#2037: Captain James T Kirk

CAPTAIN JAMES T KIRK

STAR TREK (MCFARLANE)

The Star Trek toy license has been through a whole lot of hands over the years, and seems to get passed along with this sort of regularity.  Aside from Mego (who held the license in the 70s) and Playmates (who held it in the 90s), nobody has been able to hold it for long.  This has become especially apprent in recent years.  In just the last decade, it’s been held by Playmates, Hasbro,  Mattel, and now McFarlane Toys.  And, McFarlane is doing what every company does when they get the license: making a Kirk. Well, let’s see how this one turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Kirk is one of two launch figures for McFarlane’s new Star Trek line (the other is the similarly popular toy-choice Picard).  He’s based on his classic series appearance, and will be joined in the second series by a matching Spock.  The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  His construction and the implementation of his articulation is pretty much the same as McFarlane’s other recent figures in this scale, which is to say actually not terrible.  They do seem to be learning how to actually work the articulation into the sculpts without it looking awful in some spots, which I count as a plus.  That said, the range of motion on the joints could still use some work, because even with all of that articulation, he’s not getting into much more than a fairly basic standing pose.  Granted, for Kirk that’s not the end of the world, but it does impact how he interacts with at least one of his accessories.  Kirk’s sculpt is definitely the strongest part of the figure, with the head sculpt really just being the best single thing about it.  Shatner’s likeness is a rather difficult to capture one, but I think this is the best classic series Shatner we’ve gotten in plastic form.  It’s not perfect from every angle, mind you, but it’s good from most, and that’s nothing to slouch at.  The body sculpt is pretty solid as well, with a decent match for Shatner’s proportions, and a nice variation of textures.  In particular, we actually get a texturing on the tunic, like the real thing, rather than the totally smooth look we usually get on classic Trek figures.  His hands are specifically sculpted to hold his included accessories, but they’re realistic looking hands.  Kirk’s paintwork is decent overall, with one slight caveat on my figure.  The base application is clean and bold, and looks fairly realistic.  I particularly like the really glossy boots.  Those are always fun.  The face is handled using the printing set-up that’s all the rage these days, and would be really nice if not for one of his eyes being slightly askew.  It’s very slight, and not enough to ruin the figure, but it’s just off enough for me to notice.  Kirk s packed with his phaser, larger rifle, an extra right hand for the rifle, a communicator, and a display stand.  The display stand makes me laugh, because it’s actually held in the package by scotch tape.  Not plastic tape, like you see on most figures (and every other accessory in this package): regular, foggy scotch tape, like off someone’s desk.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m apprehensive pretty much any time a new Trek line is announced, because they’re all pretty much doomed to failure at this point.  Admittedly, I’m not sure this one’s going to break that mold, because Todd doesn’t have the best track record for depth in his lines.  However, I saw this figure in person while out hunting for some other figures, and I kinda liked him.  He’s actually not a bad figure.  I don’t know that he breaks the mold or anything, but he’s the nicest Kirk I’ve owned, and he looks pretty sweet with my AA Gorn figure.

#1939: Gorn

GORN

STAR TREK (ART ASYLUM)

