So far I really like what I'm seeing in the way of action figures. It looks like Playmates FINALLY learned their lesson about sticking to the 4.5" scale instead of once again having to be told "or we can do this the hard way" while they try to ram a new scale down our throats. I just wish this would wake DST up to the fact that the only two scales that matter to trek are 4.5" and 7", and 4.5" matters for the "retro" 90s style stuff, while 7" matters for the hyperrealistic stuff. Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely love for DST to revive their 7" line so that I could finally have a Janeway in that scale, but if they won't do that, (and they regrettably seem hell bent on not doing that,) I'll gladly take Captain's Burnham and Saru in the 4.5" scale. Sure, having a mix of PM figures Displayed next to DST ships is a little weird, but at least I'm not missing entire captains if I do that. Definitely like the prices for the figures, as that's clearly Playmates' strong suit.
I'm not going to lie, I'm not exactly thrilled with the ships and accessories, which isn't a good thing as I tend to prefer those to figures, especially if the figures aren't getting playsets. (Now show me an Enterprise–E Bridge Playset and I'll go full Fry/Futurama "shut up and take my money" meme faster than you can say Ferengi!) I fully expect Playmates' ships to be more in line with their previous offerings, which honestly isn't inherently bad, but starting with Kirk's 1701, as opposed to literally any other ship including Pike's (SNW) 1701, Discovery(-A,) La Sirena, or the glaringly obvious choice of the Protostar that seems to have a full crew pretty much ready no less is a fairly odd choice to say the least. Don't get me wrong, it shouldn't be one of the last ships released like it was in the 90s, and it's not that I don't want it at all, but this is both an odd choice for collectors and children alike. If you're a collector, you probably have at least one of DST's infinitely better renditions of this ship, whether it's the original 40th Anniversary release, or one of the numerous "HD" reissues, all of which make the Playmates ships look like a joke. If you're a kid, I'd be a bit surprised if TOS was among the Trek you'd been exposed to thus far. Right now I'm seeing preorders for this ship going for $59.99, which is basically in line with a DST offering, and admittedly has me asking "who is this for" for the reasons that I've just mentioned. People don't seem to remember this, but the Playmates 1701 was one of the most easily damaged ships available even if you let it sit on a shelf. DST's 1701 was more durable (at least if you didn't get a dud that slipped through quality control, and DST was good about replacing those,) and that doesn't exactly bode well for playability if this is basically using a tweaked version of the 90s mold. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and the changes they've made will prevent this thing from falling apart again, but I'm not exactly holding my breath just yet. I want this to be awesome, but I'm going to need one in my hands to know whether or not it actually will be. Also, if the images we're seeing are correct, why only three buttons on the ship, and why make them so much more overt than the ones on the 90s version that at least attempted to try and blend in with the design as much as possible? (The 90s ship had the bridge noise, warp drive, phaser, and photon torpedo; which sound did we lose?) I mean, Playmates has literally had two decades to look at what DST did, look at what they themselves did, and find a way to do it better. Why not discreetly place buttons in the "saucer grid" so that a handful of sections could be just slightly depressed without big "LOOK AT ME, HERE I AM" buttons that are calling unnecessary attention to themselves, or the single bridge dome button that DST used that looks great, but hinders playability. I mean, we literally have laptops that basically have keys that are so thin that they prove the technology to do this exists, and exists even on dirt cheap laptops; it's an easy aesthetic and playability improvement and Playmates just ignored it. Sure, it's not the Art Asylum/DST concept of "what if we jam a cheap touch screen into the ship" that always was cost prohibitive, but it's a much less expensive compromise, and one that wouldn't make this ship run into the same $500 price bracket as the Playmobil 1701 playset that I want but definitely can't afford.
As for the Phaser, I'm really not impressed, and I don't say that lightly. I'm still hoping DST puts out their cobrahead at some point, and after seeing this, I'm kind of hoping that some point is sooner than later, because it doesn't look like Playmates has learned anything about how to build a Phaser in the past two decades. I mean, they used to partner with Art Asylum for sculpts, and the AA/DST Phaser is laughably more durable than the Playmates one was, at least from a sculpt standpoint. Why didn't they literally just call up DST, back up a truckload of money to use their sculpt, (or cut a deal for DST to do some more collectors quality ships in exchange for said sculpt; there are several ways to make an agreement work for both parties,) and then just stick new Playmates electronics in DST's infinitely superior and more durable Phaser sculpt? Not only would this have made everyone happy, it would have given us the best Phaser option to date, and I'd be the sucker who buys yet another TOS Type I and II phaser instead of the guy looking at the new offering and going "why did they do that?"
