One of the great parts about being as eccentric of an action figure collector as I am is that you end up with a lot of pieces in your collection that other folks don’t. I’m not saying that other people are toy snobs, but I find myself with a lot more guilty pleasures than others. Today I’m going to do a couple of reviews that are definitely toys that aren’t for the elitist. However if you like fun toys or at least funny toys, then you should definitely read on.

Commander Cash is a fictional character from the criminally underrated Robocop TV Series. I don’t recall if Commander Cash ever appeared in Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece film or any of the subsequent sequels, but I know he appears regularly in the television program. Many of you may not even know that Robocop had a TV show. I own the DVDs, maybe someday I’ll review them.

The show followed the original movie’s format in a lot of ways and it couldn’t be anymore accurate to the world we are slowly sinking into. As an example, the show is filled with brief news cut ins and commercials that mirror the way the media controls people and how we see things. The movies and TV show really give a glimpse at what we’ve come to see as a reality with Fox News, MSNBC and others… Basically the 24 news networks, commercials, etc and they effect they play on our society.

It’s almost scary to see how accurate these depictions are to what has really come to pass. One of the things they really played up is how big business cons the mindless plebeians of society. Commander Cash is the ultimate embodiment of this phenomenon. I could continue to explain this, but perhaps it’s better if I let the Commander do the talking…

That little snipet is really just one of the gems of the show, which followed Paul Verhoeven’s vision much closer than many of the sequels. If you don’t see the parallels between what Commander Cash is preaching and what shape our economy is actually in right now, then you should get your head checked. I believe Jerry Seinfield even did a commercial for Mastercard with Superman that has an eerily similar message. It’s scary that we live in a world where people drive $50,000 cars they can’t afford but protest universal healthcare. But enough comparisons of OCP and the GOP, let’s focus more on the toy itself.

Chances are if you entered a K*B Toys in the past decade you saw Commander Cash or his slightly less popular partner in crime, Pudface on the shelves. Even when K*B was going out of business this past year, I still saw a few of these guys poking around on the shelves. I almost bought another Commander, but I’m not a hero, so I kept my consumerism to one.

Packaging:
I’m slightly cheating, I already opened this figure. The package though I’ve had for years and remains surprisingly mint. I have no doubts that I’ll one day spill coffee all over my Pimp Daddy Destro, but the packaging for Commander Cash will be kept pristine. The package itself is a standard bubble card with a basic thickness to the cardboard backing.

The logo on the front matches the show and it includes a picture of Robocop from the TV series. The guy who played him in the series didn’t quite have Peter Weller’s puckered lips but I thought he looked the part pretty well. The rest of the background is sort of an explosion motif that doesn’t look too bad. Sadly the back of the card features the same picture and background, although it does show off the rest of the figures in the series.

Aside from hocking the toys the back of the package tells us nothing about the character. BOO! However it’s the front of the package that is really the star of the show. It includes a nice detailed picture of the cartoon of Commander Cash and he’s even throwing out a gang sign! Okay, that C is probably for Cash… But he might be a Crip. I don’t believe I ever saw any of the vehicles, but they do exist according to this guy who I saw selling them on a forum. Why weren’t these vehicles more popular? They’re awesome! I wonder if the cryogenic chamber ever made it to the market?

It also has a OCP Police Detroit logo on it. Part of me wondered if Detroit gets mad that it was made out to be such a warzone in the Robocop films, but then I read this article just yesterday about how some places in the Detroit area don’t have grocery stores and food is brought in on armored trucks and has to be protected by men with guns… I’m not kidding. Read it Here. Just be sure to come back here for more Commander Cash when you’re done.

So yeah, remember what I was saying at the top of this article about how Robocop was deadly accurate about the dangers our “buy, buy, buy” society was on the way to? In the films and TV they single out Detroit as the kind of place where it would get hit hardest. Sadly, there is no mechanical cops to come and clean the streets of the real Detroit. Needless to say I guess the fine folks of Detroit didn’t care if Robocop addressed the issues or mentioned them by name on his packaging.

Articulation:
As cool as the original Kenner Robocop figures were, they were lacking in a lot of areas. The first Toy Island (the company that brought us these) Robocop figures featured about the same amount of articulation and I’ll go more into detail about this in the forthcoming Robocop review, but by the time Toy Island started making the Robocop TV show toys, they had it down to a science. Toy Island upped the ante by adding several POA to the POS known as Commander Cash.

He has a cut neck, cut shoulders, jointed elbows, t-crotch cut legs and jointed knees. Okay, so it’s not exactly super articulated Spider-man but it’s more than Kenner gave us. The joints all work surprisingly well despite the odd shape of them and the rather large screws in the sides.

