Playmates Toys

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by captainjellico, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    According to an article at the time in the Feb. 13, 1989 issue of Broadcasting magazine, Page 94, "L'Oreal announced last fall that it would expand into the television production business. The company's acquisition of Filmation continues the trend of "runaway" animation production to Europe and the Far East, where production costs are lower." Source (relatively slow-loading pdf file) accessible from this index page:
    https://americanradiohistory.com/Broadcasting_Individual_Issues_Guide.htm

    Kor
     
  2. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    And there's the missing piece of the puzzle...

    Thanks, Kor! Seriously! Without context, the purchase just seemed so...random. So, it was an eclectic case of "diversifying one's business". Still seems strange a makeup company would want to get into cartoons, but here you've provided the evidence in the form of a published magazine article.

    Now I have this freakish mental image of Fat Albert and He-Man promoting skin care products!
     
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  3. Paul755

    Paul755 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    These were a bigger toy line for me than Ninja Turtles and Real Ghostbusters.

    It is strange that we never did get Spock, McCoy, Sulu and Uhura in the TWOK-TUC uniforms. Not to mention a properly articulated Kirk, Scotty and Chekov. Especially when they did so many different Kirk/Spock variations, like in the environmental suits, the dress uniforms, the gangster suits from “A Piece of the Action”, the depression era clothes from “City on the Edge...” etc.

    I also love/hate some of the choices they made, at least early on. Like not doing Doctor Crusher with the rest of the crew right off the bat, putting those weird uniform rips in the first Riker (and then just painting them over in subsequent releases) the opening circuit panels in Data, Picard in the off duty jacket instead of the regular uniform, etc...

    I still have 4 of the original 7 Kirks I owned on display next to some of my Eaglemoss ships. The first one from the boxed set, the 2nd Pilot version that came with the Galileo, the dress uniform and the green wrap. I can’t find either movie versions or the environmental suit. But all 3 go pretty cheap on eBay still in package. I’ve just never been motivated to get them.
     
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  4. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Why would anyone throw them away? Sell or donate them to fans :wah:
    A friend wanted "The Enterprise" for xmas back then, and his parents had no clue, so they got him the B, and threw away the stickers. He was still happy though.
     
  5. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always blamed the limited edition figures, while I only collected the occasional one, a couple of my friends were dirty completists, after not being able to get the 1701 figures, they pretty much quit cold turkey.
     
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  6. CommanderTrip

    CommanderTrip Captain Captain

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    The 90s were the golden era for Trek toys. I still have my playmates Voyager, Defiant, space talk Enterprise D, and TNG Tricorder to name a few. They are all out on display next to the Eaglemoss and DST ships/props.

    I had the TNG Bridge, Main Engineering, and various figures when I was a kid. I got into Trek late in the game. A lot of the playmates stuff I picked up was from Flea markets and yard sales. The only playmates Trek stuff I could find in stores in my area of Massachusetts were various figures and some things from Insurrection (Enterprise E with Capt Yacht, Type IIb Phaser, and the doll figures @ TRU/Walmart). I also remember seeing the exclusive Seven of Nine in silver catsuit figure at a Target that opened in my area .

    It was the late 90s and early 2000s. Voyager was in it's Fifth Season, DS9 it's last, and TNG was well into the movies at this point, which were showing on HBO all the time. I remember when Enterprise premiered, I got so excited being able to buy the ship, Trek Tek, and Figures brand new at Newbury Comics. I also bought their first run TOS phaser even though I had watched maybe one or two episodes of TOS at that point. (I made up for lost time)

    Nowadays, The only playset that I can readily find is the Transporter Room. I do still have a lot of playmates and nonplaymates Trek stuff. also lucked out recently and managed to snag (new in box) DS9 and the Borg Cube.

    Between the DST ships and the playmates, I have a nice sized fleet. But boy do I long for the good old days of Playmates.
     
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  7. Doom Shepherd

    Doom Shepherd Commodore Commodore

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    They never made a Weyoun, the bastards. ;)
     
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  8. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think the DS9 or Voyager toys sold very well so Playmates stuck with TNG and TOS wherever possible. So we got two versions of Geordi as the Tarchannen III alien and every variant of Kirk and Picard, but no Ezri Dax, Weyoun or Martok.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect the lack of Weyoun, Martok or Ezri has more to do with the fact that by the time Weyoun or Martok became popular, or Ezri was even introduced was at a point when the toyline was declining. Now, I know, they did do a Seven of Nine, who was introduced only a year before Ezri and at the same time Weyoun and Martok's popularity were taking off, but I think we can all agree she was a bit more high profile than those three characters were.

    Although they did find the time to do a Captain Calhoun figure from the New Frontier novels.
     
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't that a mail away one?
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah. Still funny to think we got him and not someone who was in the main cast of a TV show like Ezri was.
     
  12. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think there was an Ezri figure that turned up at a Toyfair or something, but never went into production. Could be wrong but I vaguely recall seeing a photo of it ages ago. Perhaps it was a custom.

