Today, I have the privilege of reviewing a 1/6 scale prototype action figure from the fine folks of ThreeZero. This time, it’s a figure based off the 2014 Robocop film reboot, the EM-208. These bots were probably the coolest looking things in the whole flick.. even if they (spoiler alert) were only used in the first half the movie and were basically canon fodder for Robocop.
I actually just watched the film the other day for the first time and while some of it remains close to the original Robocop, it’s certainly not as gritty or near as memorable as the 1987 classic. The entire time I was watching it I kept thinking of all the different ways they could have made the movie so much better… and that ending? OOF!
Eh.. it’s a rental.
That sentiment doesn’t reflect my feelings for ThreeZero’s bot. This being a prototype, some things may change and there’s probably a couple of things that should.. but out of the box, ThreeZero has delivered a highly accurate, articulated toy version of the EM-208 that should definitely please fans!
The Low Down
As I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to collect Robocop (2014) memorabilia.. it’s all about the face-value aesthetics for me. ThreeZero has put together a pretty impressive looking 1/6th figure. The EM-208 reminds me of the Real Steel bots in a lot of ways. Super detailed, with layers of plates, pistons, cables and cylindrical mechanical bits running all over him. If you’re into the bot from the film or simply think the design is cool, then you’re going to dig it.
The majority of him is made of ABS and PVC plastics (with some rubber under-armor) which results in him being of fairly light construction while being durable. Makes posing and balancing him a snap!
There’s a lot of great weathering all over the EM-208. A few dents here and there also give the impression that this bot has been working a beat for awhile. The downside of the paint job is that it’s an overall steel look, which in itself is kind of drab. Unlike a more colorfully painted up bot like say, Ambush from Real Steel who has a great blue paint scheme, beautifully weathered and rusted up, EM-208 is a wash of grey.
I’ll say again, very accurate to the character itself but because of that, you have to look a little closer to really appreciate the details ThreeZero put into it.
As expected, ThreeZero stuffed a bunch of points of articulation into this guy.. though it’s definitely not the most elaborate or forgiving I’ve seen. You’ll be able to get him into the most common of poses, but try anything too ambitious and you’ll hit a wall fairly quickly. For example, there’s a ring around the hips that prevents the legs from being pushed very far forward or back. You can’t make him run, maybe speed walk, but never run. He also has some limits in his shoulder area that prevent his arms from going much further than 85 degrees out in front or to the side. If you wanted to put him in say, a John Woo style, dual gun blazing pose… if you don’t bend the elbows, you just can’t get 90 degrees with it. This basically means if he fires at hostiles roughly his same height, he’ll be shooting their nipples all day. Shooting nipples… ALL DAY!
You can watch our preview video for a full articulation and lighting feature preview.
We’ve had motorized functions before in figures from both ThreeZero and 3A, like the rotating fan in Atom from Real Steel or the mini gun on M.aK Krote, but the EM-208 has the first action feature I’ve seen from the toy making gurus.
The guns hide in the wrist and are held in place via spring tension with a simple wheel/peg trigger. To release it, simply twist the wheel and the guns pop out from the spring loaded chamber. It works decently well and is actually pretty cool to play with.
My only gripe about it is that it doesn’t really nest in the wrist as cleanly as you might want it to. I sorta expected it to click into place, but it’s just sorta wedged in there. When the gun is released, the panel on top of the forearm flops around freely and loosely on its tiny hinge. This is a sample figure, so it’s probably made some rounds through a lot of people’s hands. Maybe it’ll be a little bit more polished once they ship. Even as-is, the quick-draw feature works well enough and most importantly, it’s fun.
A lighting feature is becoming an expected thing on ThreeZero toys these days and they’ve really gotten it down to a science. The red visor glow looks menacing and great!
The back plate covering the switch and battery cover pops off easily (but not TOO easily) thanks to some magnets and a little peg. Makes it super easy to flip the lights on and off whenever you please. To power it you’ll need the usual tiny AG1 batteries.
I’d liked to have seen the light feature expand down into his body like the film version. Instead, the red body lights are painted on. They’re pretty tiny, so I doubt it’ll ruin the figure for anyone.. but it would have been a cool touch to see.
As I mentioned before, the new Robocop movie didn’t do a whole lot for me, so I’m having to look at this figure purely from an aesthetics angle. From that perspective, by and large, it’s on point. So my main gripe about him has nothing to do with my interest in the film or how well made/designed ThreeZero delivered him. The thing that bothers me about the EM-208 is that, as a high-end action figure, he might be overly simple. He literally doesn’t come with anything else. Zero accessories. All you get is a nicely detailed and articulated robot action figure.
You might say, “Well.. duh. The EM-208 didn’t have any extra stuff in the film.. no guns or clothes or whatever.”
You’d be 100% right to say that. The fact that he doesn’t come with anything else, isn’t a “fault” of the figure per-say, as much as it played into the emotional reaction I had when reviewing it.
I’d like to once again compare the EM-208 to ThreeA’s Real Steel bots. Like those dudes, the EM-208 is a super detailed, nicely weathered and decently articulated toy robot with a few neat features. Also, like the Real Steel bots, he doesn’t come with any accessories (Ed’s note: the Real Steel bots actually came with little remotes, but other than looking nice, they were pretty useless. So let’s not count them.)
The thing is, unlike the Real Steel bots, the EM-208 is the standard 12 inches tall. The Real Steel bots make up quite a bit for their lack of accessories by virtue of detail, articulation AND their hulking size. They tower at 16 inches or so of impressively detailed robot toy glory. Their size in general sorta makes them feel special.. like you’re getting something extra cool.
I guess that’s what I’m trying to get at. Even with all the articulation, details, quickdraw guns and a light up features, the EM-208 left me feeling a little underwhelmed.
The Wrap Up
With the EM-208, You have what you have… one badass looking robot. Some cool features like the red visor lights and gun triggers in the arm give you some fun things to mess around with.
I may not have cared a ton for the movie, but I don’t need to be into a film to dig a toy based on a character from it. The Real Steel bots are proof enough of that. If you ARE a fan of the Robocop reboot and/or already have this guy preordered, then you’re going to be very happy with what you get. The quality is all there. ThreeZero delivered the EM-208 you’ve been waiting for.
On the other hand, I’m not sure how easy it’d be for me to convince someone to pick him up on a whim. At $190.00 retail, it feels a little bare-bones. So it may not be for everyone. If you’re not a fan of or very familiar with the film, you’re left with a cool looking Cylon-esque robot. It’s up to you to decide if that’s cool enough to add it to your collection.
And that statement sorta sums it up. Like all toys and interests.. it’s a completely personal thing. I can’t completely love everything, no one can.. but that doesn’t mean you won’t.
I think I’d be a lot more excited by this figure if I had ThreeZero’s Robocop (Available for preorder from ThreeZerostore.com as of this writing) standing downrange from him. It’s a little like having Michonne’s pets without Michonne.
Know what I mean?
On that note, seriously ThreeZero, where IS Michonne? 🙂
- Super detailed and accurate to the film design
- Very nice weathering and subtle damage
- Cool, spring loaded, quick draw feature
- Menacing red visor lights
- Lightweight, yet durable.. easy to balance
- Despite the top notch weathering and paint application, he comes off a little drab. Details get lost in a sea of grey
- Guns don’t seem to nest very cleanly inside of arms
- Light feature only affects helmet, body lights are painted on
- Some of the areas that limit articulation really hurt the kind of poses you can put him in
- Remaining true to the film, the EM-208 comes with nothing, no accessories
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