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Case Number 20843: Small Claims Court

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C.O.P.S. Volume 1

Mill Creek Entertainment // 1988 // 720 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ike Oden (Retired) // March 6th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Ike Oden really wants to adapt this one for the big screen.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of C.O.P.S. (published February 8th, 2006) and Eighties Cartoon Bundle (published February 5th, 2012) are also available.

The Charge

Fighting crime…in a future time.

The Case

In the year 2020, Empire City's cyborg super cop, Bulletproof (Ken Ryan, The Long Kiss Goodnight), assembles a team of specialized crime fighters—the Centralized Organization of Police Specialists (codenamed C.O.P.S)—to combat Big Boss (Len Carlson, Cypher) and his gang of super criminals. Stuff explodes, lessons are learned, and criminals are taken to justice in 22 minute increments.

Episodes include…

• "The Case of the Stuck-Up Blimp"
• "The Case of the Crime Circus"
• "The Case of the Baffling Bugman"
• "The Case of Berserko's Big Surprise"
• "The Case of the Bogus Justice Machines"
• "The Case of the Prison Break"
• "The Case of the Pardner In Crime"
• "The Case of C.O.P.S. File #1 Part 1"
• "The Case of C.O.P.S. File #1 Part 2"
• "The Case of the Blur Bandits"
• "The Case of the Bulletproof Waldo"
• "The Case of the Blitz Attack"
• "The Case of the Baby Badguy"
• "The Case of the Thieving Robots"
• "The Case of the Highway Robbery"
• "The Case of the Crime Convention"
• "The Case of the Crook With A Thousand Faces"
• "The Case of the Super Shakedown"
• "The Case of the Criminal Mall"
• "The Case of the Big Bad Boxoids"
• "The Case of the Half-Pint Hero"
• "The Case of the Brilliant Berserko"
• "The Case of the Big Frame-Up"
• "The Case of the Sinister Spa"
• "The Case of the Cool Caveman"
• "The Case of the Wayward Whiz Kid"
• "The Case of the Stashed Cash"
• "The Case of the Big Boss's Master Plan Part 1"
• "The Case of the Big Boss's Master Plan Part 2"
• "The Case of the Criminal Games"
• "The Case of the Iceberg Pirates"
• "The Case of the Giveaway Gold"

Here's how I know C.O.P.S. works: it makes me want to buy toys. Lots and lots of toys. The series is based off the late 1988 Kenner toy series C.O.P.S n' Crooks, which introduced the tough-as-nails crime fighters (with descriptive names like Mainframe, Highway, Long Arm and Hard Top) and their colorful cast of villains (with names like Nightshade, Berserko, and Dr. Bad Vibes) . The series is chock full of nifty vehicles and accessories that the C.O.P.S use to chase down Big Boss and his gang. Not only that, but every member of C.O.P.S gets his or her own episode. The diverse palette of protagonists allows viewers to explore a different aspect of Empire city, giving us a different setting for each episode. There's a western-themed episode, a robot boxing episode, a Zeppelin-bound episode and a nifty, Robocop-inspired origin episode (a two parter, no less).

If you grew up on 1980s cartoons like The Real Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, or He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, C.O.P.S. Volume 1 is right in your wheelhouse. If you have kids, specifically pre-tween action/superhero cartoon junkies, C.O.P.S. is a fine, non-violent throwback they'll likely enjoy. The show is cheesy and the characterizations are awkward and derivative (Big Boss and his assistant are carbon copies of James G. Robinson and Peter Lorre, respective), but the characters and their world are so colorful and fun that it's hard not to overlook these handicaps. The storylines are formulaic and the dialogue stilted (with catchphrases like, "It's crime fighting time!"), but the overall effect is very addictive in that 80s nostalgia sort of way.

Mill Creek brings C.O.P.S. back to DVD (Shout! Factory released a DVD a few years back with 25 episodes and special features). They squeeze 32 episodes on three discs, meaning the picture is very underwhelming and the audio is only passable. Extras are scant, adding only an episode of Hey Vern! It's Ernest (with the Jim Varney, Ernest Goes To Camp) as a bonus. None of the original C.O.P.S. PSAs are included in the set, which is a bummer, but hopefully Mill Creek will include them in their next volume.

The Verdict

Not guilty. Case closed!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 720 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• All Ages
• Animation
• Science Fiction
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Episode


• IMDb
• Wikipedia: COPS
• Squidoo: COPS

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