#0435: Data

DATA

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…

Advertisements

#0332: Data – First Contact

DATA

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

DataFC1

Star Trek movies have a tendency to be rather hit and miss. The shows all have their loyal fanbases (even Voyager and DS9, much to my own amazement), but the movies tend to be very polarizing. There’s the common adage about the odd movies being the bad ones, which sort of works (well…if you overlook Star Trek VI and Insurrection). Two movies that support this theory are Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek: First Contact. In the case of the latter, I think the movie is even better than the show that spawned it, and it remains one of my favorite movies to this day. Around the time of Nemesis and Enterprise, Art Asylum picked up the license for Star Trek and began doing figures of the current stuff. When Art Asylum merged with Diamond Select Toys, DST took over the line and changed up the release method a bit, doing just 2-3 characters at a time, with multiple character looks released different places. Today, I’ll be looking at Data, based on his look from First Contact.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DataFCWilsonData was part of series three of Diamond’s Star Trek: The Next Generation line. This particular variant of Data was released as a Previews Exclusive, meaning he could only be gotten by placing an order for series three through Diamond Distributers. The figures stands about 7 ½ inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. The figure is based on the character’s appearance in First Contact, specifically the final 10-15 minutes of the film, after the human implants given to him by the Borg are destroyed. The figure’s sculpt is a mix of unique and shared pieces. The arms below the shoulder, and everything below the waist are shared with the regular series 3 versions of both Data an Lt. Barclay. The figure gets a new torso and shoulders to represent his movie uniform, as well as an all new head sculpt to represent his “exposed” look. The body is pretty good, though not perfect. The legs are skinny, and the slightly odd positioning of the feet, coupled with the lack of any sort of swivel joints on the legs, makes the figure difficult to stand correctly. The hands also seem a bit on the large side, but they aren’t terrible. The head sculpt bears a passing resemblance to Brent Spiner, but it’s not as close as some previous sculpts. The mechanical part of the head is superb, very accurately recreating all the exposed circuitry seen in the movie. It’s the highlight of the figure, which is good because it’s also the selling point. The paint on Data is clean and well applied. The skin seems just a bit thick, but it’s not too bad on a robotic character like Data. Data includes an alternate head, an alternate arm, a hair piece for the extra head, and a transfer tube of some sort to be plugged into the head. The extra head is mostly unscathed Data, with a removable piece of hair exposing some more of his circuitry, and the extra arm features a rolled up sleeve, exposing even more circuitry. The head is pretty nice, and swaps pretty easily. I can’t tell whether the likeness is improved or made worse by seeing more of his face. The arm is nice, but for the life of me, I have no idea how you’re supposed to swap it out. The regular arm he comes packaged wearing is very definitely not coming off.

DataFC2 DataFC4 DataFC3

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

One of the earliest movie-going experiences I remember is going to see Star Trek: First Contact with my parents. I was four at the time. I think I had seen an episode or two of the series, and I’m pretty sure I had seen Generations. I definitely knew Data was my favorite character. In preparation for the movie, my Dad bought me the Data action figure from the Playmates First Contact line. I clutched that figure tightly through the whole movie. One thing I always lamented was the figure’s lack of extra head for the look from the end, which was long one of my favorite looks. For years, I would make use of silver silly putty or duct tape to customize my own. I was thrilled when Diamond announced their own version of the look, but I never really got a hold of the figure. At local con Shoreleave this summer, one of the dealers had a large table of DST Trek figures, all marked $15. I saw Data under a few other figures, and after some encouraging words from Super Awesome Girlfriend (have I mentioned that she’s really supportive?) I decided to finally get one. It’s not the greatest figure ever, but I really like the look, and it’s a pretty great representation of it!