LT. CMDR. GEORDI LaFORGE
STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (PLAYMATES)
While I’ve been exposed to Star Trek pretty much my whole life, my only real solid memories of the franchise from my childhood are seeing Star Trek: First Contact in the theatre when it was released (and subsequently getting it on Laserdisc when it came to home video. For over a decade, that was literally the only way we owned it. I’d have to fire up the laserdisc player anytime I wanted to watch it. I’m not joking). By extension, my first real memories of Star Trek toys are the figures from that movie, which are still some of my favorites. Today, I’ll be looking at that line’s version of Enterprise-E’s chief engineer Geordi LaForge!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Geordi was released as part of Playmates’ Star Trek: First Contact line, which hit shelves in early 1996. The line was noteworthy at the time for abandoning the scale used by all of the prior Playmates Trek figures, opting instead for a larger size. As such, the figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall. He sports 14 points of articulation; he and all the other main crew members were given additional thigh swivels, which greatly improved their ability to sit. Of course, the larger scale meant they weren’t compatible with any of the prior vehicles or playsets, so he doesn’t actually have anywhere to sit, but that’s neither here nor there. Movement is movement. Prior Trek lines had done their best to give each crew member their own unique body sculpt, but the First Contact figures went for the more obvious shared body idea. Geordi shares his body with both Data and Picard. It’s a decent enough sculpt. The details of the uniform are rather on the simplified side, and they’ve cut down on some things, such as the number of ridges on the grey part, and the seam at the front of the collar. All of the key details are there, which is good I guess. Honestly, it’s not that much of a departure from the smaller figures, so I guess the consistency is good. The build on the body works well enough for Burton (and the other three actors mentioned). The head sculpt is really big, definitely a bit out of scale with the body. I don’t think its really any more out of scale than any of the smaller figures, but it’s definitely more noticeable here. There’s a passable likeness in there, but I can’t say its one of their best (which is kind of a shame, because the First Contact figures overall had some of the best likenesses Playmates produced). Still, it’s not a bad sculpt, and has some decent texture work, which Playmates didn’t always put on their figures. The paintwork on Geordi is serviceable. The body is fairly basic, but it’s clean and the colors are right, so that’s good. The head has some more in-depth work, and the eyes in particular look really good (Playmates was really good at eyes). Geordi was packed with an assortment of various gadgets, all molded in black, as well as a display stand shaped like a communicator badge.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Geordi was my second figure from First Contact. I got him on a day out with my dad, who took me to Toys R Us to get him (and then I think we got lunch and he read me some Norse mythology. It was a cool day). I know I specifically requested this figure, because my cousin Noah had one and I really wanted my own. I remember being surprised that he didn’t include his visor (despite having already seen the movie and knowing he didn’t have it anymore). He’s not the most thrilling figure, but I have fond memories of getting him, and that certainly goes a long way!