COMMANDER DECKER & ILIA PROBE
STAR TREK MINIMATES
There’s this old adage about Star Trek movies that it’s only the even ones that are good, and the odd ones aren’t. The fact that Wrath of Khan and First Contact are numbers two and eight, and Star Trek V is, well, number five kind of supports this. That being said, a lot of the other films don’t really support the adage, with some even-numbered films being middling at best, and some of the odd-numbered ones not being the dreck everyone claims them to be. Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first film on the franchise, often catches flak, and is frequently used as proof of the odd-movies-bad rule. In reality, it’s not a bad movie, it just wasn’t the movie a lot of people were looking for at the time. It’s one of the last of the more cerebral, slower-paced Sci-Fi movies of the ‘70s, and in a post-Star Wars world, that just didn’t fly. If nothing else, the movie gives us a nice little arc for its two original characters, Captain Decker and Ilia, who are the two figures I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This pair was released in the fifth series of Star Trek Minimates, which happens to be the last series of the line. Way to go guys, you killed the line!
Poor Decker. Guy gets no respect. He’s supposed to be commanding the Enterprise, but he gets downgraded at the last second, and forced to serve as a first officer. Then nobody listens to him about anything, and to top it all off, his love interest gets vaporized. And he constantly gets left out of the toylines, too! Sure, Mego made him in their two scales, but Playmates totally overlooked him, and he never got one of the larger DST figures. Fortunately, he did get a Minimate, placing him above quite a few Trek regulars. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation. He has add-ons for his hair and belt/tunic. Both of these pieces are new to Decker, and they do a pretty decent job capturing his look from the movie. The hair in particular is a lot more detailed than prior Trek Minimates pieces, and it’s still on par with current offerings. Decker’s paintwork does a very nice job capturing his look from the movie. The likeness is pretty spot-on, and even the simple details of the uniform are really sharp and a great recreation of its on-screen counterpart. Decker was packed with a Motion Picture-style phaser.
So you know how I said this was a figure of Ilia? Yeah, that was technically a lie. See, as noted in the section on Decker, the real Illia is vaporized about a third of the way through the movie. What this figure (and two of the other three Ilias made) represents is the probe sent by V’Ger to interact with the Enterprise crew. The probe takes on the form of the deceased Ilia as a comfort to the crew, thus allowing her actress to still be one of the film’s leads. This figure has two add-on pieces to help recreate the collar and skirt of the robe the Ilia probe spends her time wearing. While the skirt piece is a pretty decently sculpted part, the collar seems overly boxy and bulky. Ilia ends up looking a bit larger than Decker, despite her being a bit smaller in the film. The paintwork on Ilia isn’t bad, though I’m not sure it’s quite as good as Decker’s. The robe has some nice line work, and the head, while not a spot-on likeness, is a decent enough showing. Ilia included no accessories.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like so many of the later Star Trek Minimates, I got Decker and Ilia from Record & Tape Traders for a rather hefty discount. This is actually a set I probably would have grabbed for full retail, but they seemed to go straight to clearance. Admittedly, I can see why sets like this might have led to the line’s demise. As cool as I think they are, neither ‘mate is particularly exciting, and I can’t see them having much appeal to anyone who isn’t a fan of the movie.