as always shipped to me quickly and without fuss. So if you’re having trouble finding something it’s always worth asking Charles or your usual trader if they can lay their hands on one. There’s bound to be some warehouse down some dark alley in Hong Kong with a few left….at least that’s what I tell myself!

You’ve probably spotted the deliberate mistake! I said I didn’t have Robocop, but having ED without him just seemed wrong and I decided I had to get it out of a public service to Michaels dedicated readers for the photo’s. So I’d also like to thank eightballpete, who you’ll find on eBay under the same name, for giving me an offer on Robocop I couldn’t refuse.

Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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