Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Wave One (1994)

Star Trek: Deep Space NineIt was a forgone conclusion that when the new Star Trek spinoff premiered in 1993, there would be more than enough merchandising to support and promote it. Indeed, companies that had once shunned the dark horse Next Generation were now beating down the doors at Paramount’s licensing department to get a piece of the highly anticipated – and publicized – new show.

By this time, Playmates had made a success of its ongoing line of Next Generation action figures as well as its initial offering of Classic Trek toys, and the company was more than happy to add Deep Space Nine to its Trek toy commitment. Continue reading

A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Star Wars action figures - photo copyright 2000 Earl Green / theLogBook.comIt could be argued that one of the single most defining moments in the classic trilogy was Star Wars‘ Mos Eisley Cantina scene. Most of the creature work in the movie was crammed into the opening montage in this setting – outside of Mos Eisley, the only non-humans seen in Star Wars are Jawas, droids, Tusken raiders, and the creature in the Death Star’s garbage compactor. Continue reading

Buck Rogers: Twiki

Buck Rogers Twiki figureHaving moved four times in the past six years, to say nothing of the trading and misplacing that kids engage in with their toys, I have a few “orphan” figures that recently turned up as I packed for my latest move. The first of these is Twiki (right), from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The 1979 updating of Buck Rogers catered to the younger audience with this diminutive robot, and thus Meco’s line of action figures included Twiki (with Dr. Theopolis represented by a flimsy sticker which is in surprisingly good shape on this figure). Other characters in the Buck Rogers line included Buck, Colonel Wilma Deering, Princess Ardala, Killer Kane, Emperor Draco and Tiger Man.

Star Wars Episode I: Wave 1 (1999)

Unless you were personally besieged on the planet Naboo on May 3, 1999, you know where everyone went at midnight. They went to department stores and toy stores across America to try to pick these puppies up.

Waves one through three were released simultaneously, and huge numbers of the toys were produced. Collectors who bemoaned the fact that they hadn’t kept their original Star Wars figures in the original packing in the 1970s now bought about half a dozen of each – unless, of course, they were attempting to clean out one of the more conscientious retailers who limited quantities out of fairness. Scalpers abounded during the first few weeks, with Darth Maul prized particularly because the figure was initially shortpacked. Poor Jar Jar, on the other hand, warmed the pegs in many a store for quite a long time, with the character already suffering from a premature fan backlash. Continue reading

Star Trek: The Next Generation Wave Two (1993)

Star Trek: The Next GenerationWith the success of the first wave of Playmates’ Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures, the question became: what next?

For the most part, the answer was repetition. Just do what you did before, and everything will be fine.

The same Enterprise crew members released in the first wave once again formed the backbone of the new selection of characters, only this time in the season one and two spandex uniforms. Continue reading

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “Final Chapter” promo kit

Star Trek: Deep Space NineIn May 1999, Paramount Domestic Television splurged on the outgoing Deep Space Nine by sending some rather large items to the stations carrying the show’s final season. The curved, pie-wedge case seen below stood over two feet tall, and opened up to display a nice shot of the wormhole. Part of that shot was a separate dossier which could be removed, containing photos, publicity material, and other information. Continue reading

Star Trek: The Next Generation Wave One (1992)

Star Trek: The Next GenerationFrom the time that the original Galoob figures went out of production in 1988 (just a few months after they’d first hit the shelves) until summer 1992, there were no Star Trek: The Next Generation toys. And in that time, the series went from an uncertainty to a major hit.

As more and more manufacturers were climbing over each other to try to snag a license to produce Next Generation merchandise, it seemed almost unavoidable that a new line of Star Trek toys would arrive. Continue reading

Doctor Who action figures – wave 3 (1998)

The Third DoctorIn 1998, Dapol began introducing the first all-new Doctor Who action figures in nearly a decade, with tributes to two of the series’ most seminal characters – the late Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor, and the late Roger Delgado’s original portrayal of the Master. Additionally, most of the enemies released in the third wave also originated from the early 1970s episodes.

Though the standard size of ToyBox’s photos doesn’t make this apparent, the Jon Pertwee action figure was almost four inches tall, thanks to a torso which was sculpted almost ridiculously out of proportion to every other action figure in the line. It’s almost as if the third Doctor is in a different scale from the rest of the range. Continue reading