Did you know this style of Playmates Star Trek figure persisted through 1999? The line’s general retail lifespan had definitely ended by then, but occasional exclusives carried on for a surprising length of time, and this episode-specific Captain Kirk was a mailaway exclusive with ToyFare Magazine. There were a few other such exclusives for the magazine as well, but this is the one I actually have thanks to longtime friend and fellow Star Trek and robot-toy enthusiast Alan from Toy Box Comix. I don’t know a lot about this release as goes things like what Wizard opted to charge for this figure. I do know that a few years later when ToyFare similarly had a clear Shining Gundam figure as an exclusive, that was somewhere around 3-4 times the standard retail, so this may well have been the same kind of math.
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This figure represents Kirk in local attire while visiting the planet from “A Piece of The Action”, where the entire culture is based on the romanticized imagery of 1930s Chicago gangsters. The premise is exceedingly dumb but the episode is a lot of fun. No new parts were made for this Kirk. Instead, it’s a mix of an existing Kirk head, and the body made for Picard as Dixon Hill; effectively, this is a figure of 60s Shatner wearing some 80s Patrick Stewart wardrobe. I actually do own that Picard figure, but I can’t remember where in storage it ended up or I’d have gotten it out for this shoot.
The poseability is a little more limited than usual, with the jacket blocking almost all movement of the hips. Despite that, there is seemingly a normally-jointed lower body, including a waist joint that still has a small degree of travel. The shoulders, biceps, elbows, and knees all behave as typical, but without the use of the hips, that doesn’t present a ton of posing options. The neck joint is actually not very movable, which I’m suspecting is the result of a not-great fit between the Kirk neck and the collar of this figure.
Initially, I was shocked at the incredibly stingy accessory count with this, consisting of just a communicator, and the figure stand like literally every figure had. But in doing a little research on this, I leanred that some of the ToyFare exclusives didn’t even get this much, so I guess I should be happy there’s something at all. I generally ignore that the bases exist, but in this case, it’s literally about 50% of the potential play value, so I tried to have some fun with it. Surprisingly, using it as a shield is kind of possible, in the event you’d like Kirk to hide behind Starfleet. The communicator doesn’t fit securely in either hand, as these were sculpted for a different batch of parts. But it can be balanced and stay as long as you don’t jostle the figure too much afterward.
Obviously there’s not a whole lot of meat to this one. It’s an interesting oddity, especially being so late-released. But I really have to think if I had spent $15 (and probably more with postage, come to think of it) on this and it only came with the communicator, and not even a handgun or a phaser or something, I’d have been seriously disappointed.
Tomorrow on Photober the 21st, we’ll try to have fun with something a little more engaging. Or at least something that has more parts and potential interactivity. See you then!