Star Trek The Next Generation: Lt. Tasha Yar by Playmates

It’s been a really long time since I looked at any of Playmates’ Star Trek figures from the 90’s. It tends to be a line that I forget about for a long time and then pick up again when I stumble across some figure that I need, or I think I need. Afterall, it’s a pretty extensive line of figures and while my collection is fairly large, there’s still a number of figures that I’m missing. I couldn’t for the life of me remember whether or not I had Yar, so when I stumbled upon her in a local comic ship, I took a chance and picked her up anyway. I got home and discovered… nope, didn’t have her. So this was a nice pick up.

The awesome thing about these Next Gen figures is that they’re usually dirt cheap so despite the fact that they’re old, I can still buy them carded and not feel bad about tearing them open. I’ve always liked the Next Gen cards. The animated style goes well with the stylized sculpts of the figures and Playmates loved to post advertisments all over the damn cards. Whether it was for Space POGs or video games on the Genesis or SNES, or what have you, these cards always looked like Las Vegas billboards to me. Nonetheless, the bubble displays the figure nicely and makes use of the collectible trading card to personalize the package to the character. The back panel shows some other figures in the line and has a little bio blurb about Yar’s past, which conveniently neglects to use the phrase “rape squads” probably because this is a toy aimed at kids.

Yar’s sculpt betrays the odd proportions that Playmates loved to inflict on these characters. The big stylized head isn’t unlike the big heads once found on the old GI Joe figures, so there’s some nostalgic factor here. Still, this Yar figure was a fairly late release, and the proportions and sculpt on the figures were getting closer to being more realistic and less stylized. By the time you got to the Voyager figures, they were looking fairly normal. The figure actually looks fine until you compare her with some of the other ladies in the line. Compared to Troi or Crusher, she’s a tad too big.  Yar was definitely one tough chic, but she was definitely not a big woman. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Playmates got the Denise Crosby likeness down, but it’s still better then some. I think the thing I like best about this figure as that she isn’t pre-posed like some of the earlier figures were. The uniform is pretty Season One accurate as seen in the gold piping around the collar and the pants cuffs. Nice touch!

Yar’s articulation is standard for the Next Gen line. Her head rotates three-sixty, her arms rotate at the shoulders, have swivels in the biceps and hinged elbows. Her legs rotate at the hips and have hinged knees, and she can swivel at the waist.

It wouldn’t be a Playmates Star Trek figure without a scary and inappropriate collection of off-colored accessories. Actually, Yar’s accessories are downright normal compared to some. She comes with a phaser with that terrible beam attached (but not for long… where are my scissors?), a PADD, a tricorder and a flashlight, which is completely at odds with the palm beacons I remember them using in the series. Either way, Playmates played it cool with Yar’s accessories, by keeping them down to a minimum and giving her useful stuff, although most of it is still molded in dark red plastic. Um, yeah. She also comes with the standard comm-badge style figure stand and the aforementioned collector card.

Yar’s figure was released fairly late in the line, as Denise Crosby was already off the show by the time Playmates got The Next Generation license away from Galoob. Based on the biography on the back of the card, it was after she reprised her role as Yar in the episode, “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” but before she returned to play her own half-Romulan daughter, Sela. Lest we forget that Ms. Crosby thought her acting chops were better than Star Trek deserved and then quickly found out that they really weren’t. She then became a born-again Star Trek actress alumni and started producing documentaries like Trekkies and Trekkies 2, while simultaneously haunting Star Trek conventions. I guess she learned her lesson, eh? All bashing aside, I picked this figure up for under five dollars, which was certainly not a lot of money to fill a vacant spot in my collection.

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