Toy Tribute: Q and El-Aurians


For this tribute, I grouped Q together with the El-Aurians (Guinan and Dr. Soran) for a couple of reasons. First, they're all aliens that are physically identical to humans. And second, Guinan and Q had an antagonistic relationship with a history of conflict with each other. Q has always been a favorite character of mine, acting as the Mister Mxyzptlk of the TNG Universe. I've also been very fond of Guinan. As I stated previously in the Troi tribute, she fits the "character who senses something wrong" shoes really well by not being a real empath and giving everything away prematurely. She also has a really interesting implied history (as alluded to in episodes like Time's Arrow) that makes her character mysterious and fun to conjecture about. Dr. Soran? He was okay in Generations, I suppose. He had kind of interesting motivations but ultimately he was just a cliched villain. Anyway, let's check out their respective action figures!


Q (Judge's Robes)

Series: 3
Episodes: Encounter at Farpoint (Season 1), All Good Things (Season 7)
Year Stamped: 1994


Going in order of appearance in the show, we'll start with Q in Judge's Robes as seen in the pilot, Encounter at Farpoint, as well as the finale, All Good Things. The figure's costume is accurate, although its design makes sitting impossible. That's a pretty significant limitation for a character who spends most of his time sitting on a throne in the episodes in which he appears in this costume. This figure might specifically represent Q's appearance in Encounter at Farpoint, as Q in All Good Things was wearing a lavender-colored lipstick that doesn't seem to be evident on the figure. For a more detailed analysis of this Q, check out its Retro Toy Review.


Q (Starfleet Uniform)

Series: 2
Episodes: Deja Q (Season 3), Q-Pid (Season 4), True Q (Season 6), Tapestry (Season 6), All Good Things (Season 7)
Year Stamped: 1993


Here's Q as we saw him most frequently in TNG: wearing a Starfleet Captain's uniform. My friend Jason thinks that the height of this figure means that its body would be great for a Commander Riker figure, and I'd have to agree. Although I love the action stance of the duty uniform Riker that saw production, it would be cool to have a Riker in a more neutral stance, and a simple head-swap with this figure could make that happen. As with Q in Judge's Robes, you can read more about this Q in its Retro Toy Review.


Guinan as Gloria (1940's outfit)

Series: Holodeck Series Multi-pack
Episode: Clues (Season 4)
Year Stamped: 1998


In the Season 4 episode Clues, Guinan appears in this 1940's outfit while she accompanies Picard on one of his Dixon Hill holo-adventures. Guinan here looks very much as she did in the episode, although a few minuscule details are missing like a ring on the right hand. Also, the mink on her shoulder has gray highlights in the episode and doesn't look nearly as featureless and brown as it does here. In fact, let's not mince words: the mink on this figure looks like a big turd. But you can't really take it off because she wasn't seen without the mink in the episode. What a dilemma...


Guinan

Series: 2
Episodes/Movie: Imaginary Friend (Season 5), Time's Arrow, Part II (Season 6), Suspicions (Season 6), Generations
Year Stamped: 1993


Finding this costume in the 28 episodes and 2 movies in which Guinan appears was a big challenge. Guinan has a new outfit in almost every episode and sometimes she can be seen in multiple outfits in a single episode. This costume appears in both Imaginary Friend and Time's Arrow, Part II, but I think it also appears in the Season 6 episode Suspicions and the movie Generations. It's difficult to be sure given the camera angles, though.

This outfit is one of Guinan's cooler costumes because of its nifty saucer-shaped hat and interesting texture differentiation. The sculpt seems accurate, but the color scheme might be off. It appears a bit redder and more highly saturated in the show, but the lighting variations in the Ten-Forward shots might be deceptive.

This is also one of my favorite head sculpts from the Playmates TNG line. They seem to really nail Guinan's countenance with this figure.


Dr. Tolian Soran

Series: Generations
Movie: Generations
Year Stamped: 1994


The figures for the Generations movie are known for their blatant inaccuracies, mainly because the sculpts were based on concept sketches rather than production shots. I suppose that's understandable. The movie was rushed into production and Playmates had a very limited time to develop a toy line, so they had to settle for early concept art on which to base the figures. Despite this, Dr. Soran breaks the usual trend for the Generations figures and is actually a relatively screen-accurate figure. The collar and the boots are a little different, but overall this is a relatively accurate representation of the movie costume. I guess it didn't change much from the early concept sketches.


Every fiber in my being says this is a mistake.


The only Q or El-Aurian figure from the classic TNG line that doesn't quite meet my screen-accuracy standards is Guinan from Generations. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to include this figure in the tribute. It is supposed to represent Guinan in her "refugee" outfit when she was rescued on board the SS Lakul by the Enterprise B, as well as when she appears later inside the Nexus. The figure's costume is similar to the one seen on screen, but the geometric patterns on the torso are much more pronounced on the "real" costume. Also, the hat is very different from what we see in the movie, even though it precisely matches the concept sketch. Since the figure seems to represent the concept sketch more than the production costume, I ended up throwing it out.


The trial never ended, Captain. We never reached a verdict. But now we have. You're guilty.

And that's it for this tribute to Q and the El-Aurians of the classic TNG line! Despite Q's wide range of costumes in which he appeared, he only got 2 different figures! I would have loved to see a much fuller representation of the character in the line. There are probably dozens of different costumes from which to choose, but I think the coolest would have been Q as a human in Deja Q and "God" Q from Tapestry.

I would have liked to see other Qs too, especially Q2 played by Corbin Bernson in Deja Q. Maybe even Amanda Rogers, the human who had Q parents in True Q.

As for Guinan, she also had a crazy number of different outfits, but most of them aren't different enough from the Series 2 figure to make me want them for my display shelf. However, Guinan in 19th Century Outfit from Time's Arrow would have been crazy awesome, given my love for period-specific Trek figures.


Resources

Memory-Alpha: http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Playmates
StarTrekToys: http://startrektoys.com/
Figure Realm: http://figurerealm.com
TrekCore: http://trekcore.com/
IMDB.com: http://www.imdb.com/
Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Continuing Mission (Pocket Books, 1998)

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.