This week The Collective has reviews of the latest Retro Mego figures and the latest Star Trek Minimates from Diamond Select Toys. Plus we have news updates on upcoming toys, and replicas from DST.
New Retro Megos – Scotty and the Keeper
This month, the long-awaited 4th issue of the Retro Mego action figures from DST and EMCE Toys has arrived and once again, the line does not disappoint. The two figures are Scotty (called ‘Scottie’ on some of the original 70s packaging) and ‘The Keeper,’ a character invented by MEGO in the 70s.
The 2008 retro Scotty action figure is an excellent copy of the original toy. When released during the 1970s, there were actually four different facial sculpts of the character released (see more at Mego Museum) and the 2008 version appears to have utilized what is known as Variation #3. The comparison photo below shows the new Scotty with the 70s Variation #4 (darker without lip paint). The sleeve stripes and delta shield stickers are nearly exact. Additionally, it appears that EMCE has improved the belt design so that it better holds the phaser toy.
Original (L) and new Scotty (R) [click to enlarge]
Remember the 1970s commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? "You got your chocolate on my peanut butter!" Well, there must have been something in the water in the 70s as ‘The Keeper’ is sort of the result of what would happen if a collision took place not between chocolate and peanut butter, but the Talosian Keepers of "The Menagerie" and Balok’s Puppet from "The Corbomite Maneuver." A truly bizarre alien, it is strange that MEGO chose to make this action figure when there were many great aliens actually featured in Star Trek to choose from. Along with "The Neptunian" this is an action figure that never appeared in the show, although has obvious influences from the episodes mentioned. The EMCE retro figure is an especially great treat, because The Keeper was not widely available during the 70s and is hard to find in mint condition (the white robes usually showed the wear of the decades). EMCE and DST have produced an affordable alternative for those fans looking to complete their vintage collection with a less expensive retro version of The Keeper.
Original (L) and new Keeper (R) [click to enlarge]
The packaging is also a welcomed change. The previous retro releases (Kirk and Klingon, Spock and Romulan, and McCoy and Andorian) included a card styled after the 1974 packaging. The Scotty and Keeper’s packaging is styled more after the backs of the 1975 Alien packages which featured the Keeper, the Gorn, and the Mugatu (all figures that either are or will soon be available in the retro versions).
New packaging [click to enlarge]
Scotty and the Keeper are available now, with 3 more sets on their way.
|New and upcoming retro MEGO figures at Entertainment Earth|
|Scotty + Keeper||Uhura + Mugatu|
Review: Minimates Wave 4
Available now in retail and online stores is Diamond Select Toys 4th wave of Star Trek minimates figures. Star Trek minimates are sold with two 2" figures per package. Wave 4 includes four packages: Dr. Leonard McCoy (Sickbay version) and Nurse Christine Chapel, Admiral James T. Kirk and Montgomery Scott (Engineering version), Captain Jean Luc Picard and Borg, and the same Admiral James T. Kirk yet with the exclusive variant of Scotty in Dress Uniform. Minimates are now utilizing the uniformed packaging preferred by CBS Paramount.
New minimates packaging [click to enlarge]
Minimates really have two audiences. The first are those who enjoy playing with their toys, as these are reasonably priced at about $7 per pair and are much like Lego Minifigs which are great for play (you could mix and match the character’s hair, uniforms, etc.). The second are the collectors because the DST minimates often include unusual versions of characters (such as the "Bread and Circuses" Kirk) or characters who often don’t get turned into regular action figures (Sarek). The Wave 4 continues this tradition with the Scotty and Picard figures being firsts for DST. The attention to the kind of details that fans enjoy is there, too. For example, there is hair on the arm of the Sickbay McCoy, and the TWOK era Kirk and Scotty are thicker than their previously available TV era minimate versions reflecting the aging of the actors. Also, DST takes care to give the variant figures differing expressions, so the Kirks or Scottys do not all look the same. The tiny props included are also nicely detailed, despite their size. McCoy’s medical pad is very nice.
New minimates detail [click to enlarge]
Minimates are not for every fan. Some do not like the facial expressions. Others do not like their stylized sculpts. However, for those with limited shelf space or a longing for Lego styled toys, these are very fun.
Entire Star Trek minimates line [click to enlarge]
Wave 4 of the Star Trek minimates is available now, plus the special ‘Mirror Mirror’ 5-pack was just released, with the fifth series coming in December.
|Minimates at Action Figure Express|
|Series Four – 8-pack||Mirror Mirror – 5-pack||Minimates Series Five – 8-pack|
(pre-order for December)
"Electronic Tribble + More Diamond Select/Art Asylum News
In a release schedule update on the Art Asylum blog, there is a never before mentioned new item called "Star Trek TOS Electronic Tribble," which is slated for February 25th, 2009. No more details or pictures are available, but we can expect it to make the Tribble sounds and probably ‘purr.’ The venerable creature has appeared in many television episodes of various versions of Star Trek and the feature films. Since fans started making their own and selling them at conventions in the 60s, Tribble toys have been a staple of the Star Trek collecting experience Over the years, there have been many different versions sold by many different licensees, the latest (at least until this weekend) being sold by Star Trek the Experience.
