Collectors appear to be excited about NECA’s new TRU-exclusive Nightfighter Robocop (Pixel Dan’s review here, AFP’s review here). It’s a homage to one of my favorite childhood action figures, Kenner’s Robocop Nightfighter (Pixel Dan’s review here). The vintage figure was initially a mail-away promotion, though later it was sold on card. I’m proud to say that as a kid, I actually mailed away for mine.
Before I go any further, let me say I absolutely love NECA and everything they’re doing right now. I will forever owe them for the well-articulated Evil Dead 2 figures they’ve given us, and once I get a super-articulated classic masked Predator and the new Aliens warrior, my debt will be upgraded to full Wookie-life-debt status.
I will concede the point that if you need to make an exclusive Robocop figure, a glow-in-the-dark one that pays tribute to a beloved earlier figure makes sense. And that retro packaging is awesome.
However, let’s be honest: the fact that the figure glowed in the dark could be argued as much as a liability as an asset. Unless the glowing is part of the character’s gimmick, I hate glow-in-the-dark figures, because they’re just pointless variants.
There were three things I liked about the Kenner Robocop Nightfighter figure. The first and most obvious is the fact that his right arm was a giant chaingun. The second is that his left arm was also a new sculpt and was pretty cool. And finally, I actually quite liked the shiny blue highlights on the figure and the way they played off the otherwise-useless GITD color. And did I mention his right arm was a giant chaingun? Sadly, none of these aspects are featured on the NECA figure.
Can you imagine how awesome the chaingun would have been? I understand why NECA couldn’t do it – aside from tooling costs, the company presumably only has the license to the first film, and Robocop never appeared with a chaingun in that movie. But why no blue highlights? If you’re doing a very obvious tribute to a vintage figure, you might as well go full-bore and make the figure that much more interesting.
Maybe this is all obvious and I’m just playing the Debbie Downer here. I just wanted to explain why I probably won’t get what would otherwise be a must-buy for me.