Each Star Trek series seems to have three characters that get the most screen time and character development. For the Original Series, it was Kirk, Spock and McCoy. For TNG, it was Picard, Data, and Worf. Worf got a good deal of exposure simply because he was an easy conduit into Klingon society and culture. I always liked Worf as a character, even though I didn't really like his episodes that centered around political strife in the Klingon Empire. Anyway, there were a number of good Worf figures in the classic Playmates line, so let's check them out!
Lieutenant WorfSeries: 1
Episodes: Season 3-6
Year Stamped: 1992
First up we have Worf in his standard Starfleet uniform from the first wave of TNG figures. This figure is reasonably representative of Worf from the beginning of Season 3 up to Season 6/Episode 14 (Face of the Enemy), the episode in which Worf grows almost a foot of hair out of the blue. This Worf is one of my favorite Star Trek figures. The action stance can create cool poses and his facial contortions make him look like he means business. My one gripe would be that the left fist's thumb is fused with its fingers, so it has no chance of holding any accessories. That's not that big a deal for a right-handed Klingon like Worf, but it does present problems when he tries to hold a bat'leth with both hands.
Lieutenant Worf (Klingon Attire)Series: 2, 4
Episodes: Redemption (Season 4), Sins of the Father (Season 3)
Year Stamped: 1993
With this figure, it seems like Playmates was trying to represent Worf as he appeared in the Season 2 episode, The Emissary. It's close, but not quite close enough: the outer robe lacks the pouches and brown hue of the on-screen costume, and, unlike the costume, the figure sports Worf's signature baldric. I was about to throw this figure by the wayside until found that it was actually representative of two different episodes: the Klingon armor is from Redemption when he leaves the Enterprise for a Klingon ship, and he wore the robe over his Starfleet uniform when he appeared before the Klingon Council in Sins of the Father. But he never wore the robe with the armor, so for display accuracy, they must be separated.
Lieutenant Worf as SheriffSeries: 5, Holodeck Multi-pack
Episode: A Fistful of Datas (Season 6)
Year Stamped: 1998
Here we see Worf in sheriff attire from his holodeck adventure in A Fistful of Datas. There were two different variants of this figure: a carded version from Series 5, and a boxed version that came in a Holodeck Multi-pack. I found the Multi-pack variant to be ever so slightly more accurate with a better pattern on the handkerchief, so that's the version you see above. I replaced the figure's handgun with the one shown above from Durango Troi, since Worf's original gun was comically huge. (This Worf also came with an Alexander mini-figure that will be covered in a future tribute.)
Lieutenant Worf (Starfleet Rescue Outfit)Series: 3
Episode: Birthright (Season 6)
Year Stamped: 1994
Here's Worf in his rescue jumpsuit from the episode, Birthright. It's actually a very similar outfit to the one he wore during his infiltration of Celtris III in Chain of Command (although in that episode he wore a hood), so I suspect it's less of a "rescue" outfit and more of a "covert ops" one. This figure is cool in large part because of its accessories, like the backpack that holds Starfleet equipment. But given the fact that you don't see a good view of the equipment in the show, the screen-accuracy of those accessories is anyone's guess. The figure itself works, though.
Governor WorfSeries: 5, VHS Exclusive "Return from Grace"
Episode: All Good Things (Season 7)
Year Stamped: 1995
In the final episode of the series, we see future Worf as the Governor of the Klingon colony H'atoria. The sculpt of this figure is accurate but the paint apps are painfully sparse. The costume in the series had much more in the way of color variation, with brown borders on the leatherwork and gray highlighted "fur" on the jacket. Still, this figure is more representative than the "Return from Grace" variant, which was a repaint (exclusive to a VHS set) with significant, but apparently random, silver detailing.
Lieutenant Commander Worf (19th Century Attire)Series: Generations
Year Stamped: 1994
With this Worf we see one of the few screen-accurate figures from the Generations movie line. Sure, you could nit-pick: the vest is open although it never was in the movie, and the pants and vest were significantly lighter on screen. But it's close enough. Despite the lack of articulation, the period-specific theme makes this one of my favorite Worfs. The figure came with a whole bunch of interesting accessories like a spear and a sword, but unfortunately the most important one is missing: the hat that he leaps from the plank to catch in the film.
Lieutenant Commander Worf (First Contact Uniform)Series: Target Exclusive Starfleet Command Edition
Movies: First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis
Year Stamped: 1999
Finally, we see Worf in his movie uniform. This Worf contends with Series 1 Worf for my favoritism and it's easy to see why. The sculpt is really cool (although I think it's a slightly modified DS9 figure), and it's one of the few 4.5" figures representing the post-Generations movies. The accessories are also awesome, cast in realistic silver plastic with (shocker) paint apps on the handles of the bat'leth and d'k tahg! This figure was part of a Target Exclusive Insurrection wave, which happened to be the last wave of the line. It's a shame because there were so many characters from the later TNG movies that would have made great figures. I would have loved to see Ru'afo, the Evora, and Wedding Ceremony Riker/Troi.
I do not think it is appropriate for a Starfleet Officer to appear..... naked.
This Worf can give a great "up-yours" gesture.
Given the fact that figures need to be reasonably screen-accurate to a Next Generation show or movie for inclusion in my core TNG collection, there are a few from the classic Playmates line that are inappropriate:
- Lieutenant Junior Grade Worf (Season 1): There are many discrepancies between this figure (shown above) and Worf as seen in Season 1, namely the hair and baldric. For more details, check out this review, but it suffices to say that this figure is a fail for the core collection.
- Cadet Worf (Starfleet Academy): The Starfleet Academy wave was never anything more than Expanded Universe figures.
- Lieutenant Worf (Transporter Series): The Transporter Series figures were essentially TNG-uniformed figures repainted with DS9 coloration... which, of course, didn't work because the collars were all wrong.
- Lieutenant Commander Worf (DS9 uniform): You'd think that this Worf would make the cut because the TNG cast wore DS9 uniforms in Generations. But not the whole cast changed to the DS9 uniforms and Worf was one of the few who never did.
- Lieutenant Commander Worf (Generations): Speaking of Generations, the main crew's uniforms from this line were based on concept art that never made it on-screen.
Sir I protest! I am not a merry man!And that's it for this Toy Tribute of our favorite Klingon! Worf got a pretty good array of figures, but there were a few other Worfs that I would have liked to make part of my collection:
- Space Suit Worf (First Contact): The Space Suits were all kinds of cool in First Contact, and they'd make great action figures. Removable helmets would be a must, though.
- Merry Man Worf (QPid, Season 4): Actually, I'd like a whole set of the crew in Robin Hood attire, maybe as a Multi-pack.
- Devolved Worf (Genesis, Season 7): Genesis, the episode in which the crew devolves into random creatures, was pretty much scientifically nonsensical. But the creatures that the crew devolved into were pretty awesome, especially the Klingon crustacean creature that Worf became.