For an alien that only actually shows up one time in all of The Original Series, the Gorn sure does get a fair bit of toy love.  Every manufacturer to hold the classic Trek license has given us at least one of this guy.  And can you blame them?  Just look at him.  Isn’t he super awesome?  Well, I sure think so.  Among the toy love he has received was a figure during the Art Asylum/Diamond Select years, which gave us some of the most accurate and well-crafted figures that Trek has ever seen.  I’ll be looking at that particular figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Gorn was released in 2002, in the third series of Art Asylum’s Star Trek: The Original Series line, as part of an alien-heavy assortment, which also included a slightly worse for wear Kirk variant, which paired off nicely with this figure.  The Kirk and Gorn were re-released in 2010 in two-pack form, as part of the “Dilithium Collection,” but the Gorn seen here is the original release.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  The Gorn sported an all-new, totally unique sculpt.  It takes the design of the character as seen in “Arena” and idealizes things just a little bit, with the end result being a figure that keeps all of the important details you remember, while avoiding so costume accurate as to look goofy and fake.  He’s a large, hulking figure, with an impressive stature, and he’s packed with tons of detail all throughout.  The head is by far my favorite piece of the figure.  It’s sharply defined, and captures that sort of sneering menace of the character from the episode.  The cross-hatch pattern on the eyes is well-scaled to the rest of the head (earlier figures have been known to make it too large), and he’s just got a great likeness of the mask from the show.  The rest of the body is pretty strong in its own right, with the texturing of the skin continuing all throughout.  The garment he wears is slightly cleaner and smoother, but still has enough detail to keep it from looking jarring when placed next to the very detailed body.  There’s some slight mixed-media going on, with a rubbery material being used for the skirt piece.  It’s surprisingly thin and malleable, which is always a little concerning in regards to long-term integrity, but it seems to have held up in the 15 years since his release.  Gorn’s paintwork is actually some of the nicest that the line had to offer.  The base work is clean, and he’s got some very subtle, very well-applied accenting.  Definitely a very life-like appearance.  The Gorn was packed with the typical Gorn accessories, a spike and a translator, as well as the typical AA Trek accessory, a weird plastic coin.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Gorn is a figure I’ve wanted for quite some time.  In general, AA’s Classic Trek line was never easy to find at retail, and this set in particular was a fan-favorite.  I’d only seen this Gorn in person a few times, and he was always rather pricey.  I finally found him at Factory Antiques (the largest antique mall in the country!…or at least that’s what all the signs say), loose, and for a price I was willing to pay.  He’s a very nice figure, and perhaps the finest Gorn figure ever released.  Personally, I think he’s the best figure to come out of the AA Trek run, but I may be slightly biased.  Whatever the case, I’m just really happy to finally have him in my collection.

#1446: Captain Kirk & Spock – Dress Uniform

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK & MR. SPOCK – DRESS UNIFORM

STAR TREK (PLAYMATES)

“Teamwork has always been an important aspect of  Federation policy.  In that tradition, collected here together, for the first time ever, are the finest examples of Starfleet collaboration.”

There’s a new Star Trek show running.  It’s getting a lot of praise, which I suppose is good.  Personally?  I couldn’t get into it.  It contributes to this long-running theory I have about how I’m not a real Trek fan because I like the wrong half of the franchise.  I like TOS and four of it’s associated movies (I, II, II, and VI, if you’re curious), and I actually don’t mind Enterprise (though I acknowledge its flaws).  Next Gen mostly puts me to sleep (though First Contact is one of my favorite movies ever), I couldn’t make it through more than the first hour of Voyager, and I tapped out of DS9 about 20 minutes in.  And worst of all?  I enjoyed all of the JJ Abrams-reboot Trek films.  That’s points for disqualification alone, right?  Anyway, to remind myself that I actually *do* like some Star Trek, I’ve been watching through TOS, which is the show I’ll be focusing on today!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Kirk and Spock were released by Playmates in 1994, as part of their over-arching Star Trek line.  They were part of the “Starfleet Officers Collectors Set,” which offered the captains and first officers from the three Trek shows in existence at the time.  As noted above, I don’t have much attachment to Next Gen or DS9, so all I have are these two.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK

Kirk was absolutely no stranger to Playmates’ Trek line, but this figure was, at the very least, a valid variant of the character.  Kirk is seen here in his dress uniform from the show, as seen in episodes such as “Court Martial” and “The Menagerie.”  The captain’s dress uniform was actually a bit further removed from the others, since it dispensed with the usual yellow tunic color and instead went with green, similar to his casual attire.  The figure stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation.  Once again, we’ve got those goofy, essentially useless v-hips, but it’s not like they were ever going to change.  Structurally, this Kirk is very similar to the standard Kirk from the Bridge Set.  The head and legs are the same pieces, which is good from a consistency stand point, I guess.  Still not the best likeness of Shatner, but it could be worse.  The torso and arms are new, and do a nice job of capturing his slightly more ornate dress design.  The paint on this figure is fairly decent.  The colors match alright with the show, and the application is all pretty clean.  He’s not quite as glossy as the standard Kirk either, which certainly helps him look a bit more lifelike.  Kirk was packed with a phaser and communicator, which mine doesn’t have.  It’s just as well, since he wasn’t exactly going on missions dressed like this.

