Over the last week there has been a lot of news and images floating around for Playmates Toys line of toys and figures for the new Star Trek movie. Today, with the help of Playmates, TrekMovie puts it all together, presenting the full line with exclusive details, analysis and high resolution images. See below for everything you could want to know about Playmates and Trek.
Playmates and Trek – together again in April
Playmates Toys, king of Trek toys in the 90s, is back in a big way with an extensive collection of toys and figures for the new Star Trek movie. This first wave from Playmates arrives April 19th and should be in all the big stores like Toys R Us, Target and Wal-Mart, as well as online at the usual toy sites (like Entertainment Earth). CBS Consumer Products and Playmates have provided TrekMovie with the full set of details, as well as images of this first wave.
NOTE Regarding pricing, Playmates does not do ‘suggested retail prices,’ but has provided us with ‘estimated prices’ for the big stores.
‘Galaxy Collection’ Action Figures (3 3/4") [$7/each]
The big item for kids (and collectors) will be the 3.75" action figures. Playmates has a set of 10 planned for wave one. The 3.75" figures are highly detailed, fully-articulated, and come with removable utility belt, Phaser, and standing base. The set includes six figures in their ‘Enterprise Outfit’ (Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, & Pike), McCoy and Chekov in ‘Cadet Outfit,’ plus ‘Original Spock’ (Nimoy), and Nero.
Fan and collector reaction at TrekMovie and toy collecting forums to the early images of this line have been extremely favorable. Playmates Toys new 3.75" action figures show how much toy making technology has improved during the previous decades.
Each 3.75” figure (above) comes with a specific Bridge or Transporter Room playset accessory that allows you build out the entire Bridge and Transporter Room playset when you collect all the 3.75” figures. You combine those elements with the two ‘core’ playsets.
Star Trek Bridge Playset w/figure [$25]
This authentic playset simulates Bridge environment from Star Trek movie. The core set comes with a 3.75" Kirk figure and includes the floorplan map, captain’s chair, front console, view screen and two side screens. Additional bridge pieces will come with 3.75" figures to build out the complete bridge playset.
Transporter Room Playset w/figure [$30]
Interactive playset simulates ‘Transport feature’ from Star Trek movie. Any 3.75" Star Trek figure can be placed into Transport Cylinder and ‘transported’ to other locations.
Transporter Playset includes authentic lights and sounds, a transport platform base, and a 3.75" Scotty figure. Additional Transporter pieces will come with 3.75" figures to build out the complete transporter playset.
Because of retailer shelf space concerns, playsets are less common than they were in the 1980s and before. That Star Trek is getting two playsets is a sign of the commitment and confidence Playmates Toys has in this line. The inclusion of Bridge and Transporter playset items with the figures are a fun idea both for collectors and a value-added surprise for those who enjoy opening their toys.
‘Warp Collection’ Action Figures (6") [$9/each]
Playmates Toys also has a set of ten 6" figures. This line is a bit more life-like and the figures are fully articulated and come outfitted with soft, flexible PVC shirts. Accessories include standing base, removable utility belt and a signature movie phaser and communicator. The set includes five figures in their ‘Enterprise Outfit’ (Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, & Pike), three figures in ‘Cadet Outfit’ (McCoy, Chekov & Uhura), plus ‘Original Spock’ (Nimoy), and Nero
Last weekend a leaked prototype image of the Kirk 6" line was met with resistance from most fans, especially because of what is now the infamous "sweater" uniform. However, this new image shows a more detailed and reassuring set of action figures. This sized line is a kind of hybrid toy that could be used primarily for play or for display. The Playmates Toys items feature good, and in some instances excellent, likenesses of the characters (especially McCoy and Nero).
‘Command Collection’ Action Figures (12") [$30/each]
The ultimate set for collectors, Playmates Toys’ 12" figures are life-like, and fully articulated. Clothing and uniforms for each figure is made of fabric with the utmost attention paid to style and detail. Each also comes with signature accessories. The four figures offered are Kirk, Spock and McCoy (all in ‘Enterprise Outfit’), plus Original Spock. There will also be an additional Nero, which is an exclusive for one of the big retailers (Playmates isn’t saying, but we would guess Toys R Us).
The 12" line has different purposes that the 6" and 3.75" lines. 12 inch figures are often about displayability, while 3.75" are about playability. The larger size and utilization of cloth is especially a benefit for both costume and accessory detailing as is revealed in the USA Today picture. Having an exclusive item like Nero also adds to the fun of collecting.
Electronic Role Play Toys [$15 each]
Are you ready to feel like a kid again? Get ready to play ‘landing party’ with three role-playing toys from Playmates, based on the actual props from the Star Trek movie. Each features lights and sounds.
