Star Trek Starfleet Academy: Picard, Data, and Worf by Playmates

I’ve got some social obligations today, folks, which means that I can’t stay home and drink, I have to go out and drink. It’s jarring and unsettling, but people tell me that spending too much time at home drinking among crowds of fake plastic people is not good for my psyche. As a result, I was looking for something quick and dirty for today’s feature. I’m going to parse out three figures from a recent Lot of Playmates Star Trek that I recently bought on Ebay just because nobody was bidding on it and I wanted to give these guys a good home. It was basically a bag of about 20 loose figures with no accessories and a handful of stands, most of which didn’t even match the figures in the Lot. I don’t usually like to buy Playmates Trek loose because they’re so damn cheap when they’re new and carded, but then the ones we’re looking at today I would have probably never picked up any other way.

Yes, the Starfleet Academy line! Somehow Playmates thought that even after scraping the bottom of the barrel for questionable releases like Vedek Bareil (DS9) and that smug Benzite dickhead from “A Matter of Honor” (TNG) they still just weren’t making enough Star Trek figures and so they had to think outside the box and create this kind of Expanded Universe sub-line featuring our favorite Next Gen crewmembers as Academy Cadets. Jim Henson’s Trek Babies? The packages boasted “All new Starfleet Crew Members as young cadets!” C’mon, Playmates, it was hard enough to get kids to play with Star Trek figures without exposing them to this terrible idea. I’m the biggest Star Trek whore ever and even I didn’t want to buy these. Anyway, some of these figures came on a “Starfleet Academy” cardback with a CD-ROM game and the typical crappy Playmates accessories, none of which came with mine. Cadet Data was released a couple of years later (along with Cadets Troi and Crusher) as part of the generic “Warp Factor” series. I did get a single figure stand from the series, which is actually kind of cool because it’s made to look like the Academy badge complete with the Golden Gate Bridge. Too bad it’s molded in purple plastic with yellow paints. Oh, Playmates.

Let’s start out with this guy. I swear I thought this was Riker, but a little research tells me he’s actually “John” Picard. I’m not going to quibble about the likeness, but it is somewhat of a novelty to have a Picard figure with hair. He’s wearing a “Standard Starfleet Issue Flight Training Suit” which I have to reluctantly admit is kind of cool. It’s grey and has the same black shoulders and collar as the regular uniforms, which makes it a little Starfleety. There are also holes near the belt and arm, which I presume was for tubes or something.

Next up is Cadet Worf and ain’t he just adorable? I’ll actually concede that Playmates did a pretty good job sculpting his likeness as a younger Worf, even though he still has the beard. Unfortunately, Worf is wearing what Playmates calls “Starfleet Night Recon Gear” which makes this figure all kinds of stupid. What the hell kind of night recon gear involves wearing the brightest white gloves and boots I’ve ever seen? Even the bulk of the outfit is light grey and the only thing appropriately dark is the belt and cross strap. I’m guessing that Worf was the victim of a lot of hazing, with him being the only Klingon at Starfleet Academy, and some of his peers thought it would be funny to give him arctic gear and tell them it was for night recon ops. I’m also guessing that those pranksters were later found behind one of the lecture halls with their spines removed.

And last up is Cadet Data. I understand that it’s canon that Data graduated from Starfleet Academy, but I honestly can’t imagine how that worked since he was constructed to be super strong and remember every piece of information that he was exposed to. Maybe the idea was to have him spend time interacting with other cadets rather than just download every course into his neural net and get his commission. Anyway, since Data doesn’t age, he looks pretty much the same as his other figures. I might even go so far as to say this figure’s head sculpt is better than my regular Data. I have no idea what his outfit is supposed to be, but I have to say, this is my favorite figure of the three and the fact that his gear doesn’t have a Starfleet insignia anywhere on it means that I can use him as Lore or even B4. YES!

And there you have it. I doubt I’ll ever circle back to pick up complete versions of these three figures, but being the nutter that I am, I won’t discount the possibility that the other cadet figures won’t show up here at some point in time. Looking at incomplete figures really aggravates my OCD, but there are a bunch of figures in this Lot so chances are I’ll pick out another handful of them to check out next week.

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