Star Trek has had a particularly weird history with action figures. Never the most toyetic of franchises when it came to things that weren’t models of spaceships, prop replicas, or imaginary Vulcan headgear, nevertheless companies have tried to turn Trek into an action figure brand — and now one company in particular is back at it again.
Playmates’ reacquisition of the Star Trek toy licence — which it held throughout the ‘90s and into the series’ return to the big screen in the 2009 Star Trek movie — will begin this year with a new line of “Universe” figures. It draws from across the entire series, from classic movies and shows to new entries in the saga like Discovery. The new line up, kicking off in summer this year, will combine traditional Trek toys like phaser replicas and starships with 5″-scaled action figures. Take a look at the first wave, announced today!
Star Trek Lights and Sounds Enterprise
The first set of toys will draw on three eras of Star Trek: the original series and its movie continuations, The Next Generation, and Discovery. From the original series comes two non-figure toys. The first, of course, is a light-and-sound function version of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Scaled to 18″ long, the ship includes a Starfleet delta-shaped display base, light-up engines and windows, and sound banks of phrases from the show.
Star Trek Lights and Sounds Phaser
Also in the replica line-up for the original show is a life-sized phaser pistol, which naturally has lights and sounds for all your “pretending to desperately not be a Red Shirt on an away mission” needs.
The Wrath of Khan Kirk, Spock, and Khan Action Figures
For action figures, the Universe line is kicking off with a step away from the original series and into one of its most iconic movies. Three 5″ figures from Wrath of Khan will lead the line, featuring the titular villain, Admiral Kirk, and Captain Spock, the latter two in their updated red Starfleet dress tunics from the film.
The Next Generation Picard, Riker, and Data Action Figures
They’ll be joined by three figures from The Next Generation in the same scale: Captain Picard, Commander Riker, and Lieutenant Data, all wearing the iconic uniforms from the show. To boot, both these and the Wrath of Khan figures will be available in what Playmates calls “nostalgic packaging,” as-yet-unseen boxing but presumably very similar to the packaging from Playmates’ own Star Trek action figures from the ‘90s, which similar covered all the Trek shows and movies past and present.
Discovery Saru and Burnham Action Figures
Getting brand new packaging, however, are the final two figures of the first wave, mostly because they’re new characters: Discovery’s Saru and Michael Burnham. Inspired by Discovery’s early-season costumes (before its time-skip into the 31st century), they’re the only figures so far of any of the series to come from Trek’s CBS-All-Access-turned-Paramount+ era of shows.
The new figures, whether redoing old characters or taking on new ones, seem to be very evocative of Playmates’ ‘90s-era Trek figures, albeit with more modernised articulation and slightly larger (the old figures were predominantly 4.5″-scaled). It’s an interesting play, considering that Trek fans got burned on more collector-focused action figures when McFarlane’s own Star Trek line puttered out after just two releases. But if Playmates wants to lean on memories of the ‘90s, it’s going to have to dive deep into Trek’s huge backlog of characters, just like the old figures did. Where’s my Vedek Bareil action figure?
The first wave of Star Trek Playmates toys is due to hit online retailers in July 2022, and physical store locations in the fall, ahead of a second wave in 2023.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.
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