Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remco Spotlight-
Utility Belt

Item Name: Star Trek Utility Belt
Manufacturer: Remco

Remco released this set back in the mid-70's. Shown above is the Canadian style packaging.

The Rundown: Remco was one of the first companies to tackle Trek merchandise, releasing a few items way back during the original run of the show. Most of that early merchandise was related to Star Trek by name only; releases like the "Astro-Cruiser" had absolutely nothing to do with the series. In the 70's however, Remco put out some really nice stuff that was actually based on the this utility belt set. Here's what ya got-

No utility belt would be complete without a phaser. The phaser has the Remco-style "Star Trek" logo on the side, a silver emitter area, and a rather large trigger up front. What's the large trigger for you ask? Why these of course:

The phaser comes with a pack of small disks for you to load up and fire! The mechanism sticks a bit, but this thing still fires after all these years.

Next up is your handy Tricorder. It lacks the strap of the original, and the design seems much more akin to the version included with the Mego figures, but it's still way cool. Perfect for the kid pretending to be Spock (which is what I would have done had I owned this as a kid).

The communicator is really my favorite piece in the set. It has a little flip open top, and the inside is actually fairly screen accurate (for a kid's toy). I could just imagine running around outside and flipping this open to call for a beam-out.

And the final piece of the set is the belt itself. There's little spots for each of your pieces of equipment so you can carry them with you everywhere! The belt is adjustable, and has a sweet logo at the buckle area. I would totally wear this if I could fit it.

The only drawback on the set is the size. This was made for kids, and as such everything is about half the size of the actual props. Really, who cares though? I'd have gone nuts for this as a kid! Sweet stuff!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Kang

Figure Name: Kang
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

DST released this Kang as a Toys R Us Exclusive in the Star Trek "universal" branding packaging.

The Rundown: WOO HOO! KANG! OUR VERY FIRST TOS-STYLE KANG! Man, this figure has been a LONG time coming! In the Playmates line, we got Koloth. In the Art Asylum line, we got Kor. And now, finally, DST brings us Kang!

This figure is just now hitting Toys R Us stores, and at 1 per case he's not sitting around long. I REALLY wish he was packed 2 per case. When most stores only get one case at a time, it makes things tough for a guy like me who likes one loose and one carded. I almost feel bad doing this spotlight with so many folks still searching for this guy...but I just wanted to show everyone that he is definitely worth the hunt!

Kang's head is the only new piece of the figure...but man what a great head it is! The likeness is pretty much perfect- You can even see Ansara's little mole on his cheek! The paint work is nice as well, capturing the almost sweaty look of Kang's face.

From the neck down, Kang is just a slightly repainted version of Kor (which you can read about here). I'm not against the reuse, since the Klingons pretty much wore the same outfits. Do I wish he had been taller? Sure, but since we probably wouldn't have gotten a Kang unless they used the Kor body, I'll take what I can get.

There are some slight differences between Kor and Kang. The baldric is much darker on Kang than it was on Kor, with a gold paint app highlighting the decoration. It's not really screen accurate to Kang's, but it looks really sweet like this so I'm okay with it. If you'll remember, for some reason AA made Kor's chest area out of a rubbery material over a hard inner torso. I have no idea why they did that, but it's here again with Kang. At least on Kang it's made with a thicker, harder material and feels much less fragile than on Kor.

My one real gripe is that Kang's collar area is painted with a gloss paint instead of the flat paint of Kor's. It doesn't match the sleeves, and looks a little strange. Is everyone's like this or is just mine? Guess I'll have to wait until I have my carded version in hand to check.

Accessories: Kang includes the same accessories as Kor, only this time they are painted differently. The knife is unfortunately just plain silver this time around as opposed to the weathered black of the original. At first I thought the disruptor was painted inaccurately, reasoning that it was probably just produced at the same time as the upcoming Romulan accessory. After looking at the screen grabs at Trekcore though, you can definitely see that they used the silver version in the episode, so good on DST for catching that!

I really don't think I need to say that I recommend this one. It's freaking Kang! How could you not want this!?! It's the first truly new TOS character we've gotten in awhile, and even though it reuses the Kor body, it's still plenty awesome. The only problem is finding one... Good luck everybody! He's worth it!

Oh...I grabbed my extra, slightly worn Kor for pics in this spotlight, and since I'm so excited about owning Kang, I figured I'd pass on the Klingon love and give him away! Just send me your name to and you're entered! Please put "Kor giveaway" in the subject line, and get me the e-mail by Friday, November 13th at 11:59 PM EST. I'll pick one name out of the bunch and contact you Saturday. The only thing I ask is that you cover shipping...


Monday, November 9, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight-
Mirror Universe Kirk
(DST Reissue)

Figure Name: Captain James T. Kirk (Mirror Universe)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

DST released this Kirk in their new "universal branding" Star Trek packaging.

