Thursday, August 26, 2010
Figure Name: Ilia
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp.
This Ilia was produced as part of Mego's 12.5" Star Trek: The Motion Picture line.
The Rundown: It's been quite awhile since we've looked at one of these, hasn't it? The last one was the Klingon way back in August of last year! Time flies... Well, in case you don't remember my feelings on this line, I LOVE IT. Mego produced some really high quality stuff here at a low price point, something unheard of in the 1/6th scale nowadays. Pretty much every figure in the line rocks in my eyes... except maybe one...
Ilia is probably my least favorite of the bunch. She's not a bad figure, she just doesn't equal the quality of the other releases. Maybe it's the fact that she is dressed in the "probe" outfit, which is nowhere near as detailed as the crew uniform... or maybe it's the fact that the body is more of a fashion doll type rather than the "action figure" body used on the males. It's probably a combo of both coupled with...
...a somewhat mediocre head sculpt. While I think Mego produced a better likeness than Playmates did on their version (seen HERE), it lacks the accuracy of the other figures in the TMP 12.5" line. I do like that they included the necklace though, or at least an approximation of the necklace (reworked from a different Mego release).
As I stated earlier, Mego chose to go with the "probe" outfit for the 12.5" Ilia instead of the crew uniform (which they did use on her 3.75" release). It was undoubtedly an easier outfit for them to replicate, but that doesn't mean that Mego slacked off here. The hemline hits at just about the right spot for movie accuracy, and the collar features a really nice dark cream colored inner lining, allowing Ilia to "pop it like it's hot".
Okay, problem time! We've covered the gray "zombification" of the heads before (head over to the Mego Museum for tips on getting the gray out), but Ilia has an additional problem all her own! See it up there? Sure ya do...
Gah!?!? What's wrong with you girl? Yep. She's got some nasty green ankles. If your Ilia was freed from her plastic prison back during her initial release, you are probably safe from this issue. But if she has resided in that box all that time, her little ankles are probably all hulked-out by now. See the metal used in the twist ties reacts with Ilia's bare ankles, creating this nasty green effect. Yuck. The male characters are usually safe from this, since their uniforms provide a barrier from the twist ties. Lucky dudes.
Another slight issue with Ilia is the fact that she has tiny hands, leaving her unable to grasp her phaser. I really don't mind this though, as there isn't much reason for her to even have a phaser in this look. Oh, and it's also really hard to make her stand up without some kind of support (thus why she's sporting that black figure stand in almost all these shots).
Accessories: Ilia includes the aforementioned phaser. It's very well-sculpted, with a cool decal on top depicting the weapon's readouts.
...and in case you want to read her box bio:
While not my favorite of the bunch, Ilia is still a pretty decent release. The 12.5" line is a far departure from Mego's 8" line, what with it's attention to detail and screen accuracy. The TMP 12.5" figures are probably my favorite representations of the crew in these uniforms, so I'd definitely recommend this set if you are a fan of that look. You can get most of the figures for reasonable prices on ebay, usually for a lot less than anything in the current 12" figure market. Just watch those ankles...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
During the height of Trek's popularity in the 1990's, it seemed like there was new "coffee table" book coming out every month on the franchise... It was a great time to be a fan. As the years passed and Trek started moving into an overly-saturated state, the release of these beauties became less and less frequent until they basically ceased to exist. Flash forward a decade or so, and Trek's presence in bookstores is just now finding it's footing again, I'm sure due in no small part to the popularity of the 2009 film. Publishers are once again giving Star Trek a chance... which leads us to this awesome piece of hardcover goodness... Star Trek 365! Let's take a look!
I ordered my copy of the book from Amazon, so I bought this sight unseen just based on the premise- 365 pages of info and pictures all about the original series. You don't really think about how massive 365 pages are until you see them smacked down on the table in front of you. The heft of the book is incredible! It's like a brick! I threw that comparison pic (featuring one of the old digest size TV guides) up there just to illustrate how massive this book is!
In case you aren't familiar with the 365 format, basically the book is laid out with a large picture or illustration on one page and text on the other. Star Trek 365 follows this format, with carefully selected images pertaining to the original series. I was amazed by the quality of the images in the book and pleasantly surprised by many that I had never even seen before! Even after over 40 years, there are still some images out there that are fresh and new...
