Star Trek Innerspace: Klingon Bird of Prey by Playmates

I promise, this will be the last time we look at Innerspace on Star Trek Saturday for a little while. By now I’ve probably devoted more attention to these little ships then they deserve, but when I went fishing into one of my Star Trek Totes, I pulled out three of these and I wanted to open all of them, so we might as well finish up the three. This time we’re looking at the Klingon Bird of Prey. If you’re keeping score, the Shuttlecraft Goddard was a pretty cool little toy all around, the Romulan Warbird looked pretty good as a ship and was kind of iffy as a playset, so let’s see how the Bird of Prey turns out…

It’s the same packaging we’ve seen for the last two weeks. The toy comes on a simple card and bubble with one flap open so you can peek inside and see what’s going on, and the two minifigures are beside it. The back panel shows photos of all the toys little features and has some trivia about the ship’s fictional specifications as well as its appearances in the various Star Trek media.

The minifigures are Worf and Gowron and both are pretty impressive for such ridiculously tiny little guys. The paint and sculpts are good enough so you know exactly who they’re supposed to be. Gowron has a little disruptor sculpted into his hand and both figures are articulated at the hips so they can sit down or stand up.

Unfortunately, as a little toy ship, the Bird of Prey doesn’t fare so well. Its proportions are seriously askew, so the body is too big for the wings and the bridge. Obviously, Playmates had to do this to create enough space for the playset compartment, but knowing that doesn’t make the ship look any less like it could be Playskool’s “My First Bird of Prey.” It’s a real shame too, because a lot of care went into the sculpt, particularly all the panel lines on the wings and the details in the engines. If this thing was properly proportioned it would have looked really bad ass. The coloring is pretty good too, with the hull being properly screen accurate green, the wings painted in, and the engines silver. There’s a lot better paintwork on this ship than the Warbird. The Bird of Prey also has a flip down stand to keep it from toppling over. It serves its purpose, but it only adds to the toy’s aesthetic problems.

Opening up the playset compartment and the Bird of Prey does a little better. Once again, it’s tough to cram a whole bridge into this little space, but I think the Bird of Prey pulls it off better than the Romulan Warbird’s two-seater roadster configuration. The open flaps turn into crew stations and there’s a central captain’s chair and a little viewscreen that you can rotate to show different views. Yeah, it still kind of looks like the captain is driving a car, but these toys really do require a lot of imagination and forgiveness to work. There’s a sticker on the back wall to create the illusion that the bridge is bigger and there are more Klingons on it.

I’d probably rank the Bird of Prey just a little higher than the Warbird, but mainly because of the minifigures. I like to use Worf in the Shuttlecraft and the Gowron figure makes a nice standard Klingon flunky. The ship itself is goofy looking and the playset isn’t going to impress anyone. Still, for the five bucks I paid for this toy, it’s an interesting little curiosity for my Star Trek collection.

Star Trek Innerspace: Romulan Warbird by Playmates

I had originally planned on looking at two of Playmates’ Innerspace toys today, but I had some unforeseen social commitments arise, so we’re going to have to settle with just one. I know, bummer, right? Not to worry, we can come back to the other one another day. Today’s little piece of plastic Trek tat is the Romulan Warbird with Captain Picard and Romulan Sela. Once again, it’s been a long week, and I’ve got a barstool waiting for me down at The Pub, so let’s dive right into it…

Like the Shuttlecraft Goddard, the Warbird comes on a simple card. The ship is partially open so you can peak inside to get an idea of what you’re getting, and the two minifigures are mounted off to the side. Overall, this is the same package we saw last time. It’s not terribly attractive or exciting, but it does its best to tell you as much as it can about the toy inside. The back panel shows various shots of the toy’s features and has a smattering of information about the ship, of both the fictional and broadcast variety. You also get a little punch out collector card.

Out of the package, the Warbird is a pretty solid little recreation of the Starship from the TV show. I’ve always liked the design of this ship. It was bold and different and introduced way back in the first season of the show, and yet they stuck with it right up until the end. It’s molded in green plastic, which fits the onscreen color fairly well. The panel lines are also painted in. I could have probably done without these extra paint apps, but then again, the ship might have looked rather plain without them. The only real problem with the toy’s design is that you can see the interior if you look between the wings. It’s especially obvious if you have the minifigures rattling around in there. Still, this is a little transforming playset and not intended to be a completely accurate recreation of the ship, so it earns itself a pass.

The top of the Warbird opens up to reveal what the package calls “a detailed reproduction of the Romulan Warbird bridge.” What you actually get… not so much. I’m pretty sure the Warbird wasn’t a two-seater roadster, but that’s what we get here. There are seats, and two flip up workstations with screens and compartments for the figures to stand. Now, I know I’m being overly harsh. This little toy Warbird is way too small to even try to create a realistic bridge. I think Playmates did a fairly good job, considering the limited space they had to work with. What’s here is actually pretty well detailed, both in the sculpting and with the strategic use of stickers. I’m sure a kid with some imagination could have had fun with this thing, assuming, of course, you could find a kid that actually played with Next Generation toys. The flip up cover also has a sticker that serves as the viewscreen, showing off the Enterprise. I don’t know why, but I think that particular touch is really damn cool.

