Thursday, July 7, 2011
DST/ EMCE Spotlight-
(Mego Style Figure)
Figure Name: Captain Pike
Manufacturer: Diamond Select & EMCE Toys
Captain Pike was released by Diamond Select Toys in 2011.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
...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. ;)
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.
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.