    They never did the DS9 gang in their grey uniforms, except Sisko, Dax and O'Brien in the strange 6" scale from the First Contact line. But they did make all of the TNG crew (apart from Geordi), so they're easy enough to customise.

    Martok would have been an easy win for Playmates. They loved a good head swap, and had Klingon bodies aplenty. Same for Damar. Tbf the Dukat figure looked nothing like Marc Alaimo.
     
  13. Paul755

    Paul755 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    tbh a lot of the figures look little like the characters they represent.

    And yeah, I think by the time Ezri was cast the line was all but dead. I mean, the only reason we got the TNG crew in the grey topped jumpsuits were as Target exclusives.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  14. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think on the whole Playmates got it right more often than not. I liked the caricature style, it somehow captured the character more than the higher end collectibles. Those expensive QMX figures bear little resemblance to the actors.
     
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  15. captainjellico

    captainjellico Ensign Newbie

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    It's great to see so many people here reminiscing about the Playmates line; clearly I'm not the only one who it meant a lot to :adore:

    That's a steal - loose Defiants go for $50 minimum on eBay, far more if they're MOB. The same goes for Voyager.

    Yeah, I didn't realise they made an Enterprise B until recently. Back in '94 I couldn't escape the 'battle damage' Enterprise in stores, which I never bought as I felt it was a waste of time as I already had the standard Enterprise model. I never came across the Enterprise B or Klingon Bird Of Prey. Evidently these were made in much smaller qualities. Both fetch a fair price on eBay these days too.

    Interesting about Decker and Ilia; I hadn't heard that. I think Playmates were curious to see what demand there was for movie-era figures and opted to release them chronologically - i.e. start with the uniforms from the Motion Picture and go from there. You have to remember that this series was released in 1995, so at that point you already had Kirk, Chekov and Scotty in their red movie uniforms from the Generations line released the year before. It's a shame really, as the TOS crew in posable red uniforms would have been brilliant and customisers have to rely on the crappy bodies released from Generations to make them. I always found it interesting that they released Saavik as portrayed by Kirsty Alley from TWOK rather than Robin Curtis who appeared in two movies as Saavik (definitely the right call IMHO), but clearly made less impact.

    Interesting fact - the Starfleet bases the 4.5" figures stand on are exactly the same scale as the communicators they used in the show.

    RIGHT?! I never got the rips on Riker and they still annoy me to this day. I think they were trying to corner the boy/young teen market and that's why we got Riker with Action Man-style rips and no Dr. Crusher and a random Romulan instead.

    The 1701 figures effectively made it impossible to complete my collection. I was an eleven year old living in rural England with limited funds, so the possibility of getting hold of them was way beyond my ability. Through eBay, I now own every single 4.5" figure ever released apart from Picard from Tapestry. I refuse to pay several hundred dollars for him and make do with the version from the 1701 multi-pack. I do hope one day to get him MOC, but can't justify it at the moment.

    It's a shame we never got the DS9 cast in the seasons 5 - 7 uniforms (including Ezri), but you're right - Playmates had totally given up at that point. The quality control in the Target Exclusive movie uniform figures is AWFUL. The bodies are all re-paints of the VOY figures and they re-use the heads from the first series of TNG figures, despite the fact the cast are noticeably older at this point in time. The heads were manufactured differently then, so their necks are all way too short. The scale is terrible too - Riker is barely taller than Picard. Beverly's paint job also makes her look TERRIFYING and permanently surprised. All in all it was a very disappointing end to the line. The Seven Of Nine cobalt uniform figure was the only saving grace.
     
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  16. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have a flashlight on a stand that looks a bit like Voyager.

    It was made in the 90's. TV show tie-in toys were common then.

    Not now!
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I have seen toys for The Walking Dead, Stranger Things and Game of Thrones?
     
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  18. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah they were all headswaps or repaints. To be fair, Playmates at least retooled the bodies to include the ribbed effect on the shoulders of those uniforms. Picard, Worf and Data are the best figures. Riker and Troi are ok, but Riker can be improved by repainting an All Good Things Admiral Riker to give him an older look. There's no saving the Crusher figure - no neck and bizarre hair colour.

    The Seven of Nine figures look nice, but they're statues, not action figures.
     
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  19. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With 3D prints, things have gotten a bit better as of late--but it seems things were better a few decades ago
    The SWORD toy ships and all.
     
  20. captainjellico

    captainjellico Ensign Newbie

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    You're right about the folds in the shoulders and agreed about Picard/Worf/Data being the best in that line. It was very lazy not bothering with a Geordi figure, presumably because in the movies Geordi doesn't use a VISOR and they thought only had the first series head to use where he's wearing one. They could have quite easily re-tooled the 'All Good Things' version of him as he looks essentially the same there as he does in the movies and put it on the same body as Picard/Data. One day I'll attempt that as a customisation.

    I personally think that Seven with added articulation would have spoilt the contours of her bodysuit and wasn't needed. Playmates occasionally did this well for aesthetic purposes; see also Ilia, Vina the Orion Slave, etc.