The tiny minifigures consist of Commander Sela and Captain Picard. Sela was of course played by Denise Crosby who decided she was better than the show and left, only to realize that she really wasn’t and so she came back to reprise her role as Lt. Yar, until they killed her off again, leaving her no choice but to come back as a recurring character based on her own half-Romulan daughter. Holy shit! As for Picard, don’t get too excited, because it’s Picard in his Romulan disguise, a figure I really didn’t need in this scale. I would have much preferred another Romulan. Either way, the figures are pretty damn good for their tiny size and have articulated legs so that they can stand or sit.

I really don’t want to be too hard on this toy. It’s a cool little idea for what it is and if nothing else it’s a kitschy little item for my Star Trek collection. It’s not the best of what the Innerspace line offers, but it is pretty typical of a lot of the toys, which means this line is really an acquired taste. On the plus side, you can pick these up for dirt cheap. I got mine brand new in the package for four bucks. Not bad for what is nearly a 20 year old toy. Next time we’ll check out the Klingon Bird of Prey.

Star Trek Innerspace: Shuttlecraft Goddard by Playmates

Playmates put out a shit ton of Star Trek action figures and ships and roleplay toys, but they also launched a pair of interesting little lines called Innerspace and Strike Force. These consisted of little transformable playsets with minifigures. The concept is very close to the Micro Machines Star Wars playsets in that they’re pretty simple and you can close them up and take them with you. We’ll get into the Strike Force stuff eventually, but today we’re going to take a look at one of the Innerspace toys. It’s the shuttlecraft Goddard, and it’s one of the better toys in this little series.

While there were some larger, boxed Innerspace toys, the majority of the line came carded, which should give you an idea about just how small these things are. The Goddard is partially opened so you can get a peek inside and the two tiny minifigures are mounted off to the side. The back panel of the card has some specs and background information on the shuttlecraft, consisting of both fictional details as well as its first appearance in the series. You also get a bunch of close up photos of the toy and the various features. The packaging isn’t exactly attractive, but then this is Playmates we’re talking about. It is, however, informative and there’s even a little punch out collector card.

Out of the package, the Goddard is a really nice little recreation of the shuttle designs that started becoming standard about halfway through The Next Generation. In fact, it’s pretty spot-on. How small is it? Well, it falls right between the size of a Deluxe and Scout Class Transformer. There are a few nice details in the sculpt, and the markings on the toy are a combination of paint apps and fairly well applied stickers. About the only complaint I have here is that the windows are stickers instead of paint, and the main windshield is actually two stickers placed on each side of the seam where the toy opens up. I may get inspired enough to actually paint the windows on this thing one day, as I think it would be a big improvement.

The aft of the ship opens up and the boarding ramp drops down, just like it did in the show, and you can reach in and slide out the cargo pallet, just like you could on the larger Goddard vehicle that was designed for the regular action figure line. There are a couple of pegs under the shuttle that can be used to land on and pick up the pallet for transport. Honestly, even if this were all there was to it, I would still really dig this little toy.

But as the name, Innerspace, implies, the Goddard can be split down the middle and opened up to reveal an interior play area, as well as the minifigures (assuming you put them in there). The interior of the shuttle is even a bit more accurately portrayed than the larger Playmates shuttle. There’s a pilot area with a swiveling chair in the front, with some pretty cool stickers to make up those distinctive LCARS control panels. There are similar stickers on the two halves of the shuttle that open up, including stickers showing a replicator serving up a meal and another a piping hot beverage… earl gray tea perhaps? The back portion contains the cargo pallet, which can be slid out to allow the passenger seats to fold open. The interior really is well executed for such a tiny little toy.

The minifigures consist of Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge and Commander Deanna Troi. Really? A Commander? Every time I’m reminded of her rank, I want to call bullshit. But I digress. Imagine what you think of when you hear the term “minifigure” and now shrink it down a lot more, because these things are really friggin small. And yet, overall the sculpt and the paintwork are well executed to the point where you can certainly tell who they’re supposed to be. Geordi even has a little tool molded into his hand so he can run one of those damned Level 5 Diagnostics he was always talking about. Geordi is articulated at the hips so he can stand or sit in the pilot chair. Deanna on the other hand, has zero articulation, so she can either stand behind him and nag him while he’s flying or just lay out in the back cargo area. Her paint is a little less polished than Geordi’s. In fact,  someone went a little crazy when painting her comm badge.

The reason this toy works so well for me is because it’s totally in scale with the figures. There’s really no gimmick here, it’s just a little vehicle that opens up to let you play inside it. I would have LOVED it if the larger Goddard toy had been designed more like this tiny little toy. Unfortunately, the Goddard is pretty atypical for the Innerspace line, and as we’ll see next Saturday, most of the rest of the toys feature the huge Starships that really require you to suspend your beliefs and summon up all your imagination for them to work. Next time, we’ll look at the Romulan Warbird and the Klingon Bird of Prey.