MR. SPOCK

What good is Kirk without Spock, right?  Spock was also no stranger to Playmates’ line, second only to his captain in that respect.  Like Kirk, this figure is sporting his dress uniform, which is slightly less distinctively different from his standard look.  Nevertheless, it’s a fairly prominent look for Spock, especially since it’s what he’s wearing during most of the “present day” sequences in “The Menagerie.”  He’s the same basic height as Kirk (a touch taller), and has the same articulation scheme.  It’s not amazing, but it works.  Like Kirk, Spock gets the same head and legs as his Bridge Crew counterpart, which is reasonable.  The torso and arms are new again, and are unique from the ones used on Kirk.  The details match up pretty well with Kirk’s, but he’s got the same build as the prior Spock.  He loses the unique Vulcan salute hand, which is a bit of a letdown, but not the worst thing ever.  Spock’s paint is okay; there’s a little more slop here than I’ve seen on other Playmates Trek offerings, but it’s also a bit flatter, which I quite like.  It really helps the likeness on the head, and makes it a little sad that we didn’t see more of these guys with this finish.  It might have really aided the sculpts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Dad had a fairly complete set of TOS figures from Playmates back in the day, but never got these two, largely due to the fact that they were only available as part of the larger set.  I found them over the summer, in a bin of loose figures at Lost In Time Toys.  They’re not essential figures, but they’re solid offerings, and a nice addition to the overall collection.  Now I need a McCoy to go with them.

#1345: Star Trek Minimates

CAPTAIN KIRK, SPOCK, DR. McCOY, KHAN, & GORN

STAR TREK MINIMATES (ART ASYLUM)

I’ve spoken twice before about the original, larger-sized Minimates, the important stepping stone on the way to getting us the licensing behemoth that we now have.  Today, I’ll be touching on them yet again, this time looking at the one property to have graced both styles of Minimate: Star Trek.   After doing ‘mates from Crouching Tiger and some music ‘mates, and even some Bruce Lee ‘mates, Art Asylum turned their sights onto Trek mostly because they already had the license (they produced a Dark Angel Minimate for the same reason, but with less success).  Anyway, I’ve got a bunch of them, and I’ll be looking at them today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These five were released in the first (and only) series* of the larger-scale Star Trek Minimates from Art Asylum.  There was also a Mugato in the series, as well as an accompanying ToyFare-exclusive “Trouble With Tribbles” Kirk, but I don’t yet have those two.  Maybe some day.

All of the figures featured here are built on the 3-inch Minimate body, which is a little different from the smaller body in terms of construction, mostly around the elbows and knees.  The assembly can afford to be just a touch more complex at the larger scale, and that’s really the source of most of the changes.  Nevertheless, it works the same as the smaller body from a basic functioning stand-point, and it has the same 14 points of articulation.

CAPTAIN KIRK

This was the first of the 14 MInimates of James T. Kirk.  He’s most prevalent of the Trek characters by far, though he’s got nothing on the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man.  Anyway, this is the one that started it all.  This figure has three add-on pieces: hair, and both pants cuffs.  The hair was new to this guy (though it was also shared with the ToyFare variant, and would have presumably been used for the Mirror Universe version in Series 2).  I gotta say, I like this piece a lot more than the initial smaller Kirk ‘mates.  It’s still a bit more simplistic than more recent ‘mates, but that’s certainly not a point against it, and it’s definitely in keeping with the other ‘mates of this time period.  The paint work on Kirk is about on par with the rest of the earlier ‘mates.  It’s all pretty clean, but also rather on the simple side.  All of the important things, like the face and various uniform elements are there.  The face has a pretty decent likeness of Shatner (honestly, I think it was a bit better than later attempts), and the uniform details seem to be pretty accurate.  The colors are generally pretty decent, but once again, far more basic than later ‘mates would be.  Kirk was packed with a phaser (painted in all silver, rather than the proper silver and black), as well as one of the goofy puzzle pieces that they threw in with all of the early guys.

