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Endocop & Terminator Dog

RoboCop vs. The Terminator
by yo go re

Time to pay the dog tax.

When the Human Resistance learns that the technology that rebuilt officer Alex Murphy led to Skynet becoming sentient, its deadliest soldier is sent back in time to stop it. Her mission: eliminate RoboCop before his consciousness can give birth to the murderous computer network. But in a bid for self-preservation, Skynet sends its own agents to the past, a squadron of Terminators tasked with protecting RoboCop at any cost. Determined to prevent the apocalypse he has precipitated while evading the threat of the rebel soldier after his life, Murphy must engage in a time-twisting battle that will take him both inside Skynet and into the distant future.

The Robocop vs. Terminator comic was really good, and full of excellent ideas: for instance, finding himself in the future and hunted by Terminators, Murphy made his way into a manufacturing plant and decided to fabricate himself a whole army for support. So that's what this toy is: not an evil T-800 masquerading as the future of law enforcement, but instead his requested backup.

It's easy to mistake "Endocop" for something more sinister, because while he has Robocop's familiar helmet, he's missing that one humanizing feature we could see through it: the little bit of Alex Murphy's skin. Instead, we get a T-800's metal skull, grinning at us with its thin chrome lips. The eyeslit on the helmet is red, as well, matching a Terminator's eyes.

The bulk of the body is recognizable Robocop armor. The sculpt is credited to Thomas Gwyn and David Silva, which means this might use parts of the jetpack Robocop (Gwyn was responsible for that one), or it may be an entirely new collaboration. If it's the former, then Silva is probably the one who sculpted the big Terminator arms that come out of the shoulders. The forearms may taken from one of NECA's existing Endos, but the upper arms definitely aren't; they're much bigger, and have special adapters to connect the shoulders to Robo's torso. Regardless of how the work was split up, it's a terrific blend of two iconic robot designs.

The paint helps, too, making the "Robocop" parts a bright silver with metallic blue and the "Terminator" parts a darker flat shade. There's one difference between the Robocop body and the Endocop body, though you may not notice it at first: the pelvis is silver, like the legs, rather than black to match the trunk. That's how it was in the comic.

Endocop has a balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, a balljointed chest, swivel waist, balljointed hips, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. There are working pistons on the heels, biceps, and triceps, while the ones on the shoulders are just sculpted. It's odd that he has no sort of swivel in the upper arm, but then, it's always been odd that he swivels at the wrist rather than the forearm.

The figure includes the usual Beretta M93R (or at least a future-made facsimile), but not the leg holster to keep it in. There are rocket boosters on the calves, but they're permanently attached, not separate accessories. However, there's something else here that more than makes up for any shortcomings.

When the Robocop vs. The Terminator videogame figures were first revealed, the display included more than just Crayola Endoskeletons - there was also the Terminator Dog, one of the enemies from the SNES game. Several of them, in fact. A pack. (A dog pack, not a toy multipack.) Well, the 8-bit line may have gone nowhere, but our patience was finally rewarded when NECA opted to include the Terminator Dog in this set. A cop and his K9 unit!

There were canine Terminators in the 1991 RvT comic, but they didn't look like this - more like a trillobite with razor-whips for legs. Yeah, it was weird. The ones in the game seem to take their cue from a 1989 issue of the Terminator comic, where Skynet developed a new kind of Infiltrator to hunt both humans and dogs. And then NECA's toy takes the basic game idea way, way beyond what was ever seen before. As they do.

Just as the normal Endoskeleton is designed to mimic human bones, this one copies a dog's. You can totally recognize a lot of the same shapes that a T-800 would have - the pistons in the limbs, the shulderblade panels, the recesses on the skull, etc. - they've simply mapped onto a different species' anatomy. (A rottweiler or doberman, it looks like.) Whichever of the guys sculpted this did a remarkable job translating something familiar onto something new.

NECA didn't just create a cool-looking lump of plastic, though: it's got articulation aplenty! The dog has balljointed toes, hinges in the heels and knees, balljointed hips, balljointed waist, balljointed chest, balljointed fingers, hinged wrists, hinged elbows, ballhointed shoulders, balljointed neck, balljointed head, and a hinged jaw. So much fun! The only working pistons are the ones by the waist - the rest are sculpted on.

The dog is the same dull silver as Endocop's arms and face, though this good boy gets paint apps on his teeth so they're tooth-colored. The eyes are red, and there's a black wash on the entire body that really brings out all the small details. His paw pads (aka the flat bottoms of his metal feet) are solid black, for aesthetic's sake.

The Endocop isn't a bad figure, by any means, but really he's just a glorified accessory for the Terminator Dog, rather than the other way around. Fans had to wait for this metal puppy for a few years, but NECA absolutely delivered.

-- 02/15/20


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