It’s so appropriate to think about toys at this time of the year, and the McFarlane Toys Star Trek figures of Captains James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard are not to be overlooked. After all, what other toys can a Star Trek fan of my years have fun with?
Before I begin, I have to share, I’ve been playing with the Captain Kirk figure at my desk for the last twenty minutes, much to the amusement of my colleagues. I’ve been preoccupied with arranging him in different poses that I haven’t noticed the onlooking crowd of passerby’s looking through my door, laughing, pointing and walking away with a general sense of mirth.
Grateful I am to be the source of so much joy to my co-workers.
Of course, that’s the joy in owning an action figure, right? At this moment, Captain Kirk is standing with his phaser pistol held in front, his head cocked slightly to the left as he appears to be talking into his communicator. As much as I want to express this pose in a literary way, imagining some sort of crisis that the good captain is addressing at the moment, and wanting to justify this moment in some sort of dramatic fashion, all I can do is say to myself is: “cool”.
Because it is cool. When you pose an action figure, you’re creating a mini-story for yourself. You are instantly whisked back in time to when you were a child and your imagination was your best source of entertainment.
Action figures are like starter engines to the adult imagination.
The McFarlane Kirk is doing that for me right now. Retailing at about $20, the figure comes with a classic Trek Type II phaser pistol, a communicator, a “Where No One Has Gone Before”-era phaser rifle, and an extra left hand. There are three points of articulation in the arms, a rotating head and torso and the legs are equally manipulable as well. He’s been posed in every dynamic position I can think of: legs wide in a classic shooting stance, or looking thoughtful by holding his communicator and standing defensively, communicator held close.
I’m having too much fun positioning the figure. Actually, I have to confess that I’ve just had a good twenty minutes of solid diversion of experimenting with different positions. I opted to stay with the communicator and phaser pistol as opposed to the rifle. I figured the hand phaser and communicator are more iconic and recognizable for visitors. That way I can share my enjoyment with all.
The figure also includes a decently wide and fairly rugged display stand. With the range of articulation, the action figure boasts, there are a great variety of poses to display him in.
My desk has never seemed more authoritative, but I’m going to try and top it off by adding the Captain Picard figure to the other side.
With the same range of articulation, this figure comes with a TNG phaser and a Ressikan flute – which is, of course, evocative of the most touching and poignant Next Generation episode of all time, “The Inner Light.” It’s a real nod of respect to fans that the McFarlane folks would choose this particular prop for their action figure to sport. I’ve never been a fan of the TNG phasers so this is a perfect alternative for Picard that fits his character.
Even the likenesses and facial expressions are impressive. Again, I have to remember that the retail price for these figures are incredibly low, but surprisingly, the level of quality in the figures doesn’t reflect that cost. It’s an easy sell, given what you get for the price.
But let’s come back to the fun. The figures are conversation pieces and I’ll admit to actually playing with them. I think the fun for me is to pose them in a way that will not only attract attention to my workspace, but something I can share with colleagues. That’s part of the fun as I sit here, writing out this review.
Because it’s all about the enjoyment of the toy. McFarlane Toys has an excellent and affordable product that has a surprisingly high amount of quality and provides a great deal of entertainment — though while I enjoyed these two figures, it’s still an open question if any more McFarlane Trek product will ever hit the market after the long delays in this pair of releases, and the scrapped Star Trek: Discovery phaser which came so close to being released in early 2018.
What do you think of McFarlane’s take on Kirk and Picard? Let us know in the comments below!