MR. SPOCK

Spock’s not too far behind Kirk on the variant front, with a whole 8 Minimates under his belt.  There does seem to be a little less variation to his, though.  Like Kirk, this figure has add-ons for his hair and pant cuffs.  Spock’s hair piece is fine, but I find his style of hair doesn’t translate quite as well to this sort of figure.  Later pieces worked a fair bit better, I feel.  I think his hair just needs more detail to it, otherwise it just ends up looking like a skullcap or something.  The paint on Spock is rather similar to Kirk’s, but once again, I don’t think it works quite as well.  The face definitely tries for a Nimoy likeness and, while it isn’t horribly off, I think the lack of any sort of line work for the cheekbones is really holding it back.  Most characters can get by alright without the cheekbones, but not those played by Leonard Nimoy.  In addition, the shade of blue chosen for the shirt is several shades too dark and far too greyed out for the blue shirts from Classic Trek.  This shade almost looks like something from the JJ Abrams films, which wouldn’t be released for 7 years after this.  Spock includes an extra right hand, doing the Vulcan salute, as well as a tricorder and the puzzle piece.

DR. McCOY

McCoy’s important because he finished out the show’s core trio.  Sadly, he always seems to be the one who gets overlooked.  It’s a shame, really.  But hey, he got this ‘mate and a few others, so that’s pretty good for him, right?  This guy is very similar to the other two, with the exact same cuffs on the legs and then a unique hair piece.  The hair falls somewhere between the other two, being not quite as strong as Kirk’s, but a fair bit more recognizable as hair than Spock’s.  It’s definitely not bad.  In terms of paint, he’s almost identical to Spock, overly dark blue and all.  On the plus side, the likeness on the face is the spitting image of DeForrest Kelly, surly country wisdom and all.  He includes the same tricorder and puzzle piece as Spock, but obviously loses the saluting hand.  It would have been nice to get one of his medical gadgets or something, but the tricorder’s enough, I suppose.

KHAN

Khan’s pretty popular for a guy who was only in a single episode of the show.  Oh, right, and there was that movie thing, I guess.  That might have helped.  Khan’s had a few Minimates, and not a single one of them has been in the same outfit.  This is one of his red outfits, likely chosen for it’s contrast with the rest of Series’ color schemes.  He’s got a hair piece and a skirt for the bottom of his tunic.  Both pieces are pretty solid, so that’s good.  Khan has one of the more complex paint schemes in the set (though not *the* most.  That comes later), and it’s generally pretty nicely handled.  My only real complaint is that his face is slightly off-center, which is a problem that occasionally cropped up with these early ‘mates, due to the hair peg being near the back of the head.  On the plus side, the likeness on the face is pretty decent.  Khan’s only accessory is the puzzle piece.

GORN

Okay, so I freaking love the Gorn, and this is like my whole reason for buying this set.  Because I desire to own every Gorn figure in existence.  I’m actually pretty close on that, so, yaaaaaay.  Gorn FTW!  This guy uses add-ons for his hands and his skirt.  There’s no piece for the head, which leaves the peg hole exposed, but it’s not huge issue, given the placement.  The add-ons are nicely sculpted and pretty cool looking overall.  The skirt piece is a little thick, so he splits at the middle a lot, but it’s a minor issue.  Gorn gets the most complicated of the paint jobs.  It’s still pretty simplified, but I actually really like it.  The face is pretty neat, and I like how they’ve translated his design onto the basic head block.  They’ve also done a nice job with the pattern on his tunic, so that’s cool.  He was packed with a spike, a translator, and that freaking puzzle piece.  Mine is lacking these, sadly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted to pick up a set of these back when they were still new, back when they would have been my first Minimates, but for whatever reason, I never got any of them.  I’m the reason the line failed, you guys.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ve been on the lookout for a set for a little while now, and I ended up finding these guys at Amazing Heroes, which was a cool toys, comics, and games store that my brother found just outside of Seattle.  I was actually pretty happy to find an almost complete set in one go.  I kinda dig these guys.  Kirk and the Gorn are the definite stars, and translate really well to the more simplistic style.  The others are pretty solid as well, if not quite as stand out.  Now, I gotta get that second Kirk and a Mugato….

*There was a proposed second series, which would have rounded out the main crew and given us a Klingon, but, like all of the 3-inch lines, Trek never made it past Series 1.

