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Playmates Week (Day 5): Review Of Star Trek 6″ & 12″ Figures April 18, 2009

by 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 Playmates 12" Command Collection

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.


The Playmates 6" Warp Collection

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.


Playmates Kirk 12" Figure (front and back)


Playmates Spock 12" Figure (front and back)


Playmates McCoy 12" Figure (front and back)


Playmates Original Spock 12" Figure (front and back)

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.


Playmates 12" Figure packaging (Kirk shown – front and 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

Action Figures
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.


Playmates Kirk 6" Figure (w/ accessories)

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.


Playmates Spock 6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Original Spock 6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Pike  6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Chekov  6" Figure (w/ accessories)

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.


Playmates Scotty 6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Sulu 6" Figure (w/ accessories)

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.


Playmates McCoy 6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Uhura 6" Figure (w/ accessories)


Playmates Nero 6" Figure (w/ accessories)

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.


Playmates 6" Figure packaging (Spock shown – front and back)

 

Conclusions
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.

Figures

Playsets

Role Play Toys:

Vehicle


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):

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
DmsDyMach
April 18, 2009 8:27 pm

Already got’em all.

Admiral_BlackCat
April 18, 2009 8:32 pm

John Tenuto I have enjoyed your articles these last few days. From a toys perspective these look like fun toys for kids and adults and your writing show that. Thank you.

jotin
April 18, 2009 8:33 pm

ive got nero and kirk. nero’s my favorite. I want his outfit.

April 18, 2009 8:35 pm

The captions under 6″ Sulu and McCoy say they are Scotty.

COOLPT
April 18, 2009 8:37 pm

While I like the new E, I was disappointed that it was smaller that Playmates previous ships, and too many exposed screws. Seems to be a common issue here with what I have read.
The 6″ Uhura is already commanding a higher price on places like ebay.
If anyone is going to TRU tomorrow and see the exclusive 12″ Pike and Sulu out, grab me a set huh…!!!

spockatatic
April 18, 2009 8:41 pm

I want to play with Spock!! ::blinks:: dude, I sound worse than Christine Chapel…

WeeblesWobble
April 18, 2009 8:44 pm

Bad link on the 6″ group shot when you click on it.

jonboc
April 18, 2009 8:47 pm
I saw all of these today and was very tempted to pick up a couple of the 12″ figures but I just bought the props. I’m really enjoying the phaser. The design elements of past Trek’s have not been forgotten and this is really an interesting looking and very comfortable fitting piece. Love the spinning emitter and even all that chrome isn’t that bad. The new phaser sound FX are little weak, but still fun. I also love the new tricorder. Small, compact and with everything opened up, it has a definite TOS tricorder profile, Well done. The comunicator is… Read more »
Mike
April 18, 2009 8:48 pm

Picked up Scotty and Spock today. (6 inch)

Not bad, but wish they had a bit more articulation. Seem a little out of proportion for height, but hey….. In the end, they’re toys and my son loves ’em!

Capt. Roykirk.
April 18, 2009 8:54 pm

Looks like they did pretty good with the 12” figures, and the 6 are ok. I think McCoy is one of the better renderings.
So far I can only find the real small ones, 3.75” at my Wal Mart. Doubt that I’ll get any though. This might be a pretty good movie, but to me Shatner is Kirk, Nemoy is Spock and so on.

Hey remember that “My Size Barbie” the used to make, she was like 3 feet tall. They should do that with these.

Taya_McCoy
April 18, 2009 8:54 pm

I boought these at my local Toys R us on friday. They were next to the star wars stuff and I was shocked because i bought the last of the 12 and 6 inch toys they had.

Cenobyte
April 18, 2009 8:58 pm

Is it just me or do the yellow shirts on the 6″ figures look like corn on the cob? lol

WeeblesWobble
April 18, 2009 8:59 pm

Nice review, John. Thanks for fixing the photo.

DGill
April 18, 2009 9:09 pm

The dolls (that’s what I call them anyway) look fairly decent. I hate the 6″ line except for Spock Prime and Nero. They’re definitely worth buying. When I get the chance, I really want to buy the Enterprise if nothing else.

DavidJ
April 18, 2009 9:16 pm

Finally saw these in the store, and… ick.

I know these are made mostly for kids… but man these look cheap and poorly sculpted. The 3.75″ looked fine in the pics, but up close they look just as awful as the Indy 4 ones did. And while the 6″ ones are a slight improvement, the sculpts are still way too generic and undetailed for the size.

