Friday, July 31, 2009
Item Names: Captain Kirk & Spock Wacky Wobbler Bobble-Heads
The Rundown: My friend Bob goes to San Diego Comic-Con every year, and every year he does me a solid and scrambles to pick up everything off of my exclusives shopping list. Well, he got back Wednesday with a bag-load of goodies for me so you're going to see a mini-streak of SDCC '09 exclusive item spotlights in the next few days. Today we're looking at the Funko 'Beaming' Bobble-heads.
Let me start by saying I'm not a huge fan of Bobble-heads. The only ones I own are the Trek ones and that's only because they are Trek. I don't really understand the appeal, but who am I to judge?
So these SDCC versions of the Funko Kirk and Spock bobble-heads use the same bodies as the regular release Kirk & Spock but with a big difference; the bodies are molded in a translucent yellow plastic and instead of speech effects, the bases emit a beam of light to simulate the beaming effect! The light is activated when the head is *ahem* bobbled and then automatically shuts off after a few seconds. I gotta say...it's really pretty cool looking, especially in the dark.
So with these having big freaking heads, you'd think the likenesses would be pretty dead-on, right? Nah, not so much with Kirk here. Sure, they were going for a slightly caricatured version of the Shat...but this turned out looking more like Phil Hartman to me.
Spock thankfully fared much better in the likeness department. It's a pretty good Nimoy, though it does look a bit old for a TOS Spock.
There's the back of Kirk's box. Note that Funko didn't splurge on a new box for these versions. The box still lists the bobble-head as having voice sound effects. Don't be fooled! These don't talk!
...and there's Spock's box (that rhymed). Again, note the sound effects listing.
So there they are. Do you need them? Unless you're a crazy completist or a bobble-head nut, probably not. I will say though that do make nice display pieces and are actually far cooler in my opinion than the regular releases.
If you do decide to go after them, they are both still available from each of their exclusive retailers. Kirk was released through Forbidden Planet and is listed as having 1008 made (odd number). Spock was released through Entertainment Earth with a production number of 1500.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Figure Name: Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys
Playmates released Scotty here as a convention/ Spencer's Gifts exclusive in Huntsville, AL. The first 100 had a sticker attached that read "Star Trek One Weekend On Earth"
The Rundown: After spotlighting Sulu yesterday, it just makes sense to spotlight Scotty today! Again, this convention special showcases the character in his uniform from the second Star Trek pilot- "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
Just like Sulu, Scott reuses the body from the WNMHGB Kirk included with the Galileo Shuttlecraft. The body works just as well here as on the others. Oh, and thankfully the shirt is not the same shade as the Kirk release, just like in the episode. Nice attention to detail Playmates!
The head is the same as the one used in the classic crew set. It's a very decent Doohan likeness. There's even some lines painted into the forehead to give him that furrowed brow look. Playmates did the same line treatment on it's Kirk figures, but I think it works better on Scotty. Oh, and the delta shield is actually wrong here too- the symbol on the Scotty's delta in WNMHGB actually looked like what we have come to know as the sciences symbol. So even though he is a part of engineering, and that is the symbol used for engineering in the rest of the series, it's inaccurate on the WNMHGB uniform. (Props to Jedigreedo from the trektoy boards for the help on all that!).
So like Sulu, it's not a figure you'll desperately need if you want to put together a nice display of the classic crew. If you're like me and 'need' them all though, this is at least a variation that makes sense and looks cool.
Accessories: Scotty includes a display stand (not pictured), a phaser, a communicator, and a tricorder. All the accessories are nicely painted, a detail sometimes lacking from other Playmates releases.
And in case you didn't read it yesterday, here's that summary of WNMHGB from the cardback:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Figure Name: Lt. Hikaru Sulu ("Where No Man Has Gone Before")
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys
Playmates released this Sulu as a convention/ Spencer's Gifts exclusive in Huntsville, AL. The first 100 had a sticker attached that read "Star Trek One Weekend On Earth"
The Rundown: This Sulu (and the Scott which was offered with him) is pretty much the definition of a good convention exclusive. It's an episode-specific, really non-essential variant of a main cast member... something that doesn't really need to take up a spot in regular assortments, but works great as a treat to convention-goers.