#1052: Classic Star Trek Bridge Crew

KIRK, SPOCK, McCOY, UHURA, SCOTTY, SULU, & CHEKOV

CLASSIC STAR TREK (PLAYMATES)

bridgecrew1

Fifty years ago today, Star Trek premiered its very first episode, “The Man Trap”.  Now, here we are, all these years later, and it’s become a whole lot more than the simple three-season, hour-long  science fiction drama that it started out as.  The franchise has, admittedly, cooled off a bit in terms of popularity, but it’s still kicking, and Paramount and CBS are doing their very best to make sure it doesn’t totally fade away.  This year saw the release of Star Trek Beyond, the franchise’s thirteenth film (which was AWESOME, by the way), which was pretty awesome, and there’s even a new TV series in development. Over the years, there have been quite a few lines of action figures based on the property.  In honor of the franchise’s anniversary, I’ll be taking a look at my real introduction to Star Trek, the Playmates versions of the original bridge crew.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The seven Original Series bridge crew members were released in 1993 as part of a special Bridge Set, which served to launch Playmates’ Classic Star Trek line.  All seven figures were exclusive to this set, though many of the molds would be later used on various single-release figures from later in the line.

KIRK

bridgecrew2Kirk was one of Playmates’ favorite characters to release during their run with the line.  And who can blame them?  He’s one of the signature characters from the series.  This isn’t the first Kirk Playmates released, but he was the first of the classic Kirks, so there’s that.  The figure stands about 4 1/2  inches tall and has 12 points of articulation.  Those were both standard counts for the line, and they hold true on just about all of the figures in this set.  Like almost every figure from Playmates’ Star Trek run, Kirk suffers from the strange V-hips.  I’m not really sure what their purpose is.  I mean, sure, they give him extra movement, but it’s not really good for anything, since even a basic sitting pose is virtually impossible with these hips.  They do allow him to do a fancy jig, so I guess that’s better than nothing.  Kirk’s sculpt is about par for the line, which is to say it’s not anything amazing.  You can tell who he’s supposed to be, but nothing about him is really spot-on.  Most of the details are rather soft and bold.  “Lifelike” is not really a quality this guy possesses.  He almost feels like someone flattened him just a bit, especially on the torso, and the head seems rather large compared to the rest of the figure.  The paint on Kirk is generally pretty basic.  All the colors and such look about right, and most of the application is pretty clean, which is certainly a plus.  On the plus side, the paint on the face is remarkably sharp and well-detailed, which actually does quite a lot to save the figure.  Kirk was packed with a phaser and a communicator, which seem slightly large, but are otherwise very nicely detailed.  He also included a display base, which is patterned after one of the badges, and has the Command symbol to match Kirk.

SPOCK

bridgecrew3Spock was another of Playmates’ favorites.  As perhaps the most recognizable character from the franchise, you kind of expect him the show up a lot.  Like Kirk, this was far from the first figure he had received from Playmates, but it was his first classic figure.  Structurally he’s very similar to Kirk.  He stands a little taller, but he has the same articulation scheme, for better or for worse.  Surprisingly, there are no shared parts between Kirk and Spock.  Spock has been sculpted to be a little thinner than Kirk, which works alright.  He still looks a bit wider then he should, and I can’t say the head has a particularly good Nimoy likeness, but you can see who it’s supposed to be.  Spock’s right hand is sculpted giving the Vulcan salute, which was a nice touch that really gave Spock a nice bit of uniqueness.  Spock’s paintwork is very similar to Kirk’s, which I suppose is good.  The uniform is still very basic, and the face still very nicely detailed.  On the downside, the blue of Spock’s shirt makes the paint wear on the gold sections far more noticeable than it was on Kirk.  Spock also included a communicator and a phaser, as well as a badge-shaped display stand, this time sporting the Science symbol.

McCOY

bridgecrew6McCoy was a far less common character than the other two, but he did still get his fair share of figures.  Which is good, because this guy’s just the best.  McCoy is very similar to the other two figures in terms of structure.  His closer to Spock in terms of height, which is appropriate.  I find that he’s got one of the better sculpts in the set.  He’s still a bit too wide, but his torso feels less flat and more organic than the other two.  In addition, I think his head has one of the better likenesses in the set.  It’s still not spot on, but it’s not awful.  His noggin’s still pretty huge, McCoy’s paint is more of the same.  That’s good from at least a consistency standpoint.  McCoy included the standard phaser and communicator, as well as the display stand, once again with the Science symbol.  It would have been nice to get a tricorder for him, since he’s a doctor and all, but you’ll have to grab that piece from one of the later McCoys.

UHURA

bridgecrew7Here’s where we start to get into the figures that Playmates was a bit more lenient on, though Uhura was far from absent from the line.  Uhura’s probably the most unique figure in this set, being the only female and all.  That being said, apart from the more obvious changes in sculpting, she’s still more of the same in terms of construction.  She has the same articulation scheme and is roughly the same height as the others in this set.  The hard plastic skirt kind of limits the movement on the legs, but that’s really it, and it’s not like it was particularly useful movement anyway.  On the plus side, Uhura probably has the best sculpt in the bunch.  She’s still a little squatter than she should be, but she doesn’t feel as flat and wide as the others in this set, which is a definite point in her favor.  Uhura’s paint is pretty much the same as what we’ve seen on the others, which isn’t bad.  She included the same three extras as the others, though this time the stand had the engineering symbol.

SCOTTY

bridgecrew4I’m givin’ this review all she’s got, Captain, but I think I’m running out of intros for these guys.  Here’s Scotty.  He was the engineer, and he was very Scottish.  This was his third figure from Playmates, but, like the others, it was his first classic figure.  Scotty is noticeably stockier than the others in this set, which actually isn’t too bad, because it means his head doesn’t look quite as out of scale.  He’s also got a pretty decent likeness, so that’s a plus.  The paint is similar to the others, though the red does help him stand out a bit.  He had the same phaser, communicator, and stand (once again with the Engineering symbol).

SULU

bridgecrew8Oh my!  It’s Sulu.  After getting totally overlooked by Mego, this was Sulu’s second figure from Playmates, though it was the first one that a lot of people were able to find.  He’s very similar to the other figures.  Still no re-used parts, which is actually kind of surprising, but good for them.  Sulu gets another of the better likenesses.  It’s still far from perfect, but you can definitely see some of George Takei in there.  The paint’s more or less the same as the others, which is kind of expected six figures into this review, as is the accessory selection, which includes the same three extras as the others.

CHEKOV

bridgecrew5Like Sulu, Chekov was totally left out of Mego’s selection of figures.  What’s more, despite being one of the three original series cast members included in the Generations line, he was really hard to find, meaning this was the first chance that most people had to get a Chekov.  That’s a pretty big deal.  The figure is probably the weakest in the set, if I’m honest.  The head is absolutely huge, and the hair looks totally fake (even more fake than it should…).  He also doesn’t have the greatest likeness (and mine’s even got a chip missing from his chin).  At the very least, the paint is still pretty good, so he’s got that going for him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This set was a gift, I’m pretty sure from my parents, for either my birthday or Christmas.  I know my dad had one of these first, and I really liked it, so he and my mom made sure that I had one of my own.  I think I still have the actual bridge diorama they were packed in somewhere as well.  That thing got some pretty serious play time.  What I don’t have is my original Uhura figure.  She went missing not long after I got the set.  It was only in the last few years that I got a replacement, courtesy of family friend (and Star Trek author and script writer) Howie Weinstein.  There’s no denying that my love of this set is mostly based around nostalgia.  The figures are hardly on par with even the figures being released alongside them.  That said, it was the first time the whole crew had ever been available, and that’s pretty awesome in and of itself.

#1033: Khan Noonien Singh

KHAN NOONIEN SINGH

STAR TREK (ART ASYLUM)

Khan1

“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”

1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is easily the greatest film to come out of the Star Trek franchise. It not only helped revive the franchise after the somewhat lackluster response to The Motion Picture, but it also made its lead antagonist, Khan Noonien Shingh, into one of Star Trek’s most memorable characters, and one of cinema’s greatest villains. But, before all of that, Khan was just another of TOS’s threats of the week, appearing only in a single episode of the show’s run. During Playmates’ rather long tenure with the Trek license, they released just about every character and look imaginable from the franchise, but Khan’s only figure was based on his film appearance. His TV appearance wouldn’t see release until 2003, after the license had moved to Art Asylum. I’ll be looking at that particular figure today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Khan2Khan was released in the first series of AA’s Star Trek: The Original Series line. He was the only figure in the series that was not a member of the bridge crew. The figure stands about 7 ¼ inches tall and has 19 points of articulation. Like a lot of the Trek figures in this style, Khan’s articulation doesn’t allow for much more than a basic standing pose, but you can get him into a few decent poses. Khan is seen here in the red jumpsuit he wears towards the end of “Space Seed,” during his climactic battle with Kirk. It’s kind of the go-to look for TOS Khan, so it’s a decent choice. The sculpt does a pretty nice job of translating that look into figure form. He’s not perfect, but he fits with the style of the other figures in this line. The head is very nicely detailed in particular, especially on the hair. In fact, I think Khan’s head sports one of the better likenesses in the first series. The uniform is a little lighter on the details than the head and hands, but the important details are still there, so that’s good. The legs are also rather on the skinny side, but this was common to the line, so at least he fits in. The paintwork on Khan is pretty decent. The skintone isn’t quite as lifeless as some of the other figures in the line (though it does seem a bit pale for Montelban). I also quite like the use of a wash on the jumpsuit, so as to bring out the details in the sculpt. Khan included a standard classic phaser, as well as one of the weird little coins that Art Asylum included with all of their Trek figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was actually pretty excited for this line of figures when they were first shown off, Khan most of all. When they finally hit, they weren’t as easy to find as prior Trek lines from AA. I ended up finding them all from a dealer at a con, but at the higher price, I only ended up with Khan. He’s a very nice figure, just like the rest of AA’s output. I’m definitely glad I have him. If only I had some others in the same scale!

