Maniac Cop

Mighty World
Dean the Highway Patrol Officer
3” Scale
By: Titan Works
$5.99 at Tuesday Morning

Way back in my first Mighty World Review, the Hazardous Materials Team, I mentioned seeing a police officer on a motorcycle that I’d left behind. I later regretted that decision when he was no where to be found on my next visit. Luckily I stumbled onto a rather large selection of Mighty World figures at a Tuesday Morning on the other side of town and I was able to bring home Dean and his hog.

This is his story.

I opted to pick up Dean in the small orange box pictured in this article but I had the option to get him in a clear plastic clamshell. I actually think the clamshell is a lot more attractive on the shelf but I grabbed the box because it gives me somewhere to store Dean when he’s not in use. Both styles of packaging appeared to come with the same accessories so it’s entirely up to you which one you decide to scoop up.

Dean the cop is sculpted in a cartoony, stubby style that makes him super cute in his highway officer uniform. There’s something about a funny faced little fella in a role that usually inspires respect and a little bit of fear that just works. Dean has a cool leather jacket with his badge attached on the outside over a pair of khaki pants. He’s also wearing some nice motorcycle boots that look really tough. I have to say that I’m really loving the individually sculpted bodies on these figures, each new set has a brand new look for the character that gives them their own personality.

Dean’s bike is a typical looking (to me) police motorcycle. It has a nice, wide stance that gives it a look of stability which I always associate with police on motorcycles. They look just as calm and comfortable whether their in fast pursuit or pulling up next to you at a stop light. The bike has just enough detail to convey the important parts without moving too far into realism, it’s a perfect blend of accuracy and style that allows for a ton of play options. The bike looks nice with Joes, Marvel figures and pretty much any other toy close to the scale of the Mighty World stuff.

An interesting feature of the motorcycle is the removable section in the middle of the bike right over the gas cap and seat. Taking this section out reveals a place for Dean to straddle the bike even though his articulation doesn’t allow him to bend his legs outward to wrap around his ride. This is a really nice solution that maintains the realism of the bike when Dean’s not riding it while also making it possible for the Mighty World figures to get on board.

As usual I am extremely pleased with the paint applications on Dean and his motorcycle.

Dean has the usual Mighty World cuts at the shoulders, wrists, neck and hips. He gets just enough range out of them to allow him to convincingly sit on the bike and get into the essential poses for a kid’s toy. Dean can sit and stand well and grip all of his gear with ease.

As usual with Mighty World sets Dean comes with a crap-ton of extra parts. Here’s the breakdown:

Hand Cuffs
Parking Cones (YESSS)
Stop Sign
Billy Club

A lot of these parts are ones that I’ve seen before, mostly from the K-9 Unit I reviewed a while back, but they all feel appropriate for Dean to have. I think the clipboard is my favorite of them all, it’s just such a strange item for a kid’s toy to come with and the idea of a kid acting out his toys doing paperwork cracks me up.

Every piece fits smoothly into his little hands and slides out easily enough. The only reasonable complaint that I can think of is that he comes with too much stuff! There’s just no where you can actually keep all this stuff when Dean’s not using it. That’s a pretty nice problem to have!

I’m buying all of these Mighty World sets at closeout prices, $6 for this set feels like an absolute steal to me. I’ve looked at some of the other sets at local toy stores recently hoping to track down some of the newer, weirder sets and the regular prices are definitely quite a bit higher. Once you combine the MSRP with the standard mark-up for a smaller business a small set like this can creep up out of my range.

Even at the higher price though you are still getting a very well made and neat looking motorcycle, a cop in a unique CHIPS -style uniform and a pile of accessories. Dean is MSRP $11.99 on the Mighty World website which is just a little more than you’d expect to pay for a Deluxe GI Joe or a small LEGO set. He’s a good value for that price but obviously even better if you have a Tuesday Morning you can swing into!

Summary, is he “Hot Fuzz” or “Cobra” ?:
Ah who am I kidding? I loved “Cobra” too.

Dean and his motorcycle make a really fun, cool looking set that I’m happy to have in my collection and on my desk. The motorcycle itself is one of the best toy vehicles that I’ve ever owned. It’s crazy that I can put Dean on it as intended or leave the regular seat in place and share the bike with everything from GI Joes to Marvel Universe to Revoltechs. It’s this really strange in-between space of realism and cartoon that I’ve never seen before.

