The summer movie season is quickly approaching! There's no better indication of this than to witness the pure power and ubiquity of merchandising! This weekend, toys from upcoming early summer blockbusters Star Trek and Terminator Salvation have hit toy aisles hard. Always being a sucker for action figures, (as does any REAL man), I felt a sense of "journalistic duty" (odd, since I don't consider myself a journalist) to at least pick one up and offer my thoughts to fellow movie fans/geeks. While both films have lines of larger, 6" figures, I will be covering a figure from the 3 3/4" line.
Call him "Spocklar" or "Sylock," today, we cover the action figure rendition of Zachary Quinto's depiction of the iconic Spock. Although, this could probably be perceived as a review of the line in its entirety. (So Spock better represent!)
Spock (From the 3 3/4" scale Star Trek line.) Playmates, Retail ~ $6.99
I have to give Playmates some credit for at least attempting this ("this" meaning a 3 3/4" Star Trek line.) Star Trek figures have either been well-articulated, but too large and expensive, OR too small and lacking in articulation and detail. This one definitely falls somewhere in the comfortable middle.
While it shares most of the advances in articulation that some of the better modern Star Wars figures possess (swivel wrists, waist, ball-hinged shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles), it is also apparent that it lacks a bit of TLC in the "quality" department. The figure (as I also see from the others on the shelves) seems to suffer from sloppy paint applications, and the details of the face are just not up to the quality of BETTER lines (like Star Wars or even Marvel Universe.) Also, the lack of a ball-jointed head (instead of the traditional "only swivels left and right" swivel head), just does not cut it in the year 2009.
Spock also comes with an alternate hand. One hand is used for holding items, while the other is for giving the "live long and prosper" sign. While this is a great addition in concept, it was poorly executed. Changing the hands is a task that's both frustrating and scary. It's frustrating in that it's difficult to get the hand off without pulling hard, and once the hands are attached, they don't seem to move well. That's where it becomes scary, because, trying to pull too hard or moving the hand around, will put you in danger of ripping it right out of its joint, leaving the hand slot unusable and essentially breaking the thing.
However, it makes up for some of its deficiencies by having decent accessories. A removable accessory belt fits quite well on Spock, holding his phaser and communicator (although I'm not sure if the communicator is removable.)
He also comes with what has to be one of the most unique figure stands of all time. It's in the shape of a Starfleet Symbol (no surprise, there) however, it also has a clip in the bottom which allows you to actually wear it. (Although anyone who would actually do so, has probably given up on normalcy in every way shape and form.) The clip pops out at the bottom of the stand when you wish to use it for the more practical purpose of displaying the figure itself. Neat idea, but I seriously recommend for your own sake (and for the reputation of fanboys everywhere) that you not wear it while walking around in public.
Finally, in what might be a bit of marketing genius, each figure from this line comes with a unique piece from the bridge of the Enterprise. While Playmates does offer a "Bridge Playset," it will never be complete unless you buy EACH figure from the line, installing each console from the respective figures into the actual playset. It makes the Bridge Playset cheaper at retail, and it "forces" kids/collectors to buy every single figure from the line, even ones they did not initially want. Brilliantly diabolical.
Bottom Line: 7/10
A promising start to a possibly continuing line. Decent-looking and mostly articulated well. However, lacking in sculpt detail and poorly executed hand-swap feature.