Captain Kirk and Command Chair

This isn't the first time I've mentioned this, or even the fifth, and it's not going to be the last, but I'm a TOS guy. Oh, TNG was good, and even Enterprise and DSN were fun to watch, but I'll always be a TOS man first. And yes, Kirk could kick Picard's ass.

DST has just released the latest in their on going Star Trek series - Kirk in his Command Chair. There are actually three versions of Kirk in his chair. The first was the 2006 SDCC exclusive, from the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before. The second is the subject of tonight's review, with Kirk in more standard apparel, and the chair lacking the funky communicator attachment from the early episode. The third version reverts back to the chair with the 'eyeball' (the weird communicator on a bendable arm) with Captain Pike from "The Cage".

Expect to pay around $25 for each of these sets, and can be had at Diamond Select's website. I have several other Sponsors listed at the end of the review where you can find the sets a bit cheaper as well.

Packaging - ***
The packaging has a nice set of screenshots from the show, each showing the character in the different episodes, rather than just shots of the toy. I always appreciate that, since it allows you to compare the sculpt right on the peg.

The box itself also shows off the figure and chair nicely, while taking up as little space as possible. There's a minimum of twisties, but the package isn't designed to be particularly collector friendly.

Sculpting - **1/2
You've seen this head sculpt before - it's the same one DST (and actually, Art Asylum) has given us before of a young Kirk. And while it's not perfect, it's certainly a serviceable version Shatner wishes he still looked this good.

Likewise, there's nothing new or exciting about the body. It's the same one we've seen for some time now in this line, with the same hand sculpts. The shirt is a rubber version over the hard plastic torso, but the shirt doesn't extend over the shoulders. The sculpt and articulation work well together, and if there were accessories (other than the chair), Kirk could hold them in either hand.

If this figure had no specific issues other than what I've mentioned, I'd give him three stars. In fact, the battle damaged version that came in the same wave as the Gorn a couple years ago got ***1/2 stars in this category. But two things alter this score today.

The first is simply time. What looked good two or three years ago isn't quite as outstanding now, because other companies are stepping up their game. This is a decent Kirk, but could use a little modern work to tweak it up. This is the more minor issue though of the two.

The bigger issue this time around is one of individual manufacturer quality. My biggest issue here is that he has two left feet. No, I don't mean that he can't dance (although I suspect it's not his strong suit), but he actually has two left fit rather than one left and one right. Not only is this pretty obvious on inspection (and makes him look a tad goofy), it makes his stance a bit more awkward as well.

Odds are good you won't have that problem. If I didn't, this score would have been another half star higher, but I can't ignore obvious quality issues when I end up with them.

Paint - ***
Most of the paint ops are good, if not quite as good as some of the more recent DST work.

The face paint looks good, and is relatively clean, but there are a few stray marks. This is true of the body as well. The rubber shirt color matches up with the arms pretty well although the two materials are very different in density. There's a little glop on the hands, where the paint was applied too thickly, but in general the quality is solid B work.

My biggest issue in this category is the trademark emblem on the chest. On all past figures, this has been well placed on his left breast. Unfortunately, someone at the plant that day was starting happy hour a little early, because the emblem is applied way up by the collar. I don't know if this is a consistent issue, but it's certainly something to watch out for.

Articulation - ***
Kirk has identical articulation to past versions. He has a neck joint that turns, and can also manage a slight tilt. Unfortunately, getting back to the quality issue, I couldn't turn his head at all. Eventually, the peg broke before the stuck joint freed up, leaving me with no choice but to glue it in place.

The ball jointed shoulders work well, and the cut biceps and cut thighs allow for a decent range of movement. The elbows and knees are single pin joints, and there's a cut waist, cut wrists and pin ankles to round him out.

The articulation works fine, although some of the joints are a tad unattractive. The quality issue with the neck was my biggest problem of course, and is another of those inconsistent issues that may or may not cause you a problem.

Accessories - ***
There's one accessory - the chair. This version has a series of sculpted and painted buttons on either side, and Kirk can sit in it quite well with hands properly posed at either side.

The chair looks good, but the paint work is a tad sloppy. There's some stray marks here and there, there's a bit of sloppy work around the buttons and panels, and the painted black is prone to scuff marks.

The chair itself does turn over the base, which is a nice addition to the posabilty of the overall set.  It might not seem like you can turn it, because it's a tight fit, but it does turn if you put some muscle into it.

Fun Factor - ***
Kids could really enjoy this guy, if they're into old school. The figure has good articulation, and Kirk was always a man of action. That's something your average kid can get behind, but unfortunately, your average kid is unlikely to have any idea who this is.

Value - **
At $25, this set is running a bit high. You're getting one figure that usually costs around $12, plus a chair accessory. Since that's the only accessory (no sign of a tricorder, phaser or anything else) and since this is a chair used for three different $25 figures, it's a tough pill to swallow at this price point.

Things to Watch Out For - 
When picking yours out, you'll want to be sure to get the best final paint job. It looks like there's some variance from figure and chair to figure and chair. Of course, it's a good idea to make sure your's has one left foot and one right foot as well.

Overall - **1/2
The set has a few issues, that's for sure, and I'm a little concerned about the manufacturing quality in particular. But I'm still a huge fan of what DST has done with the Trek franchise, and I'm very happy to have a command chair that's in a proper scale. Now just give us Uhura, Spock, Chekov, Sulu and Scotty with their associated hunks of the bridge to complete a diorama!

Unfortunately, I simply had too many quality control issues with this specific figure to give him a better score.  With a stuck neck joint, weirdly placed emblem, and two left feet, this guy had enough issues to hurt him in the overall analysis.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Value -  **
Fun Factor - ***
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
I already mentioned that they were at the DST website, but you can also find them at:

- Alter Ego has this set for $21.24.

- YouBuyNow doesn't have this version, but they do have the Captain Pike in the Command Chair for $29.50.

Related Links:
Other Star Trek products reviewed include:

- the recent TNG Worf and Riker figures

- the last wave released to general stores included the Gorn and Kor. I also reviewed Vina, but separately, since it took me awhile to find her.

- check out the second wave of TOS figures to see how things have continued to improve.

- there's a great guest review of the first wave, along with a guest review of some of the Trek mini-mates.

- Enterprise wasn't left out - they were actually some of the first figures done by Art Asylum. 

- Art Asylum did their first yellow shirt Kirk as a SDCC exclusive.

- and let's not forget that long ago (not that long ago), Playmates did their Trek line, including the 9" figures like Amok Time Kirk and Spock.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour