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.
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.
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.
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)