Hmm, maybe I’ll just hold out for the Barbie versions after all. lol

April 18, 2009 9:23 pm

I love my 3.75-inch figures. I even picked up an extra Spock and Sulu so McCoy and Chekov could have the right uniforms. I just can’t get past the uniforms on the 6-inchers. How do they feel? Bumpy? And if those delta insignias are sticking up from their shirts, would that make them “raised shields?”

RD
April 18, 2009 9:27 pm
I thought the toy phaser was designed to look like a toy. But now I see that the flippable emitter for switching between stun and kill is how the thing really works. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. No weapon would work that way. How dumb does Abrams think the audience is to have to spoon feed them this basic bit of technology in such a child’s toy manner. Blue is good, red is baaad. Anyone who’s seen this film, please tell me there’s not a close-up of someone actually flipping the emitter – I will just burst out… Read more »
The Last Maquis
April 18, 2009 9:40 pm

Kirk looks like JJ

SPB
April 18, 2009 9:58 pm

WHY WAIT FOR TOMORROW…?

As of at least this Friday, all of the 3.75 and 6″ inch figures (plus the Enterprise) were readily available at my local Wal-Mart in northern Connecticut.

April 18, 2009 10:02 pm

Not dissing these dolls (is that how the kids say it?) they seem to be well done,….but seeing these makes me want to get my Mego dolls out. Those were cool.

Also,…on an unrelated note, but still in the key of toy talk….does anyone know about the release date on the Diamond select tricorders? I pre-ordered mine months ago and April was supposed to be the month. I’m still waiting.

tribble farmer
April 18, 2009 10:47 pm

I would so buy the big McCoy one if I hadn’t just spent all my money the DC Direct 1/6th scale Joker. xD

Gep Malakai
April 18, 2009 10:53 pm

#20:

The most recent update I heard put the release on the 27th of April.

John Sullivan
April 18, 2009 11:23 pm
I went to a WalMart tonight and saw more 30+ adult (usually males) go through the TOY aisle and okay, so I followed them. I saw all of these golden calf figurines, and they lacked the sophisticated patterns on the uniform shirts, although given the quality of the faces and the detail of the casts they could have. In general they actually come close to a likewise-sized crystal casting of the Virgin Mary I cherish in my living room – also made in China and not of China. As they are casts, they are not clothed items like Ken &… Read more »
SerenityActual
April 18, 2009 11:40 pm

I don’t think I will be picking any of these up and I will wait til someone better gets the license to make higher quality figures, props, etc. The one exception I will make is the phaser and that is to see what it looks like in a TOS paint job.

Still can’t wait for the movie though :))))

Jeffrey S. Nelson
April 19, 2009 2:24 am
I won’t buy any of the new toys. It’s not my daddy’s Star Trek, as the marketing blitz says….and I’ve literally said this from day one, as has Stanky McFibberich to paraphrase the Stank-Meister. I don’t feel obligated to buy any of these toys. J.J. Abrams could have made a Trek film that more closely followed the original series with interior and exterior sets that mirror the original without being dated. They could have parted Karl Urban’s hair on the same side as Deforest Kelley’s for god’s sake. Gary Sinese would have made a better McCoy. Chris Pine could have… Read more »
Selor
April 19, 2009 2:33 am

Is it sure, that the german Toys’R’Us will get those boutiques too? ^^

CmdrR
April 19, 2009 2:52 am

I really hope my local stores in Atlanta get these. I feel silly as it is walking into Toys R Us when I’m not even shopping for EnsR, but it’s worse to come away empty handed.

Valar1
April 19, 2009 3:20 am

I went to TRU today. Their stock was empty except for 2 phasers. Really pleases/pisses me off how quickly all this stuff is evaporating off shelves. The manager said the truck came in Thurs, unloaded by that night, and I walk in on Sat morning and the aisle is empty-unfreakinbelievable.

cinemadeus
April 19, 2009 3:38 am

Sorry for off-topic:

Since it is unlikely that any making-of material is going to get published, could anyone of the TREK XI production staff manage to e-mail me some previz material, production design artworks etc.?

darrksan
April 19, 2009 3:53 am
25. Jeffrey S. Nelson – April 19, 2009 I won’t buy any of the new toys. It’s not my daddy’s Star Trek, as the marketing blitz says….and I’ve literally said this from day one, as has Stanky McFibberich to paraphrase the Stank-Meister. I don’t feel obligated to buy any of these toys. J.J. Abrams could have made a Trek film that more closely followed the original series with interior and exterior sets that mirror the original without being dated. They could have parted Karl Urban’s hair on the same side as Deforest Kelley’s for god’s sake. Gary Sinese would have… Read more »
John Tenuto
April 19, 2009 5:31 am

#25

I wasn’t aware we were ever obligated to buy toys

djthorn
April 19, 2009 6:16 am

I have noticed that with playmates Star Trek toys, They actually seem to be designed to be “played with.” Where the Diamond select/Art asylum versions seem more a display and/or collectible.