I really think DST should be doing ships and accessories at the collectors level, Playmates should be doing figures and playsets, possibly "retro" versions of ships, and Paramount should go back to the way they did things in the early 2000s where the concept of a traditional master toy licensee didn't exist for Trek because they realized no one company could handle the license correctly. This would really result in the best line available for all toys that we'd want to see.
For those who've mentioned video games and Micro Machines, and that we need more things like them, first let me say that I agree with you, and second, let me go into a little bit of detail on each.
Video Games: So the good news on this front is that we're getting at least two new ones that aren't ST: Online, and that aren't low end mobile games that cheapen the whole experience. Prodigy is getting a console game on all three major systems, and I'll be preordering my physical copy for the Nintendo Switch shortly. I have no doubt that it'll likely be an awful game even by the standards of licensed games aimed at kids, but it's the first Trek console game in the adventure style since the 90s, so I'll gladly give it a shot and hope I'm pleasantly surprised. It's also the first Trek game on a Nintendo system since that awful DS9 game on the SNES, and that alone is reason enough for me to purchase it. It's the first Prime Universe Trek game on a console that isn't an MMO since the aforementioned DS9 game if memory serves me correctly as well, so that alone warrants a purchase in my book. I'm not expecting Bridge Crew, (granted I would love a Bridge Simulator for the Nintendo Switch, and would happily pay for the absurdly priced collectors edition physical copy that doesn't fit on a shelf correctly if one were to be developed,) or even something like the old PC adventure games like A Final Unity or 25th Anniversary, but this is long overdue in my book. (And given that I just sunk well over $100 on classic Ninja Turtles games and will splurge even more when a new retro style TMNT game comes out later this year, I can safely say that I will gladly plunk more money into Trek games too, especially when they make my Nintendo Switch feel like an SNES nostalgia trip.) On top of that, it looks like we're getting a classic style Trek game too, Star Trek: Resurrection, which is supposedly going to be a PC release. I won't lie, I'm a little irritated that as usual, Mac gamers are getting overlooked here, (which would be fine if Trek wasn't the kind of franchise where over half of the audience tends to be the supposedly mythical creature known as the "Mac gamer,") as are Nintendo gamers, which seems to be par for the course with Trek games outside of the upcoming Prodigy game, but at least someone is attempting something new for the first time in years. I hate that my options are either not playing it or buying a cheap PC because nobody thought that a port would be smart idea, but I love that Trek is getting some love in the video game department.
Micro Machines: So these would unfortunately require Playmates to basically convince Hasbro to play nice with them, and I would admittedly gobble these up like a Ferengi to latinum, but I need more people who are with me on this if any of us have any hope of considering Playmates and Hasbro to make these a thing again. I admittedly splurged on the Star Wars ones for TFA/RO back in the day and would do so twice as much for Trek Micro Machines if given the chance, but the fact that Hasbro didn't even think to pump these out when they had the license in 2012 when Into Darkness came out should tell you how disconnected they are from the fanbase of toy collectors on these. (Granted, Hasbro also is the only licensee to grossly mismanage the Trek license worse than Playmates did with the Trek XI line; at least Playmates made an effort there, Hasbro focused solely on Kre–O that nobody wanted and was baffled when the line tanked.) Heck, Hasbro owns Power Rangers, and that franchise had some cool Micro Machines back in the 90s too; I would pay stupid money for a giant box of Megazord Micro Machines, but Hasbro hasn't even hinted on exploring that idea, and that's for a property that they own lock, stock, and barrel! It honestly baffles me sometimes how they handled that line. On one hand I'm glad that they did the Star Wars ones again, but on the other, there are at least two more franchises that would benefit from them for similar reasons. (Trek Micro Machines are great for fleet building, a line of Megazords would be great for the exact same reason; collecting them in a Micro scale works really, really well for the sheer quantity of them.) Again, you don't have to sell me on these though, my wallet is open, but the Hasborg Cube doesn't want to assimilate my money.