Retro Toy Review: Season 1 Lieutenant JG Worf (Playmates Star Trek)

In my TMNT-induced euphoria, I've been neglecting other great toylines. I've done so many Turtles reviews (and more to come, I assure you) that if I'm not careful, I'll have to rename this site "Dimension X". But I'm just as passionate about other toylines, especially the 90's Playmates Star Trek line. So let's jump-start the Trek reviews with Lieutenant Junior Grade Worf, straight from Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation!

Year Stamped: 1992
Company: Playmates
Size: 5"
Price: I don't remember, but you shouldn't have much problem getting one carded for less than $5 on eBay.
Packaging: Carded

As you might expect, most of the sculpt for Season 1 Worf was reused from the first Playmates Worf figure. Tragically, Playmates didn't have the opportunity to read my Ray Stantz review that lambasted the practice of reusing parts. In Worf's case, the cost savings involved with reusing parts came at the price of accuracy. The Season 1 Starfleet uniforms were one-piece jumpsuits, whereas this figure still has an evident shirt line at the waist. Also, the Season 1 sash is not just a gold version of the silver sash, as it had finer chain mail, decorative tassels, and a distinctly different "badge" (compare: Season 1 vs. Season 7). And of course, Worf's hair was way shorter in the first season, while the figure still has the shoulder-length hair of later seasons.

Still, this Worf gets some props for being visually distinct from his predecessor with a different color scheme (red shirt and gold sash vs. gold shirt and silver sash) and a slightly resculpted collar and shoulder to reflect the neckline of the first season's jumpsuits. Besides, I'm a sucker for this sculpt, regardless of reuse. The sculpt is a bit of a caricature but the likeness is solid and the posture is dynamic, perfectly representing Worf's personality. The closed-fist hand is bothersome, though, as it can't hold any accessories. But it can be raised in Klingon fury!

Worf has the standard Playmates Star Trek articulation: swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel waist, swivel hips, and hinge knees. As with other Trek figs, the only problem is that the cut of the hips means that when Worf sits, he's doing the splits. But considering this was a time when Kenner was cranking out Batman figures with only 5 points of articulation, Worf's 12 POA is pretty impressive.

Worf comes with everything a Starfleet Klingon needs for duty: a bat'leth, display stand, d'k tahg (Klingon knife used in many episodes), tricorder, yan (Klingon sword that Worf kept hanging in his quarters), and phaser. The coolest thing about the weapons is that they're gray! For some reason, Playmates had the annoying tendency to cast weapons in weird colors, so gray accessories are a real treat. I also dig the variety of weapons, as well as the fact that they were all used in the show.

Unfortunately, the phaser is relatively worthless. Worf's hand is sculpted in such a way that he can't really aim it. He actually holds it more like a lightsaber, so at least Worf can unleash some pwnage onto a Sith Lord or two. The tricorder can be placed in a holster on Worf's right thigh, but since the tricorder can't close, it looks kind of awkward.

This Worf isn't in much demand so you can easily get him for next to nothing. However, if you already have the gold-costumed Worf, you're not getting very much that's unique for your money.

"Definitely feeling aggressive tendencies, sir!"

There's a lot of reuse here, but with a drastically different color scheme, it's not as egregious a problem as it is with Ray. Worf's sculpt is a bit on the cartoony side, but that's okay. His caricature is fun, reflecting a time when action figures weren't just perfectly-proportioned articulated statues, but toys.

As fun as this Worf figure is, I just can't excuse the reuse of parts. This time, the problem lies less with the figure not looking distinct on the shelf, since Worf sports a drastically different color scheme than the previous version, and more with the fact that the reuse created numerous problems with character accuracy. Still, with a toy-like caricaturized sculpt that lends itself to loads of dynamic poses, the figure is a whole lot of fun.

DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.