Thursday, April 30, 2009
Figure Name: Decker (Commander Willard Decker)
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp.
Decker was released as part of Mego's boxed 12.5" line.
The Rundown: It's taken me years to get around to picking up the 12.5" TMP line...and I have no idea why I waited so long. These figures are REALLY impressive, even by today's standards. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a 12" line on the market today with this quality for under $70 a figure. Let's start with the uniform-
Look at that deatiling! Mego did one heckuva job replicating the TMP 'pajama' uniform. They actually stitched in all the stitching lines! And his little belt buckle gizmo is actually a seperate piece, not some cheesy printed on effect (as it probably would be on a mass market 12" nowadays). I'm really not sure how they were able to produce such an incredible costume for the price back then, but why the heck can't it be done now!
The body is very well articulated and can strike multiple poses without difficulty. The 12.5" body feels like an upscaled version of the standard 8" Mego body, so if you're familiar with it you've got more of the same here, just bigger. Again, superior in articulation to most mass market 12" stuff out now. The head sculpt is clean and recognizable as Stephen Collins. I'm not sure, but I'd say getting these head sculpts to turn out nice is pretty tough due to them being made out of roto-cast material. A small note on the TMP 12.5" line: almost every figure you find nowadays suffers from 'zombie head'. Something about the material used on these and many other mego figures grays over time. I'm not going to hold that against the figure though. I'm sure Mego wasn't thinking about how these figures would look 30 years down the line, they were busy making great figures at a solid price point. If your's bother you though, there's a method to fix them. I've never tried it myself, but here's a link to see how it's done- Getting the gray out!.
Accessories- Not counting the uniform, Decker comes with a TMP style phaser. The sculpt is nice, and Mego even went to the trouble of making a little decal showcasing the details on the phaser!
And in case you want to read his box bio-
And for you 'Kids In The Hall' fans... "I'm crushing your head! Crush! Crush!"
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Figure Name: The Salt Vampire (AKA M-113 Creature, AKA Nancy Crater)
Made by customizer extraordinaire Matthew Hackley...
The Rundown: Before I get into how insane this custom is, a little back story- I have been thinking for a long time how awesome it would have been if Playmates had kept the Star Trek license for even just a few more years. Imagine the possible figures they would have produced if the line had gone on and become even half as expansive as, say, Hasbro's Star Wars stuff. I know it's a pipe dream, and even though Playmates is again producing Trek stuff, I know there's pretty much no chance we'll ever see a true continuation in size and style of their 90's stuff...
Well, one day I'm just browsing Star Trek stuff on eBay, and I come across some really sharp looking Playmates style customs. The figures were really, really well done. They looked pretty much exactly like how I would have envisioned Playmates would have made them. Needless to say, I jumped on them. I started talking to the guy who made them, a very talented customizer by the name Matthew Hackley. Turns out Matt liked Playmates Trek stuff just about as much as I did. He customized in the Playmates style because (much like myself) that's the style he likes. We started trading e-mails back and forth, hatching on a plan to 'continue' the Playmates Star Trek TOS lineup. I made up a list of like 65 characters that I would love to see, and Matt started working them out, trying to make them as close to Playmates styling as possible. Which leads to this beautiful lady right here...
When Matt told me he was working on the Salt Vampire, I was seriously giddy as a school girl. The Salt Vampire is one of the craziest looking creatures ever made! That mouth! Those crazy suction cup fingers! The weird fishing net dress thing! That design just begs to get the figure treatment. Art Asylum announced one way back when, which Diamond Select is now trying to get out there, but this is Playmates style baby! Matt pretty much sculpted this thing from head to toe, but it still moves like a Playmates figure...and the paint detailing knocked my socks off...
So here she is...the Salt Vampire as Playmates might have done her! A face only a mother (or Dr. Crater) could love...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Figure Name: Edith Keeler
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys
Edith was realeased on the Warp Factor Series cardback, in the 3rd series.
The Rundown: WARNING! If you haven't watched the classic series episode "The City On The Edge Of Forever", turn back now! I can't fathom why you'd be looking at this blog if you haven't seen that episode though. It's basically the greatest hour of Trek ever made. So if you haven't seen it, go watch it. Right now. Then come back.....
Are you back? Okay, everybody's seen it now right? Good. On with the rundown...
