Even though the world is focused on the new Star Trek movie, the rest of Star Trek still marches on, in this case with figures and toys. In the last few weeks Diamond Select Toys has released a number of new figures from TOS and DS9, inducing a Worf/Gowron 2-pack and the 19" Ultimate Scale Kirk and Spock. We have reviews of those plus some new previews, including the Salt Vampire.
NEW FROM DIAMOND SELECT: ALL FIGURES GREAT AND SMALL
REVIEW: Worf and Gowron 7" 2 Pack
Friends, then enemies, is it a good idea to package Worf and Gowron together for eternity? Definitely, because the detailing and paint on these figures is excellent. Diamond Select Toys / Art Asylum tends to produce very good Klingon figures, both in the quality of facial sculpts and the costumes.
But even with their past good work, this Gowron is perhaps one of their best Klingon yet. Actor Robert O’Reilly’s unique eyes are rendered nicely, featuring all the eeriness that is required of the unstable Klingon Chancellor.
Worf appears as he did in the "Way of the Warrior" and it is easy for customizers to transform this figure into a "Generations" variant (in edited scenes, Worf wore this custom in yellow). Worf’s likeness is a bit cartoonish, yet effective.
The only real complaint is that the Klingon action figures are scaled a little bigger than they should be compared to other figures. That being said, the quality and care taken with all the Klingon figures (from previous releases of Worf or Martok to the new Gowron) are praiseworthy. It is unfortunate that the DST/AA had to cancel the Kruge/Maltz 2-Pack as these really are great figures.
REVIEW: TOS Kirk, Spock & McCoy 7" at Toys R US
"New to you" (NTY) from Toys R Us (TRU) are the trifecta of 7" action figures of Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. Leonard McCoy. TrekMovie has been given an advanced peek at the figures which are shipping to TRU stores now and should be available any day.
The exclusive to TRU action figure of the group is Captain James T. Kirk in Dress Uniform. The figure was previously available in a 2007 two pack of Kirk and Khan from the "Space Seed" episode, although it earns new paint details here. As with all the TRU exclusives, the packaging includes a special sticker designating its special status. The figure itself features much better details on both the hair and the medals pinned to Kirk’s chest. For example, in the original 2007 figure, the green medals blended in with the green shirt. However, the new version has more carefully rendered those details and the medals are a slightly different color. Fans of ShatnerKirk action figures should be aware that in the next wave, a new sculpt is being prepared that is an incredibly good likeness of William Shatner. This likeness, however, while certainly identifiably Kirk, has some of the usual problems of rendering the Shat’s unique face. For example, there is something odd (yet also totally cool) about Shatner’s smirk as Kirk (Captain Smirk?). This figure doesn’t quite get that as proper as the next wave this September does. However, this is a very good figure and there are improvements in hair, overall detailing, the medals, and paint tones.
While Spock dressed in blue from "The Cage" has been rendered as a MiniMate before by DST, this 7" figure is brand new. Spock now joins the previously available Captain Pike (and his command chair) which was available in 2006. The accessories included with Spock should have been "Cage-ized" versions here and the hair is a bit thick in front, yet the facial likeness of Leonard Nimoy is the usual DST good. I hope that DST continues to feature figures from this episode, especially characters in their jackets which is a favorite.
The Dr. Leonard McCoy figure from TRU is also a reissue. Not available since 2003, the reissue of Dr. McCoy features an incredibly improved paint scheme. The hair and facial features are much more realistic in this new version and definitely worth purchasing for both fans who missed the original release or want a more detailed version of this country doctor. Also cool is that the delta insignia has been painted with much more detail in this version and is very nice.
[All Three TOS figures coming soon to Toys R Us for $12.99 each]
Toys R Us Star Trek Display
Speaking of Toys R Us, check out the cool Star Trek display that should be in every store.
REVIEW: Ultimate Kirk and Spock
Diamond Select new ‘Ultimate’ Quarter Scale Kirk and Spock figures are an amazing 19" tall (and they come with an equally giant sized $80 price tag). There are both really great things about these figures, and some problems.
First, the great things! Both figures feature relatively good likenesses, although Kirk suffers from the usual Shatnerization visage problems. Being stylized, Spock figures usually look better and that is true here. The figure are also well designed structurally with excellent articulation for posing and the costumes are excellently rendered.
Both figures include properly scaled phaser and communicator replicas, and being very big, they are also nicely detailed. Spock also includes an additional hand to transform from regular to Vulcan hand gesture. Also welcomed are the sound and voice effects activated by a button on the action figure. The figures include a nice display stand. The best feature is of course the incredible size and these figures do look nice together as a centerpiece of a collection.
Now, the problem. There is really only one main problem. Firstly, by including the electronics for the figure inside the figure itself, the torsos for nearly all the DST Ultimate Quarter scale figures are too big and the waists too small. This isn’t a problem on the excellent DST Star Wars line (these are, as Darth Vader says, most impressive) because the robes hide this design necessity. However, on the Star Trek line, it is easily noticeable because of the costumes and hence the figures look too thin. A suggestion for DST might be to include the sound effects in the base of the display instead of the in the action figure.
What is nice about these figures is that they are "buddy sized" for age appropriate younger fans. While most fans consider the DST action figure more for collecting than for play, the Ultimate line is for both. These are fun to play with and our son enjoyed them because they are half his size! The price is certainly a deterrent to buying this as a casual toy, yet it is good that the figures have a dual utility.
Here is a video showing off the sound effects on the Ultimate figures.
PREVIEW: Salt Vampire! Now Available for pre-order
One of the great things about DST/AA is the incredible variety of their 7" action figure line. They have produced some unique figures, many never before available in any scale from other companies such as Captain Clarke Terrell or Nurse Ogawa. This year, there are more of as fans will get the Romulan Commander and Salt Vampire. In fact, the Salt Vampire from Star Trek’s first regular episode is available now for preorder for $15.99 at Entertainment Earth, and TrekMovie has the official DST photo of one of the coolest figure ideas ever. Salt may be bad for your diet, but great for your Star Trek collection!
PREVIEW: All Good Things Enterprise Packaging
In news items, DST and Art Asylum formally announced the long rumored "All Good Things" version of the USS Enterprise 1701 D toy ship. While the regular edition is scheduled to be available this month from all major online retailers, the AGT version is a Hastings and Action Figure Express shared exclusive. On their blog, the AA team teased with this picture of the packaging, featuring an ultra cool customizing of AGT Riker on the packaging in the place of Picard. The exclusive version will feature unique sounds and effects and of course includes the additional nacelle needed to save Picard on the USS Pasteur!
Speaking of packaging, the Gowron/Worf 2 pack and the TRU TOS figures have the standardized packaging, but TrekMovie wants to provide accolades to CBS for allowing companies to customize the corner imagery. It is not only great to see McCoy on this packaging (or Janeway on the 20Q game or Picard on the Enterprise D), it is entirely appropriate. TrekMovie has supported the unified packaging idea from the beginning because Star Trek, despite its varieties of shows and characters, is one big family (although not always a happy family). Like Star Wars, it deserves a unified look to its products, yet the customized images represented the characters or show inside the package is a welcomed design feature.
Coming Next From The Collective: Barbie!
The next Collective column has a review of the three Star Trek movie Barbie dolls. Look for that by the end of the week.
TrekMovie will continue to bring you all the details about the Diamond Select Toy line, including a review the entire retro Mego toy line and Enterprise playset (made by DST and EMCE Toys).