Thursday, July 7, 2011

DST/ EMCE Spotlight-
Captain Pike
(Mego Style Figure)

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Figure Name: Captain Pike
Manufacturer: Diamond Select & EMCE Toys

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Captain Pike was released by Diamond Select Toys in 2011.

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The Rundown: After rounding out the main bridge crew with their Sulu and Chekov figures, DST & EMCE must have felt the need to explore other featured characters for more "good guy" options in their Trek range. As far as TOS male heroes go, the next logical choice after the main crew would have to be Captain Christopher Pike. The guy had it all; Dashing good looks, a sweet laser pistol, and the ability to beat big-headed aliens. Let's take a look at how his manliness fits the Mego form...

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Just like the Salt Vampire we looked at yesterday, Pike features a sturdier body than the previous DST/ EMCE Trek releases. The body is held together with screws and feels a bit heftier than before. I'm not sure why it was changed, but I prefer this newer, tougher body. I've noticed the chest on my Retro Khan has begun to split at the seams, so hopefully this new body will prevent that.

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Pike features an all new head sculpt done in Mego style. I'm sorry to say it... But I am not a fan of this head. While I do see a decent Jeffrey Hunter likeness here, it looks like it's been stylized to fit a more "cartoonish" look. All of the other "new" Mego heads from EMCE (like Khan and Chekov) fit right in with the vintage figures. The Pike head looks more like it was made for Mattel's Retro-Action superheroes line, lacking the realism that made Mego's Trek releases so cool.

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Unfortunately, the slightly cartoonish look of the head isn't the only problem- The head is also quite large. When I first saw the prototypes for this wave, I commented that the heads were a bit large due to them being prototypes. In most cases, original sculpts for toys are a little bigger than the actual figure due to the shrinkage that takes place in the production process. I assumed that the Pike head seen in the prototype was an original sculpt mounted on a production body and the final product would be properly scaled. Sadly, it doesn't seem that this was the case, as Pike's melon is much larger than those of the other figures.

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At this point, it's going to seem like I am bashing the crap out of this head sculpt... but I have one more gripe. Unlike the other figures, Pike's skin is painted on instead of the head being molded in flesh-tone plastic. I have no idea why this decision was made, but I really feel that it adds to the cartoony look of the head. Had it been molded in flesh-toned plastic, the head would have fit a bit better with the rest of the line. Oh... and the paint doesn't match the plastic used for the body, leaving you with a Pike that looks like he's been tanning with a bag over his head. Ouch.

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Okay... enough with bashing his head in. So what's good on Pike? Well, he's got a new shirt that is AWESOME! It reflects the turtleneck look of the pilots while still maintaining a consistency with the rest of the releases. EMCE did such a nice job on it that I picked up a couple of extra Pikes for...

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...customs of Kirk & Spock from "Where No Man Has Gone Before"! Sure, the rank piping is a bit off, but they'll do in a pinch. ;)

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Accessories: Pike includes the same belt, phaser, and communicator used on all the EMCE crew reissues. I'll bet you thought I'd take issue with them including these when Pike never used this type of equipment? Well, you'd be wrong! All the mego releases used these weapons, regardless if they used them in the show or not, so their inclusion with Pike makes perfect sense.

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Even with the head issues, I am still stoked to own a Mego Pike. Do I wish he was a bit better? Sure. But the shirt rocks... and it's a freaking Mego Captain Pike! The head is going to be a deciding factor on whether you need him for your collection or not... but with most sites only offering him in a pair with the AWESOME Salt Vampire, the choice may be out of your hands. If you want a Salt Vampire, you may be stuck buying the Pike regardless if you like the head or not... and you DO want that Salt Vampire! And don't forget- DST has made it clear that the production of Chapel and Vina depends greatly on the sales of Pike & Salty. With that in mind, it may be worth trying to overlook any issues you may have with the head and just ordering the pair.

10 comments:

  1. The size of the head makes it look almost like they took the head off of one of the old Playmates toys 9 inch tall figures and popped it on a Mego style body.

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  2. His face is all the poorer for lacking a Mego Tan.

    Nice call on the WNMHGB shirt-swap customs. I didn't even think about that.

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  3. After looking at the playmates version, which is nicer in face sculpt IMHO, I think the main thing that detracts from this like you said is the over sized head and the fact it is painted.

    Here's a link to an 3/4 angle on the old playmates version for comparison.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobbdobbs/2466176647/

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  4. When the sculptor sent me the Pike head, I checked it against the Playmates 9 inch to
    make sure he didn't send us that head.

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  5. Dr. Mego! Glad to see ya commenting over here!

    The head really does seem to fit the 9" scale a bit better...

    Can you shed some light on why the skin was painted on instead of being molded in flesh-tone plastic?

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  6. That head's so big its got its own weather system! It probably cries itself to sleep every night on its huge pillow! And any other line I can remember from "So I Married an Axe Murderer"!

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  7. Nice review, James, and I agree with everything you said, except I would have preferred a "Cage" accurate phaser and communicator. That huge head and cartoony look are disappointing, to say the least, but I have a set on the way and hope they do Nurse Chapel and Vina next. No one has beat Playmates 12" Pike (and the 9" is good, too).

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  8. Great review as always, I stumbled across your blog after reading your article's on Star Trek dot com!

    I really don't like this guy or the salt vampire. I love the retro style but seems to me that the best days of this line are over and done with :( It's such a same too but I gotta say that DST have really dropped the ball with their Star Trek items in recent years, quality and attention to detail are just nowhere to be seen - I walk straight past their products at Forbidden Planet nowadays straight to the likes of Doctor Who, Star Wars and Transformers.

    *Wishes for a great Star Trek toy line from someone better*

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