Monday, August 31, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Captain James T. Kirk
(Casual Attire)

Figure Name: Captain James T. Kirk
Manufacturer: Art Asylum Toys

Kirk was released carded as part of Art Asylum's first wave of Classic Star Trek figures...

...and as part of an Avon exclusive 3-pack with Bones and Spock.

And there's the one I had autographed by Shatner...

The Rundown: Art Asylum chose to release Kirk in his casual attire as their first carded Kirk, opting to use the more standard yellow shirt Kirk for their "Exclusive Premiere Edition". I like Kirk's casual attire, but I think they should have flipped those choices. Yellow-shirt Kirk definitely deserved the carded treatment, and the lesser-seen casual attire works much better as an exclusive. Oh well...

Kirk features your standard AA-style body. There's plenty of articulation coupled with a great sculpt. I especially like the proportions used here... this is definitely a young, barrel-chested "hero" Kirk.

AA's Kirk head is probably the weakest of their Classic Trek head sculpts. It's not terrible, but it's definitely a little off. DST's upcoming TOS Wave 5 head looks far superior (if we ever actually get that wave...).

My biggest gripe on the figure is the shirt. You've read my concerns before on it's longevity and my fears of it becoming brittle, but there's also issues with the gold paint on this release. The trim of the shirt and the wraparound insignia have already started to fade and have a greenish hue on mine. That's not fun.

Accessories: Kirk comes with a phaser and a tricorder. The Avon release only has the phaser.

If you don't have this guy yet, I wouldn't worry too much about going back to grab it. He's coming back again with the Electronic Captain's Chair as a "Trouble With Tribbles"-style exclusive which (going by DST's track record) should have a better paint job. Then there's the DST Wave 5 Casual Kirk, which is a different variation of the casual attire but looks like a better figure all around (if it gets released...). Oh, an then Toys R Us has a Casual Kirk release coming too, which will either be a reissue of this one or the DST Wave 5 figure. So there's plenty of options instead of picking this one up and having to deal with it's paint issues.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Playmates Spotlight- Mr. Spock
(Transporter Series)

Figure Name: Mr. Spock
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys

Spock was released as part of Playmates' boxed assortment of Transporter Series figures.

The Rundown: I'm trying to work my way through all these Transporter Series figures, since they're all kinda "one-trick-ponies". Today, we look at the always logical Mr. Spock!

Spock is just like all the other Transporter Series figures. Plug Spock on the base, press the button, and use the electronic features to simulate the beaming effect. The feature is pretty cool, especially when the room is dark.

Transporter Spock utilizes the same body as the Classic Crew Spock, including the great head sculpt! Playmates did a fine job capturing the stoic features of Mr. Nimoy.

...and just like the classic crew figure, Spock is permanently stuck doing the Vulcan salute. I really wish Playmates wouldn't have done this on most of their Spocks: I understand the reasoning behind it, but it really affects the poseability and playability of the figure.

Just like all the Transporter Series figures, Spock is molded in translucent plastic, making half the figure appear to be in a "beaming" state, so it really only looks good standing on the base.

Accessories: Spock only includes his transporter base.

And the bio:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Captain James T. Kirk
In Dress Uniform
(TOS Reissue)

Figure Name: Captain James T. Kirk In Dress Uniform
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

DST reissued this Dress Uniform Kirk as a single-carded Toys R Us Exclusive.

The Rundown: Originally released in a 2-pack with Khan, DST brought Dress Unifrom Kirk back as part of it's exclusive deal with Toys R Us. The figure is only slightly tweaked from it's original release.

The most noticeable change is in the skin tone. The original release had more of a reddish tint to the skin than the reissue has. It's a little tough to tell by the pic, but the reissue has a bit more yellow to the skin. I prefer the original, but that's just me.

The shirt is almost identical, with the same excellent paint app on the medals. The drawback with the reissue is that there's an indentation in the shirt from the packaging twist-tie. It seems like all of the reissues are going to be stuck with this imperfection. Hey DST! Lose the twist-tie around the waist!

The last minor change is the stance. The original release stands with his feet pretty close together while the reissue stands a bit more spread apart. I don't know if it's just due to the way it's packaged, but it's definitely noticeable on mine. Not a huge deal, but the wider stance does look a little goofier, especially when he's in a dress uniform.

Accessories: Kirk comes with a phaser and communicator. The original release also included a tricorder.

So is he worth picking up? Not really, unless you're a completest like me or if you missed out on the original 2 pack. There's just not enough new here to justify picking him up again. And if you did miss out on the original and you're thinking of getting this one, you may just want to shop around for the 2 pack. You can probably get it for about what TRU is charging for this one if you look around enough, plus you get a really great Khan figure.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Playmates Spotlight- Dr. McCoy
(Transporter Series)

Figure Name: Dr. McCoy
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys

Playmates released Dr. McCoy as part of it's boxed assortment of Transporter Series figures.

