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What Were The First Playmates Star Trek Figures?
The first Playmates Star Trek figures were released in 1992 and the license remained with them for most of the 90's however in 1999 they decided to "drop" their Star Trek line and the license moved to Diamond Select and Art Asylum
During this period Plamates made Star Trek toys from every television show and film.
Some of the biggest fan favorites from this time include the Enterprise D bridge and Engineering playsets, prop toys like Dr. McCoy's Medical Kit, Enterprise ship models and of course their action figures.
Over the decade almost 700 different Playmates Star Trek figures of various sizes, including 4.5", 6", 7", 9" and 12" versions were released with several variations for each character available, unlike the Hasbro Star Wars figures.
One of the most popular series of Playmates Star Trek figures were their First Contact and Insurrection lines.
For First Contact they offered eleven smaller action figures, five 9" figures, phaser and communicator toys, plus models of the Enterprise-E, Zephram Cochrane's Phoenix, and the Borg Sphere.
The Insurrection line of Playmates toys offered a similar quantity of figures and toys plus a new Enterprise-E with Captain's yacht.
The Playmates Star Trek figures remain to be popular with collectors today although in all honest I have never really been a big fan of the Plamates Star Trek figures.
I have always considered them to have been of inferior quality to other figures available at the time, most notably Hasbro's Star Wars figures.
I can rememeber my joy at hearing Art Asylum had acquired the license and seeing high quality, well sculpted and articulated Star Trek figures coming onto the market.
That said, in hind sight, I can see the attraction and playabilty that the Playmates Star Trek figures offered kids at the time.
It seems though that Playmates have woken up to the fact that todays kids, and collectors, are much more demanding than those of the 90's and expect, no demand, a much higher quality and accurate figure than Playmates previous attempts.
This year will see the first of the new Playmates Star Trek figures, based on the new Trek movie, being released and the initial reactions seem to be that these are a vast improvement on previous Playmates releases.
But the good news for collectors is that Art Asylum/Diamond Select have kept the license for ALL the previous films and TV series with Playmates only being granted the license to produce Star Trek toys and figures based on the new movie.
Rare Playmates Star Trek Figures
One of the rarest of the Playmates Star Trek figures is the the Playmates Dathon figure.
This figure came with a "Pog or Space cap" rather then the card that was more common.
Released only in Australia and the UK there were only 1,100 supposedly released 700 going to the UK and 400 to Australia according to the resource guide at http://www.newforcecomics.com/trekref.
Another very rare, but not quite as popular, figure is the Playmates "Trifold Borg".
This figure was a promotional item that was given away by Paramount hoping to sell TNG syndication and promote First Contact.
The term "Trifold" refers to the unique card the figure is mounted on. It has apparently been stated by Playmates that 500 or less of these were made.
Next up are the so called "1701" figures, i.e. Picard from "Tapestry", Yar from "Yesterdays Enterprise" and Barclay from "Projections".
The term "1701's" refers to the quantity of each that was made.
However, due to collectors outrage over the limited numbers, Playmates increased the Barclay to 3000
Another very popular and highly collectible figures is the Playmates Data from Redemption.
Part of a 4 pack series this figure was released through J.C.Penney in their Christmas catalog.
In order to fulfill the order in time for Christmas Playmates made this figure from spare parts butshortly after releasing this Playmates started making the new figures for Generations.
There are two versions of this figure, a U.S. version and a Canadian version.
From what I have seen and read Playmates made around 5,500 of the U.S. version and around 2000 of the Canadian version, which came with the with the "Pog or Space Cap".
One of Playmates earliest Star Trek figures was the "removable visor" LaForge which first came out in 1992.
Originally the visor on this figure was removable and was shown on the package that way but soon after its' release it was decided that this was a chocking hazard and the visor was fixed permanently and the package was changed to reflect this.
The Playmates " Mail away Sisko" came with the Deep Space Nine : Crossroads In Time video game, which you had to send away for. Only 4000 of these figures were made and it was shipped in a plain plastic bag without any accessories.
Intendant Kira from the episode Crossover only 8,333
The Playmates Miles O'Brien figure from the episode Trials and Tribble-ations of which 10,000
Playmates Seven of Nine in her Cobalt Blue Uniform. Sold only in European, and Australia and the run was limited to 3,000.
Playmates Spencer Gifts exclusive Picard and Riker- approximately 6,000 each.
Playmates Target exclusive Seven of Nine- 7,500 of these were produced
Kirk and Spock from the episode A Piece of the Action- These were Kaybee Toys exclusives and Playmates released 5000 of each figure in 1996.
The 12" Kirk and Spock from the episode, A Piece of the Action. These were a New Force Comics exclusive and were limited to 1000 of each figure.
Playmates Kirk as a Romluan was an exclusive to the Official Star Trek Fan Club with a limited run of 3500 and came with no accessories expect for a Certificate of Authenticity.
The Playmates 12" Seven of Nine figure was part of the Women of Star Trek series and although it wasn't particularly limited it is very popular and can be hard to find.
The Amok Time Twin Pack was sold exclusively at New Force Comics. and was limited to a production run of 3000.
The Playmates Voyager was released towards the end of the Playmates license and were made in smaller quantities so are hard to find.
The Playmates Enterprise E ship from the movie Insurrection was made to correct inaccuracies in their first attempt and was released in 98 and is now hard to find.
This set of 10 individually packaged figures includes (subject to change):
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