REVIEW: Diamond Select Toys Star Trek Select Captain Kirk & Mr. Spock
Two Unique Characters Bridge The Gap Between Action Figures And Statues...
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Last week we took a look at some of the cool new Marvel Select figures from Diamond Select Toys (read the review HERE), and this time we’re switching gears and heading into deep space with Star Trek The Original Series! While DST has been making Trek figures for a while, the latest series is called Star Trek Select and offers something a bit more unique. A new lineup of 7 inch figures, Select brings specific scenes to life with pre-posed parts and diorama elements while at the same time including interchangeable components so your toys can break out of those scenes if you so choose. The first two characters captured in this way shouldn’t be of surprise to anyone, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock!
The Star Trek Select figures come packaged just like the Marvel Select characters in huge, display-worthy plastic bubble and wraparound cardboard card. These figures come with tons of accessories, interchangeable parts, and diorama elements, so it’s great to be able to see all of that in the package. Beyond that the graphics on the package are really slick. Behind each bubble is a bright yellow starburst background that makes everything in front of it really stand out. The wraparound on the left side of the package is mostly blue, and on the front it has the Star Trek title, figure name, and a small image of the Enterprise.
The side of the package has a large beauty shot of the individual character, while the back panel includes photos of the figure in action, an upsell for the other, and a bio that talks about the episode being depicted in the included diorama. All in all it’s a pretty slick package, and one that non-openers will be able to show off with pride.
In all of science-fiction there are few characters more famous or popular than Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock! The figures here of course bring to life their original versions made famous by actors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy starting with Star Trek The Original Series in the late 1960s and continuing on through the films. Captain and First Officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Kirk and Spock maintained a great friendship and mutual respect despite their many differences. A man of passion and emotion, Kirk spent much of his time onscreen loving, fighting, and always trying to make a difference. Spock, meanwhile, as a half-human half-Vulcan sought to deny his emotions and rule his life with logic. Two of their greatest adventures are captured in these Select sets, the episode “Space Seed” in which Kirk does battle with the unfrozen Augment Khan Noonien Singh and “The Devil in the Dark” in which Spock must discover how to communicate with the alien Horta and end its conflict with miners encroaching on its territory.
Unlike in the Marvel Select line, the Star Trek Select characters are not represented in pure “action figures” as most people think of them: universally articulated figures good for a variety of poses with a few accessories. For Star Trek Select DST went with a different tack, creating figures that exist in a specific setting with a couple key poses and then the ability to customize them with some articulation and interchangeable parts. Kirk we see brings to life his one on one fight with Khan, and so in that scene has an articulated upper body and two sets of mostly static legs. One position has him standing and leaning forward to threaten the Augment, while the other is a wide-legged flying leap that works in the diorama with a hidden peg system.
Similarly Spock encounters the Horta being in a cave and can be displayed either standing on straight legs or kneeling down to get a closer look. Both sets of legs on Kirk and Spock feature the classic Starfleet uniform bell bottoms and boots, and those along with the upper body uniforms are chock full of creases, seams, and other clothing details. Kirk and Spock’s shirts have more of the same along with textured collars, wrist braiding, and chest symbols. Face sculpts are very good and convey a lot of emotion (or appropriate lack thereof) for their specific scenes; Kirk has an angry grimace for his attack while Spock includes a stoic, stone-faced head and one in agony as he interfaces with the Horta.
Paint and colors on the Star Trek Select figures are spot on, with all of the bold primary colors you remember from the Original Series. All of the Starfleet pants and boot combos are matte black, while their shirts are mustard yellow and pale blue respectively. Both figures have gold details on their chest logos as well as their wrist braiding. The skin tone is very similar, which is nice considering you can interchange their hands for tons of display options. The faces are painted well, especially the pained Spock (although that’s likely the one you aren’t going to use).
Like some of the Marvel Select figures, these two have incredible bases to recreate scenes from their two episodes. Spock’s cave has a small section of floor with the Horta at one end and a short wall at the back. I confess I don’t remember “The Devil in the Dark” enough to tell you if all of the details are correct, but the base looks pretty cool. There are different textures used on the floor and walls with nice uneven surfaces and shapes. Of course at one end of the base is the Horta itself, a convoluted mass of lava and stone-like flesh that even includes a small removable section! The colors on this base are fairly muted but look nice together, a gray for the floor, dark blue on the wall, and brown and yellow on the Horta. Opposite the Horta are two sets of pegs for you to attach Spock, one for his standing and one for him kneeling. Kirk, meanwhile, comes with a section of Enterprise’s Engineering deck with a plastic floorboard and console along with a cardboard cutout wall. The diorama is a huge blast from the past with its retro sci-fi sensibilities, knobs and switches, and bright colors. Frankly, it’s pretty awesome, and other than the slight bubbling in the black paint on mine it would be pretty perfect. Of course, you can’t have Kirk fighting nothing, and so DST has included a non-articulated but highly detailed Khan figure in his distinctive orange suit. There are pegs on the floor for Kirk’s lunging feet, a peg on the console where Khan attaches, and a hole into which you can insert the post to hold up leaping Kirk.
As I’ve noted before in this article, articulation was not the number one focus for these figures though they do have poseability augmented by their interchangeable parts. Each figure has two sets of legs that they attach to via a universal waist ball-joint. All of the legs have articulation at the boot tops which is helpful for stability. Spock and Kirk have the same articulation in their upper bodies with joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, biceps, elbows, and wrists. Obviously the arms are the most poseable. In the parts and accessories department from top down Spock has the second head, one set of open hands, a phaser-wielding right hand, a gripping left hand, a closed tricorder, an open tricorder, and the two sets of legs. Kirk has a pair of open hands, a pair permanently gripping the console tool, two sets of legs, and a post to attach the leaping legs to the wall.
You can find Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in specialty stores now, each with an MSRP of $24.99. These figures are going to appeal to a pretty wide spectrum of Star Trek fans, from The Original Series collectors to those who passed on or missed the previous action figure versions of these characters, etc. Each one on its own makes for a nice display piece in his diorama with a few options outside of it, but getting both really opens up your customizing universe especially with the different hands and legs.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of Diamond Select Toys