The latest Star Trek products from Diamond Select Toys are action figures of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, the first “Star Trek Select” action figures based on the Kelvin timeline film Star Trek Into Darkness. These figures join the “Select” line that already features figures of Picard and Worf from TNG; TOS Kirk, Spock, and Khan; and Star Trek II Khan figures. Approximately 7 inches tall, well-articulated, and meticulously sculpted, these display-quality figures carry a manufacturer’s price of $24.99 each, and are way more cool outside of the box than even their attractive packaging might indicate.
So, how do these figures stack up?
Approximately 22 points of articulation
The figures themselves stand about 7 inches tall – Captain Kirk is just under 7”, and Mr. Spock is 7.25”, as is appropriate for these characters. They are intricately sculpted, with likenesses that range from decent (Kirk) to excellent (Spock). Kirk has a very intense expression on his face. Hair, ears, and facial features are highly detailed. Their uniform shirts are molded with countless raised delta shields, faithfully duplicating the uniform style of STID, and they have plain Starfleet logo badges on their chests. Rank stripes are sculpted into and painted onto their cuffs. The uniform pants are accurately molded, with ribbed sections just above the knees, and are slightly bloused before being tucked into the boots. The boots show the same attention to detail, with tooling indicating both the leather sections the real boots were made of, and the buckles on their calves. The heels of the figures have holes in them, though the bases the figures come with do not feature matching posts to enable them to stand securely.
Amusingly, the box text proclaims that each figure “features approximately 22 points of articulation,” which made me wonder why they didn’t know exactly how many points of articulation each figure has. Didn’t they make the bloody things? For your peace of mind, each figure is articulated at the base of the skull (head rotation and slight elevation), shoulders (both a ball joint and a rotation joint), elbows, and wrists. The interchangeable hands all feature a wrist joint. The figures have an odd and unattractive ball joint at the ribcage, which looks awkward but allows the figures to rotate their torsos and lean backward and forward while still having a solid waist attachment.
Below the waist, the figures have a combination joint at each hip, allowing for their upper legs to rotate forward and also to flex outward in a split, rotation at mid-thigh, a two-jointed knee, and slight rotation at the ankle. Counting each direction that each part can move, that’s well over 22 points of articulation.
Simply put, these figures are infinitely and wonderfully poseable.
Fit and finish
As with the sculpting, so with the painting. The shirts are not just one flat color; they seem to have a wash of some kind, or perhaps it’s just the plastic, but whatever it is, it allows for realistic highlights and shadowing in the sculpted folds of the garment. The faces boast painted eyebrows, upper eyelashes, eyeballs, and irises. If you look closely, Spock’s irises are black with white highlights, but Kirk’s irises are blue, outlined in a hairline of black, with a pupil and white highlights. Pretty impressive!
The only places where the paint job wasn’t perfect on my sample figures were the silver buckles on Kirk’s boots. Their uniform pants are even painted a charcoal gray, just a shade lighter than the black leather boots.
Otherwise, these figures are painted with extreme care, and close attention to quality.
Each figure comes with loads of accessories. Both have an identical Romulan phaser rifle, and each comes with a Starfleet phaser rifle, though Spock’s is a beefier model than Kirk’s. Each has standard landing party gear, including a phaser, communicator (closed), and tricorder. I would have preferred an open communicator, as I think that would have had better play value. The communicator cannot be attached to the figure’s waist, and putting a closed communicator in his hand is no fun. Interestingly, their phasers are painted to be on the red “kill” setting, rather than blue for “stun.” Kirk comes with two additional interchangeable hands, while Spock comes with three, including one molded into the Vulcan salute. Sadly, Kirk does not come with hands molded into “hanging off the edge of a precipice” grips, though perhaps that would be on the 2009 Star Trek movie version, not the Into Darkness one. They also come with two translucent, colored “energy blast” accessories that can be popped on to the nozzle of the hand phasers, to simulate firing.
Each figure also comes with a “transporter pad” base, and can be placed nicely side-by-side to form a section of the transporter platform of the Enterprise. The bases do not have posts molded into them that would correspond to the holes in the figures’ heels, so the figures stand somewhat precariously. If you display them on your desk or bookshelf, they might fall over from the vibrations of a person walking by, let alone the jostling of a starship hit by phaser fire.
Finally, each package comes with a small foldout flyer featuring a number of Diamond Select’s Star Trek offerings, along with a feedback survey that can be mailed back to the company to sign up for their Collectors Club. One of these flyers was badly folded in the packaging I received.
Kirk and Spock come individually packaged in large plastic packs, wrapped on two-and-a-fifth sides by cardboard. They are fastened securely within by a whole lot of twist ties and a few pieces of Scotch tape, and the whole package is attractive and sturdy.
The cardboard “spines” of the packaging feature large, bold photos of Chris Pine on the one hand and Zachary Quinto on the other, making it easy at a glance to tell which box is which when sitting on your shelf. Unboxing the figures took a good deal of time, due to the intense sturdiness of the packaging. If you are purchasing these figures to keep in the boxes, of course, this will not be an issue. But if you want to break them out of their prisons and play with them, as I did, it might create a bit more of a delay than you had hoped for.
It’s hard to beat these figures for quality of sculpting, flexibility of articulation, quantity of accessories, or beauty of packaging. My only half-gripe was with the odd-looking ribcage joint, but even that makes for a wider degree of posing possibilities.
In my spare time, I am an illustrator. These figures are very poseable and will serve well as figure drawing models when they are not standing impressively on my bookshelf. In this Into Darkness Kirk and Spock, Diamond Select has produced figures any fan would be happy to own.
The Diamond Select Toys Star Trek Movie action figures are priced at $24.99 each. You can order Kirk and Spock at Amazon individually. The next figure in the Select line to be released will be a Borg, which you can also pre-order at Amazon.
Disclosure: Product samples provided by Diamond Select Toys for review.