Electronic Starfleet Phaser
The electronic Starfleet Phaser is constructed of vacuum-metalized ABS and makes authentic Star Trek movie sounds when activated. The gun barrel pivots horizontally to switch from Stun to Vaporize, with each setting having its own set of lights and sounds.
Lights-up and makes authentic Star Trek movie sounds when buttons are pressed.
Also features sound-off activation sounds and spring-loaded top and front door covers.
Electronic Starfleet Communicator
This roleplay item is based on the Starfleet Communicator used in the movie. The cover manually flips open to reveal the Starfleet Federation logo. Press the activation buttons to see authentic lights and hear character phrases from the movie.
While certainly meant for play, the Playmates Toys role playing items also have an appeal for collectors and fans of Trek tech. The tricorder, phaser, and communicator toys offer an alternative for those who do not wish to spend hundreds of dollars on prop replicas yet who still want to own nicely detailed versions of this troika of Trek icons.
Enterprise Iconic Vehicle [$30]
Authentic and detailed scaled model of USS Enterprise ship as seen in Star Trek movie. Features U.S.S. Enterprise sound effects and real Kirk and Spock dialogue from the Star Trek movie. The ship comes with a Delta Shield display base (with ball/socket attachment tip) that attaches to bottom of ship’s lower hull, and allows user to pivot ship 360’.
Starship toys, and the amazing variety of the offerings, were one of the best things about the original 1990s Playmates Toys Star Trek line. What is nice is that Playmates Toys has remembered what was good about their original line, and added modern sensibilities and detailing. The Enterprise is thankfully a manageable size (sometimes a problem with Star Wars toys) and this is another example of Playmates Toys nicely blending the preferences of those who play and those display.
Wave 2 and more coming later in 2009
If all of the above wasn’t enough, Playmates Toys has more coming later in the year. Paul Fish, Playmates VP of marketing and product development, tells TrekMovie he hopes to have two more waves of toys by Christmas, with Wave 2 coming around September. Fish, who describes himself as a ‘life-long Trek geek,’ says that Playmates is very excited to be back with Star Trek and hopes to stay with Trek into 2010 and maybe beyond. Details are still being worked out on the second wave but he expects it to include a utility belt for the roleplay toys, the Narada (Nero’s Romulan ‘Jellyfish’) ship toy, and more. They also will be doing more figure of additional characters and outfit variations (like Kirk in the black shirt). TrekMovie was the first to announce Playmates involvement in Trek a year ago and will continue to be the leading site for all news related to Star Trek toys and collectibles.
Regarding those Wizard images
On Thursday Wizard Universe put up images and pre-order links for the Playmates Toy Line. Some images were the same as those seen here and in USA Today and some appeared different. Playmates tells TrekMovie that the images provided to us and USA Today are the latest and best and that many of the images at Wizard were earlier prototypes. Wizard has since removed all of their photos. So use the above pictures as your guide. Wizard also had an image of the Narada (which is coming in Wave 2), but the image put out was just a concept and TrekMovie is told the toy has yet to be designed and finalized.
Personal thoughts about the line
Star Trek is a family affair at my house, as my wife Maria Jose and six year old son are fans. We have been very excited about the idea that Star Trek might be returning to mainstream popularity again and perhaps restore the faith of those who became disenchanted with the franchise while gaining new generation of fans. The release this week of the Playmates Toys details and images have been the first very reassuring sign that this is going to happen. This is looks to be a quality line, with a toy company committed to reaching different kinds of fans (younger and older, collectors and players, different genders, different economic concerns). There is something for everyone and these toys look like they will be fun to both collect and to share with family or friends. These items are toys in the best sense of the word.
Pre-order Playmates Star Trek at Entertainment Earth
All of the above items can be reserved by pre-ordering at Entertainment Earth. As noted, Playmates has ‘estimated’ discounted prices for big retailers, but the big stores have yet to set their prices. The pre-order prices at Entertainment Earth are not discounted, but they do have a low-price guarantee. Reserving your items now can give you peace of mind that you will get what you want.
- 3.75" figures set of 10 [$62.89]
- Enterprise Bridge Playset [$37.39] (sized for 3.75" figures)
- Transporter Room Playset [$33.79] (sized for 3.75" figures)
- 6" figures set of 10 [$98.99]
- 12" figures set of 4 [$114.89]
- Electronic Communicator [$17.59]
- Electronic Phaser [$17.59]
- Electronic Tricorder [$17.59]
- Star Trek Movie Enterprise Vehicle (w lights & sounds) [$35.09]
And don’t forget Mattel’s Barbies
In addition to all of the above from Playmates Toys, Mattel is also releasing their own line of three collectible 12" Star Trek movie figures from their Barbie line [see TrekMovie story for more details and pics].
Images except where otherwise noted courtesy of Playmates Toys