Sculpt:
In the TV show there actually was a Commander Cash. He appeared in one episode and was played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. In that episode Piper has gone off the deep end and starts fighting back against OCP as the Commander. Sadly this figure doesn’t appear to be based off Roddy Piper but more the cartoon character.

You can tell that this is Commander Cash just by looking at him. That’s a good thing, however I don’t find that he really looks a whole like the cartoon. Part of me imagines they were going for a “guy in a mascot costume” look, as if this were a character you might see walking around Disney World. He has a big Buzz Lightyear chin, ridiculously huge muscles and tiny little legs.


Commander Cash and his fellow misunderstood toys.

All roads eventually lead back to the sculpt itself though. No matter what look they were going for, this figure doesn’t really hit the mark. In a lot of ways it reminds me of a figure that I tried to make myself. It seems like a knock off, a bootleg or a cheesy custom. However for better or worse, like Del Griffith this figure is the genuine article. Just look at the ridiculous way his arms are sculpted! And that face? That face is freaky!

Perhaps worse than the arms and head are the legs. The crotch area is strange and if his chest wasn’t so heaving, you’d immediately focus in on that disaster of a crotch area he has. The best part though, is Commander Cash’s feet. They look like balloon animals. I have no idea what’s going on with those things. Sadly, despite his wonky proportions and gigantic malformed feet, he stands better than any Mattel JLU figure on the market.

The paint work isn’t terrible and is actually comparable to the aforementioned JLU. There’s some slop to be had but it’s held up well enough. Oddly enough at least in the paint department, Toy Island seems to be ahead of Mattel. I know, always ragging on Mattel. Sorry Matty, but I call em’ like I see them. Now that I think about it, Matty Mattel is basically the Commander Cash of the toy world. Jeesh, I’m never gonna get any Mattel freebies, am I?


The Man of Steel and the Man of Low Interest Introductory Rates.

I must confess I don’t recall if Commander Cash’s chest was so green when I bought him. I tend to believe that he has deteriorated through the years turning a darker shade of green. Probably due to toxic chemicals in the plastic or something like that. If I ever get cancer, I’m blaming this little chunk of green.

Accessories:
Commander Cash comes with a “Working parachute with pack” that I can only assume is like those weird dollar store parachuting army figures you can buy. I’ve never tried the Commander’s chute out (There’s a joke in there somewhere) but I assume it works reasonably well. His figure doesn’t have a lot of heft to it with most of his torso being hollow so I suspect he’d be able to parachute decently.

He also includes a real cloth cape. The cape isn’t exactly of some high quality but it’s compareable to the capes that used to come on Kenner Super Powers & Dark Knight Collection figures. The cape serves it’s purpose well enough and it’s removeable.

The backpack mechanism looks to be of a pretty decent quality as well. Sadly, that’s all Commander Cash comes with. Of course his hands aren’t sculpted to hold anything so I guess they couldn’t have given him much else. I might would have liked him to come with a safe full of money or something, but I guess I expect too much.

Additional Notes:
It’s funny, when I started this review I was writing it about a odd little almost bootleg figure from a halfway decent but relatively obscure toyline… But somewhere along the way this got a bit political and sad. I guess I just hadn’t taken the time to realize how far our world has fallen… Thankfully I have Commander Cash to cheer me up! Seriously though, does me buying a Commander Cash figure qualify me as one of the mindless drones who gives into commercialism?


Riddle me this… Same Tailor?

Value:
According to the pricetag on the top corner I paid $3.99 for this guy at K*B Toys. I think I bought him around the year 2000, although it could have been later. He was made around 1994 and I suspect retailed for about $4.99 then. Since K*B is now just dust in the wind, you can’t buy this guy at retail anymore. Still considering he was available from 1994 until 2009 he had a pretty good run. You can get him on Ebay now for around $5 shipped or less if you look around. I bet someone ended up with this guy for about a nickel somewhere when K*B was going under.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 4
Articulation – 5
Accessories – Parachute Backpack
Value – 5
Overall – 5 out of 10

I actually searched and searched for him back in the mid 1990’s so when I saw him many years later it was a no brainer that I bought him. Would I have bought him knowing what I know now? Part of me says no, but the true answer is yes. Commander Cash is not really a great representation of the Toy Island Robocop line. That line was actually way better than this figure would lead you to believe. The “Battle Damaged” Robocop from this line is one of the best incarnations of the character ever made.

As crappy as the Commander Cash figure is, he has a certain charm to him. When people pay $35 and more for THIS because it’s supposedly high brow “art” I don’t see why the Commander here doesn’t qualify. He’s a wonky toy that’s surprisingly sturdy and looks like a bootleg, but isn’t. Plus he makes a startling social commentary.