The text portion of the book offers not only fantastic synopses of the original 79 episodes, but also insanely cool behind the scenes stories and wonderful insight into the making of the show. For a book the could have just relied on amazing imagery as it's selling point, Block and Erdmann put forth text that easily equals the pictures for enjoyment value.
Um yeah... BUY THIS BOOK! The suggested retail is $29.95, which it is well worth, but I got mine for the crazy low price of $19.77 from Amazon. I'm not sure how much longer that deal will last, so act fast. That being said, I would have had zero buyer's remorse at paying the full price on this. A great addition to the Trek reading room!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Item Name: Dr. McCoy's Medical Kit
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys
Playmates released this boxed accessory way back in 1996, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original series.
The Rundown: Looking back, Playmates really did a decent job of putting out a variety of "role play" accessories in the Trek line. Although the scale was sometimes off, the price and relative accuracy in style made their stuff a nice affordable alternative to expensive prop replicas. Take for example the piece we are looking at today- Dr. McCoy's Medical Kit!
The kit consists of 2 separate toys: The Anabolic Protoplaser and the Medical Scanner. Let's start with the Protoplaser-
While the Protoplaser prop began life in the original series as an engineering tool, it quickly became one of the most prevalent tools in McCoy's medical arsenal. Here we see it being used to revive the recently awakened Khan...
While it's a shade smaller than the prop, Playmates version is still a pretty decent replica. The styling and color are as about as accurate as you can get for a kid's toy, and it even has a light-up feature! You can't beat light-up features.
Next, we have the medical scanner...
A much more "go-to" piece used in the show, the size on this one seems darn close to the prop. Take a look at McCoy using his-
And here's me holding the Playmates version-
Not too shabby for a kids toy, eh? In fact, I'd go so far as to say this one might even be superior to the recent DST version I spotlighted here. While both lack the motorized spinning feature, the Playmates version has something going for it that the DST doesn't; You actually have to hold the button down continuously to hear the "warble" sound on DST's scanner, while the Playmates version only takes one press of the button for the sound effect. Here's a quick look at this set's electronic features-
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Figure Name: Mirror Universe Lt. Uhura
Made by customizer Matthew Hackley
The Rundown: I got a long-awaited treat this past Tuesday: A box full of new customs from my friend Matthew Hackley! This batch of goodies yielded 3 new TOS customs, including this addition to the Mirror Universe crew, Lt. Uhura!
In case you are new to the site, a little back story- About a year or so ago, I met Matt through a custom figure purchase I made on eBay. Matt had listed a couple of really neat custom Trek figures done in Playmates style that I was lucky enough to snag. We talked a bit about or mutual love of the Playmates Trek line and our disappointment that it hadn't continued. Inspiration struck, and we came up with a laundry list of figures we deemed essential to "completing" the line. Matt then began the task of customizing the "What if Playmates had kept the Star Trek license?" figure line! One of the "must-haves" was a complete Mirror crew... which brings us to Uhura!
Trying to capture the look of the classic series females would seem a tough task to me, what with the limited amount of base bodies to choose from, but Matt makes it look easy! Utilizing what I would assume is a standard Uhura as a base, the custom captures Uhura just as if Playmates had done it.
Since it's a minimalistic costume when it comes to color, it's the little details that make this one pop, like the Terran empire symbol on her chest...
...the gold band encircling her upper arm...
...and of course the standard gold sash and high-cut boots!
While we don't know if Playmates would have captured the detailing as well as Matt, they were definitely kicking up the accuracy on some of their later figures. There's a chance it would have looked quite a bit like this, but alas we shall never know.
Accessories: Although she could have included an agonizer and a phaser, the only accessory that MUST come with a Mirror Uhura is her dagger of course. What else is she going to threaten that cad Sulu with?
Ah, one figure closer to a Playmaters "Mirror" crew! Oh how I wish Playmates had done these... but I take great joy in the custom efforts by Mr. Hackley! Thanks Matt!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Item Name: Star Trek Stainless Steel Starfleet Hip Flask
Vandor released the Starfleet flask and stylish black linen display box in 2010.
