Also known as: CyberCOPS (rebranded in later syndication)
Original Run: October 5th, 1988 – February 20th, 1989
Created by: Hasbro
Directed by: Kevin Altieri, Rick Morrison
Written by: various
Based on: C.O.P.S. ‘N’ Crooks toy line by Hasbro
Music by: various
Cast: Ken Ryan, Jane Schoettle, Brent Titcomb, Mary Long, Paul De La Rosa, Nick Nichols, Dan Hennessey
DiC Entertainment, Crawleys Animation, Hasbro, Claster Television, 65 Episodes, 22 Minutes (per episode)
*written in 2015.
C.O.P.S. (also one-time branded as CyberCOPS in an effort not to create confusion with the reality show Cops) was one of my favorite after school treats when I was nine years-old in 1988. It was produced by DiC, who made some quality stuff at the time and it was tied into a really badass Hasbro toy line (similar to the G.I. Joe and Transformers brands) and it had a comic book series published by DC Comics.
Every few years, I revisit G.I. Joe and Transformers and am still entertained, as those two animated series have held up tremendously. Remembering C.O.P.S. almost as fondly, I always wanted to give it another watch through. It wasn’t as easy to access and I actually just got my hands on it, as I found a DVD set of the series for $5 in a discount bin.
Well, it definitely hasn’t held up as well as those other great shows from my childhood. The animation isn’t fantastic. I can’t say that it is bad, as some scenes are well done but there is a lack of fluidity at times and the character design is pretty generic. Additionally, the voice acting is borderline cheesy in every scene. Yes, it is a cartoon made for an audience of ten year-old boys in the ’80s but so were G.I. Joe and Transformers and they were just so much better in dialogue, voice acting and overall quality.
The characters in C.O.P.S. are interesting at first glance and each has their own unique and cool gimmick. The problem though, is that there is little-to-no character development. Comparing it to the competition of the time and going back to G.I. Joe, look at how well and awesome of a character Shipwreck turned out to be by the end of the first season. Look at Shipwreck’s character journey, it is pretty amazing for a little cartoon just made to sell some toys. C.O.P.S. doesn’t present the audience with anything close to that level of character development.
Each episode is pretty generic and the criminals are just complete idiots – all of them. At least in G.I. Joe and Transformers you had good strong villains to offset the bumbling ones. For Cobra Commander there was Destro and Serpentor. For Starscream there was Megatron and Soundwave. For Beserko… well, there were just more bumbling idiots.
I wanted to feel the nostalgia; I wanted to really get re-immersed in this. It just didn’t happen and I found this hard to watch after giving it a chance with five or six episodes.
Pairs well with: any other DiC Entertainment animated show from the era: the later G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero seasons, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, M.A.S.K., Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, The Real Ghostbusters, etc.