Toy Tribute: Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation Starfleet Officers

When I think of Galoob, I think of Micro Machines, not action figures. It turns out that Galoob did produce a few action figure lines, but none were particularly memorable (at least, to me). Case in point: a few years before Playmates scored the Star Trek: The Next Generation license and began producing its now famous (and in some ways infamous) action figure line, Galoob held the license and produced a less commonly-known line of 3 3/4" scale figures from the first season of the show. In this Toy Tribute, let's take a look at Galoob's take on the crew of the Enterprise D.

A Star Trek Take on a Star Wars Scale

The first thing you'll notice is that these Galoob figures are in-scale with Star Wars figures, standing between 3.5" tall (Geordi, Yar) to 4" tall (Worf, Riker). The variety of sizes reflects the proportionately different heights of the actors, a concept that eluded the Star Wars line for decades.

The figures sport Season 1-style uniforms that look just as unreasonably tight as those in the show, with seams that I never noticed before on the "real" uniforms. Overall, the sculpts are more realistic than the caricatured Playmates figures, featuring accurately-scaled proportions, neutral stances, unique parts (no figures share arms or legs, for example), and surprisingly realistic face sculpts. Not to throw my precious Star Wars line under the bus again, but the realism of the Galoob Trek figures surpasses that of the vintage Star Wars Power of the Force figures from just a few years prior. Sure, the POTF85 line featured a few strong sculpts like Anakin Skywalker, but there were many others that were embarrassingly abysmal in terms of realism, like Han Carbonite and Luke Stormtrooper. Compared to those two contemporaries, the sculpts of the Galoob TNG figures are surprisingly awesome.

Strangely, each Galoob TNG figure has a Type II Phaser sculpted in one of his/her hands. The Phaser is definitely the doofy "Dustbuster" Phaser from Seasons 1 and 2. Also, each figure comes with a Tricorder with straps. I think the TNG Tricorders were always carried in pouches on the sides of the pants and had no straps at all. I suspect Galoob included the straps to add some size to the Tricorders so that they didn't scream "choking hazard". Unfortunately, the non-Phaser hands are tightly fisted, so they can't hold the Tricorders anyway.

Enough with the overview, let's check out the crew of the Enterprise!

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Picard is a great figure with a cool likeness, but I would have preferred him to have one hand in the "make it so" gesture.

Commander William Riker

I love the tall and commanding proportions of this Commander Riker figure compared with the rest of the crew.

Lieutenant Commander Data

Data is the strangest dude in this wave. Shown below are two variations: one with tan skin and green flecks, and one with cream skin and gray flecks. I'm not sure what the story was behind the tan-skinned Data. Maybe the coloration is based on concept art instead of production stills. I initially thought that the flecks were some sort of production error or degradation of the plastic, but nope... the pattern looks like it was intentional. Which means that somebody along the line thought that a flecked-face works well for Data. Weird. The cream-skinned figure looks okay even with the gray flecks, but I'm confused as to why the flecks are there in the first place. (It turns out there were two additional variations: flesh and blue colored faces.)

One other thing: check out Data's bio on the back of his card. "Origin: Android fabricated by unknown aliens." Maybe this bio was written before the episode "Datalore" in which we learn of Data's origin.

Interestingly enough, the figure holds his Phaser in his left hand, which seems to be the hand that Data favored in the TV series. Score one for screen-accuracy.

Lieutenant Geordi La Forge

Like Data, Geordi holds his Phaser in his left hand. Unlike Data, Geordi actually was not left-handed, as explained in the episode "Ship in a Bottle". Oh well... at least it makes the figures seem less uniform.

Geordi's bio totally underestimates the power of his VISOR. It not only helps Geordi see, it can also be hooked up to a Tricorder to solve pretty much any problem the Enterprise might encounter.

Lieutenant Tasha Yar

It would have been cool if Tasha had the blotch on her cheek from the episode "Skin of Evil", although I'm sure that when these figures were released, Galoob couldn't have possibly known that Denise Crosby didn't want to come back for another season and that her character was destined to be killed off.

Lieutenant Worf

Worf is the only figure from this group with iffy proportions. Not only is he abstractly beefy, but also his head is too small for that beefy bod. Still, it's the only reasonably accurate figure of Worf from the first season. (The Playmates Season 1 Worf had many inaccuracies due to its reuse of parts from a Season 4 figure.) Like Geordi, Worf is misrepresented as being left-handed.

All Good Things

Tragically, the Galoob TNG line lasted only one or two waves before it was cancelled. Why it was so short-lived, while the Playmates line exploded just a few years later, is anyone's guess. It could be that TNG wasn't as popular during the first season of the show when the Galoob line was released. Playmates, by contrast, released its TNG figures during the 5th season when the show was nailing record ratings (The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, pg. 173). It could also be that the cartoony character of the Playmates figures resonated with the fans, while Galoob's realism fell flat. Regardless, like the Playmates Toys figures, this Galoob ST:TNG line is a pretty interesting oddity in its own right and certainly worthy of display in a Trekkie's collection.

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.