Review: The EXO-6 ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ 1:6 Geordi Figure Is A Sight To See

Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge 1/6 Scale Action Figure

Manufacturer: EXO-6
Price: $230 (Standard Edition… also available in $190 Essential Edition)
Grade: A+

Geordi on TNG

When Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered in 1987 the biggest name in the cast wasn’t Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner or Michael Dorn. It was LeVar Burton. Burton had starred in Roots, one of the biggest TV miniseries of all time and had been familiar to kids since 1983 for his PBS show Reading Rainbow. Gene Roddenberry had made the original Star Trek one of the more diverse shows on television and he and producers Rick Berman and Maurice Hurley wanted to build on that tradition with TNG, not only culturally but visually. So the Enterprise 1701-D’s bridge crew would include a metallic-skinned android, a Klingon, and “a man with unique vision”: Geordi La Forge, who had been born blind but now sees using a comb-like visor that hooks into neural implants in his temples. Just as much as Data’s Spock-like android, La Forge demonstrated the wonders of future technology and human evolution just by standing there—or sitting there, as La Forge spent most early episodes at the helm station on the bridge.

LeVar Burton was and is a fine, expressive actor, and it’s a testament to his skill that he made La Forge a vital presence on the show for seven years with his eyes and eyebrows—some of an actor’s most crucial tools—completely hidden behind a futuristic prop. If anything, Burton probably overdid his performances in TNG’s first season, but he might have just been excited at finally getting something specific to do. TNG took a few seasons to find its footing and often seemed at sea trying to find dramatic functions for characters like Geordi and Tasha Yar. After a few episodes as a bridge officer, and after a number of different actors portraying the Enterprise’s chief engineer, LaForge settled into the role of Enterprise engineer, and particularly in “The Arsenal of Freedom” he gets so worked up over a potential tactical maneuver that he smacks his fist into his palm like Burt Ward used to do playing Robin on the old ‘60s Batman show.

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge

Even as TNG improved as a series La Forge wasn’t always well used as a character. He provided a human pal for Data, who quickly broke out on the show as a popular figure just as Leonard Nimoy’s Spock had—but casting La Forge as Watson to Data’s Holmes was a stunt that didn’t quite work. Even worse was LaForge’s hopeless forays into TNG’s version of computer dating on the holodeck, where the character came off as a fumbling adolescent. But La Forge did figure in solid outings like “The Enemy” where his abilities to see far beyond the human spectrum helps him survive on a storm-swept planet alongside a wounded and dangerous Romulan. By the time of the series finale, “All Good Things,” La Forge had been through enough that his transition from visor to high-tech eyeballs was genuinely moving, and he’s particularly good as paterfamilias La Forge in Picard season three.

EXO-6 Geordi Figure

From a personal note as a Star Trek merch collector, I can’t say I was slavering for another Geordi La Forge action figure. But when I saw what EXO-6 had done with the character he quickly turned into an instant buy. EXO’s TNG Data figure reminded me how much I love William Ware Theiss’ original Next Generation costume designs—EXO hasn’t done the “jumpsuit” yet since by season three the Starfleet uniform had evolved to a tunic and black pants much like the TOS uniforms, but Theiss’ distinctive, angular application of black to the gold, teal and burgundy department colors remained the same, and these figures look great in the outfits. You might have to do a Picard Maneuver with the tunic from time to time but overall the uniform look is sleek and striking.

EXO-6 TNG Geordi figure

Most (all?) previous La Forge action figures have had his distinctive visor literally molded as part of his head, which means compromises on both the head sculpt and visor detail. The EXO-6 LaForge figure starts out with a magnificent head sculpt by Godwin Nerona and Dean Tolliver. The likeness is remarkable and includes the two silver-and-red neural links at his temples and his blind, white-within-white eyes, achieved with contact lenses on the TNG set when necessary. The expression is neutral but particularly with the visor on the look expresses focus and intelligence, as if Geordi is just about to solve a puzzling engineering mystery.

Face sculpt for EXO-6 Geordi figure with VISOR removed

The visor itself is a little work of art. The detail in the dark gold comb is crisp and the frame has a beautiful brushed metal look with a lot of depth—I would argue it actually looks a little more convincing than the full-sized prop! Geordi comes in an Essential version that includes the visor, a phaser, tricorder and PADD and two additional gripping hands in addition to his relaxed hands. The more expensive version includes four additional hands, including an open, waving hand and two clasped hands so Geordi can stand at ease.

EXO-6 Geordi VISOR accessory

About the hands. I was startled to see an incredibly subtle detail here: the skin coloration on all of La Forge’s hands is lighter on the palms and insides of the fingers than on the back of the hand. I believe this is EXO’s fourth figure based on African-American actors, starting with Michael Burnham from Discovery and including Voyager’s Tuvok and DS9’s Benjamin Sisko. All of these characters seem to have subtly different skin coloration and it’s a testament to EXO’s pursuit of accuracy that they haven’t cheaped-out by adopting a standard “Black” pigmentation for these characters. As far as I can tell the lighter palm coloration is not a feature on Burnham or Sisko (it may be on Tuvok but I don’t have that figure), but it’s an amazing detail that really puts this figure over the top. After all, it’s common to adopt standard hands and skin-tone colors for mass-produced figures. In La Forge’s case, the wrists also match the color of the hands, which is also going the extra yard as you won’t see the figure’s wrists except for some extreme poses (in the case of the DS9 Kira figure the wrists are a generic white that’s quite different from the Caucasian skin-colored hands).

Detail on hands for EXO-6 Geordi figure

The final bonus of the La Forge Standard edition is an engineering kit with three futuristic engineering tools. Just like Geordi’s visor, the engineering kit is a little work of art: the tools are beautifully reproduced and the interior of the engineering suitcase is velvet-lined with snug cutouts that fit the tools perfectly, making for a neat display open and also something easily carried by LaForge.

The figure’s range of motion is excellent and you can get him into a nice kneeling pose for work on those hard-to-reach power conduits.

EXO-6 Geordi figure posed

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is probably the best figure EXO-6 has produced yet, just slightly edging out Mirror Sulu because of the hand pigmentation details and the tremendous accessories. The Standard Version will sell for $230 and the Essential for $190; pre-orders on these figures have just gone out and the remaining stock should be available for sale soon at exo-6.com.

EXO-6 Geordi figure

Picards and more coming next

EXO has just put up pre-orders for a TNG Picard (available in his standard uniform and in a Standard Version with the standard and “Darmok” jacket outfit) and they still have a number of amazing figures due out this year including Star Trek II Saavik and Star Trek III Kruge. If you follow EXO-6 founder Nanjin Tam on Facebook he sneak-previews the development of a lot of their figures—their TOS Uhura looks stunning even just after a glimpse of her eyes and hair. If you want any of these figures it’s best to pre-order or act quickly once they go up for direct sale as many of them sell out and become very pricey on the after-market.

Preview image of EX0-6 “Darmok” Picard figure

A closer look at Geordi


Jeff Bond is a freelance writer and book author who’s addicted to plastic models and action figures. You can catch up with him on Facebook and Instagram where he posts model works in progress, and takes commissions. His latest Star Trek book is Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Art and Visual Effects.

Find more Star Trek merchandise news and reviews at TrekMovie.com.

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Oh, that facial sculpt is so much better than what EXO-6 tends to come up with.

Right down to his adolescent acne scars. WOW!

Damn, that’s scarily good.

These people are really doing a phenomenal job with these figures.. One day I’ll pick up the entire TNG crew!