Ever since the first reveal, I have been rather perplexed by Diamond’s new Star Trek… Figures? Statues? Collectibles? I don’t know what to call these things. They’re episode-specific dioramas that are exactly the same scale as the line of Classic Trek figures that they were putting out just a couple years back. It was a line that was subsequently shit-canned because they weren’t selling well enough. And granted, that’s a notion that is well illustrated with any stroll down the clearance section of that collectible action figure aisle at Toys R Us. Maybe Diamond is banking on more interest with a new Trek movie in theaters, but if that’s the case why not just bring out the actual figures again? Well, I’ll revisit that question more in a bit. For now, let’s look at the item in question. The initial assortment consisted of Spock and a Horta from “Devil in the Dark” but today we’re checking out Kirk and Khan from “Space Seed.”
The package for this thing is enormous, at least it is for a card and bubble meant to hang on a peg. The bubble is massive and shows off both the Kirk and Khan figures along with the parts to the backdrop. Also visible in the bubble is Kirk’s extra set of legs and a pair of swappable hands. It’s a weird presentation that does a good job showing you all the pieces, but creates a crazy scene of disembodied human parts. The bubble is reinforced on one side with cardboard that features a nice side illustration of Kirk and a corner of the bubble has the Classic Enterprise. The idea here is to recreate the epic fight between Kirk and Khan in Engineering and give you a few different display options…
No, you’re not looking at some tragic transporter accident. That’s all the pieces you get to customize Kirk in the display. There are two different sets of static legs, one set of hands clutching the conveniently club-shaped Engineering component, and a set of open palm hands. The Kirk torso is articulated with a rotating head, ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. This begs the question… WHY NOT JUST GIVE US A FULLY ARTICULATED FIGURE? Can it really be more cost effective to include a second set of legs, when Diamond could have just repacked the Kirk figure they’ve already produced with this new head? We’re just talking about a T-crotch, knee hinges, and thigh swivels. The scale is identical… Diamond, you probably still have the figures sitting in your warehouse somewhere. I just don’t understand what they were going for here! PLEASE… SOMEONE MAKE ME UNDERSTAND!!! IT’S HALF A FIGURE ALREADY… JUST CUT OUT ONE EXTRA SET OF LEGS AND GIVE US THE OTHER HALF!!!
Unlike Kirk, Khan is a completely static piece designed to peg into the console and be abused by Kirk. Khan has been released before by Diamond in this scale, but not in the red jumpsuit, so at least the new non-articulated sculpt here makes sense from a cost perspective. I’m very pleased with the sculpt, particularly the likeness. But in the end, this Khan is still just window dressing.
The Engineering section consists of a fairly large plastic base that plugs into the upright console. The wall behind the console is cardboard with two printed sides to give you two display options. The original piece was supposed to be plastic, but Diamond said it didn’t cost out in the end. I’m fine with it. It looks good and since a lot of the Classic Trek sets looked like cardboard anyway, it’s strangely appropriate. The only downside is durability and storage. I do love the console, and I’ll confess it’s the main reason I purchased this set first over the Horta one, because I thought it would be cool to have this backdrop for my proper Classic Trek figures. And indeed, Scotty looks awesome standing against it.
Putting it all together, you do have several options to tweak the display, but the ensemble is designed for two specific configurations. The first has Kirk standing on the deck and pummeling Khan with the engineering rod. This is my least favorite of the options, because Kirk seems awkwardly bent and unless you tweak it just right it looks like he’s attacking Khan’s crotch with it. Kirk was a dirty fighter, but I don’t remember him beating on Khan’s balls with an implement. You can also use the open palm hands to make it look like Kirk is just slamming Khan into the console. Either of these poses make me wish Kirk’s head was ball jointed so he can look up at what he’s doing. But hey, since the hands with the rod are interchangeable with the hands on my proper Kirk figure, I can just use that figure in the display to much better effect. So again, I ask… Diamond, why didn’t you just pack the old Kirk figure in with this thing?
The other display option has Kirk doing a jumping kick into Khan. This configuration makes use of a clear plastic rod that pegs into the console and into one of Kirk’s sets of legs. The rod holds the figure in place extremely well and the illusion of mid-air-kick Kirk is really well done. I definitely prefer this display option as it looks a little more natural and you can tweak Kirk’s hands in a number of ways. Hell, you can even have him kicking Khan with the engineering rod raised over his hands for QUAD DAMAGE! Admittedly, “Flying Kick Kirk” makes better use of the unique Kirk that comes with the set, but I submit that Diamond could have just as easily bored a hole for the clear rod into a proper Kirk figure’s legs and still made it work.
If it sounds like I’m picking on this set, it’s just because I generally don’t understand it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It’s an awesome display piece and it does a great job combining a bit of customization and playability of action figures with a statue-style environment. If we didn’t already have proper Classic Trek figures in this scale, I’d be even happier with this set, but as it is, it seems like such an odd thing to do. The photos above illustrate how well it works with the Classic Trek figures that Diamond already have made. At around $22, you certainly get a lot of stuff for your money, so it’s not a question of value, it’s just my own morbid curiosity as to how a set like this can be expected to sell better than a new round of proper action figures.