Toy Review: Kirk vs. Gorn (Diamond Select)


I'm of the opinion that the Gorn is the one of the coolest Star Trek aliens ever. He even gives my beloved Esoqq a run for his money. Given this awesomeness, I've always wondered why the Gorn were never explored in other Star Trek incarnations. Sure, a member of the species made an appearance in The Animated Series and another in an Enterprise episode (in which it was redesigned into a CG abomination that looked more like a Jurassic Park reject than a real Gorn). But that's a pretty minuscule amount of exposure for such an iconic alien. The Gorn suits might be prohibitively expensive, or the writers might not have known what to do with the species since it's so different from the other sentient species that evolved from the Ancient Humanoids. Regardless, there's plenty of untapped potential there. Maybe JJ Abrams can give us some awesome Gorn action in the next movie (and I don't mean a puny cameo like the one that was planned for the 2009 movie).

Anyway, I hadn't yet picked up the Gorn figure that was released a few years back by Diamond Select, so I decided to get a Gorn from this two-pack which also includes a "battle-damaged" Kirk. Does the Gorn (and Kirk) live up to the awesomeness witnessed in the classic episode, Arena? Read on!


Stats

Company: Diamond Select Toys
Size: Kirk - 7 inches; Gorn - 7.25 inches
Price: $28
Packaging: Carded


Appearance: Both


Kirk has the same sculpt we've seen countless times before. The only real difference between this Kirk and previous Kirks is the "battle damage" paint apps, which are basically just a wash of dirty brown stains over the figure. Kirk also has some mussed-up hair on his forehead, which is just paint detailing. The prototype Arena Kirk figure has a wimpy expression with pathetic eyebrows, but fortunately the production Kirk's countenance has more of a take-charge attitude. I like the "damaged" look and the paint wash gives the figure some interesting depth, especially in the pants and boots. But it's obvious that the figure is just a repaint.

And because the figure is a repaint, it's missing the belt that Kirk wears in Arena that carries his recorder/translator. Points lost for screen inaccuracy.


The Gorn Captain is another re-release but since I don't have the original, it's new to me. I really dig the look of this figure (especially that awesome head sculpt), even though the proportions are a little too "action figure" compared with the costume on the show. The torso is too triangular and the muscles are too pronounced, giving the figure almost a Star Wars POTF2 feel. Still, I appreciate the attention given to the details in the costume seen on screen. Unfortunately, although the paint apps are strong for 99% of the figure, the 1% slop is borderline inexcusable. I'm referring to a big blotch of silver paint behind Gorn's left eye. It's difficult to see in the shots on the action figure stage because the lamps' light drowns out the silver, but you can see it in the below shot sans lights. It's pretty bad, but it doesn't quite ruin the figure for me.



Articulation: Kirk
Gorn


Kirk has a great range of movement:
  • Ball-socket neck, which isn't hindered all that much by the rubber shirt.
  • Ball-hinge shoulders.
  • Swivel biceps.
  • Hinge elbows.
  • Swivel wrists.
  • Ball-socket chest, hidden under the rubber shirt.
  • Swivel hips.
  • Swivel thighs.
  • Swivel shins.
  • Hinge ankles: These joints on DST Trek figures are almost always troublesome because they weaken the standability (and therefore displayability) of the figure.

Gorn has similar, but more limited, articulation:
  • Ball-socket neck, unfortunately hindered by the shirt's collar.
  • Ball-hinge shoulders.
  • Hinge elbows.
  • Swivel wrists. 
  • Ball-hinge swivel hips: Great points of articulation that really expand the figure's posability.
  • Hinge knees.
  • Hinge ankles.

Unfortunately, Gorn is missing the torso and bicep articulation that Kirk has. But the hip articulation is awesome. I don't have another DST Trek figure with that articulation, so it was a pleasant surprise.


Accessories:


The accessories are a big, fat FAIL for the most part:
  • Gorn Captain's stone dagger: This is a must for this set because it was such a prominently featured weapon in the episode.
  • A recorder/translator: Cool, but the set only includes one. In the episode, both Captains carried a recorder/translator. Also, there aren't any peg holes to carry the recorder/translator on either Captain's belt (if Kirk had a belt, that is).
  • A Starfleet communicator and phaser: Fail. We already have these accessories many times over, and neither played an important role in the Kirk vs. Gorn battle.

Where is the primitive cannon that Kirk built? That would have been perfect for this set.


Value:


The $28 price tag for this set comes to $14 a figure, which is just about right. You don't get much in the way of accessories for your money, but the price is on par with other figures of this size.


Coolness: Kirk  
Gorn 



Arena is one of my favorite episodes from The Original Series, and the Gorn is one of the coolest Star Trek aliens, so this set has a lot of coolness going for it already. Kirk gains some extra brownie points because of the nifty battle damaged paint apps, but also loses some for being a repaint that brings nothing new to the table. Gorn has a lot of coolness going for it too, but the figure would be so much cooler if it looked less like a heroic action figure and more like a "man in suit".


Overall: Both 

This set isn't bad but it certainly could have been better. Kirk looks pretty nifty in his dirty battle-damaged garb, but he's ultimately just a repaint so there isn't much that is distinctive about the figure. Also, he's missing his belt, so he's not entirely screen-accurate. Gorn is really cool, but his proportions are more representative of an action figure than the creature you see on screen. Also, the big gob of silver paint behind Gorn's left eye makes me question the quality control for this set. Still, if you're a Gorn-less Trekkie, the set might be worth your money.

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.