The body is the same as the one used for the Kirk figure included with the Galileo shuttlecraft and it works just as well here as it does there. The proportions are good, and the articulation is your standard playmates fare. I can totally understand the reuse here since there's not much else you really need to change to fit other characters... and after all, it's just a con exclusive.
The head is the same as the classic crew set Sulu. I think they did a fine job capturing Takei, especially the hair. You'll also notice the big blunder on the figure in that picture up there. Yep, he's got a command delta shield instead of a sciences (which actually looked like what we would come to know as the engineering symbol in this episode). It's a blunder that somebody should have noticed but somehow it made it through. Funny thing is, DST did the same thing with their recently released WNMHGB Sulu. Maybe they used this one for reference. ;)
So there he is. Do you really need him? Not really unless you are a completist or unless you want to round out your pilot episode crew. He's still a solid figure and can be had for a pretty reasonable price though so I guess it all depends on how much Sulu you need in your life. I need lots.
Accessories: Sulu comes with a classic style phaser, communicator, and tricorder. All three are painted accurately, which is sometimes lacking on Playmates accessories so that's a bonus. He also comes with a display stand, which isn't pictured so don't look for it.
Want to read Sulu's bio? Well too bad, because there ain't one. Instead there's a quick summary of "Where No Man Has Gone Before"-
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Figure Name: Dr. Leonard McCoy
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
Diamond Select released this reissue of the original AA Dr. McCoy as a single carded figure or...
...as a part of a 2-pack with a reissue Sulu.
The Rundown: I figured since we looked at the original AA release of McCoy yesterday, we may as well take a look at the 2 currently-offered reissues today to check out the differences. Both the new 2-pack and single card reissue McCoys are pretty much identical, so I'm just combining them into this one spotlight. Let's take a look at the changes made on this one:
The sculpt on the head is the same here, but there is a slightly tweaked paint job. The skin tone is a bit lighter and the hair is just a shade darker. The eyes on this new release are looking more straight forward as well, as opposed to the slight "looking up" position of the original.
The boots on the reissue contrast with the pants more than the original release did. The pants have a more flat look and the boots have more of a gloss look than the original. Big improvement!
For some reason, the ankles on the reissue seem a bit wonky. Both my 2-pack and single card version have a slight curve at the ankle that isn't nearly as pronounced on the original. Kinda odd, but not a huge deal.
The biggest improvements are on the shirt. The shade of blue they use on the reissue is nicer in my opinion, but the really nice change is in the gold paint apps. The insignia is much cleaner and brighter, and the rank braids at the sleeve look fantastic. Not sure if this gold will turn greenish eventually like the original, but if I were to guess I'd say there's less of a chance with this release. It just seems like a higher grade of paint.
One minor complaint on the shirt is the little indentation from the twist tie that won't go away! DST: Get rid of the twist ties or make them looser, but do something to stop this!
Accessories: Pictured above is what you get with single-carded release- a pair of hands (including an interchangeable left hand that the original lacked), a phaser, a communicator, and a tricorder...
...and that's what you get with the 2-pack version! McCoy comes with a tricorder and a communicator. There's also a gray-handled phaser in the pack that I included in the pic, but I'd say it's meant to be Sulu's...but I guess it's your choice who you want to give it to.
So if you never got the AA figure, grab this guy up! I'd say the 2-pack is the way to go, since you get Sulu too and he's in the new shirt color to match reissue Kirk. If you already have the AA version, it's probably still worth getting based on the upgrades. The only problem is that it opens the door to you replacing all your figures with these updated versions...and without a Chekov (and Kirk only available in an ill-fitting shirt), that's a tough choice to make...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Figure Name: Doctor McCoy
Manufacturer: Art Asylum Toys
Bones was released as part of Art Asylum's first wave of Classic Star Trek figures....
...and as part of an Avon exclusive 3-pack with Kirk and Spock.
The Rundown: What's a classic crew without the irrascible Dr. McCoy? Art Asylum must have been asking themselves the same question, since Bones was included in their very first wave of Classic Trek figures. Like most of the figures in that wave, this Doc is pretty great-
McCoy has the same kind of body construction seen in most of the AA TOS releases. He's got plenty of joints, but not so many that it detracts from the sculpt. There's a hidden torso joint inside the shirt there too. AA used a rubber overshirt to conceal that joint. As I've said before, the shirt may not last forever, but for now it looks good (except for the symbol...more on that later).
