I realize that I’m not being terribly original when I say that Wrath of Khan is my favorite Star Trek movie, but it’s also one of my favorite go-to films when I want to watch a good sci-fi flick. I love the story, the script, and most of all, I absolutely adore the costumes and props. Ok, the communicators are shit, but apart from that, this movie is represents the High Renaissance of the Star Trek Universe for me. It was the meeting of the gritty old stylings with newer flashier special effects, and it was glorious. The transporter and phaser effects are breathtaking, but the Starfleet uniforms! God damn, I love these uniforms. But we’ll talk about those another time. Today we’re looking at “Regula-1 Kirk”, and he’s all about that bad-ass Landing Party jacket. I picked up this figure at the Show loose. He was baggied with all his parts, but no packaging, so instead of packaging, we’re going to take a look at the movie poster, which is something else I picked up from this Dealer.
The poster I got is a repro, and it’s still rolled up in a tube, but that’s it pictured above. By, God, but that was the right way to do the poster for Star Trek II. It was Paramount’s way of saying, “We know the first movie bored you to the point where you wanted to commit suicide in your theater seats. But check this shit out!” It’s got explosions and phaser fire and some dude we don’t know yet who looks like he may have just stabbed the hell out of Kirk. There’s mysterious desert people and I’ll be damned if that ain’t Paul Winfield screaming his ass off in a space suit. I saw the poster at the theater when I was about 11 years old and it almost blew my little mind, because I wanted to see what was going on so bad. This poster just captured everything that it meant to be Star Trek and awesome at a time where Starship bridges weren’t carpeted and Earl Gray Tea was served at book clubs and not on Starships. God, I love this movie!
Art Asylum did a lot of versions of Kirk from Wrath of Khan, and eventually I hope to look at all of them. But, as you can see, this one is called “Regula-1” Kirk as it’s based off the scenes where he beamed onto the Regula-1 Space Station only to find out that Khan had tortured and murdered the shit out of everyone. The idea of having special gear for landing party duty wasn’t often explored in the original show, but it made sense to me, and that’s where this jacket comes in. The jacket is just bad ass and Kirk being Kirk needs to wear it with the collar up to make him look a little extra bad ass. The jacket is wonderfully recreated here, with all its little patches and pockets and stitching and some very nice paint detailing. Like so many of the designs for TWOK, this thing not only looks cool, but also totally functional. Ok, except maybe for that huge pouch over the ass. How would you get anything out of that? The large Starfleet shoulder patch is present as are the rank insignia on the sleeve, the distinctive diamond pattern on the back, and the Starfleet insignia on the chest. The legs are pretty much the same as the ones used on the regular Wrath of Khan Kirk, with the red piping down the sides and high gloss black paint used for the boots.
And then there’s the head sculpt. Yeah… there’s definitely some Shatner in there, but it isn’t one of Art Asylum’s best pieces of work. One of the running themes of TWOK was about Kirk getting old, and that’s kind of ironic in retrospect, since it wasn’t so much a theme more than 10 years later when he was still chasing around the galaxy. I mention it here, because at certain angles, this Kirk head looks a bit older than Kirk from Star Trek II. Everything else here is pretty good and the painted flesh tone is thankfully free of any dirt or smudging. Kirk even has his trademark 24th Century (read early 80’s) pointed sideburns.
Alas, as good as the jacket looks; it really destroys a lot of the figure’s articulation. The head and arms are fine, as you get a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. The leg articulation is all still there, and includes swivels in the thighs and hinged knees, but with the jacket extending down to his legs, you really can’t do anything useful with it. It’s kind of ironic, since this is supposed to be the action-packed, “I’m gonna beam down and kick your ass!” Kirk, but given the way the figure is built, I guess it’s understandable.
I love this figure as much as I always knew I would, but I also knew that once I bought one Wrath of Khan figure, I would be committed to getting the whole set, and considering that a lot of them were SDCC Exclusives, these figures tend to be more expensive than your average Diamond Select Trek figure. I was able to get MOC Khan and regular Kirk from the same dealer, without getting beat up too badly (I won’t get to those this week, but soon), but those were regular releases and not exclusives. I’ll probably just try to hunt down one of these a month until I’m done.
Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up the week by looking at a couple more of Playmates’ Classic Trek figures: Harry Mudd and The Mugatu!