When you ask someone to name the great toy lines of the 1980's, what do you expect to hear? Masters of the Universe, of course. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero? That's a given. How about Transformers? Star Wars? Sure; the list could go on and on: Superpowers, Thundercats, Secret Wars, Rambo and the Forces of Freedom, M.U.S.C.L.E., (insert your favorite line here). One of the greatest lines of the 80's that doesn't seem to get nearly the amount of recognition it deserves, however, is C.O.P.S. & Crooks. More on that after the break...
Released by Hasbro in 1988, C.O.P.S. & Crooks was a 6-inch action figure line that centered on an elite team of law enforcement officers fighting to free Empire City from a ruthless gang of criminals led by Big Boss. There was a cartoon series also, with the tagline, "Fighting crime in a future time, protecting Empire City from Big Boss and his gang of crooks." Set in the year 2020, C.O.P.S. managed to blend a very cool futuristic vibe with an eclectic mix of 20th century law enforcement and criminal archetypes. I have very vague memories of the cartoon; my attention was always on the toys. The C.O.P.S. line featured an excellent selection of heroes and villains, but a mafia like hitman named Buttons McBoomBoom was always my favorite.
"How'd they spot me back here behind cover?"
|"Tell friends about ThEpic Review or |
I'll stab you in da' face with a soldering iron."
My second C.O.P.S. acquisition occurred on Easter, probably in 1989. That was the year that I woke up to find Buttons McBoomBoom in my Easter basket. (I would be willing to bet no one has ever typed that sentence before.) While the earlier C.O.P.S. figures were neat, Buttons was beyond cool. His suit was fashionable, he had a removable hat that wasn't a helmet, and he carried a gun in a violin case. This fellow not only meant business, but the figure, with it's pop out guns, seemed to imply that this guy was a cyborg as well. I think this is the point where I developed a true love for C.O.P.S., and it's all thanks to the Easter Bunny and Buttons McBoomBoom. There's a third major acquisition of C.O.P.S. figures, but it is such an epic tale that it'll be reserved for another day. It involves me getting ill, Chuck E' Cheeses, and a guy named Big Boss.
|Buttons wanted to audition for the 1990 film "Dick Tracy"|
but was told his outfit was too garish.
|Darn it feels good to be a gangster.|
|Buttons McBoomBoom: Always armed.|
Personally, I feel like C.O.P.S. was definitely one of the greatest toy lines of the late 80's because of their fantastic design, incredible sculpts, and the sheer amount of creativity that went into each figure. These figures took the best elements of what Hasbro was doing with their G.I. Joe line at the time and took it a step further by making the figures larger with more intricate detailing. It's a shame that the third series never showed up, as it surely would have cemented this line as one of the greats. I'm very proud to say that every element of the Buttons McBoomBoom figure shown here is original to me. While I had lost one of his chest guns for quite a few years, it turned up in a box of odds and ends about 8-10 years ago. Go me!