Playmates Star Trek action figures discussion thread

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lance, May 5, 2014.

  1. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Couldn't think of anywhere else to put this - there isn't a "Merch" section of the BBS. ;)

    I was at a flea market on Sunday and one stall had a motherload of the old Playmates figures, all going for $10 each. But my eye was drawn immediately towards something much bigger: a fully boxed, Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise-D bridge playset. This is something I've wanted since I was, like, six years old. It was marked for $70, but I bartered with the dealer and got him to sell it to me for $50 instead. :techman: It needs a bit of a clean and some of the decals have been put on wrong by the previous owner, but I'm still absolutely over the moon about finding it!!! Assembled in full, it's the most awesome thing in the entire history of anything, ever. :adore:

    I used to have loads of the figures when I was a kid. I used to be allowed to go down to the local shop once a month. I'd save up my pocket money for that month and I'd blow it all on one figure. :D Never had the original TNG waves, but I did have the 'Generations' wave of all the figures. I did have the inner-space miniature Enterprise, which kept me amused even though it felt like a poor alternative to the full-size Bridge playset LOL. :guffaw: But they all got thrown out when we moved house decades ago along with loads of other cool action figures... ain't it always the way? :( Since I've been old enough to work and earn my own money I've been collecting them again... picked up the entire first wave of TNG figures at a garage sale, found a Mint condition Tasha Yar at another, none of them were very expensive. :bolian: Sadly my collection will never be a 'collectors set'... I'm a big fan of tearing toys from their packaging and admiring them. No point in buying them if I'm not gonna play with them, right? ;)

    What are your highs and lows of the Playmates range?

    Do you still have your original figures, or like me have you had to recollect them?

    Have you ever had any lucky finds at flea markets etc, like mine above?

    Share your thoughts about the Playmates Star Trek range. :)
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The original Playmates era was just an awesome time if you were into Star Trek toys. You could walk into pretty much any of your local department stores (Kmart, Target, and even some Walgreens) and pick up a figure or two for about 5 or 6 bucks. Toys R Us stores were really good places to score on figures, ships, and role-play accessories.

    I got essentially all of the main stuff (figures and ships) from each of the then four shows at the time (my TNG figures are solely from Star Trek: Generations with the unused uniforms though). I picked up a marked-down box set of the TOS "big seven" from TRU for about $25 one day. Got the DS9 station from a Kmart for $15 on another day--man, they did an awesome job sculpting that one) and the TOS Enterprise from that same place a few months later for the same price. Of all of the ships, my favorite was the Enterprise-D because of how detailed it was and the cool sound effects.

    I suppose the thing I prize the most from my collection was the TNG tricorder which I still play with periodically today.

    I think if there was any low-point in the line, it was with the Star Trek: First Contact series because it seemed as if quality was starting to go down (using the same bodies for different figures, an Enterprise-E that was very different than the one on screen). Also, making those figures at a different scale than all the rest lost points with me, although the re-released some of them later at the regular scale as the whole line began to wind down.
     
  3. drt

    drt Captain Captain

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    Jun 5, 2013
    My buddy in grad school collected the figures (until the whole "1701" debacle) - I was never that into them, but I think I picked up all of the ships (which I still have tucked away in a tote in a closet; hopefully I took the batteries out, now that I think about it).
     
  4. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Location:
    Erie, PA, USA
    I have the TOS box set of the bridge crew (and McCoy) in a tote in my closet along with most of the AA/DST figures. I have a bunch of the AA/DST ships in another tote there too.

    Those TOS guys got played with hard. Often the guest star of the week was Michael Keaton as Batman or Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. The episode where they helped avert a war between The Real Ghostbusters and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a good one...
     
  5. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    My best friend's mom used to buy these for us (my friend and I, and a couple of our other friends) on holidays and special occasions, but I was just never into them (not big on any action figures except Transformers), so they're all still in original packaging in a box in my closet that I haven't looked in in forever. I should really probably check to see exactly what I have in there.
     
  6. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
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    I really do not know . . .
    I have dozens of TOS figures, mostly TV, but some movie era too. I used to buy them pretty much as they came out, but after a while I got a bit miffed that they kept just reissuing the same stuff, with only minor uniform or civilian dress changes. It put me off and now I only add what I feel is important for my displays.
    Besides Playmates (in three sizes) I have some Art Asylum and Hamilton, with a few Bradbury thrown in; and in plastic, cloth, and porcelin. I don't keep them in original packages, but place them on shelves in appropriate groupings; such as by character with plates and mugs, or by episode (or movie) with plates, etc. Looks pretty cool actually. ;)

    ME
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    One thing that really annoyed me about the Playmates figures is they were bow-legged and shiny. And for some reason, the movie-related figures were noticeably different from the TV show figures. For example, the Generations figures didn't have articulated elbows and knees, while the First Contact ones were larger.

    But the longevity of the Playmates line meant we got a wide variety of various characters which likely will never get action figures again. I'm talking guys like Tosk, or his hunters, Captain Dathon, even Morn! Not to mention the variants of the main characters we got, like Picard as Dixon Hill or in Romulan disguise, or Tom Paris as the warp 10 mutant (with salamander children). Definitely enough to keep things interesting without quite going to the ridiculous levels of the Star Wars figures with every single background character getting a figure.
     
  8. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    Location:
    Jim Thorpe, PA, USA
    I still have an unopened TOS bridge set/figure box, the main 7 TNG crew plus Q and Guianan figures and a smattering of DS9 and Voyager figs, a few ships and phaser and tricorder toys. It really annoyed me when the First Contact figures were on a different scale.