The Rundown: Browsing through Previews magazine can be a costly endeavor for me. I always wind up finding oddball Trek stuff in the "Miscellaneous" section that I simply can't live without... like this flask here. Why did I order this!? I don't even drink alcohol!
I have never owned a flask before, so I can't say how different this is from a standard flask. The body features a slightly curved design (I guess to make it more comfortable when traveling with your booze pressing against your chest). The flask measures at a little under 4" X 5", making it the perfect size for an inner jacket pocket.
The flask's lid screws off and stays attached to the body via a latched lid. I haven't filled this up with anything yet, but I would imagine it would be a little tough to get you Saurian Brandy in there without incredibly steady hands or a little funnel action.
Of course, since this is a Star Trek flask the front features the command logo emblazoned across it. The logo isn't just printed onto the steel, it is actually embossed into it. The embossing work here is nice and comes off looking pretty sharp!
At $20, I can't say I'd go out of my way to recommend this to you. I'm weird, so I bought it... but other than completists like me, I can only see this appealing to Trekkies who already carry a flask and are looking for a neat replacement. After all, you gotta store your Romulan Ale somewhere...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Star Trek The Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition Extras-
"For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky"
All the extras from the Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition of "For The World Is Hollow And I have Touched The Sky". A little stuff with De here about the possibilities of introducing McCoy's daughter...
Friday, August 13, 2010
Figure Name: Mugato
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp. (Original), Diamond Select Toys (Reissue)
Mego released this Mugato as part of it's second assortment of Star Trek Aliens 8" figures. (sorry, no packaged picture for ya...)
The Rundown: It's time to get groovy with the hip cat who makes all the ladies swoon... Mr. Mugato- err I mean Mugatu- I mean Gumatu- Ah, nevermind. Let's just look at him in all his late 70's glory!
First, a look at the "Mugato" from "A Private Little War":
...and now Mego's version:
Wha!? What happened there!?! How did the Mugato go from an albino gorilla with spikes to the disco-lovin' dude we see before us? Seriously, this figure is such a HUGE departure from the original look that it reigns supreme in my eyes as the whackiest of all the Mego aliens, even knocking out head-scratchers like the Gorn and Talos.
Things seem to start off well at the head, with a somewhat decent likeness to the mask used in the show. He's got the big head horn and some white fur, but the bright orange color used here funks it up a bit. For some reason, he reminds me of an orange creamsicle. That actually improves my thoughts on the figure, as I do love orange creamsicles.
As your eyes pan down the figure, you are met with this sweet green shirt that all the fashionable Mugatos are sporting this year. Emblazoned across the chest is a nice black v-pattern design accentuated with reddish orange circles. Oh, and he's wearing a belt. Yep, that makes sense.
Perfectly coordinated with his shirt are the Mugato's bright red pants. Since the Mugato is normally a creature stalking hapless natives in wild terrain, the color choices would seem quite bold- but that's what the Mugato is all about: Boldness. You may have also noticed the fringe hanging from his sleeves and pants. Whether this is meant to be his fur or merely another decoration to his outfit is a mystery lost in the minds of the Mego design team, but my money is on the latter. Finally, we reach the feet. While the foot design used here doesn't seem accurate, it is at least a cool mold... I just wish they had not manufactured them in orange.
Something to watch out for if you pursue an original- The black plastic used in the belt leaves a funky stain around the midsection. I'm sure there are ways to get the stain out, but if you'd rather not deal with it there's always...
...The Diamond Select Reissue! There are a few noticeable differences here, like the slightly darker shades of material used on the outfit and the change in quality of the chest decoration, but overall it makes a nice placeholder for the original. In fact, I actually prefer the orange used on the reissue as it looks a little more like "skin" than the original.
Accessories: Aside from the outfit, the Mugato only includes his black belt. The original version is pictured up there, the reissue version lacks any kind of buckle embellishment.
So there ya go. The Mugato is one STRANGE figure. His rarity puts him pretty high on most Mego Trek collector's wish lists, but the sheer insanity of his design moves him into the oddity category for most "standard" collectors. I can't say I'd recommend this one to most folks due to his sometimes high secondary-market prices, but the reissue offers a good affordable alternative for folks that may want to add this hipster to their displays for a little bit of flashy funk variety. I mean, what other Trek figure can pull off this kind of pose and make it seem perfectly natural-