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Detroit Has Figured Out its PR Problem: Robocop?!
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Detroit. It's a city of great memories buried in the past and destined never to be resurrected again. Unless a miracle happens, this city will slide slowly into the murky waters of Lake Erie. It is bankrupt, has a former mayor doing time in the clink, has to bribe people to live there, and has no art. What's next? It needs...it needs...a hero. Yeah, that's it. And because the beleaguered city can't afford to pay Marvel Comics for a hero of its own, it will take an '80s retread in Robocop

Wait, what? 

That's right — Robocop, soon to hit the Silver Screen (again), is Detroit's answer to a PR curtain call. In fact, it's not the great Peter Weller, who starred as Alex Murphy in the late 80s. Nope. It's a bronze 10-foot-tall statue of the dang thing created by Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works in the Motor City. 

Robocop, although filmed in Dallas the first time, is depicted in Detroit. I guess Dallas didn't seem quite grim enough, what with JR boinking every office manager in sight back then. Detroit seemed the perfect dystopia for this kind of android badass to save the day. Evidently, support for this statue, to be erected in the heart of Detroit a la Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, has been overwhelming. There is even a Kickstarter campaign that has almost eclipsed $70,000 for the project — Detroit Needs Robocop.

"This is larger than even my wildest imagination," said Detroit graphic designer John Leonard on Tuesday as he surveyed the pop culture giant. "I think it complements a lot of the other positive things that are happening in the city," said Leonard. Surveying the model, he was impressed by the detail, like the "OCP Police 001" on the Robo-thigh. He also noted how much RoboCop's armor design evokes automotive themes. Said Leonard, "When you look at the chest, it's like the hood of a car."

Hell, the left alone is 16 inches long. And you know what they say about robot cops with big hands, ladies? That's right. They still aren't big enough to handle all the problems Detroit has to offer. Better get that cop a cape. He may need it, considering how an entire city is pinning its hopes on that guy. That's a grassroots campaign if ever there was one, don't you think? 

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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