The Rundown: As you can probably guess by now, I found a few more of the new figures on Sunday! Another of my local TRU's had 2 Spocks and 1 Kirk left when I got there. I guess that means the case pack is 3 Spocks, 2 Kirks, 1 Kang. Yeah, that's smart. Why not 2 of each!?!?

Anyways, since they had another Kirk, I snagged it to open since my first carded one had a funky spot on the shirt. Bad news though- this one has it too so it's probably a running thing.

Just like Spock, this Kirk is basically the same figure as his original except the spiffy new paint job. Instead of repeating what I wrote in the original review (which you can readhere), I'll just focus on what's new about this version.

Just like all of the other DST Kirk reissues, Mirror Kirk features a much pinker skin tone over the original's slightly yellowish hue. I personally prefer this paint over the original. The AA version almost looks like a zombie by comparison.

The original AA Kirk had a painted gold shirt which looked good, but suffered from paint wear pretty easily. The shirt also looked a bit light which caused the sash to kinda blend into it. DST's reissue features a shirt molded in a sparkly gold material with the sash and adornments painted on. The color change is nice, and I like the fact that it's actually molded in the color instead of painted.

Oh, and it's a small change, but there's more of a color differential now between the black of the pants and the boots. That slight tweak helps the boots pop a little more on the reissue.

Okay, 2 gripes- First, there's the aforementioned material defect on the upper right chest area of the shirt. Not a huge deal, but it does look a little funky. My second gripe is about the gold on the sash. I'm already noticing cracks in the paint and I'm sure the paint job won't withstand much movement of the shirt.

Oh yeah, one more thing! Unlike the original release, Kirk now includes interchangeable salute hands! Kirk is a bit too barrel chested to fully pull off the move, which is probably why AA left them out in the first place, but it is nice that they were included.

Accessories: Kirk includes the hands, a phaser, a communicator, and his mirror dagger with sheath.

Unlike the reissue Spock, Kirk is one I recommend as an upgrade to your original AA figure. The skin tone is much nicer, and the shirt looks better than the original release. Keep an eye on that mold imperfection though, and be careful around the paint on the sash!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight-
Mirror Universe Spock
(DST Reissue)

Figure Name: Spock (Mirror Universe)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

DST released this Spock on their new "universal branding" Star Trek packaging.

The Rundown: So I found a couple of the new figures this morning at my local Toys R Us (which I'm stuck haunting for awhile since was nice enough to cancel my Kang preorder...grrrr). They had 2 Spocks and 1 Kirk left (no Kangs) by the time I arrived. My Kirk has a funky spot on his shoulder, so the spotlight on him will have to wait until I find a better one to open. But like I said, there were 2 Spocks, so you get to take a look at him today!

I've previously spotlighted the original AA Mirror Spock here. Since this figure is basically the same except for a few minor tweaks, I'm going to skip the usual breakdown and cut right to the comparisons so you can see what's different on this one.

While the heads look pretty much the same at first glance, upon closer inspection you can see a couple of major differences. The eyes are much darker here than on the original, the paint for the facial hair has been lessened, and the eyebrows are painted differently. I'm usually a fan of the DST paint revisions, but I don't really like the eyebrow change. It gives Spock a confused look. And we all know Spock is not confused.

The more obvious change is in the shirt. The reissue bulges out at the bottom for some reason and isn't as nicely form-fitting as the first version. The original version had nice thin paint wash over it that gave the shirt a shimmery look. The reissue still has a bit of a shimmer to it, but it looks more like some silver specks were just mixed into the plastic and it's not as noticeable as the original. The sash is also painted with a much flatter paint, and lacks the glossy look of the AA release. One thing that is nicer on the reissue is the gold detailing. It seems like all of the DST releases have superior gold paint apps.

Accessories: This time around, Spock includes the salute hands, a phaser, a communicator, and the mirror dagger with sheath.

So yeah, not much new here, and what is new isn't really all that better than the original. If you don't have a Mirror Spock, then of course it's worth a snag. If you have the original, the only thing that can justify a purchase here is the new gold paint. My original Mirror Spock has a green tint to his paint now that will only get worse with time I'm afraid...


Thursday, November 5, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight- Captain Kirk
With Electronic Command Chair
("Trouble With Tribbles" Version)

Figure Name: Captain Kirk (with Electronic Command Chair)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

This "TWT" Kirk and chair was initially sold as a exclusive, but was later solicited through Diamond distributors.

The Rundown: I know, I know...I missed doing a spotlight again yesterday...but I'm back today with another DST Command Chair spotlight! This marks the fifth release of DST's "chair sets", but only the second to include the electronic version of the chair. Oh, and this set also features the first rerelease of the casual shirt Kirk! So what's this set have to offer? Let's look!

