This week The Collective takes a look at Diamond Select’s two newly released Star Trek retro MEGO cloth figures: Captain Pike and the Salt Vampire. We also give an update on what is next for the line and get a first look at the new Titan Star Trek busts.
REVIEW: Star Trek Retro Pike and Salt Vampire Figure Set
From: Diamond Select Toys
Price: $35.99 [Entertainment Earth]
Beginning in 2007, EMCE Toys and Diamond Select Toys/Art Asylum joined to bring fans authentic retro reproductions of the 1970s MEGO Star Trek cloth action figures, along with “new” retro versions of figures that many wished had been included in the original line. The retro fun continues this month with the release of Captain Christopher Pike and The Salt Vampire from “The Man Trap.”
As usual with the MEGO retro line, the action figures are sold in a clever design which allows fans to open and play with the figure, then place it back in the packaging. The excellent artwork on the card is all new, yet in the original style, and show Pike, Salty, and the next two figures, Nurse Christine Chapel and Vina.
As the captain before James T. Kirk, Christopher Pike has the distinction of being immortalized as an action figure many times, in sizes two inches to twelve, and in both the original time line and 2009 alternative universe versions. However, Pike was never included in the original MEGO line which began in 1974. As with their other “new” retro figures such as Khan, EMCE and DST have taken great care to imagine how MEGO founder Marty Abrams and his team would have presented the figure had it been made back then.
The original MEGO line was influenced by the animated show then on television, and MEGO Pike has the same stylized look as his counterparts. There are two concerns with this new figure: the skin tone is a bit different than previous MEGO figures (as is shown in this comparison photo between the retro Kirk reproduction released in 2007 and Pike) and the head sculpt seems a bit bigger than previous action figures. That being told, there is also much to like here. The fun detailing of “The Cage” outfit, the good Jeffrey Hunter likeness, the inclusion of the time honored phaser and communicator accessories, and the delta shield that makes rainbows when the light hits it right, are all features that show the respect that the line has always had of the original MEGO toys.
The Salt Vampire also surprisingly was not included in the original MEGO line, which is weird considering how many monster figures MEGO produced. This “new” retro Salty is fun and inspired. EMCE and DST use a “bunny” suit to cover the action figure, a very MEGOish detail.
The sculpt, while not a direct likeness of the character in the episode, also looks good next to the original alien figures. There are some nice details, such as Salty’s hands and face. The MEGO line wasn’t about exact likenesses. It was more about the feel of a character, stylized and cartoonish in detail. Salty continues that tradition.
The retro Mego Salt Vampire and Pike figures are just arriving in stores. You can order up the pair from Entertainment Earth for $35.99.
Next for DST Retro Mego Line
Later this year, EMCE and DST are planning to release MEGO style versions of Nurse Christine Chapel and Vina. Next February, just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first ever TNG MEGO retro figures, Captain Jean Luc Picard and Borg, will be available. This is a great news for those who enjoy the retro line. It is hoped by some fans, including myself, that EMCE and DST will also consider finishing their reproductions of the original line by making available retro versions of Neptunian and Talos, the only two figures they have not brought back. Christopher Pike and The Salt Vampire are good additions to the line, however, and they have the most important feature of MEGO toys: they are fun to play with!
Retro-Mego line of Star Trek cloth figures headed to the Next Generation in 2012
FIRST LOOK: Titan Star Trek Busts
Beyond Diamond Select, there is some other news in the world of Star Trek collectibles with the first looks at the first busts coming from Titan. In February they will be releasing limited edition busts of Captain Kirk and Captain Picard. The 8-inch tall busts retail for $79.99 each and are available now fore pre-order now at Entertainment Earth.
Next for The Collective: Review of Westland Collectibles