It started with a successful Kickstarter campaign. A mere nine years later, the RoboCop statue is nearly done.
The campaign, launched by the community arts nonprofit Imagination Station in March 2011, received $67,436 in donations.
In an update from December 31, 2019, the team showcased photos to scores of eager backers of the enormous, bronze, nearly finished statue. “Here are a last few teaser pics of Robo in the positioning and welding process before his final form is unveiled later this winter, with installation details to follow,” wrote Brandon Walley of the Imagination Station.
The last touches include installing its head and adding a gray patina, now only visible on a breastplate. Once finished around March, the recreation of the original Peter Weller costume will stand 11 feet tall.
It will be placed outside the Michigan Science Center, probably in the spring or summer. An official unveiling date will be announced soon.
The Detroit Free Press detailed the lengthy saga to bring the statue to life:
The spark for their campaign was a Twitter message sent to Detroit’s then-mayor Dave Bing.
A Massachusetts man suggested to Bing that the half-man, half cyborg police officer from the 1987 sci-fi cult hit RoboCop could serve as a Motor City ambassador, much like the statue of Rocky does in Philadelphia. Bing replied that no plans were underway, but the idea spurred much online attention and began a life of its own.
Beyond raising funds, organizers had to secure permission to reproduce the character’s likeness from MGM. Modeling and molding the statue were time-consuming as well, and the final product is intricately detailed.
Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works, “one of the leading sculptural restoration and conservation businesses in the nation,” according to the Free Press, has been leading construction.
“You will find that the scale and quality of craftsmanship were worth the wait,” Walley wrote. It was a long wait indeed.