Dean, the figure, is probably the least exciting part of the set because he’s just another smirky little dude and even he is a lot of fun. Just because he’s named Dean doesn’t mean he has to be the same cop that comes with a horse or that is included in the big police set. A simple hair-swap gives you a brand new character: Fernando! Latin lover and professional chef, plus he’s single…..ladies.

You gotta get down to Tuesday Morning, or hop online, and pick up a Mighty World set for yourself to play with. You’ll have fun fooling around with the accessories at the very least and when you’re done you can safely pass it on to you or your neighbor’s kid.

I’m in the process of watching a Maniac Cop marathon of sorts. It doesn’t really fit in with the Christmas spirit, but I recently found out that Netflix has all three movies online to watch so I’ve jumped in. What’s Maniac Cop you ask?

Maniac Cop is a series of films that vaguely fall under the “slasher” formula starting Robert Z’Dar as a cop back from the dead inflicting death upon those who wronged him when he was an NYPD…. And anyone else who gets in his way. The first film up is Maniac Cop from 1988, the one that started it all! And by all… I mean the other two sequels.

The first Maniac Cop movie is surprisingly good in premise if not in execution, with a chilling open, and a downright haunting score by Jay Chattaway. This film also features Bruce Campbell in one of his lesser known roles. I mean, you always hear people talking about Bruce, but no one ever brings up Maniac Cop!

The movie is uneven at best, with a good performance from Tom Atkins as the detective trying to figure out who’s killing people in NYC. Everyone else doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of acting and even Campbell seems a bit tame. There are a few good supporting characters, but the movie isn’t pieced together well enough, nor are the characters fleshed out enough. Unfortunately the movie suffers elsewhere as NYC feels like a tiny city where no one ever seems to go. Some of the plot points are rushed, or never clearly explained at all. There’s also some good effects mixed in, but some bad ones as well. Not to mention a really long police chase that seemed to be padding out the run time, more than advancing the plot.

Atkins character is the central figure for the first half of the movie, until the movie flips and makes Bruce Campbell the central character. Campbell is a NYPD who is brought up on charges that he’s the psycho cop who’s been killing innocent people in the city. The movie doesn’t immediately reveal that it’s not Campbell and I think Bruce is a good choice because of his large chin, which Robert Z’Dar also sports. Although it’s pretty clear Campbell is nowhere near big enough to be the killer.

I guess I should now mention that Robert Z’Dar is a freaky looking dude. We always called him “Big chin man” when I was a kid, but I don’t think that’s actually accurate. Yes, he has a big chin… But he also has huge cheekbones. Check out Z’Dar over at his official site and see what I’m talking about.

Maniac Cop works because the camera work is very clever. They avoid showing Maniac Cop’s face for most of the movie. All you see is his hulking frame and huge cheekbones. The rest is blacked out. In fact, by the time you see Z’Dar’s face it doesn’t come off as creepy. They put some scarred makeup on him, but it’s not very good looking. It just looks like he’s got acne and bad teeth. I think they’d done better by just making Z’Dar’s face very pale with maybe just a hint of scarring. Because Z’Dar is creepy looking as is.

In the end, Campbell is cleared, Maniac Cop is dead and all is well… Or is it? Maniac Cop 2 is next. This time Maniac Cop returns from the dead again and looks much more dead this time. I’ll go on record now for saying that Maniac Cop is one of the few slasher flicks of the 80’s that could actually USE a Hollywood redo. The story isn’t as convoluted as Freddy or Jason and there isn’t a ton of emotional attachment to any particular element. It could be tinkered with and improved upon. So long as Robert Z’Dar gets a cameo!

I mentioned how creepy Z’Dar looks and here’s a picture of him with another man who’s made a career out of looking strange, Mr. Michael Berryman. These guys are true throwbacks to the old days of Hollywood horror cinema when you could get a job based on your creepy looks instead of makeup. These guys are modern day Boris Karloff or Vincent Price! They sell the macabre on their natural features, no CGI or prosthetics required.