Also, for all those who have mentioned how small the new movie U.S.S. Enterprise toy ship seems, I always thought that Diamond selects Starship replicas was kind of small as well. (for the price)

charley
April 19, 2009 6:31 am

Level of detail is amazing. In the film older spock has Aids, and it shows in the figure as he has lost alot of weight. Well done.

April 19, 2009 6:55 am

22

Thank you Gep.

The Invader (In Color!)
April 19, 2009 7:03 am
I was not impressed. I have the all the previous lines of toys and figures from Playmates, but the level of quality is NOT as good as the DST figures. I looked at them at WalMart and I think I’ll pass. The new Enterprise toy — as previous Playmates Federation ships — is mission some detail and is not accurate. Maybe it’s because I am older now…? I don’t know, but it just looked to me like Playmates has overall lost it’s touch. The figures looked sloppy and the paint jobs on them were not good. I noticed a lot… Read more »
Bradley1701
April 19, 2009 7:30 am

These are toys…for kids…

The Invader (In Color!)
April 19, 2009 9:06 am

Not necessarily.

A lot of adults collect them too.

Sloan47
April 19, 2009 9:06 am

#36 – Shhhh, don’t add logic to this topic. ;)

Cody
April 19, 2009 9:08 am

I’m sorry to disagree, but the 12″ Kirk doesn’t look like Pine at all… Just like Shatner figures used to be… Put a pic of Pine next to his figure in any size and the differences are obvious…..

DavidJ
April 19, 2009 10:30 am

36

That doesn’t mean we should just excuse poorly made crap like this. Most of the other kid’s action figures I see on the shelves (whether it’s the new Spidey cartoon figs, the new GI Joes, the new Transformers, the SW figs, the DC and Marvel figs, etc) don’t have this kind of splotchy paint and deformed sculpting.

And I know the problem isn’t the size, because the tiny Narnia and Pirates figs from a couple years ago were exceptionally well made and detailed compared to this.

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
April 19, 2009 11:07 am

Wow what a huge surprise another gushing review!!!!!

Sloan47
April 19, 2009 11:13 am

#41: Wow, what an insightful post.

You know… if you have criticism with the toys, go ahead and post what they are.

Spoctor McKirk
April 19, 2009 11:23 am

@10

“Hey remember that “My Size Barbie” the used to make, she was like 3 feet tall. They should do that with these.”

Yes! I’d like “My Size Spock”…6 feet tall and 50lbs overweight.

Valar1
April 19, 2009 11:23 am

40

I think the main thing is the price point. For 6.50 USD you get a figure, a chair, a belt, a phaser, and a stand. OTOH you could buy a much better made, much more articulated Marvel Legends figure for about 9 USD, but all you get is the figure and one accessory- e.g. Capt America comes with a shield, Silver Surfer comes with a surf board, etc.

I think the Trek figures are crappy because they wanted to keep the cost low and include all the other accessories so that they could sell a ton of this stuff.

Cenobyte
April 19, 2009 11:24 am
I think these Playmates toys look like ass for the most part, they harken back to the oldschool TNG era toys they produced. At the time those were pretty good, but times have changed, while Playmates doesn’t seem to have. IMO, the DC direct line is a good way to judge figures these days, they make really good stuff for the most part… if you wana play with them, it’s a sweet toy. If you wana collect them, its a well made piece. The cheap punched out figure bases alone is the first sign something’s wrong, they’re not even as… Read more »
Shatner_Fan_Prime
April 19, 2009 11:26 am

Bones & Spock Prime look the best. I want a Spock Prime! Kirk looks way more like Hayden Christensen than Chris Pine.

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
April 19, 2009 12:28 pm
Oh John John so thin skinned Love it or leave it huh, John??? Actually about 90% of everything I have seen with this film has been extremely positive but I love how the minute someone has even a smidge of criticsm they are attacked as dissentors. How dare I challange the review of the Dollies!!!!! Joe McCarthey would be proud John!!!!!!! How bout this John, The Chris Pine head on the 12″ looks nothing like Chris Pine and the head appears too small and narrow for the body. Oh Silly me I mean It’s perfect!!!!! Everything is perfect!!!!!! This movie… Read more »
Shatner_Fan_Prime
April 19, 2009 12:42 pm

Hey, let’s make sure we all behave like adults. We are after all talking about Star Trek toys.

:-)

April 19, 2009 12:58 pm

that is over the line Garth…tone it down

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