Soon DST will get you your very own Tribble
Details on the Enterprise D
The Art Asylum has also been providing updates on the making of the upcoming Enterprise D replica toy as it is manufactured (available for pre-order for $49.99). This is very cool as fans get to see all the considerations and planning required to build such a toy. For example, the first post detailed the back and forth on the replica design and the latest post discusses having the saucer section have its own power source so it can maintain its LED lights when separated from the ship’s hull. Art Asylum also provided a look at the prototype packaging for the Enterprise D which utilizes most of the unified design now favored by CBS.
Enterprise D replica LED lights diagram [click to enlarge]
Life-sized Captain’s Chair back to 2009
When TrekMovie first reported that Diamond Select was working on a life-sized Original Series Captain’s Chair we reported it was going to arrive in 2009, but then CBS sent us a press release saying it arrived ‘Holiday Season 2008’ which we reported in an update. But now in a new post on the Art Asylum blog, it appears CBS jumped the gun. According to the post "pricing is not finalized neither is the delivery date, but you can expect it soon." Sources tell TrekMovie that ‘soon’ is no sooner than early 2009.
You have to wait a bit to take your seat
COMING UP NEXT
Later this week, The Collective offers a guide to every Star Trek product planned to be available before the end of the year to help plan your holiday shopping.
The Keeper looks like The Scream painting!
The KEEPER is obviously modeled after the false alien head decoy used in “The Corbomite Maneuver”. The one Balok used as his puppet.
How has no one else noticed this?
I love the Retro Mego figures. I’ve got a few of them and they look amazing.
2 ….um I think everyone noticed this, including John who notes in in the article
I never understand comments that clearly are from people who don’t read the articles.
Wow! The Mugato lost weight. He must be on the leafy greens diet.
My apologies…I wasn’t clear…I was agreeing with the article.
Why does Scotty look like George Lazenby?
It’s nice to see that they got the details of the Mugato’s uniform correct, just like from the TOS episode.
Mugatu called and he is irrate about the disco clothing offered with his Mego. Not happy at all. Everone knows Mugatu always goes commando
“A truly bizarre alien, it is strange that MEGO chose to make this action figure when there were many great aliens actually featured in Star Trek to choose from.”
My thoughts exactly. Strange also that they went to the trouble to “correct” the Gorn and not this one, the Mugato nor the Cheron. Baffling.
“Original (L) and new Scotty (R) [click to enlarge]”
Either this description under the picture of the Keeper dolls is wrong or Scotty is REALLY suffering from the effects of a “Wee bit ‘O scotch”!!
Awesome! I have the Klingon Repro, want to get more, but, they are expenssive!
One thing I would suggest to Art Asylum, is to change the font on the packaging to reflect TNG, rather than TOS style lettering.
Shakes head at #2.
For the love of God, keep them away. They’ll kill you in the middle of the night as you lay sleeping! Evil, evil, EVIL little monsters! Gah!
(Really… what’s the appeal?)
IS THAT REALLY A MUGATU?
Or a member of Sly & the Family Stone, circa 1971???
I like the original Scotty figure much more than the new one. The new Mego looks like he went anorexic or something.. :o
Let’s also realize that “The Keeper” is not only reminiscent of the Talosians and Balok… but is wearing the outfit that Ruk wore in “What Little Girls are Made of”…
Cheron looks pretty cool, though!
#8 Yeah, that Mugato must be from the unfilmed script “The Planet of the Apes”, also known as “You Say Gumato, I Say Mugato”. ;) Clearly, we have now learned that Mugato are the counterpoint to Ferengi. Ferengi women were naked… and Mugato males were naked, as seen in APLW.
At least Mr. Cheron is Black on the Right Side. Mercy on him if he were on the wrong side!
These messed up dolls remind me of the crappy Trek toys of the 70s… where details were wrong, the crew often included Lt Walter Sulu, Lt Uhuru, ‘Lt’ Scotty, Dr Spock the Vulcanian, and other Gold Keyesque things. Ah, if only I could find my ST:TMP board game… that was real messed up beaut.
I think people were color blind in the sixties.
uhhhhh…. did anyone notice retros Scotty and Scotty almost walkin’ hand in hand?
Make any silly joke ye’ want ta’… but it wuz a Victorian custom fur gents ta’ stroll wit’ arms entwined… I believe Holmes and Watson did it… Ahhh, ta’ bring back such traditions… ‘course it wuz also a Victorian tradition ta’ paint yer phazor baby blue…
As far as Mugatu go… well, wouldn’t ye’ want ta’ wear yer best leisure suit when ye’ got a date wit’ Uhuru? I would.
3 items I’m awaiting from Diamond Select:
– TOS Tricorder (probably Science, but might get Medical)
– WOK Phaser
– Tribble !!!!!!!!!!!
The 23rd century equivalent of a Rabbit :-)
“Ah, if only I could find my ST:TMP board game… that was real messed up beaut.”
