STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (PLAYMATES)
Following its presence at Mego in the late 70s, the Star Trek license struggled to find a home. Most of the movies didn’t get a dedicated toyline (aside from a very strange offering of figures by Ertl, based on Star Trek III). Galoob held the license for two short series based on Next Generation, but a third never materialized. Then, with the release of Generations, Playmates, best known for their definitive work with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, picked up the license, and provided the largest selection of Trek characters that is ever likely to be offered. After having decent success with Generations, they moved on to figures based on the entirety of Next Generation. Today, I’ll be looking at their second take on Data.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Data was released in the first series of Star Trek: The Next Generation figures. Following the one offered in the Generations line, this is the second figure of the character that Playmates offered. Data is based on his appearance in the middle seasons of the show, after the uniform had evolved a bit. The figure is just shy of 5 inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. As far as I can tell, Data’s sculpt is unique to him. It’s possible that he may share one or two parts with some of the other crew members, but I don’t have any to compare. For the time, it’s a pretty good sculpt. It’s simple, but not in a bad way. The Brent Spiner likeness is good. The proportions are a bit off, though; he’s definitely got a case of the monkey arms. The sculpt of his right arm is also disrupted by the addition of the flip up panel to reveal his inner workings, but that’s a cool enough feature that it’s worth it. The figure also featured a bulky phaser holster on his leg, but that could easily be removed, leaving a mostly unnoticeable peg-hole on his leg. Data’s paint is pretty decent, and it’s certainly good by early 90s standards. Everything is clean and well applied. A slightly less shiny finish would have been nice, but that’s another “true to the time” thing. Most of my Data’s accessories have been lost, but I’m pretty sure he had a phaser, a tri-corder, and a stand. The phaser is rather laughable because it had a molded beam that wasn’t removable, meaning the holster was pretty much useless, and he was left with this lightsaber looking thing. To make matters worse, he can’t even hold it properly!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This figure was the third version of Data I ever got. It was a figure I had wanted for a while, mostly because I really liked that flip up panel on his arm (I’m easy to please). I ended up getting him from one of the toy dealers at Shoreleave, for $5, I believe. This figure actually got me into a little bit of trouble, because I went down to the Dealer’s Room without my parents’ permission (I was like 7, and they were very much in the right on being mad. Shoreleave’s Dealer’s Room is no place for a lone 7 year old). Some kid’s sneak out to go to parties, I snuck out to buy action figures. There was no way I was escaping this lifestyle…