Mego Arcturian (3 3/4″)

September 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Film, Toy Reviews



I remember watching Star Trek (TOS) series in reruns a lot when I was younger. It was on on the weekends and I tried to never miss an episode. While Star Wars was a grand adventure, I remember I had a different view of the Star Trek universe back then. Even then, I related Star Trek more to the exploration of space and new worlds. It was like a fictional extension of NASA.

I’ve always been a bit of NASA aficionado. I still am, for that matter. I know there are a number of people out there that look at the whole NASA thing in a dollars and cents political light, but I’m not one of them. Much like Spock would, I appreciate the science and technology value of the endeavor. But that is a discussion for a different place.

When Star Trek The Motion Picture was released to theaters, it restarted the adventure over. Kids of my generation finally got a Trek story that was on par visually with Star Wars. And like Star Wars, 3 3/4″ action figures came along for the journey. Mego had produced clothed doll figures for the regular series. For ST:TMP, they produced large dolls and small figures, very similar to idea behind Playmates recent reboot line.

Mego had produced a number of aliens for their original line. They knew that kids always like goofy aliens and monsters. Even the film producers knew this, as they had included a number of different races in the scene where Kirk addresses the crew. Ironically, except for Ilia, we really don’t see any of these races the rest of the film.

Mego produced a small number of aliens for the movie small figure line to capitalize on this. I’m assuming these aliens are meant to be used as crew members or bad guys. The Arcturian falls into the crew member classifcation.

Appearance:

The aliens in ST:TMP mostly fall into the typical jumpsuit and rubber mask variety. The head of the Arcturian basically looks like a wax head that is melting. The reference photos I was able to find online of the movie version show mainly the head. The film version shows airbrushing under the folds of face.

This actually leads into one of the main let downs of the small Mego line. The were very sparse on head paint aps. The biggest difference between the Star Trek line and it’s Star Wars contemporaries, was the eyes weren’t painted. I remember, even as a kid, I found it as odd.

Overall, the head sculpt itself is pretty good. The folds look good and there is quite a bit of detail for a figure of that era. The under the throat area looks a bit off, but not enough to be noticeable. Even though they’re not painted the eyes have some good detail.

The body looks a bit generic. It’s molded in a single bright yellow color with some painted details. The color and style remind me of a Fisher Price helicopter pilot from when I was a wee lad.

The one odd part of the sculpt is the bottom of shirt. While it’s suppose to look like a couple of long tails coming down it, it didn’t turn out that way. It looks like some sort of opening through the crotch of a jumpsuit.

Most of the detailing has held up. The silver is still there in places, but shows the most wear, as metallic paints tend to do.

arcturian_bottom

Fun:

The upside of the Mego Star Trek figures was there were Star Wars scale figures for Star Trek. The Enterprise could face off against the Death Star. Nifty. This guy, however, wasn’t part of the bridge crew. This meant most play scenarios had him hanging out in the Cantina with Walrus Man.

Following the Kenner idea, these figures had the big five for articulation. Not real action like, but enough.

The downside of this line? No accessories. While there was a bridge playset, there wasn’t anything to put in there hands or have them interact with on a small scale.

Overall:

While one of the more unique and rare figures in my vintage collection, I don’t really have a good way to display this guy. Most people will recognize the Enterprise bridge crew, an alien briefly glimpsed in a passing scene from one of the less popular films doesn’t garner much excitement.

While a great figure of a strange looking alien, you have to ask did we really need this buy before Checkov or Uhura?

(For pictures of the entire Mego Trek line visit The Mego Museum)

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Comments

7 Comments on "Mego Arcturian (3 3/4″)"

  1. Midwest Multiproducts » Blog Archive » Mego 3 3/4" Arcturian Star Trek The Motion Picture Action Figure … on Sun, 27th Sep 2009 9:52 am 

    […] the Enterprise bridge crew, an alien briefly glimpsed in a passing scene from one of … Go to Source Date September 26th, 2009 Filed in Uncategorized No Comments […]

  2. Errex on Mon, 28th Sep 2009 12:16 pm 

    Now, that’s an interesting figure. I only had both Kirk and Spock, but I would have loved to have any other alien to go with them. The design is pretty much on par with the 1:18 figures from the 70’s, and from your pics, I must say it holds up pretty well today.

  3. Engineernerd on Mon, 28th Sep 2009 12:22 pm 

    I’m planning on reviewing Kirk and the rest I have at some point. They didn’t hold up nearly as well. I fair amount of hair is missing from Kirk and Spock. There’s also significant wear to the large painted areas on their tunics. The Klingon would be the alien I would want if I’d had much choice.

  4. David A. Pack on Tue, 8th Nov 2011 10:17 am 

    I was in ST:TMP and played one of two Arcturians stepping off the shuttle behind Kirk as he landed at Star Fleet. I was the one carrying the flask and was later asked to stand for still shots for publicity. So I have no idea if I was the model or not for the action figure. I’m 6’4″ tall. The rubber heads we wore at the time did not have nose, mouth, or ear openings and they were extremely HOT! When we would breathe in the air would come in around our eyes and cause them to burn and itch and water. There were several of us and all with the same problem. We asked for the Prop Dept. to help and they kept putting us off. We threatened to take a pocket knife and cut our own holes and they came through after several panicked warnings! Those heads are worth over $1,000 each..don’t you DARE touch them! FYI Shatner screwed that scene up 22 times in a row. In the next take as we stepped off the shuttle behind Kirk, we put on a drunk act and the crew howled and the Vulcan lost it. Shatner spun around and was enraged at first, then laughed! We all had a good stress-relieving laugh as one of the film crew yelled “Get those drunk aliens off the planet!!” We put the shot in the can as they say on the 23rd take! True story.

  5. David A. Pack on Tue, 8th Nov 2011 10:21 am 

    Sorry..that would be the 24th take since we drunk Arcturians messed up Shatner’s 23rd. We knew he would mess it up too, so we figured they couldn’t replace us at such a late hour and went for the drunk act. lol You should’ve been there!

  6. Engineernerd on Tue, 8th Nov 2011 10:43 am 

    David, thanks for the wonderful insight into this character and your behind the scenes peek!

  7. David A. Pack on Tue, 22nd Jan 2013 7:26 pm 

    As I recall those rubber alien heads for the Arcturian I played were purple,and maroon color as I recall. If you are
    curious as to what I looked like in real life, go to STTMP and watch the “crew scene” where they gather to see V-Ger destroy a Space Station. I am the tall blond front center with the space suit on that looks similar to the Michelin Man that looks down towards the floor after seeing the station explode. We were in reality looking at a blue screen! That was later on when I played the Artcturian in the rubber head that looked like someone poured melted wax all over my head. We had purple, black eye color on our eyelids and around the eyes to cover up the human skin and give us an alien look. Very long day on the set as I recall and didn’t get out till midnight. I forgot to wash the black, purple, and red rings off my eyes and went into a grocery store on the way home. Hair plastered down to my head with perspiration from having that hot rubber head on all day and half the night. No wonder people looked at me like I had been on a drug trip and just crawled out from under a bridge! My room mate pointed out the makeup when I walked in my apt. I wonder what the people in the store thought? Well…after all it was in HOLLYWOOD!

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