Playmates Week (Day 5): Review Of Star Trek 6″ & 12″ Figures April 18, 2009by John Tenuto , Filed under: Review,Star Trek (2009 film),Toys , trackback
On Sunday all the Star Trek toys from Playmates should be available at Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers. Today we finish up our week long look at all aspects of Playmates first wave of Star Trek toys, with the TrekMovie review of the big action figures: the 6" ‘Warp Collection’ and the 12" ‘Command Collection.’
The bigger the better
To borrow from my other favorite franchise, Master Yoda tells Luke in The Empire Strikes Back "Judge me not by size do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not." Sorry to disagree, Master Yoda, but TrekMovie is going to do. Some of the very last (and best) items that Playmates Toys made during its 1990s run of Star Trek toys were their excellent 12" action figures from TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager. And in 2009 the pick up right where they left off with two new lines of big figures.
Playmates brand new 12" Command Collection from the Star Trek movie includes four action figures: Kirk, Spock, McCoy (all in Enterprise Uniforms) and Original Spock. Each figure retails for around $30 each.
The 6" Warp Collection has a bit more variety with Kirk, Scotty, Spock, and Pike in Enterprise Uniforms, and McCoy, Uhura, and Chekov in Cadet Uniforms, along with the Original Spock and Nero. These sell for around $10 each.
These kinds of larger action figures have two kinds of audiences. The main audience is collectors who like the detailing, sculpts, cloth costumes (on the 12" line), and larger accessories. It should not be forgotten that these are also playable items, although not sized for playsets (unless the playset is the size of an entire room!) and there is the audience who wishes to play with these. Both audiences are not going to be disappointed.
The 12" Command Collection
Figures: (Kirk, McCoy, and Spock: 5 stars, Original Spock: 4.5 stars)
The 12" line features incredibly good sculpts and costuming that make them a must for collectors of Star Trek action figures. For example, whatever problems the 3.75" and 6" line has with the likeness or proportions of Chris Pine, none are with the 12" version of Captain Kirk. The expressions on McCoy and Spock’s faces are perfect and the figures feature many points of articulation. What is especially good is the action figure joints are solid and these figures stand properly in a variety of poses. The detail of these figures extends to the costumes which include the delta insignias and pleating of the pant knee. Playmates even continues the detail under the boots of the Starfleet characters. For these reasons, the figures appeal to those display and for those who play.
Accessories (4 stars)
The accessories here are larger because of the size of the figures. Every figure includes a stand, which are very nice and keep the figure displayed nicely. Spock has a rounded base with the Starfleet insignia, and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy have cool delta shaped insignia stands. The communicator and phaser accessories are nice because they are carefully rendered to show details. Again, the only complaint is that Original Spock only includes an interchangeable hand (regular or Vulcan salute hands are included). Doesn’t Original Spock use anything in the movie? Even Obi-Wan Kenobi had a lightsaber. As with all the sizes of action figure, McCoy includes something extra and here it is a tricorder.
Packaging (4.9 stars) stars)
The quality of these items begins with their packaging. Sometimes those who collect and display do not want to open these kinds of figures, and Playmates Toys features excellent packaging. There is plenty of light allowed in to see the action figures because of the amount of clear plastic on the packaging which is very nice. The side panels of the packaging are also allow fans to see the sides making the figures visible from every angle except the back (see our photos here for pictures of the back of the figures for non-openers). The figures also have something that the 3.75" and 6" line doesn’t: the back of the boxes are customized to each figure. The 3.75" and 6" lines have generic backs, but this line is meant for collectors and has nice pictures and details about the figure on the back.
NOTE: There will be some additional Command Collection exclusives, including Pike, Sulu, and Nero. These will be released some time later in 2009, you can see pictures of them at the Playmates Star Trek site.
The 6" Warp Line
The 6" action figures feature flexible PVC-styled shirts which allow for more mobility than the 3.75" line. The intended effect of the design of the shirts is to mimic the delta insignia that is woven into the new movie uniforms. There was quite a response from some fans when an unapproved prototype image of the Kirk figures was leaked about six months ago with what is now referred to as the "sweater" photo because it looks like Kirk was in a knitted or crocheted shirt. This certainly isn’t what these action figures look like, yet there is something about the yellow shirts that make the effect look more bumpy. The idea works fine with the red shirt of Scotty or the blue shirt of Spock, though.
Kirk (2.75 stars)
Where the 12" Kirk is very nice, the 6" shows again the "Kirk likeness curse" that has plagued Shatner Kirk toys for decades and the tradition seems to be continuing with Pine Kirk. The hair is very good, but the face is more generic than it should be for the main character.
Spock, Original Spock, Pike, and Chekov (3.75 stars)
Spock, like Sulu, has angles where he looks like his actor, yet these four figures all have slight sculpting issues which while not bad, do have problems.
Scotty, Sulu (4.5 stars)
Scotty looks a tad angry or serious, not really capturing the fun of the character in the movie as described reviews of the film. The strange thing about Sulu is that depending on which side of the figure you are looking at, it either looks perfectly like John Cho or not very much like him.
McCoy, Nero, Uhura: (5 stars)
The sculpts and paints on these figures are very nice. Uhura continues to be the surprise sculpt of the line with a good representation of Zoe Saldana and Nero is fantastic.
Accessories (4.5 stars)
What is nice about the Playmates Toys line is the consistency of accessories. For example, all versions of Kirk include the same accessories (except the bonus Bridge playset items that are included with the 3.75" toy). This is true for most action figures. The delta insignia stands are kept the same, so if someone wishes to display a McCoy in Cadet Uniform in 3.75, 6 and 12" varieties next to each other, there is a very good style and unification of the action figures. Again, poor Original Spock has little in the accessories area which is the .5 deduction here. Otherwise, the accessories are nicely detailed and fit properly with the action figures.
Packaging (4 stars)
Keeping the same aesthetic among the various lines is a great idea. However, the 6" backs are too unified in that they are exactly the same. For collector items that people are more likely to keep in the package, it would have been good for the 6" line to engage the strategy of the 12" action figures and have customized backs.
The bigger the action figure, the better the detail, or so goes the generic rule of collecting. This is true of the 6" and especially the 12" action figures. Considering the quality of the 12" line, there is a good reason to be excited about more figures, and Playmates Toys promises more of everything during 2009 and 2010.
AVAILABILITY & PRE-ORDER
Playmates Toys officially go on sale this Sunday, although some stores are selling Star Trek Playmates items already. They will be available at Toys R Us, Wal-mart and Target as well as other retailer. You can order all of the Playmates Toys from Entertainment Earth.
- Enterprise Bridge Playset [$29.99] (sized for 3.75" figures)
- Transporter Room Playset [$33.79] (sized for 3.75" figures)
Role Play Toys:
TOYS R US UPDATE
According to TRU, all stores will be featuring a special Star Trek boutique. These special ’boutiques’ are usually located in the front of the store with towering displays and a healthy supply of toys and other items. This is the same kind of thing done for recent movies like Batman, Spiderman, and Star Wars. The Star Trek boutique will be a one-stop shopping locations where everything from action figures to playsets to books to clothes will be available (including Star Trek items from Playmates, Mattel, Diamond Select, and other Star Trek products). The exact date of when these will start appearing hasn’t been finalized and may differ per store, but they will definitely be at all TRU stores before the movie opens on May 8th.
TrekMovie Playmates Week
For more reviews of the new Star Trek Playmates toys, see our other articles from the week (including pictures and videos):