The head sculpt is PHENOMENAL. I really feel like this head is some of AA's finest work. The detail and character captured in that sculpt is just fantastic.
So this figure really is a wonderful representation of McCoy, and something no AA Trek collection is complete without...but this may not be the version you should hunt down. I've noticed that the gold paint used on the sleeve ranking and the insignia on the chest have started to turn a greenish color over time. It's not horrendous yet, but with 2 rereleases out now with better paint jobs, you may want to grab one of those and pass on this original version. There's aome other slight improvements to the rereleases as well, but I'll get more into those when I spotlight them.
Accessories: McCoy comes with a tricorder, phaser, and an extra right hand. I wish he had an extra left hand, since the one he has is stuck in a 'pinching' postion and can't hold anything...but oh well. The Avon version only comes with a Tricorder.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Figure Name: Captain James Kirk
Manufacturer Playmates Toys
Playmates released Captain Kirk as part of it's boxed assortment of Transporter Series figures.
The Rundown: Another entry in the Playmates Transporters figures, Mr. Shatner himself: Captain James T. Kirk! Sure, the figures are kinda one-trick ponies, but they make cool display pieces at least!
Kirk here is the same as his classic crew release, meaning he's got a pretty solid Kirk likeness, and a decent bit of articulation. As with most playmates figures, he has the dreaded "V" croitch, meaning he's not gonna look good posed sitting down. If you're a Playmates fan like me though, you can pretty easily overlook that.
The big difference in this release is (of course) the fact that he's molded in a yellow translucent plastic with little bits of glitter mixed in to simulate the transporter effect. Put the figure on the base, press the button, and your treated to a light-and-sound show emulating the classic series beaming effect. I think it works best on the figures molded in yellow like Kirk here.
Accessories: Kirk comes with his transporter base, which has a removable backer and his name printed up front.
Want to read his bio?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Figure Name: Captain James T. Kirk
Manufacturer: Galoob Toys
Kirk was released boxed as part of Galoob's "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" line.
The Rundown: So I was on a bit of a Star Trek high this week after getting and opening the excellent DST Voyage Home and TOS reissue 2-Packs. I needed something to bring me back to reality...the reality that not all Star Trek toys are that good. Look no further than Galoob's "Star Trek V" line; in my opinion, the worst mass market Star Trek figures ever made.
Gallob had the Trek license for a short time during the early years of TNG. They produced what I believe to be a pretty cool line with their 3&3/4" TNG figures. The figures had reasonably good likenesses, a good selection of characters, and small vehicles for the figures to pilot. Naturally, they'd handle the TFF movie line the same way right? Wrong. Why do a cool line like that when you can just do a few large, unarticulated, horribly-made, roto-cast craptastic dolls! Win!
Seriously, this Kirk is bad. There's absolutely no articulation whatsoever. In fact, look at this-
Yep, he's glued to the base. So even if he had articulation and you wanted to pose him, you can't because he's stuck to his base. The rationale here I guess was that these were marketed as 'collectible' figurines for display...but wouldn't that mean that these would need to look a little nicer than most figures? Check out that head sculpt-
Wow. Yeah, that's not very good. I'm not cutting them a break because these are roto-cast either; Mego's head were roto-cast, and those came out a decade before these and are far superior.
So maybe it's the high quality of the figure that made these become classified as 'collector's pieces'? Uh, no-
The paint used is super cheap as you can tell by the 'gold' belt buckle that now has a greenish hue. Oh, and mine had some kind of imperfection on the leg. I guess Galoob thought "Why reject an inferior product when you can just slap some paint on that spot?". Looks, um, great?
In fact the only thing good I can really say on this is that the base is kinda nice:
Yeah, in case you can't tell- I don't really like this figure, which is a shame because I actually dig Star Trek V and I would have liked some nice figures out of it. Oh well, there's always Hackley's customs. ;)
Want to read what the box has to say about Mr. Kirk?