It’s Saturday… It’s Star Trek… It’s Star Trek Saturday! Playmates started out with only the license to do figures based on The Next Generation. Obviously that eventually expanded to epic proportions. As memory serves, today’s featured item was Playmates’ first foray into the “expanded universe” of Star Trek by going back to its classic roots with figures based on the crew from the original series. Instead of making collectors buy up an entire wave of single carded figures, Playmates issued this attractive seven figure boxed gift set.
Playmates is not exactly known for their tasteful and attractive packaging, but they really stepped up to the plate with this one. The set comes in a window box with a folded 3D cardboard tray illustrated to look like the bridge of the original series Enterprise. In retrospect, it’s a little off, and that big empty cardboard Captain’s chair in the middle of the package is kind of strange, but nonetheless, it did a nice job showing off the seven figures. The box deco was a simple space theme with “Classic Star Trek” in the old TV show’s font and an illustration of the old Constitution Class Enterprise. I had to borrow a stock photo for this set, as mine was opened a long time ago and let’s just say the packaging didn’t survive the process. Nonetheless, if there was ever a set of Playmates figures I wouldn’t mind buying again to have MISB, this one would be it.
Included in the package is Captain Kirk, Lt Commander Spock, Lt Commander Scott, Lt Sulu, Lt Uhura, Dr McCoy, and Ensign Chekhov. The figures reuse a lot of parts between them, but because they’re all wearing the same basic uniform with just a recolored shirt, it doesn’t feel so obvious. The sculpts are all actually quite well done for a Playmates 4-inch line. The badges are actually part of the sculpt, and not just painted on, as are the deco around their shirt cuffs. I was happy to see that Playmates went with a more prone and poseable style to the sculpts, rather than some of the pre-posed and awkward stuff they did with the early Next Generation stuff. The head sculpts on this classic set are all decent likenesses too, and there is the occasional flare for detail, like having Spock’s right hand in the form of the Vulcan salute.
Articulation is another thing Playmates did right with this set. All the figures have the same points. The heads turn, the arms rotate at the shoulders, swivel at the biceps, and are hinged at the elbows. The legs rotate at the hips and are hinged at the knees. All the figures can swivel at the waist. Again, unlike some of the early Next Generation figures that felt like they were designed to be poseable statues, these guys felt more like action figures meant to be played with.
The set came with the same accessories for every figure: Each one got a phaser and a communicator. While they were a tad oversized, these accessories were actually painted, and were loads better than the usual monochrome, day-glow crap that Playmates stuffs in with their other Star Trek figures. All the accessories came together in a single baggie, and you also got personalized stands based on the classic series badges, each with the correct department symbol for Command, Engineering, or Sciences. Cool! A couple of tricorders would have been nice, though.
Nowadays, this set is pretty easy to find on the second hand market and like most of Playmates figures, it hasn’t really gone up in value, so you can still pick up a set new in the box without blowing a lot of latinum. In fact, I’ve seen them listed on Ebay and go unsold in the $20 -30 range, and keep in mind we’re talking about seven figures! It’s a great deal, considering these remain some of my favorite Star Trek figures that Playmates ever put out. If they had produced a similar set with the Wrath of Khan theme, I would have probably died of pure joy.