#0112: Spock & Uhura

SPOCK & UHURA

STAR TREK MINIMATES

Did you guys realize that I’d gone over two weeks without any Minimate reviews?  I’m starting to go into withdrawal!  So, to remedy that, I’m taking a look at another set, STAT! (I have no idea what that means, but doctors always end their sentences with “STAT” on medical dramas when stuff gets all serious.)

Today, it’s another look at the Star Trek minimates line, this time from their first venture into the smaller 2-inch scale, not the more recent Legacy line I’ve looked at previously.  My previous Trek ‘mate reviews have been a bit more on the obscure side for non-Trek fans, but not this time!  Today, I’ll be looking at classic series mainstays Spock & Uhura.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 2nd wave of the initial small-scale Star Trek Minimates line.

SPOCK

First up, the logical choice, the Enterprise’s chief science officer and one of the most known characters from the series, Mr. Spock.  This was the second Spock released in the line, so Diamond decided to depict him in his uniform from the original pilot “The Cage.”  It’s not too far off from his regular series uniform, but instead of the usual black v-collar, he has a blue turtle-neck, and his rank band-thingies on his arms are a bit different.  Spock is built on the usual Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation.  Spock has 3 sculpted pieces: his hair and his pant cuffs.  The hair is appropriate to the character, showing off his unique bowl-cut and pointed ears, as well as conveying some nice detail work.  The cuffs are different than the ones featured on the previously reviewed Captain Pike.  Diamond seems to have moved to the slimmer pieces for the new line.  I’m not sure which ones I prefer, but the ones present here do their job.  The earlier Trek ‘mates can be a bit more simplistic than some of the more recent offerings, but this doesn’t seem to affect Spock too negatively.  His face, in particular, holds just as much detail as modern Minimates and offers a unique facial expression that suits the character well.  The rest of the details are fine, although some of the gold details can get lost.  Spock included a tricorder and a “Cage”-style phaser.

UHURA

Next, it’s the Enterprise’s faithful communications officer, Lt. Uhura.  She’s not as well-known as Spock, perhaps, but she’s definitely up there.  Uhura is shown in her main uniform from the series.  Like Spock, Uhura is built on the usual body, and has the same height and articulation.  Uhura has 2 sculpted pieces:  her hair and her skirt.  The hair looks to be pretty spot on, and the detailing is quite nice, perhaps even better than that on Spock’s hair-piece.  The skirt is fine, though it does look a bit on the dated side by current Minimate standards, being rather on the boxy side.  Like Spock, Uhura doesn’t appear to have been hit too hard by the occasionally lesser paint apps of earlier minimates.  Most of the paint work is nice and clean, and the face is a nice approximation of Nichelle Nichols.  A slight negative:  The paint of the boots is rather sloppy, and similarly to Spock, the gold parts can get a little lost.  Overall, she’s well done, though.  Uhura was packaged with a phaser and a communicator.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were picked up on clearance from a nearby FYE.  I actually had been looking for them, and just happened upon them at FYE along with several other sets of Minimates.  Trek Minimates have never been the highest priority for me, but I always enjoy them once I get them.  This was a pretty good set, and is necessary for anyone looking to complete their Original Series bridge crew.