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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.