Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Playmates Spotlight-
Lieutenant (Commander?) Uhura
("Star Trek: The Motion Picture")

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Figure Name: Lieutenant Uhura
Manufacturer: Playmates Toys

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Uhura was released carded as part of Playmates' Classic Star Trek Movie Series.

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The Rundown: Now here's a figure that really surprised me when it was released. Uhura in her TMP uniform!? I never would have thought that Playmates would have done this uniform before releasing a TWOK-style Uhura. But they did, and I of course bought it. Should you? Read on...

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The figure is constructed in the same basic manner as all the Playmates releases. Uhura features a good range of articulation, allowing you to pose her in a ton of action poses like "welcoming the Admiral aboard!" or "opening haling frequencies!". One small gripe-

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Uhura has some ITTY BITTY hands! Since she doesn't come with a lot of large accessories, this isn't too big of an issue... but there's now way she's holding that tricorder anytime soon.

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Since the crew was a smidgen older by the time the cameras rolled on TMP, Playmates had to do a few new head sculpts for these releases. I think they did a fairly nice job of capturing Nichelle's likeness here... especially her new hairdo! I'm actually surprised that this head was only used once...

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...since all it takes is a parts swap and some paint to make a perfectly fine TWOK Uhura! Sigh. I wish Playmates had just had one more year of releases. I have no doubt we would have seen all the classic crew in these uniforms given time. But I digress.

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Uhura's uniform is very nicely detailed, with an impressive display of the lines and accoutrements unique to the "Motion Picture" costumes. There is one glaring error though. Can you spot it? Here's a hint-

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See anything different there? Sure ya do-

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Uhura carried the rank of Lieutenant Commander in TMP, and thus has one solid and one broken rank braid on her sleeve. The figure only features one rank braid, making her a Lieutenant. Even stranger, the package lists the figure as a Lieutenant! So in some ways, the whole thing is correct unto itself... but inaccurate when it comes to representing Uhura's look and rank from the film. Playmates made the same sort of error on their TMP Sulu, giving him Commander rank braids instead of the correct Lieutenant Commander braids. These errors got me thinking...

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Perhaps the Sulu and Uhura TMP figures actually started out as bodies for Decker and Ilia? How cool would that have been!?! I guess we'll never know for sure, but it does at least make customizing a bit easier.

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Accessories: Uhura includes a tricorder, wrist communicator, PADD and a piece of V'Ger! Collect all 5 TMP style figures and build your own miniature V'Ger! Here's a shot of it completed:

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Pretty nifty... but incredibly small.

And here's her box bio if you'd like to read more. It is a bit on the inaccurate side though, since Uhura was already part of the crew under Decker's command BEFORE Kirk returned to the Enterprise.

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Rank issues aside, Uhura is still a really cool figure. If you're a sucker for the crews' look from the first film like me, Uhura (and the rest of the figures from the set) may be right up your alley. Just like most of the other Playmates 4.5" figures, you can get this one fairly cheap nowadays, so I really can't think of a reason not to buy it. What else are you going to spend your money on? Candy? Candy rots your teeth. 4 out of 5 dentists agree that Uhura does not rot your teeth. So go buy her. Your teeth will thank you.

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