Many 80s cartoons lacked imagination. Take Bravestarr for example. Sheriffs and cowboys in space. Add bit of lite characterization, futuristic technology, and done. C.O.P.S. is no different, taking the cops and robbers formula, adding a coat of future tech, and merchandising it. Like nearly every show that puts concept, or commodity, before character, it’s just as soulless.
C.O.P.S., or the Central Organization of Police Specialists (boy, are they lucky that spells cops), worked in Empire City in the far off year of 2020 to fight Big Boss and his gang of crooks. The gimmick was each cop had some cybernetic attachment or permanent upgrade, along with a code name, that not only assisted them in the crime fighting, but made for some cool toys. The leader, Bulletproof, with his metallic bulletproof torso, assembles a team of specialists to help him take down Big Boss.
The characters are based on the Hasbro C.O.P.S ‘N’ Crooks line, making them toys first and foremost. Every one of them had a cool (to a 6 year old) gimmick. There was Bowser and his cybernetic dog Blitz (okay, he’s mostly dumb), Highway, who rides a motorcycle (sort of dumb), Mainframe, the computer specialist (kind of dumb), Sundown, a Texas Ranger cop and walking stereotype (plain dumb), and my personal favorite, Longarm (retrospectively dumb). Each cop represented different types of law enforcement, such as a beat cop, vice, hostage negotiator, etc. The criminals were just as
stupid amazing, with names like Doctor Badvibes, Buttons McBoomBoom, Squeaky Kleen, and Ms. Demeanor.
Nearly everything about the production was shoddy. While the opening credits sported some slick animation, the best quality of the show, everything else was subpar. In episode animation was stiff and janky while the voice acting was abysmal. Then again, this was created to sell toys, so expecting anything more is ridiculous. The show was commissioned for a syndicated, 65 episode run, airing in 1988. Once people caught on to how terrible it was, no more episodes were produced. When Cops (the Bad Boys theme song version), began airing in 1989, C.O.P.S. name changed to CyberCOPS when airing reruns.
There were a few descent catchphrases however (descent is a relative term). The tagline was “Cops, fighting crime in a future time.” Given the deep base of lead Bulletproof (Ken Ryan – sounds like Keith David), it sounded pretty cool. Their battlecry was “It’s crime fighting time!” A terrible phrase but again, sounded cool because of the commanding voice. The crooks would often say “Crime’s a-wasting!” which, let’s face facts, isn’t cool.
I do have a memory, though I won’t call it fond, of watching the show many years ago. I sat, with socks on my hands as I stayed home with the chicken pox, watching the show. Man, chicken pox sucked. You kids with your vaccines and stuff, you don’t know how good you have it.
C.O.P.S. is another 80s toy grab that I only remember because I had chicken pox. I wouldn’t recommend watching unless you too have some aliment, and you’re 6, and it’s 1988.
Which was your favorite C.O.P.S. (no idea how to unpluarlize that). Remember any other toy/cash-grab shows? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.