First, there's the figure. Kirk features the same mold as the original Art Asylum Wave 1 "Casual" Kirk, but with DST's improved paint apps. I find myself really preferring the DST reissues to the AA releases just because the paint choices make the figures look so much nicer. Kirk here is no different-

The shirt on the reissue is made in a darker shade of green than the original release. While it's not entirely accurate in shade to "The Trouble With Tribbles", I do think it looks much nicer here than on the original. The gold highlights stand out a bit more than on AA's version, and I'm hopeful that DST's paint will stand up to the test of time a bit better (since the gold has already discolored on my AA version).

And just like the other DST reissue Kirks, the skin tone has been changed to a pinker color. I like it better than the muddy complexion of the original.

Gripe time! Since the casual shirt falls a bit low on the waist, when Kirk sits down it stretches the rubbery material of the shirt. In both my examples, the stress of being packed in a seated position caused a tear in the material. Not a huge deal, but something to watch out for if you pick this up in stores.

So that takes care of what about the chair? This release hasn't been altered from the first electronic release (reviewed here). Same deal here... press the buttons on each arm rest for sound effects and lighted panels! I forgot to mention in my previous review that when you hold down both buttons for about 5 seconds or so, the chair will play the opening Kirk monologue! Here's a video to check out the sound effects:

Now would I have liked some "TWT" lines in there? Sure, but the chair is so freaking sweet and loaded with electronics that I don't mind it so much. This release was just an exclusive, so I don't really expect them to take the time to try and work in another line into the sound chip.

So pretty sweet release, right? You get Kirk and his chair...oh, wait! What's that tucked in behind the chair?...

... why it's a bag o' tribbles of course! You can't call this thing a "Trouble With Tribbles" chair and not include tribbles, right? 10 brown tribbles are packed in with this set.

We've seen a few figure-scaled tribbles over the years (Playmates, Minimates, "Trials & Tribble-ations"), but I think these are probably the best of the batch. These aren't just little puffs of fuzz like some of the other releases- these are actually little stitched together bits of brown fur! They look very accurate, even if they are a tad on the large size (lets' just say they were some pretty hungry little tribbles).

I really like this release and I'd recommend grabbing it over the yellow shirt version. That Kirk in a 2 pack and a single card release, while this green shirt Kirk has been gone since the AA days. The green shirt Kirk may come back as a carded reissue, but we still don't know which version that will be (or if it will even make it out). Oh, and the chair is awesome, so it's worth getting another if all you have is the standard, non-electronic version. Plus...Tribbles!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Playmates Spotlight- Ilia Probe

Figure Name: Ilia Probe
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys

Ilia was released by Playmates on their "Warp Factor" style card. She came packaged with different colored accessories- we've got gray up there...

...and blue right there!

The Rundown: Hey, the spotlights back! I took a few days off there for a couple of reasons. First, Halloween! Saturday was crazy with costume making hysteria! My oldest went as a wolfman (we bought the mask, but I made the rest) and my youngest wanted to be He-Man (which I made from scratch other than the muscle shirt). Here's pics if ya care-

So Saturday was just too busy for words. Sunday and Monday were just a matter of fatigue really. I didn't think I'd keep the daily streak going this long, but it was definitely starting to get a little tough and I needed a break. Plus, I got a little angry Sunday night when I received a back order notice on my DST Kang preorder that I placed months ago. Word to the wise TRU- when you take a preorder, you should be able to fulfill it. I was a bit miffed and I didn't have the gumption to talk about Trek.

But I'm back...and so is Ilia!

Ilia is from the "Warp Factor" era, which usually means less articulation with a more detailed sculpt. She may not be able to move very much, but the figure is nicely sculpted.

While she's not a dead ringer for Ilia, the figure's head is decent enough. I don't want to say the sculptor got lazy...but it's tough to mistake this for somebody else, what with the bald head and all, so why go overboard trying to get the likeness just right. I don't dislike it, I just wish it was a bit better.

Something that did really impress me on this release was the paint work. The shirt has a nice blue wash over it, which really brings out the folded details in the sculpt.

Ilia's shoes are also nicely handled. The shoes have a nice pink sheen with small white highlights all around. You usually don't see that kind of detail on a Playmates release, so kudos!

Accessories: Ilia comes with a display stand (not pictured), and the small V'Ger replica that was formally available as a "build-a-figure" in the Classic Star Trek Movie Series. This time around, V'Ger is molded in one solid color and is unpainted.

There's her box bio.

Ilia makes a great compliment to the Classic Star Trek TMP figures. If you have those, grab her too. If you don't have those and don't intend to buy them, well that makes Ilia kinda pointless doesn't it? So there.