Don’t buy this figure if you want a good toy. Just know that you aren’t a hero unless you buy this toy.

8 Responses to Robocop: Commander Cash Figure Review

  • Sam says:

    “It’s scary that we live in a world where people drive $50,000 cars they can’t afford but protest universal health care. But enough comparisons of OCP and the GOP, let’s focus more on the toy itself.”

    Wait, what republicans are telling people to go out and get themselves in debt? Could you explain that to me?

    People are protesting universal health care for a lot of reasons. Why give the government more control? why now? Look at the COSTS we are in debt as it is. This nation’s government needs to tighten it’s belt (funny how Obama has said similar things and is such a huge spender)

    I think this is commonsense, a government, government entity, or a person should not get themselves in over their head in debt. And if they do, they shouldn’t always be bailed out, or else others will take it as an excuse to get themselves in debt too big. If there are not consequences, why not?

    Oh look… you got me going again! Great reviews on your site, our political differences aside, keep em up!

  • I don’t think they’ve specifically told anyone to go out and get in debt, lol. However I tend to think the big business capitalism way of thinking has been more of a selling point of theirs. And while it was a joint effort to reduce some of the regulations, I think they specifically turned a blind eye as some of the banks and others preyed on people. I seem to remember Bush specifically telling people to go out and spend money on several occasions which reminded me a bit of the Commander Cash mantra.

    The quote was more aimed at those who don’t want their taxes raised to help folks get affordable healthcare but have no problem buying some of the ridiculous items that we’ve come to see the past few years. I hate to hear that the guy with the Hummer, two flat screen HD 70 inch TVs and a Country Club membership protesting how the Government is screwing him by raising his taxes to pay for helping uninsured people get some medical benefits.

    I’m not a fan of bail outs either, although I do think there have been a few that were necessary.

    I’m hardly a bleeding heart liberal, I’m a much more fan of old school Republican fiscal conservatism, but I also think we have to adapt a bit to the times and I think the current or at least parts of the current GOP have a scary similarity to the OCP way of things. They certainly aren’t alone though, they have Blue friends as well. Although I don’t think BO is one.

    I tend to think the massive amount of spending that’s going on now is more or less the flat tire syndrome. If the car had been taken in for a tune-up and a tire rotation, we wouldn’t be spending so much money now on new tires.

    Anyway, no offense intended, I wasn’t trying to be mean spirited in my little tirade, but I found a lot of similar things to the real world and Robocop’s world as it were and it scared me a bit.

  • I should add and someone has to take the blame on that and I can’t in good conscience give it to the guy who just got in office.

  • Anonymous says:

    Good day !.
    You may , perhaps very interested to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
    There is no initial capital needed You may start earning with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

    AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
    The firm represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

    It is based in Panama with structures around the world.
    Do you want to become really rich in short time?
    That`s your chance That`s what you really need!

    I`m happy and lucky, I started to take up income with the help of this company,
    and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a proper companion who uses your savings in a right way – that`s it!.
    I take now up to 2G every day, and my first investment was 500 dollars only!
    It`s easy to join , just click this link http://qukamakyr.greatnow.com/jiqovy.html
    and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to get rid of nastiness of the life

  • Zach S. says:

    I saw Pudface in just about every KB Toys I ever went into.

    I seriously miss KB Toys…there was a KB Outlet I'd stop at on weekly roadtrips from Georgia to North Carolina, and every time I'd find some crazy, bizarre figure I'd never seen before. I worked the night shift at a KB for awhile in college…that location is now a women's fashion store.

  • I pretty much feel the same way. I actually got a few great scores at K*B through the years, like finally finding a Bumble at a K*B outlet, after searching for one for YEARS! They always had good Robocop stuff and lots of neat old toys. I'm curious what they did with a lot of that stuff, which I'm sure they didn't even sell when they were clearancing it for .5 on the last day.

    Also thanks for bringing up Pudface and making correct a typo from three years ago! Huzzah, progress!

  • I am zee German says:

    The cryo-chamber was distributed in europe (don't know about the US).
    Honestly speaking the set was "not very good" – maybe that explains why it was not released in the US – Toy Island knew they had a failure on their hands.

    Here's a link to an Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/Robocop-Cryo-Laboratory-Pla

  • Hmm, in hindsight it may have had a limited US release as well, now that I think about it. Not sure though. Most of Toy Island's stuff wasn't great, but some of it was pretty decent. The vehicles and stuff did not have a great distribution in the US. I think if Woolworths and some other smaller chains had still been around, it'd done better. But I think aside from a few K-Marts, this line was mostly relegated to K*B Toys.

Leave a Reply