Toy Tribute: Star Trek Deep Space 9 Crew (Playmates)


I wasn't a big fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine back in the day. After Next Generation, I felt that Star Trek had run its course and DS9 seemed like a pretender to the throne. But recently I've started to watch through all six different Star Trek incarnations (don't forget the animated series) and I've been impressed by series that I previously dismissed... including DS9. As of this writing, I'm just starting the fourth season and the show is finally getting its sea legs. Of course I had to pick up some action figures from the ever-awesome Playmates Star Trek line from the 90's. Let's take a look at Playmates' take on the main crew of DS9!

By "main crew" I'm referring to the primary characters on the show who are mentioned in the opening credits. That means that Quark and Jake, even though they're not technically part of the crew, still count. But I won't go into minor variants, like Dax and Bashir in TNG outfits. Sure, they're screen-accurate, but they weren't really major costume variations on the show. I might have been that obsessive with my Star Trek: TNG Action Figure Archive,  but I won't open up that can of crazy here. Let's start with the main man...

Benjamin Sisko (Commander, Captain)

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1 (Commander); Star Trek (Captain)
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2 (Commander); Season 4, 5 (Captain)
Year Stamped: 1994, 1995


Commander Sisko was available in the first wave of Deep Space Nine toys, which are some of my favorite Trek figures of all time. (The sample above was actually from the Starfleet Officers Collectors Set.) The sculpts have the best body proportions and the poses are the most natural in the entire Playmates Trek line. The likenesses aren't quite as good as those from the Voyager waves, but they have more realism than the caricatured TNG figures. This Sisko body was reused to create figures of Geordi and Data from Generations, which I don't mind because the sculpt was so successful.



Although Sisko had a full head of hair for most of Season 3, this figure specifically represents Sisko from the first two seasons because of the oval TNG-style communicator pin. After Season 2, the cast started wearing the rectangular Generations combadges, like the one on Captain Sisko below.



Captain Sisko was part of the "Star Trek" wave (which was a sort-lived TNG, DS9, and TOS combo line prior to the Warp Factor series). The head sculpt was new, and the bald head/DS9 uniform combo depicts Sisko as he appears in Season 4 and a few episodes of Season 5. The body is taken from the Voyager Chakotay figure and it makes Sisko look a little too short and beefy. The head sculpt is cool, but it just doesn't capture the likeness of Avery Brooks as well as the first Sisko.

Still, I dig the figure, if only because it depicts Sisko from later seasons. In Seasons 1-3, Sisko was pretty much a secondary character with little presence on the show. But when he got the bald/goatee combo in Season 4, he finally started developing into the cool, commanding character that he needed to be.



I usually don't mention accessories, but Captain Sisko came with an esoteric, yet strangely iconic, one: an interphasic compensator. Remember the episode in which he used it? That's right, it was Season 4's classic The Visitor, considered by many to be one of the best Star Trek episodes of all time.

Kira Nerys, Major

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1-3
Year Stamped: 1994


Here we see the good Major in her Bajoran uniform. But whence come this costume? In the first episodes of Season 1, her uniform was two pieces, with a coat restrained under the belt. That's not it. But then she transitioned to a one-piece uniform by the end of Season 1 (The Forsaken) which she used for the next two seasons until her uniform changed completely in Season 4. So, this figure depicts the one-piece uniform that was commonly seen in Seasons 2 and 3.



The coolest thing about this Kira is that it's one of the few female Trek figures that has a stable construction. Many female figures, especially in the Voyager line, have limbs that are so thin that they feel like they're going to break off when you pose them. But Kira works really well as an action figure, which is important for her resistance leader persona on the show.

Jadzia Dax, Lieutenant (with symbiote)

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2
Year Stamped: 1994


As with Commander Sisko above, you can tell this Jadzia Dax represents her appearance in Seasons 1 and 2 by her TNG-style combadge. But what about her hair? Well, Jadzia's hair on the show fluctuated wildly from episode to episode, from a straight pulled-back look (Meridian, S3), to a fuller poof of hair (Seasons 1 and 2), to a totally different hair style completely (The Search, S3). This figure looks closer to the full poofy hair of Seasons 1 and 2.



The likeness is awesome, and maybe even more awesome is the fact that Jadzia came with a Dax symbiote mini-figure buddy. Mini-figures always make me happy.

Julian Bashir, Doctor

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2
Year Stamped: 1994


And here's Dr. Bashir. It's a good enough figure, I suppose, nothing too memorable. The head sculpt works well, but I'm not a huge fan of the awkwardly downturned left hand. Is it supposed to grip some medical device? Maybe it's posed to hold Garak down during a root canal? It looks odd on Bashir, but it's even worse on Generations Picard, which reused the Bashir body.



