Peel Here #57, Robocop 2: Twice as much drugs and twice as many cyborgs…

By Shawn Robare

I’ve been gearing up for Christmas. Well kind of. It seems as year after year goes by I become more and more enchanted by Halloween, and less and less enchanted by Christmas. I’d have to say that I’m missing a vital aspect of the holiday, which is maturing a little bit out of the awesome gift receiver and into the awesome gift giver. Of course, when I say this I’m referring to the idea that there should probably be a kid involved in the equation somewhere. My wife and I aren’t planning on having and rugrats, and my sister and her husband are still undecided. Since I’m not all that close with my cousins or my wife’s family, there aren’t any kids to get stuff for. As for the adults in my life, well lets just say I get one of two responses during this season when I ask them what they’d like: "Whatever you get me will be fine…" or the un-enchanting "Eh, I don’t really want anything." Compounding this is the fact that most of the adults I know don’t read, don’t really get into movies or TV, and have hobbies that are either way too expensive (hamm radio equipment), or are sort of uninspiring gift-wise (like buying yarn for the knitters.)

This leads me to a practice that I am mostly opposed to which is gift card giving. I’m mainly of the mindset that if you don’t know the person well enough that the best idea is a gift card, than you probably shouldn’t be exchanging gifts. Of course, there is the familial obligation thing, which leads to much gift card buying. Heck, for the last few years, my wife and I have been deeply entrenched in a gift card battle with her stepbrother and his wife. It started when they got married and that next Christmas gave us a $50 gift card when we had only chipped in for a $25 one for them. The next year the tables turned with us upping the amount and them lowering. And on and on. Funny thing is you think it would even out, but it never does. Anyway, enough complaining chitter chatter. We’re here for the sticker goodness, at least until after the holidays when I’ll be able to free up some time for digging back into the cartoon commentaries.

So what’s up this week? Well, since I just found a super cheap copy of Robocop 2 in the dump bin at Wal-Mart, I’ve sort of been in the mood to share the Topps sticker card subset from their 1990 set of trading cards…

I’ve always sort of closely identified with the first two Robocop movies because I saw them in the theatre growing up and they were (at the time at least) two of the most disturbing films I’d ever seen. It was around that time that my parents lifted my ban on seeing R-rated films (I think I was about 10 at the time) and it was kind of a novel thing in my circle of friends. Later on, after I became a comic collector and my friends sort of caught up on the R-rated movie watching, we sort of developed a weird cult of fandom for sci-fi/action flicks that also had comic book counterparts, in particular the Alien, Terminator, and Predator movies. For some reason, try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to win everyone over on the Robocop films, love them as I did.

In retrospect, I find it kind of weird that there was any merchandising off of these films at all because of how adult they were. I mean there was a Marvel comic, a cartoon series, a line of toys (which were cool because they incorporated not only caps, but also removable helmets), scratch and sniff stickers for the first film (I have to assume they smelled like motor oil), and probably lunchboxes though I can’t remember for sure. The second film has always felt very hard edged, what with the drug addicted cyborg baddie, the evil little kid, and the extent to which Murphy (Peter Weller) is beaten down. I don’t think the director (Irvin Kershner of Empire Strikes Back fame) handled the black comedy aspect quite as well as Paul Verhoeven did in the first (though I’m sure it didn’t help that Frank Miller is the credited screenwriter on the second film, and he surely isn’t know for his comical writing style.)

As far as the stickers in this set go, they’re your pretty standard Topps fare. There were 11 in the subset, all of which had a badge like border and a huge logo that sort of distracted from the overall sticker (much like the similar Batman the movie stickers from a couple years earlier.)

I have to say that out of all the possible imagery they could have pulled from I’m glad they focused on Murphy for most of the cards. I just think it would have been even less kid friendly had they stuck in a bunch of the other characters. I’m also glad there was an E.D. 209 sticker as well. I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve always been fascinated with the chicken walker stylings of both the E.D. 209 and the AT-ST from Star Wars.

Like most Topps sticker sets, these also had puzzle poster backs, though the choice of the picture is a little weak considering they already used it as a sticker, and it’s not all that interesting to begin with…

I wonder why there was never a set of Topps Terminator cards and stickers? I mean they did Alien (and the Alien Queen sticker from the Fright Flicks set), Robocop, and there was also that one Predator sticker in the Fright Flicks set as well. Maybe it was a studio property thing…

  • Orepons


  • Dash

    There were a set of Terminator 2 cards that came out in the early nineties. I remember having a set.

  • PJ

    and he surely isn’t know for his comical writing style”” Well, maybe not before he started writing “”All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder.”” Maybe not intentionally comical, but, yeah, it is.

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