April 28, 2018

COPS


COPS
(Syndication, October 5, 1988-February 20, 1989)

DiC Entertainment, Crawleys Animation, Hasbro


Bad boys bad boys, whatchu gonna do…oh, wait, wrong show…



            COPS (Central Organization of Police Specialists) was an animated series based on Hasbro’s action figure line C.O.P.S. ‘N’ Crooks. The toys were created by John Fertig as part of Marvin Glass and Associates, and gained their name after the original one, Police Man, didn’t market well. The figures were released between 1988 and 1989, with biography cards written by Larry Hama and package art by Bart Sears, Mark Pennington and McNabb Studios. Shortly before they were adapted into an animated series, DC Comics began publishing a comic based on the toys that ran for 15 issues.

Some of the COPS: Bowser, Bulletproof, LongArm, Mainframe and Sundown.

COPS followed a group of highly-trained police officers in the future as they protected the fictional Empire City from Big Boss and his gangsters. The leader of COPS was Baldwin P. Vess, aka Bulletproof (Ken Ryan), an FBI special agent called in to help stop the rampant crime in the city. However, he was injured in his duties and had to be outfitted with a cybernetic bulletproof torso in order to recover. Unable to do it alone, he recruited and formed the rest of his team: P.J. “LongArm” O’Malley (John Stocker), who used an extending handcuff device for various functions; Donny “HardTop” Brooks (Darrin Baker), a rookie Empire City officer who drove the COPS’ Ironsides vehicle; David E. “Highway” Harlson (Ray James), an ace motorcycle cop; Colt “Mace” Howards (Len Carlson), who used a laser Mazooka and was known for tactical strategies; Stan “Barricade” Hyde (James), a soft-spoken officer who used a M.U.L.E. device and performed crowd control; Tina “Mainframe” Cassidy (Mary Long), a computer specialist; Walker “Sundown” Calhoun (Carlson), a former Texas sheriff that was an expert with a lasso and a sharpshooter; Suzie “Mirage” Young (Elizabeth Hanna), an expert in undercover operations; Hugh S. “Bullseye” Forward (Peter Keleghan), a great helicopter pilot; and Rex “Bowser” Pointer (Nick Nichols) and his robot dog, Blitz.

Big Boss stroking his weasel.

            The C.R.O.O.K.S. had their own team as well. Making up the syndicate was their leader, Brandon “Big Boss” Babel (Carlson), a businessman with a literal iron fist; Barney L. “Berserko” Fatheringhouse (Paul De La Rosa), Big Boss’ dim-witted and impulsive nephew; Edmund “Rock Krusher” Scarry (Brent Titcomb), a super-strong thug who used a heavy-duty jackhammer; Stephanie “Ms.” Demeanor (Tabitha St. Germain as Paulina Gillis), a deceptively super-strong woman who took issue with being called unfeminine; Ted “Turbo Tu-Tone” Stavely (Dan Hennessey), a skilled mechanic and getaway driver; Dr. Percival “Badvibes” Cranial (Ron Rubin), brilliant and deranged mad scientist; Rafella “Nightshade” Diamond (Jane Schoettle), a rich girl who turned to crime for the thrill; Constantine “Buttons McBoomBoom” Saunders (Nichols), armed with a submachine gun in a violin case he carried and two in his cybernetic chest; and Dirk “Squeeky Kleen” McHugh (Marvin Goldhar), Big Boss’ lacky who performed menial tasks for him. There were additional villains not necessarily part of the syndicate as well.

Promo ad for the show.

            COPS aired in syndication from October 5, 1988-February 20, 1989, running a total of 65 episodes. While based on the toys, the show and the comics utilized characters that never saw an action figure in the line, such as Mirage, Mainframe and Nightshade. When CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings in 1993, they retitled the show CyberCOPS in order to avoid confusion with the reality show COPS, which had debuted the month after the animated COPS finished its run. When USA Network reran the series in 1995, it restored the original COPS title.

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