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Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!


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#21 Morgan

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 11:46 AM

Yeah, I have a feeling that even if they're in the 1992 scale, they will be a bit different stylistically, with more detail and a less glossy, light-reflecting finish. We've had 30 years of action figure tech evolution.



#22 MisterPL

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 12:48 PM

MisterPL have you bought any of the Ben 10 figures from Playmates in recent years? These are very similar to 90s Playmates toys but the articulation adds ball-jointed swivels at the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. Also Playmates is bringing back Varner Studios. These are the sculptors of the original 90s line. Look Varner Studios up on Instagram for updates. I agree that the v-crotch will never be acceptable again on any action figure, but aside from that much of the original Playmates figures have held up nicely over the years. I do expect now though with the photo real printing capabilities that these figures will be light years beyond what was available in the 90s regardless if they go with 6 inch or 4.5 inch. The general consensus from people in Paramounts licensing department is that 1990s 4.5 inch scale is where the line was most profitable as opposed to DSTs 7 inch line and the even more dismal 2009 attempts at 6 inch and 3 3/4 inch.

 

I'm glad to hear about the improvements in articulation. That V-crotch was almost useless.

Whatever they do, I think they need to stick to one scale. Other companies have cannibalized their own venerable figure lines (largely Star Wars) by stepping away from what's worked. Personally I prefer 1/18 for figures with vehicles and playsets but it's hard to argue there isn't a built-in audience for more 4.5" figures.



#23 Razorgeist

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 08:59 PM

MisterPL have you bought any of the Ben 10 figures from Playmates in recent years? These are very similar to 90s Playmates toys but the articulation adds ball-jointed swivels at the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. Also Playmates is bringing back Varner Studios. These are the sculptors of the original 90s line. Look Varner Studios up on Instagram for updates. I agree that the v-crotch will never be acceptable again on any action figure, but aside from that much of the original Playmates figures have held up nicely over the years. I do expect now though with the photo real printing capabilities that these figures will be light years beyond what was available in the 90s regardless if they go with 6 inch or 4.5 inch. The general consensus from people in Paramounts licensing department is that 1990s 4.5 inch scale is where the line was most profitable as opposed to DSTs 7 inch line and the even more dismal 2009 attempts at 6 inch and 3 3/4 inch.

 

I went and looked them up sounds like good news so far.  Does Varner do the sculpting on the ships?



#24 bgiles73

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 12:06 AM

Im not sure about that Razorgeist. I heard at one point old Ertl Model molds were used, but I think that may have been in the Diamond Select Years. I hope at some point trekmovie.com or some other source can get a Q&A going with Playmates Toys again. I know at one point I had a pretty good correspondence with a Paula Billingsley at Playmates Toys. She would often answer emails concerning Playmates products. Sadly I think she is no longer at Playmates. Im hopeful they might have a virtual presence for SDCC and the Big Vegas Star Trek Conand again this fall at New York Comic Con. Until then I plan to keep my eyes on Varner Studios Social Media like Facebook and Instagram!

#25 Razorgeist

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 06:22 PM

Im not sure about that Razorgeist. I heard at one point old Ertl Model molds were used, but I think that may have been in the Diamond Select Years. I hope at some point trekmovie.com or some other source can get a Q&A going with Playmates Toys again. I know at one point I had a pretty good correspondence with a Paula Billingsley at Playmates Toys. She would often answer emails concerning Playmates products. Sadly I think she is no longer at Playmates. Im hopeful they might have a virtual presence for SDCC and the Big Vegas Star Trek Conand again this fall at New York Comic Con. Until then I plan to keep my eyes on Varner Studios Social Media like Facebook and Instagram!

 

i know that the Defiant was based on the Ertl model dont know about anything else.



#26 bgiles73

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:24 PM

I cant wait to start speculating on what we will see as more is announced. Im sure I am not the only one with years of wishlists of unmade characters.

#27 MisterPL

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:09 PM

With so many different series and films from so many different eras (and some more stylized than others thanks to Lower Decks and Prodigy), I don't envy the product manager's job.

