Star Trek The Original Show Wave 3
Gorn, Kor, and Battle Ravaged Kirk

I've been a Star Trek fan since early childhood. Not when they were first aired - I was but 5 at the time of the premiere episode - but during their early syndication runs, I found myself engrossed. Hey, it was that or Gilligan's Island.

Since my initial exposure was through the original series, it should be no surprise that while I can appreciate the shows and films that came after, none have ever quite matched the simple charm and classic writing of the original for me.

When Playmates did their action figure line, I bought all the figures based on TOS. And now that Art Asylum has picked up the mantle, I'm once again buying everything based on TOS. It's been a rough road for them though, with the Trek license at an all time low in popularity. Still, they managed to get a third series of action figures on the pegs for us, and it contains some classic characters.

There are four figures in the set - the Klingon Commander Kor (from "Errand of Mercy"), the Gorn (from the classic "Arena"), and the Orion Slave Girl (from "The Menagerie"), and a 'battle ravaged' version of Kirk. They are just hitting Meijers stores in our area, and retail for $10 each. I haven't managed to find the Slave Girl yet, so tonight's review will cover the other three.

Packaging - ***
I'm no longer a huge fan of the cardback/bubble packaging, but the graphics and design on these is very attractive. The odd shape of the cardback (you'll recognize the classic shape) does make them prone to shelf damage though, and they'll be a little tough to store for the MOCers.

Sculpting - Kor ****; Gorn, Kirk ***1/2
With the announcement of this wave, I thought "YEA BABY - a Gorn!". I assumed he'd be my favorite without a doubt, since he's one of my favorite Star Trek aliens of any season and any show. I figured the Slave Girl would be alright, and I'd be indifferent about Kor and Kirk.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Kor on the shelf and realized what an amazing job they did on his head sculpt. It's a dead on likeness for the crochety Klingon, and the body sculpt work is almost as good. The soft rubber material works well for the shash, and the hand sculpts work perfectly with the accessories.

The Gorn sculpt is almost as good, but because he's such a favorite of mine, I might be a tad more picky. He's got some serious birthing hips, visibly wider than his shoulders, and I don't seem to recall that on the show. That issue aside, the sculpt (especially the head) is extremelly well done. I love the textured appearance of the rough skin, and again they used the soft rubber for the lower half of his outfit. And if you're wondering, he's going commando. Aaaggghhh! The humanity!

Finally, there's Kirk. It really is a terrific sculpt, perhaps the best Shatner sculpt we've ever gotten, and that's saying a lot. The Playmates work was very good, especially for the time, but this one seems to capture his youthful look just right. However, this is a figure we've gotten before, so he gets hit a bit for being the identical sculpt. He is the same as the yellow shirt exclusive from a couple years ago, with some additional paint ops to make him 'battle ravaged'.

Paint - Kor, Gorn ****; Kirk ***1/2
All three figures sport nice paint applications, but Kor and Gorn are a step above Kirk.

THat's because of the slightly silly nature of the battle ravaged look.  He has some blood on his shirt as well, although it ends up looking more like dirty smudges.  The blood on his face is actually well done, but still a tad silly.

The small detail work on Kor is very impressive.  There are a couple other small details on the sash that could have been added, but for the most part, he looks great on the shelf.  I particularly like the high gloss appearance of the leather boots, matching his film version perfectly.

The Gorn is predominately green of course, but the paint ops are used to give his skin further texture and depth.  His Tarzan tunic is also very bright and clean, giving him a nice contrasting appearance that jumps out at you.

Articulation - Gorn ***1/2; Kor, Kirk ***
All three of these figures have the most important joint - the ball jointed neck.  The range of movement is good, and gives them a ton of personality.

The rest of the articulation varies by the figure.  Kirk has ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, cut wrists and waist, hips, cut thighs, pin knees and pin ankles.  The articulation is good, but I have to admit that the hips on Kirk drove me nuts.  There was no fighting position I could get him into with the lack of outward movement in his hips.

Kor has the same hip problem, but I wasn't as bothered by it since I wasn't trying to get him into any kicks or fighting stances.  He also has ball jointed shoulders, pin elbows, cut wrists and waist, and pin knees and ankles.  He lacks the cut biceps and cut thighs that Kirk has.

