CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER PIKE
STAR TREK (PLAYMATES)
“After a disastrous mission on Rigel VII, Captain Christopher Pike diverted the U.S.S. Enterprise to Talos IV after receiving a distress call from survivors of S.S. Columbia. On the Talosian surface, the landing party found a group of aging scientists and a young woman named Vina. But it was all an illusion.
Vina led Pike into a trap set by the Talosians living underground. Imprisoned in a menagerie, they were to begin repopulation of the surface. Pike learned to fight the Talosians’ mental power, filling his mind with primitive thoughts they could not block.
After discovering that the humans would rather die than be held captive, the Talosians released Pike and his ship. Vina, the only true survivor of the Columbia, remained with the Talosians. The captain recommended to Starfleet that Talos IV be placed off limits.”
Star Trek reviews are certainly a rarity around here. It’s not that I don’t like the franchise, but I don’t know that I enjoy it as much as a lot of other people. What I do like from the franchise tends to be rather TOS-centric. My favorite ship’s captain from the franchise, Captain Christopher Pike, comes from that era, although with some technicalities, I suppose, since he’s not a main captain by the point of the actual show, instead serving as the main character of “The Cage,” the show’s first pilot. When the network didn’t pick up the show based on that pilot, lead actor Jeffery Hunter backed out, and Pike was replaced as captain of the Enterprise by William Shatner’s Kirk for the series proper. Much of the footage from “The Cage” was then worked into the series proper as the extended flashback that makes up the bulk of “The Menagerie,” so there’s at least *some* Pike. That’s better than none. It also makes him a good pick for merch! Yeah, the merch! Let’s look at some of that.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Captain Christopher Pike was released in 1996 under Playmates’ combined Star Trek line, which gave a mix of all of the shows up to that point. He was part of the fifth series of that set-up, and was released, alongside a Spock variant, Vena, and the Talosian Keeper, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Cage.” The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation. Pike has the line’s standard articulation set-up. Not exactly the best scheme, and I never cared much for those silly v-hips, but it is what it is. They were at least consistent by this point. Pike’s structure is pretty similar to the rest of the standard TOS Starfleet officers. That being said, he’s notably a little skinnier than the others, which I’m not sure is entirely accurate. Of course, it’s not like any of the proportions were all that accurate on any of these figures, so it’s all kind of a toss up. The likeness on these figures were rarely spot-on, and Pike’s not an exception. Playmates did three Pike figures with Hunter’s likeness; this one’s the weakest of those three, but it was, at least, still not a terrible offering. He’s got at least a hint of who he’s supposed to be. The head does seem a tad large relative to the rest of the body, but that was common with these figures. The body sculpt is rather on the basic side; there’s a little bit of detailing on his collar, but he’s otherwise without any real details of note, making him a softer sculpt than even the rest of the line. Pike’s paint work is likewise basic. The eyes are the best work, and the lips aren’t bad either. The hair on mine has seen better days, but that’s not so much Playmates’ fault. Other than that, he’s very basic and very shiny. Pike was packed with his “Starfleet Hand Laser”, communicator, shield, and spear, all molded in the same sort of indigo shade, as well as a display stand. Of all the parts, mine only has the stand these days.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This figure started out as my dad’s. He got it new, back when I was a kid. I was always fascinated by “The Menagerie” and Pike in particular, so I would borrow this guy all the time, and he wound up taking a bit of a beating. That scuff on the hair happened pretty early on, and it was around that time that my dad realized he wasn’t going to shake me off of this one, so he bought himself a replacement and let me keep this one. Of my meager Trek collection, he was always a favorite of mine. He’s dated and goofy, but I dig it.