Star Trek: The Motion Picture U.S.S. Enterprise

U.S.S. EnterpriseThe second coming of Star Trek, ten years after its cancellation, was a licensing goldmine for Paramount. Star Wars had already primed the public pump for science fiction, and Superman had proven that throwing a large budget and an existing, recognizable brand at that audience was a surefire recipe for success. Having already quietly cancelled a proposed second swipe at Trek on TV – a project so far along that sets had been constructed and scripts for half a season’s worth of episodes had been written – Paramount decided to take those sets, and the movie-length pilot script, and go large with it. The result was Star Trek: The Motion Picture… but who should the new Star Trek adventure be marketed to? (more…)

Doctor Who: The Third Doctors

The Third DoctorThat’s not The Three Doctors, but rather the third Doctors. After displaying prototypes at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, Character Options followed up that year’s Comic Con exclusive first and second Doctors with the Doctor’s third incarnation, as played by Jon Pertwee from 1970 through 1974. Setting a pattern that continues through the most recent limited-edition classic Doctor Who figures, U.K. distribution was exclusively handled by Forbidden Planet, with FP’s U.S. arm, Underground Toys, taking care of North American distribution. (more…)

Doctor Who: The Chase set

The ChaseThe end of 2011 saw a sudden glut of classic series figure sets released by Character Options; common sense would seem to dictate that these were intended to attract last-minute Christmas shoppers, but in most areas they arrived too late for Christmas 2011. Some of these sets, rather predictably, landed in the Tom Baker era. This isn’t to imply a bias on Character’s part – there’s simply more of Tom Baker’s era than there is of any other Doctor’s reign, though Character does have an established bias toward masked characters so they don’t have to pay an actor for his likeness. (more…)

Doctor Who: Resurrection Of The Daleks

Resurrection Of The DaleksAnother one of 2011’s surprise classic Doctor Who figure sets, this set hails from the early ’80s era of the fifth Doctor, and brings the classic version of a seemingly un-killable foe into plastic form. From Peter Davison’s only run-in with the Daleks, Resurrection Of The Daleks also reunited the Doctor with Davros – a reunion that both probably would’ve been happy to pass on. (more…)

Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment

Sontaran Experiment SetHaving produced about as many different variations of Jon Pertwee in plastic as possible, Character Options spent much of 2011 producing numerous classic Doctor Who sets with variations on Tom Baker instead, with an unusual focus on the actor’s first season as the fourth Doctor.

Having already produced a collect-and-build figure of the enormous K-1 robot from Robot, Character skipped over Ark In Space and picked up the season 12 story with The Sontaran Experiment, issuing an unusual two figure set with a fairly large vehicle – the first non-TARDIS vehicle in the Character Doctor Who range since the Satan Pit lift (which wasn’t exactly a best-seller). (more…)

Doctor Who: Vengeance On Varos Set

Vengeance On Varos SetThe latest in a series of two-figure sets from classic Doctor Who episodes, the Vengeance On Varos set really kicks the door open for future additions to the classic Doctor Who action figure range.

Even more surprisingly, this set immortalizes the two most enduring elements of the sixth Doctor’s all-too-brief era on TV: TARDIS traveling companion Peri and the slug-like Sil, a profit-mongering creature who has no qualms about sacrificing entire civilizations to pour more money into his coffers. (more…)

Doctor Who: The Eleven Doctors

Eleven Doctors SetI’d be reluctant to try to estimate how many kids have bought this magnificent boxed set of nearly a dozen figures, because chances are that they’ve all been snatched up by people like me – thirty-and-forty-somethings who have been waiting since they were kids to hold this set, or something like it, in their hands. Despite being at a very silly age to suddenly pick up a huge set of action figures, the Eleven Doctors set is a gift from Doctor Who toy license holder Character Options to those of us who will no longer be denied. (more…)

Star Trek Micro Machines

Star Trek Micro MachinesMuch like the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which didn’t think to nominate Star Trek: The Next Generation for an Emmy until its final season was coming down the home stretch, it seems that the toymakers of the world didn’t clue into the popularity of TNG until well over halfway past the midway point of the series. Playmates struck gold, launching an extensive line of TNG action figures and accessories in 1992 (a line which later grew to encompass every other 20th century Star Trek series), leaving Galoob’s early line of action figures – launched and discontinued before the show’s second season – mostly forgotten. But Galoob got back into the Trek game with its legendary Micro Machines plastic miniatures. (more…)

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