 

Maybe assortments based on specific episodes is the way to go? But the days of launching an action figure line with a dozen figures are long gone. Even Super7 is only debuting six figures from one show.



#28 bgiles73

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 08:05 PM

Im not really sure how many figures at a time Playmates releases for Ben 10 or TMNT but I am pretty sure its more than just six in a wave. Im also not really sure about how many waves they do of each annually. From just the pictures shown a couple weeks ago looks like they will have every other company that has attempted beat. Im not really minding the prospect of getting little bites
of one show and little bites from another show. That will offer up variety, but I do hope to get whole crews. As for stylized figures, I wont be troubled that Lower Decks characters resemble their animated counter parts. Prodigy has a realistic animation style that might just blend in enough to live action shows that it wont be too far of a departure in design. There is always that chance that Lower Decks characters could end up in live action shows. So maybe we might get some of those characters as realistic figures too.

#29 Razorgeist

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 12:11 PM

Are they gonna have anything out for Christmas?



#30 MisterPL

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 05:30 PM

Maybe Early Bird Certificates? Hey, it worked for that other franchise.



#31 Razorgeist

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 10:22 PM

Im not really sure how many figures at a time Playmates releases for Ben 10 or TMNT but I am pretty sure its more than just six in a wave. Im also not really sure about how many waves they do of each annually. From just the pictures shown a couple weeks ago looks like they will have every other company that has attempted beat. Im not really minding the prospect of getting little bites
of one show and little bites from another show. That will offer up variety, but I do hope to get whole crews. As for stylized figures, I wont be troubled that Lower Decks characters resemble their animated counter parts. Prodigy has a realistic animation style that might just blend in enough to live action shows that it wont be too far of a departure in design. There is always that chance that Lower Decks characters could end up in live action shows. So maybe we might get some of those characters as realistic figures too.

 

Produgy;s ship the Protostar is pretty cool looking and toyetic so i look forward to that.  https://trekmovie.co...veals-the-ship/

 

 

Maybe Early Bird Certificates? Hey, it worked for that other franchise.

 

 

Sigh



#32 VulcanFanatic

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Posted 25 August 2021 - 11:04 PM

I hope Playmates will put out TOS figures as well as whatever new Star Trek shows they produce figures from.

#33 new2custom

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 07:16 PM

I would of course love to have the same style as the original 4.5" but I don't really care if they did the new series. The only reason that I would want figures from discovery are for customs. I can't stand any of the new series. I would like for them to make all of the characters that they didn't make. There are so many more figures that they could make from past series that people would like more then any of the characters from the new series. 



#34 new2custom

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 09:44 PM

It is Spock for sure



#35 Alex

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Posted 27 December 2021 - 05:56 AM

Well, I'm slightly more optimistic about this line knowing that Varner is involved seeing as they handled the original sculpts for Playmates the first time around, but I need to see electronic ships (and to a lesser extent, phasers and communicators) before I think about committing cash to this line. If they go with the old 4.5" scale I'll be reasonably pleased; just crank out some ENT figures at some point so I can have everything in a consistent scale and you might get me interested in figures again. Yes, I realize they won't fit in perfectly with the old Playmates line, but they'll be close enough that I can reasonably display them together without them looking wildly out of place, which is something that can't be said for mixing DST and Playmates figures. Speaking of which, if they decide to lose their marbles again and not run with the 4.5" size, the only other option they should even consider is DST's 7" size; again, they might not look perfect next to each other, but they'd be better than the alternative.