The Rundown: Another figure from Playmates Transporter Series, it's everyone's favorite cantankerous doctor- Leonard "Bones" McCoy! I'll bet Bones would hate this figure. McCoy doesn't like to be beamed. Kinda like BA from the A-Team hated getting on planes...

You know how this gimmick works right? Oh, you don't? Well, it's pretty nifty. Grab the good doctor, force him onto the transporter base, press the button...and voila! McCoy's molecules get scrambled across space! Okay not really. Actually it just makes some transporter noises and a light shines up from the base illuminating the translucent parts of the figure. A pretty cool effect, especially in the dark.

The figure is just a reworked version of the Classic Crew Set McCoy. The head sculpt is good, though maybe just a tad too thick at the neck. They did do a good job getting a good amount of "character wrinkles" into the face though. You can tell by the look on his face that he's not happy he's about to be beamed over and over again by an overly zealous 6 year old. That is until the batteries run out...

As stated earlier, the transporter figures are molded in translucent plastic to facilitate the beaming effect. It makes the figure pretty useless off of the base, but oh well.

Accessories: McCoy only comes with his transporter base. It has his name printed on it so he knows where to stand.

Bio time!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Battle Ravaged
Captain James T. Kirk

Figure Name: Battle Ravaged Captain James T. Kirk
Manufacturer: Art Asylum Toys

Battle Ravaged Kirk was released as part of Art Asylum's third wave of Classic Star Trek figures.

The Rundown: It seems like every toy line does a "Battle Ravaged" version of it's main character sooner or later. Well, Art Asylum's Trek line was no different and slipped a Battle Ravaged Kirk into it's third assortment. At least it's a variation that makes sense in this case though since Kirk spent much of his time in a battle-ravaged state on the show...

The figure is basically just a repaint of the "Exclusive Premiere" Kirk figure, so you're looking at that same great body sculpt here. There's plenty of articulation, and the proportions are great for Kirk. I wish DST would go back to this shirt mold on it's current yellow shirt Kirks. It fits much better than the McCoy shirt mold that they currently use. Oh, and the yellow of the shirt matches the AA Wave 2 Sulu and Chekov pretty well (though you'll have to do a little work to clean it up).

The head mold is the same used throughout the AA/ DST lines. The skin tone is bit tanner here than in the first releases which really helps make it look a bit more like Shatner. There's quite a few blood drips on the face that prevent you from using the head on other figures though...

Of course, since this figure is called "Battle Ravaged", AA amped up the paint apps on this Kirk to give him that war-weary look. There's the aforementioned blood on the face, and a nice dirty paint app on the body. The effect is really good and makes the figure really stand out as not "just another Kirk".

Accessories: This figure also shines in the accessory department. Kirk comes with a phaser rifle, a phaser, a tricorder, and a communicator. The phaser rifle is especially nice and is an accessory that hasn't been included very often (only here and with the Exclusive Premiere Kirk I believe).

Most Trek figure fans are getting a little tired of the constant Kirk/ Spock variants. This one was really well done though and is a variant that makes sense. I recommend it even if your are "Kirked-out".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Playmates Spotlight- Lt. Uhura
(Classic Star Trek Collector Set)

Figure Name: Lt. Uhura
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys

Uhura was released by Playmates in their sweet boxed Classic Star Trek Crew Collector's Set.

The Rundown: Another fine addition from the excellent Playmates Classic Star Trek Collector's Set: Uhura! Uhura here only had 2 TOS-style 4.5" figures from Playmates, so thankfully this one's a winner!

Playmates did a fine job on the Uhura body sculpt. The uniform is well sculpted, the joints don't look overly bulky, and the figure has a decent bit of articulation. Unfortunately, the skirt prevents the hip articulation from really doing anything, so there's now way of getting Uhura into a good sitting position. But since Playmates never gave us a Classic Bridge playset for her to sit down on anyway, I guess that's kind of a moot point.

The head sculpt is pretty decent. It looks enough like Nichelle from certain angles that you can definitely tell it's her. I think they really got the nose right, but the face may be just a tad thin. Still not bad by any means...

As with some of the other figures in the set, the hands aren't sculpted all that well for holding the accessories. The communicator fits well, but there's not a good way of having her hold the phaser naturally. It's a bit of a nuisance, and I wish they had designed the hands a bit better, but that's picking nits. I still love this figure and the rest from the set.

Accessories: Uhura (like the others in the set) comes with a phaser, a communicator, and a display stand depicting her division (not pictured).

And her box bio-