With the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray, it's a good time to revisit the too-often overlooked TNG line from Galoob. With excellent sculpts based on Season 1 character designs and a 3 3/4" scale that's relatively uncharacteristic for Star Trek, the Galoob line was awesome in its own right but was completely overshadowed by the insanely successful Playmates line. I've already covered the Starfleet officers released in this scale, but let's take a look at the super-rare aliens!
Well, maybe "super-rare" is an exaggeration. They can be difficult to find for a reasonable price since sellers still think they're worth more than they are, but if you stay frosty, you can get them on the cheap. That's a stark contrast to TNG's heyday when each alien was going for an arm and a leg, but it's great news for us hardcore collectors looking to fill holes in our collections that were previously so prohibitively expensive. Let's take a look at Galoob's Star Trek: TNG, Wave 2!
Q is sporting his judge outfit that he wore in Encounter at Farpoint... sans judge's robes, that is. The figure is sculpted in a tight-fitting black costume that seems to represent Q's outfit underneath the robes. The button-down shirt, red gloves, and necklace all match what we see on screen (although the button-down shirt is actually more of a button-down under-robe, like the Playmates figure below).
But what happened to the red over-robe? Since we never see Q without his red robe on screen, it's likely that a soft goods robe was intended to be included with the figure. Maybe the robe was cut for budgetary reasons (this was the last of two waves, and it might have been painfully evident that the line was going in the crapper), or maybe the sculptors thought the robe was too difficult to represent in plastic for whatever reason. It's unfortunate because without his signature red robes, it's difficult to imagine the figure as Judge Q.
What Next Generation line representing Season 1 would be complete without an animal-skinned Ferengi? The Ferengi were supposed to be the menacing Klingon-equivalent aliens of TNG, but their silliness overcame their menace and they were demoted to a more comical role. Presumably to make them more ferocious-looking, Ferengis in the first season (and only the first season) sported animal skins before their attire became more like business suits.
There wasn't much differentiating the first Ferengi costumes, which means that this figure might reasonably represent any of the seven Ferengi seen in Season 1: Letek, Kayron, Mordoc, and DaiMon Tarr from The Last Outpost, and Kazago, Rata, and DaiMon Bok from The Battle. The Ferengi mark their rank with a tattoo on the forehead but the figure's tattoo is kind of fuzzy. It looks like the dual-chevroned tattoo of a Daimon, which would mean that the figure represents either Tarr or Bok (probably the latter, considering he's one of Picard's main arch-enemies in the first season).
This Ferengi figure came with an energy whip, which unfortunately wasn't included with my sample.
Antican and Selay
Although the Antican and the Selay were pretty much forgotten after their Season 1 premiere episode Lonely Among Us, they were prominently featured in TNG promotional materials and merchandise during the first season. The Next Generation Officer's Manual seems to be in love with them, with a few nice articles and illustrations devoted to the two. It's understandable to include these aliens in a TNG toy line: both characters are dynamic-looking aliens that would appeal to kids.
Neither the Antican nor the Selay figures match any outfit you see on screen, though. Like Q, I'd guess that a soft cloak was intended to be included with both figures. Otherwise, why wouldn't they at least try to sculpt a robe like POTF85 Anakin or use colors more faithful to the show?
Action Figure Prototypes
On a related note, I found this pic recently in an ad for the Intergalactic Trading Co. in an issue of The Official Star Trek: TNG Magazine. As you can see, it features prototypes from the Galoob line, many of which differ substantially from the production figures. It seems like Riker and Worf in particular had their head sculpts drastically changed for production, for better (Riker) or for worse (Worf). Also note that Yar, Picard, and Riker hold tricorders in their hands instead of phasers. It's unclear if those prototypical tricorders were removable or sculpted into the hands, and it's especially unclear why the Chief of Security had a tricorder instead of a weapon.
(By the way, if you're curious about the "Bearded" Riker figure that is mentioned in the caption, there was never an official "Bearded" Riker. It was apparently just a custom by the Intergalactic Trading Co. offered as a ploy to try to get rid of over-stocked Rikers.)
As Bravo mentioned in the Galoob Starfleet tribute, both Wesley and a Romulan were prototyped but never got to production. It's too bad... more figures would have been great, and it would have been especially awesome to get a Marc Alaimo Romulan figure.
This is sickening. It's barbaric!
And that's it for this tribute to the aliens of Galoob's Star Trek: The Next Generation line! Unfortunately, it was a line that was cut before its time. I would have loved to see more figures in this scale but I admit that the Galoob line was an acceptable sacrifice so that Playmates, with its far more interesting figure designs, could take over.
Next up: Vehicles and accessories! If I can find them for a decent price, that is. Wish me luck!
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Archive at ToyMania
- The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine #7, 1989