The Gorn lacks those joints as well, but does have ball jointed shoulders AND hips, pin elbows and knees, cut wrists and waist, and pin ankles.  The ankles have a better range of movement than I expected, and allowed for some creative leg poses.  The ball jointed hips also helped a lot, and really made me miss them even more on Kirk and Kor.

Accessories - Gorn, Kor ***1/2; Kirk ***
The Gorn and core only have two accessories each, along with the usual Art Asylum 'coin'. That's not a lot, but they are very specific to the characters and the episodes.

The Gorn has his pointy rock, or 'spike', that he planned on using to skewer the good captain. The spike fits in his right hand well, and even seems sculpted to fit his fingers. He also has his language translater, which both he and Kirk were given to allow them to communicate.

Kor comes with his nifty Klingon knife, plus his distruptor that fits in the holster on his belt. The sculpting on both of these is pretty impressive, they fit in his hands well, and they are scaled nicely.

Kirk blows the other two away in terms of numbers, but his accessories are all re-used from previous figures. Still, by including 5 accessories, they help offset the re-use factor.

He has his phaser, tricorder, communicator, phaser rifle, and extra right hand. The hands pop on fairly well, although companies like NECA and SOTA seem to have perfected this now, with less chance of damaging the hands or pegs.

He can hold the accessories easily, and the sculpt, paint and scale are great. I particularly like the soft rubber material that they use for the tricorder straps, which is less like to break than a hard plastic.

All three do come with the Art Asylum coins, though I don't know what you'll end up doing with them.

Fun Factor - Gorn ***1/2, Kor, Kirk ***
If your kids are into TOS, they'll love these. They have solid articulation, especially the Gorn, who could actually work for kids that don't care about TOS but are looking for nifty monsters to battle. Can Spider-man duke it out with the Gorn? Why not?

The human/Klingon don't offer quite as much interest though, and the annoying hip articulation limits their possibilities for kids.

Value - ***1/2
While most low run, specialty market figures are $12 - $15 right now, these are coming in at around ten bucks. That's an excellent price, considering how articulated they are, and the level of sculpting, paint ops and accessories. Nice work on Art Asylum's part, and this is the first time in quite awhile that I felt like I was getting a great deal on any line.

Overall - Kor ****; Gorn ***1/2; Kirk ***
Kor's sculpt, especially his head sculpt, along with excellent paint ops, all at a below average cost, put him in the top bracket. I'm surprised I like him as much as I do, since I'm not a huge fan of the character. Still, Art Asylum did him proud.

The Gorn's hippy appearance was a slight disappointment, but other than that, he really is an excellent figure. Great articulation for the style, appropriate accessories, and an overall great sculpt, he's going to be on my shelf for a very long time.

While Kirk's sculpt is excellent, he is a re-use of a figure that is almost identical. This is a nice addition if you didn't pick up the earlier yellow shirt exclusive, but for those that did, he doesn't add much to the collection.

Things to watch out for - 
Be mindful of the wrist joints, as I managed to break the Gorn's right hand with barely a twist. They tend to be painted tight, and the softer rubber pegs can be very easy to twist and break without realizing they aren't actually turning normally.

Packaging - *** 
Sculpt - Kor ****; Gorn, Kirk ***1/2
Paint - Kor, Gorn ****; Kirk ***1/2
Articulation - Gorn ***1/2; Kor, Kirk ***
Accessories - Gorn, Kor ***1/2; Kirk ***
Fun Factor - Gorn ***1/2, Kor, Kirk ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - Kor ****; Gorn ***1/2; Kirk ***

Where to Buy - 
I picked my set up at Meijers for ten bucks each, but I don't know what other retailers might end up carrying these in stores. Perhaps we'll see them at the specialty stores like Media Play or Sam Goody. Online options include:

- Krypton Collectibles is currently sold out for pre-orders, but should have them in soon, and you never know...they might end up with extras. They had the set for just $48!

- has them listed as 'coming soon', so you might want to keep an eye on their site for the next few days. Their prices are always excellent.

Also, if you're interested in saving Enterprise, there's a movement underway to give it a shot.  You can check out Trek United, and see how you can help.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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