Edith was released at a time when Playmates was trying some new things with their figures. They experimented a little more with doing a sculpted stance with less articulation versus their usual standard pose figures. Sometimes this worked (City On The Edge Of Forever Kirk and Spock) and sometimes it didn't (Intendant Kira). Edith kinda falls somewhere in the middle. She's not very articulated (shes' got mid-thigh swivels, elbows, and a swivel neck) but at least she's not stuck in a crazy stance. Besides, how much articulation do you really need on an Edith Keeler figure? This is pretty much the only 'action' scene she was involved in-
Overall, she's a pretty swell figure though. The sculpt is overall nice, especially the head. And it's quite a treat that she got a figure in the first place. I can think of ALOT of other 'kid-targeted', 'action-oriented' TOS characters that could have been made in Edith's place. I'm glad that Playmates chose to make her instead though. I love "The City On The Edge Of Forever". It's my all-time favorite episode, so having a Kirk, Spock, AND an Edith all inspired from that episode is awesome.
Accessories- Edith comes with a stand (not pictured), a Coffee Pot, a Coffee Mug, a Typewriter, and her Hand Bag. Pretty much everything a social worker needs to keep her soup kitchen running...
And in case you want to read her bio-
Monday, April 27, 2009
Figure Name: Talos
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp.
Talos was released on the 'Alien' cardback in the third series of Mego Star Trek 8" figures. (Sorry, I don't own a carded one to give you a packaged shot).
The Rundown: Talos here was obviously based off the of the Talosian Keeper from the pilot episode "The Cage". Mego had already produced a character called "The Keeper" in their second series of figures (whose outfit could pass for a Talosian's, but whose head sculpt more resembles Balok's puppet) so I guess that's why this guy got stuck with 'Talos'. I have no idea why they didn't just call him 'Talosian'... but that's really the least of his problems. There's not much good you can say about this guy. Mego used their smaller Teen Titans body for him, which I feel is a really good choice since the Talosians seemed frail and small in the episode. He's got a GREAT head sculpt. The large bulbous cranium, the stoic face, and the protruding veins are just about perfect. Really top notch job on this head. But then you see his clothes, and the goodness grinds to a screeching hault-
Wow. Now Mego has taken liberties with characters before, but I can only guess as to what they were thinking when they designed this outfit. Timmy was the lonely Talosian. He never cared much for expanding his mental powers, playing with Vina, or capturing starship captains. His only enjoyment came from watching old holovids of the circus stored aboard Vina's ship. He yearned to be a part of that life and spent all his time secretly training on a homemade trapeze in a hidden cave on Talos. When Spock embarked on his mission to return Pike to Talos, Timmy seized his opportunity. He secretly snuck aboard the Enterprise and stowed away until they reached the next starbase. From there, Timmy was able to secure passage on a touring circus ship. Through a combination of Talosian mental charm and high-flying prowess he was able to join the prestigious "Cirque De Soleils". Now Timmy uses his big noggin' to wow the crowd by making them feel as if they are right next to him whist he performs his daring trapeze act! Oh, and he got some orange boots too...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Figure Name: Captain James T. Kirk
Manufacturer: Art Asylum
The Cap'n here was billed as the 'Exclusive Premiere Edition' and was released as a boxed convention/ Art Asylum fan club exclusive.
The Rundown: When Art Asylum first announced that they had acquired the Star Trek license, I was floored. Art Asylum employs some of the best sculptors in the business and they were about to tackle Trek. Though Paramount dictated which of the series would be handled first, it wasn't long before figures based on the original series were shown. One of the first figures delivered into collectors' hands was this beauty here...
Art Asylum produced quite the gem here. Kirk stands 7" tall and is loaded with articulation. The body sculpt is top notch with articulation that doesn't 'break up' the look of the figure. AA tried something different with alot of their Trek stuff by implementing a rubbery shirt to hide the torso articulation. While alot of fans (myself included) are now worried about the longevity of this material, either from it becoming cracked and brittle or how the painted elements will react with it over time, it was extremely innovative. The head sculpt? Yeah, that leaves a bit to be desired. I personally feel it's the weakest of all of the AA TOS heads. Shatner is a tough likeness to nail. I thought Playmates handled it pretty darn well back in the day. This AA head sculpt may be a bit of a step back from what they did, but the body is light years beyond.
Other than 'so-so' head sculpt, the only other real problem is the color of the shirt. While it looks decent on it's own, the Sulu and Chekov releases were made in a different shade that don't match Kirk here. Sulu and Chekov look like they have fresh new uniforms, while the Captain seems like he washed his with darks, if he washed it at all. Yellow Shirt Kirk would see multiple releases later on, but those would either use a different shirt mold that fit improperly, or have 'battle-damage'. So without some customizing, this may still be the best overall Kirk to fit your yellow-shirted needs...
Accessories- Kirk's loaded with stuff! You get an extra hand, a tricorder, a phaser pistol, a communicator, and the truly awesome Phaser Rifle (for awhile there, this was the only way you could get it). Just about everything you'd need for a successful away mission...
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Figure name: Harry Mudd
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys
Harry was released on what I like to call the 'Unified' Star Trek cardback, when playmates decided to consolidate all their different Trek lines into one.
Rundown: Ah, Harry Mudd, why do you rule so much? Quick confession- Harry Mudd is one of my all-time favorite 'villains' (it's tough to call ol' Harry a villain... he just trying to make a buck!) in ANY medium. Portrayed to perfection by Roger C. Carmel, Harry stands out for being a truly fun to watch nemesis for Kirk and the crew. Fun fact- Harry is the only 'villain' in Classic Star Trek to appear in more than one episode of The Original Series ("Mudd's Women" and "I, Mudd"). His 2 episodes (and for that matter, his animated epsiode) are some of my favs in the entire run...thus why I picked him for the very first spotlight!
Harry here is sculpted in his attire from "I, Mudd", his second appearance. Playmates nailed this sculpt! Everything is picture perfect, from his wispy hair to his blue, Napoleon-Esque shirt! This is the only Harry Mudd figure ever made (as of this writing) so thankfully Playmates put some real effort into making him look sharp. I am personally glad they chose Harry's second appearance to base the figure's look on. While the first appearance outfit is great, the second outfit seems to fit the eccentric character alot more.
As far as accessories go, Playmates decided to choose accessories mostly from Harry's first episode, "Mudd's Women". Harry comes with the Venus Drug he used to turn Eve and the other ladies into beauties, 2 Lithium Crystals (presumably taken by Kirk when Harry's plans fell through), and the communicator he used to contact the miners. Harry also comes with a Goblet, which is the only accessory of the bunch from the epsiode "I, Mudd" on which the figure's attire is based. Why the decision to include accessories from the first episode instead of the second? Well, there's not alot of choices from his second appearance. There's the goblet...and um, that's about it. Maybe one of the necklaces used on the androids, but Harry doesn't actual hold one and you'd have no android to put it on. So, kudos to Playmates for not just throwing a phaser or something in there.
And in case you want to read Mr. Harcourt Fenton Mudd's cardback profile-
Hello all! Thanks for stumbling upon my little corner of Trek nirvana! Hope you'll enjoy your visits here!
Since this is my first post, I'd like to explain what my goal is with this blog. I've been a fanboy pretty much all my life. I've been into Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Superheroes... pretty much anything in pop culture that has a geek annotation, I've been into it. But my all time fav? Star Trek, The Original Series. I could go on and on about my love of the series, but this is just an intro blog and I think you'll pretty much 'get' that in future posts...
Anyways... back in the 90's, I discovered this wonderful thing called an 'internets' where I could find different webistes devoted to things I loved. A G.I. Joe site! A Batman site! A Sectaurs site! TONS of Star Wars sites! I became a regular poster on forums (I still go by the name Sallah on just about every board I've ever visited) and I fancied myself an expert at knowing which sites had the best info. There were a ton of sites devoted to my favs to choose from (especially for Star Wars related news...)...except Star Trek. That was disappointing... Especially now. I've pretty much called it quits on everything non-Trek related in my old age. since that's all I'm into now, it would be nice to have a few different sites to pop into each day...
Now, none of that is to say there aren't some good Trek sites out there! Trektoy.com is a great one... it's got one of the only trek devoted forums out there. Awesome site. Another is trekmovie.com. That site deals mostly with news on the upcoming film, but you still get some toys related news on there too. There are a few others, but nothing else I've found fits the bill of what I'd like to see...
You ever visit Adam Pawlus' galactichunter.com? Yeah, well I do. Even though my love of Star Wars pretty much died with the prequels, I still pop in every now and then just to check out his awesome recurring article 'Figure Of The Day'. Every day (every single day!) he chooses one figure out of the HUGE amount of Star Wars figures made and spotlights it. He shows a pic of the figure, and writes a rundown on what the figures like. Awesome stuff. Every time I read it, I think to myslef "man, it sure would be cool if there was a site like this for Star Trek"....
So that's what I'm doing here. I'm going to try and copy that as best I can. Will I post a new spotlight every day? Nah, probably not. I just don't have it in me. I'll try and squeeze in at least 1 or 2 a week though. Will I give a grading review of the stuff I spotlight (much like mwctoys.com, another great toy site)? Nope. I absolutely love stuff like the Playmates Trek line, so any grade I give a figure is automatically biased. I'm just going to show you the item, tell you a little bit about it, and let you make the judgement calls yourself. Will this blog cover all areas of Star Trek (like Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, etc.)? Probably not for awhile at least. My Trek is TOS, so this blog will cover that mostly. Will it only focus on toys?Star Trek doesn't have anywhere near the number of figures that Star Wars has to space the blog out for as long as possible, you'll see lots of different spotlights on here. Toys, customs, halloween costums, books, comics, cards...pretty much whatever I feel like writing about that day. Surprises rule.
So that's about it. I promise future entries won't be quite this wordy. Thanks for coming aboard!