STAR TREK (PLAYMATES)
When people think of Star Trek, more often than not, they’ll think of the show’s main crew members, or perhaps the scantily clad green alien woman. What tends to get overlooked, especially in the case of the original series, is the plethora of alien creatures that appeared on the show. In terms of toys, the aliens tend to get no respect. Often, they’ll be needlessly changed, or under produced, or even replaced by aliens made up by the toymakers. However, under the helm of Playmates in the 90s, the aliens actually did get a little bit of respect. Since the line was so big and they had to keep it interesting somehow, they turned to the aliens to liven things up. One such figure is today’s focus, the Gorn Captain.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Gorn Captain was part of the Classic Trek 30th Anniversary assortment, released by Playmates in 1996. The assortment was released in waves of 2-3 figures each. The Gorn was from one of the later waves, along with Environmental Suit Kirk and the Mugato. The Gorn Captain is based on the character’s lone appearance in the Classic Trek episode “Arena.” The figure is just shy of 5 inches in height and he features 9 points of articulation. He has less articulation than what was standard for the line, which, sadly, was true for quite a few of the aliens in the Classic Trek line. The removal of the bicep swivels and waist movement are both rather annoying. The figure manages okay without them, but their absence is just baffling. On the plus side, this figure actually ends up making the v joint on the hips work pretty well, which can’t be said for the rest of the line. The Gorn Captain’s sculpt is wholly original to him, and generally speaking, it’s actually very well handled. While Playmates was known to have trouble with proportions on the human figures, creature figures played to their strengths. Aside from the torso being a little bit flat, the figure’s proportions are a close match for the Gorn’s appearance on the show. The sculpt exhibits some stand-out texture work on the skin, something not often seen on a figure from this time. It really helps set him apart from the other figures in the line, and other figures from the time in general. The Gorn had a rather distinctive facial design, and the figure’s head sculpt is a spot-on recreation of the mask from the show. The figure’s paint is generally pretty straight forward, but it’s rather good for the time. Most of the base paintwork is cleanly applied, and there’s even a light application of brown on the figure’s shoulders, which helps to sell the reptilian look of the character quite nicely. The Gorn Captain was packaged with a stone spike, the cannon constructed by Kirk in the episode, three projectiles, a display stand, and a trading card.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Back in the 90s, when my dad was collecting the Playmates line, I vividly remember the purchase of the Gorn. I was fixated on the figure, and have loved the character ever since. According to my dad, he actually went out and bought me a Gorn figure, with the intent to give it to me as a gift. However, it ended up going missing somewhere, so I never ended up getting one. In the years that followed, the Gorn figure always seemed to evade me. Fortunately, one of the dealers at this year’s Farpoint had one amongst a large selection of other Playmates Trek figures. So, I finally have my Gorn figure! Sure, he may not be the greatest figure of all time, but he’s definitely fun, and I’m just super thrilled to own one.
EDIT: Wow, I certainly lucked out in posting a mostly green figure for St Patrick’s Day, didn’t I? I swear it wasn’t at all planned!