    I'm hoping someday there is a really good collectors line of figures, sort of along the lines of what Eaglemoss is doing with ships. Playmates did a pretty good job but there are some characters they never got around to while others seemed a bit "boring" or unneccessaary (the "cadet" figures, the "mid-transport" line, etc), or an incomplete line - Tribblation Sisko, Dax and Odo but no Bashir or O'Brien.

    I would love a line that gave you a "main" character from each series every month (which would give you a run of at least two years) with one supporting character or creature and lots of accessories. Something like this:

    January - Kirk / Kang
    February - Kira / Opaka
    March - Data / Lal
    April - Tucker / Degra
    May - Chakotay / Malon
    June - Chekov / Galt
    July - Quark / Ishka
    August - Crusher / Ru'afo
    September - Archer / Silik
    October - Kim / Species 8472
    November - McCoy / Horta w. eggs
    December - Odo / Breen
     
  9. Tarheel

    Tarheel Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jan 29, 2014
    I'm a bit older than the others on this thread. I had the Mego TOS toys when I was a kid. I had the bridge playset but only two figures, Spock & Scotty if I remember correctly. Not sure whatever happened to those.

    When TNG premeired and Galoob first had the license, I picked up the die-cast Enterprise-D since it was quite nice. However I thought the figures looked goofy.

    By the time Playmates got the Trek license, I was no longer interested in toys. However somewhere along the way I picked up figures of Kirk, Picard, & Sisco that sat on my shelf. And yes, I removed them from the packaging…
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    My only beef with the toys over they years. Too many action figures--not enough ships.

    Pillar of Autumn for HALO, not another Master Chief variation...even if it is easier to manufacture.
     
  11. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Boy, I had something other than toys on my mind when I saw "Playmate".


    I never had any of the sets, but I enjoyed my action figures. I even had the TMNT/Star Trek crossover figures.

    I can still remember vividly firing a slingshot at my toys (as target practice), not realizing until Data's chest exploded that he wasn't as solid as my other figures.

    The large "doll"-size figures took a beating easier, if I recall.
     
  12. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Location:
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    I understand that the many uniform changes in the movies were partly to keep Playmates interested in releasing renewing their license and continuing to make new sculpts.

    To thwart the collectors who were resisting multiple variations of certain characters, and were only cherrypicking all-new characters (ie. I wanted Soran, Lursa and B'Etor from "Generations", but not really bothered with another Picard, Data or Worf), along came a scale change - and I happily(?) bought all the regulars again to accompany my new-size Cochrane and Lily.

    That's where customizing comes in!

    [​IMG]
    Tribbles on DS9 by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

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    Tuvix by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Rhaandarite bridge ensign, ST:TMP by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Number One of "The Cage" by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Bolian Starfleet officer, Dr Selar of Vulcan, Mendon the Benzite by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Customs on the bridge by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Arex the Edoan/Triexian by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    M'Ress and Arex landing party by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

    http://therinofandor.blogspot.com.au/2009/11/it-figures-trek-it-yourself-customising.html
     
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Baltimore, MD
    I have all the Playmates figures, all in their original packaging, from when they first started (why was there a rip in Riker's uniform? And what 5-year-old did they pay to draw the Enterprise-D?) all the way through the DS9, VOY, and FC figures.

    They are boxed up in my storage unit, and hopefully sometime in the near future I will sell them, as I really don't like them, want them, or care about them. I need money to buy what I really want: G1 and Masterpiece Transformers toys.
     
  14. Marlonius

    Marlonius Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Can you educate me? - what was the "1701" debacle?
     
  15. drt

    drt Captain Captain

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    A couple of years into the line there was a limited edition release of three figures, of which there were only 1701 of each made. A lot of people, my friend included, were completists, and felt this was a big FU from Playmates and lost interest in collecting any further. The old usenet Trek boards totally blew up over it.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It was really only a bother for completists and Mint-on-mint-card collectors, since all three of the limited-to-1701-pieces were headswaps that could easily be remade by customizers and openers.

    Essentially it meant that fans intent on owning every single figure releases were now capped at 1701 people. Even less because no one could be guaranteed of finding all three rarities for their own collection, at least not at retail prices.

    Playmates eventually re-released the rarities in a gift box:
    http://figurefanzero.com/2012/12/13/star-trek-1701-collector-series-boxed-set-by-playmates/
     
  17. Marlonius

    Marlonius Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Thanks Therin and drt. This does all sound vaguely familiar now that I read it. Truth be told, I always thought the numbering of the Playmates figures in general was tacky.
     
  18. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    And I seem to remember that the decision to re-release the rarities as a box actually pissed off the 1701 guys who bought the originals, because suddenly their "limited edition collector's pieces" weren't quite so limited edition anymore. So in the end nobody was happy. :D
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Totally agree. I could never grasp the point. Were people supposed to search the pegs to get the lowest numbers possible? Were the aftermarkets bring in additional profits for low or matching numbers? Personally, I used to go through the pegs seeking the best paint jobs possible, as opposed to those who wanted the most pristine cardbacks.

    When I heard that the numbers were printed on the feet before being attached to figures, and that some people were getting figures with a number on each foot (as I eventually did with a Starfleet Seska), it seemed to negate any real collectability.
     
  20. drt

    drt Captain Captain

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    Jun 5, 2013
    Yeah, I never really got where they were going with the numbering thing. As I recall the numbers on first couple of series of TNG figures got into the 300,000's - anything connected to a popular property with diehard collectors they make that many of will ever be rare enough in this day and age to be worth much down the line. I sometimes wondered if the figures just happened to be numbered as part of the standard production process, and Playmates seized on that to try and boost the "collectibility".