 

MisterPL, you and bgiles73 kind of hit the nail on the head; switching scales inevitably means losing buyers/collectors more than it means gaining them. Art Asylum got away with it because back before DST was even involved, Digger (the head of Play Along's Art Asylum) openly explained to concerned fans that there was detail they could do at 7" that they just couldn't squeeze into the 4.5" size, or even the 6" size. They then proceeded to deliver detail in spades and blow previous designs out of the water. Playmates isn't going to do that; there's no new technology akin to moving from making fire by rubbing two sticks together to getting a blowtorch like there was with Art Asylum. Playmates tried to push 6" and 3.75" figures and it backfired horrendously because nobody was interested in switching scales. For better or worse, over the past 30 years Trek fans have either committed to 4.5" or 7" or both, and those are the sizes they'll accept. If Playmates wants to mess with two scales again, those are the two they should run with, not 6", not 3.5", not 8", not 5", and not another weird variant nobody asked for. Stick with 4.5" and/or 7" and don't pass statues off as figures and they'll sell; dabble in inconsistent scales, ignore articulation, and we'll be right back to where we were in 2010 the last time Playmates lost the line.

 

As far as the ships go, the smartest thing Playmates could do is what they did right before they lost the license for a couple of their collector's oriented lines when they contracted sculpts out to Art Asylum when it was still in Play Along's control. Granted, those were figures they used them for and not ships, but after the last debacle they had with a ship, it would be smart to use DST's Art Asylum for the sculpt and then handle the actual logistics of manufacturing. (You know, the part DST gets raked over the coals for regularly.) I don't know if they'd do this, but if they do it could be a massive improvement over 2009, and would allow for ships consistent with what we've come to expect.

 

 

I heard at one point old Ertl Model molds were used, but I think that may have been in the Diamond Select Years.

So as crazy as this will sound, both Playmates and DST used AMT/Ertl models, but in entirely different ways. DST occasionally used them as a visual aid when they announced they were sculpting a new ship, and may have used them as a reference point in conjunction with other materials, but to my knowledge they never used an AMT/Ertl mold. For example, when they announced the Enterprise–D they painted up an AMT/Ertl Model and made some early tweaks to it, but DST and AMT/Ertl's Enterprise–D are entirely different from one another; it the AMT/Ertl model was just there to show they had a new ship in the works. The NX–01 and Enterprise–E came directly from ENT and NEM's digital files; the TOS Enterprise, Refit/A, and Excelsior class ships, were all original sculpts, as were the alien ships.

 

In contrast, Playmates used actual AMT/Ertl Molds a couple of times. AS Razorgeist points out, the Defiant was one such instance. I'm pretty sure the TOS Enterprise was also an AMT/Ertl mold in that having built that kit as a kid, It seems nearly identical to what Playmates put out, not just in terms of scale, but in terms of where things connect too, although the nacelle pylons may have been modified slightly so they could detach the nacelles on the toy to package it. I have no clue about the other ships, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Romulan BoP was an AMT/Ertl mold too. Some of the AMT/Ertl sculpts aren't bad, others like the Enterprise–E are wildly off though.

 

For something like Discovery, they should be able to use the digital files; for the Enterprise–E and possibly a handful of other ships, they might be better off going to DST and just working with their sculpts. For something like the Enterprise–D, I don't envy the person in charge in the slightest who has to choose between trying to recreate the "swan," the "bulldog," or throwing their hands up and going with the TNG–R digital files of the "Swulldog," which attempted to combine the two. As much as I love what DST did with that ship, I would probably go with the digital files just to have something that's as accurate as can be, and even then I know people would complain that it's not the "swan" and not the "bulldog."



#36 Destructor!!!

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 12:06 PM

I think the DST BOP might be at least partially based on AMT molds - the torpedo launcher is missing the little greebly pod thing (which in TSFS I think actually *was* the torpedo) and there's a mounting hole for it. I suspect if I were to source that pod part from an AMT model it would fit.

 

I have practically no source for this theory aside from a size comparison I remember seeing where the scale and detailing matched up well. Even if it is so, obviously the wings and guns are very different.



#37 RizzoPSU

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 08:59 PM

Check their Instagram, they are gonna make an announcement in 6 days. As usual, my hopes are high......le sigh

#38 Razorgeist

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:17 PM

6 days but I want it now!!!  Here's hoping the announce an electronic La Sirena.



#39 djc242

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 02:38 PM

I want the line to be awesome but at the same time not, so I wont have to spend a bunch of money haha.

#40 RizzoPSU

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 06:16 PM

I know, right?!




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