I have that, solely for the box art, which is gorgeous.
#8 – Actually, I think the Mugato borrowed his shirt from Cornelius from “Planet of the Apes” and his trousers from Dr. Zaius.
Ah shoot, #20, you beat me to it!
The DST Ent-D sound better and better. I can’t wait until it is released and I have it proudly displayed. I am glad to hear that DST is putting the extra effort into making it the best starship they’ve built to date. It sounds like it’s going to be great. Keep up the great work DST!
The Keeper definitely looks more like Balok’s puppet than anything else.
I have the Corbomite Maneuver set from Playmates. Good job there on the Balok puppet and Balok…but I had to buy three sets in order to get one where the paint on the Balok’s puppet’s nose wasn’t smudged. Again, quality control is an issue on Playmates and continues to be on Diamond Select products. Diamond Select’s Captain Kirk and Captain Pike figures have smudged uniform insignias and scuffed chairs. I give up there trying to get a copy that’s not defective and refused to get the Pcard in a chair figure.
Never did understand the appeal of the Mini-Mates figures at all.
There is a yellow one that won’t accept the green one
That won’t accept the bulb-head one that won’t accept the furry white one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on, and so on and scooby-dooby-doo
Ooh, sha, sha
I am everyday people
Actually, Uhura looks like what we’d have if Star Trek hadn’t been cancelled and Pam Grier took over the role in 1973.
I always wanted the salt monster. Nobody ever seems to make a figure of it.
P.S. Happy Labor Day to all!
“Actually, Uhura looks like what we’d have if Star Trek hadn’t been cancelled and Pam Grier took over the role in 1973.”
Hailing frequencies open, suckah!
I had the original set of dolls. Still got Captain Kirk (without jersey – how appropriate). Scotty’s left leg fell off if I remember correctly. Wish I’d kept them they’d be worth a bit now.
Do those new Mego figures come with pogs? :)
I’d *love* to have The Chair when it comes out, but not if the rumors of $1000+ are true.
I have to draw the line somewhere.
And tribbles are disgusting creatures!
Uh…Why is the mugato wearing clothes???
Looks less like Scotty than Simon Pegg!
“Uh…Why is the mugato wearing clothes???”
Because otherwise he’d be naked.
The Mugato is self conscious. He needs clothes.
#35 … Because the prices at Target are out of this world!
#37/38 I think it’s the female of the species. Or maybe not. That could explain then in APLW a Mugato going after Kirk. SHE WAS FEMALE! She wanted a piece of the action, James T-bone Kirk!
Well, Mugatette is ‘horny’ you know.
…”The Keeper”? That’s the *original* Dr. Evil in drag! :-)
42: Shoot, you stole my line!
Those alien females can’t resist James T.
Yeah action figures, silly megos, yadda, yadda.
The Enterprise D, now that’s cool news! I am so getting that and the WOK phaser. I suspect you will have more news on those items, John?
BTW, this has easily become my favorite feature of the site. Well, after my Niner friends.
OK, I took a closer look at the Minimates – is it just me, or are the men’s chest muscles drawn in such a way that they all look like they have moobs?
I don’t get “Minimates” either. But, I guess they sell. Otherwise they wouldn’t be making them… I won’t ever buy any though.
The Mego characters really didn’t look like the actors, except for Kirk and the Klingon (Who looked like Koloth from “The Trouble with Tribbles”.)
I hate that they double pack these figures. One good one with one bad one. I’d rather be able to buy single figures and just buy the ones I want. I haven’t bought any because of this.
I’ve been buying the originals on eBay which sell for half the price these new ones do.
I did try to order some from a website that had singles on sale. But 3 1/2 months later, I haven’t gotten anything.
There’s definitely a market out there for a second wave with more accurate head sculpts and accessories. If Playmates could paint the Phasers and Tricorders and Communicators, I’m sure some chinese company could make them Mego sized and do as good a job.
I wish Dr. Mego would re-pop the accessories in black plastic at least.
Every Spock figure I’ve ever seen looks like it has a 2 day moustache growing on it. LOL!
These were great figures at the time, and with some updating could be even better.
The only aliens I’d be interested in are the Klingon, Romulan, and the Gorn. Perhaps also a Green Orion Girl if they ever make one.
But, for me to buy others, they’d have to be more accurate than the Mego originals.
I’d like to see a few more different Klingon and Romulan figures. A Mugato should have a hair suit, use the fat Penguin type body with the existing head.
I’d love to see a Nurse Chapel, a Dr. M’Benga (because we need more diversity… really!), and maybe a generic “Red Shirt” using some of the existing Mego heads like the “Astronaut” or the Bruce Wayne head, or even the Peter Parker Variant of the Shazam head.
I can make those customs myself, but removing the extra braid from the redshirt is a pain, and never looks right.
A Captain Pike or Commodore Decker would be cool too.
As would a Number One from the Cage.
Lots of possibilities if the line is successful enough.
My McCoy figure has two left thighs…should I take him back? Or does the fact that only one knee bends normal make him sort of cooler?