Like others in this wave, the combadge makes the figure specific to the first two seasons.

Miles O’Brien, Chief

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2
Year Stamped: 1994


Chief O'Brien is another strong figure, with a great likeness and a body sculpt with appropriate proportions. Again, thanks to the combadge, it's specific to Seasons 1 and 2. The head sculpt was resused for O'Brien in his TNG uniform and dress uniform.



This body was also reused for a Thomas Riker figure in DS9 uniform, presumably depicting his appearance in the DS9 episode, Defiant. But Thomas was impersonating Will Riker and wore a red TNG uniform in the episode... which makes the DS9 Thomas Riker figure about as screen-inaccurate as it can possibly be.

Worf, Lieutenant Commander

Series: Star Trek
Episodes: Season 4, first half of 5
Year Stamped: 1996


Worf hopped on the Deep Space Nine bandwagon starting in Season 4, presumably to boost lagging ratings with his TNG appeal. That made Michael Dorn (the actor who played Worf) the undisputed king of Star Trek, appearing in 7 seasons of TNG, 4 seasons of DS9, and 5 movies (the 4 Next Gen movies and STVI as Colonel Worf).



I dig this figure's sculpt: it's dynamic enough for a character like Worf without being over-the-top dynamic like the TNG figure. The head sculpt was reused from the Generations Worf figure (I think) and is one of the best Worf sculpts around. (Although I would argue that the Starfleet Rescue Worf was better.) The whole kit and kaboodle was slightly retooled and repainted into a First Contact-style uniform for the Starfleet Command Edition wave. I wish they did the same thing with the rest of the DS9 crew, but sadly that was the last wave of 4.5" Playmates Trek figures.

Odo, Chief of Security

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2
Year Stamped: 1994



Odo here is specific to Season 1 and 2, although for a different reason than the figures above. A collar was added to Odo's "uniform" (if you can call it that) in Season 3.



Odo came with his bucket. It's a perfect accessory for the character, but it would have been nice to include something that he frequently turns into, like a mouse. Or, maybe he could have come with a clear-plastic orange blob-man to represent his transitionary form when he morphs from Odo into something else.

Or, let's go all-out: how great would it have been for a bucket of orange slime to be included with the figure? Ah, missed opportunities.

Quark

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 1
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2... I suppose
Year Stamped: 1994


I hate characters that don't have a standard uniform. It's difficult enough to determine if a figure is screen accurate, but for a character like Quark who had a number of different outfits, it can be borderline impossible.



Even though the DS9 wave came out in 1994, we've established that costumes from Quark's wave are specific to Seasons 1 and 2 given that the Starfleet officers have TNG-era combadges. So that narrows him down to the first two seasons. But he had a number of different outfits in those seasons, which were actually comprised of a random combination of a set of shirts, coats, and pants. I summarize them in the following list, which I include self-servingly to show just how much effort I put into trying to nail down this figure's costume:

Shirts:
  • Wavy horizontal lines, orange/purple coloration (Emissary, S1)
  • Straight vertical lines (A Man Alone, S1)
  • Straight horizontal lines, orange/purple coloration (A Man Alone, S1)
  • Multi-colored vertical stitching, metal collar (Melora, S2)
Coats:
  • Dark green and purple “noise” (Emissary, S1)
  • Purple “tentacles” with green patterns (A Man Alone, S1)
  • Light green and blue “noise” (Vortex, S1)
  • Puzzle pattern (Melora, S2)
Pants:
  • Light green (Emissary, S1)
  • Teal (Melora, S2)

For the sake of completeness, there were also a few outfits specific to a single episode:

Infuriatingly enough after sifting through all those screenshots on TrekCore.com, I discovered that this figure isn't an exact match for any of these outfits. Maybe the sculpt was meant to represent the vertically-striped shirt with the green/purple noise coat and light green pants, but the colors are all wrong. And any semblance to Quark’s costume after Seasons 1 and 2 is probably coincidental.

Jake Sisko

Series: Deep Space 9 Series 2
Episodes: Seasons 1, 2
Year Stamped: 1995


Like Quark, Jake didn't have a standard costume. But at least this figure's outfit can be confirmed: it was first seen in Season 1's A Man Alone. Jake wore it a few times in the first two seasons, but it seems like the actor had grown out of the costume by Season 3.



I think this figure captures Jake's youthful character perfectly, although he looks a little out of place on a shelf full of Starfleet officers and freaky aliens. Does Jake ever mutate into some weird creature like Geordi on Tarchannen III? That would have worked better for the display.

You value your ignorance of what is to come?

And that's it for this tribute to the crew of Deep Space Nine! I still have a lot of episodes to watch, and I'll certainly pick up more Playmates figures along the way. Stay tuned... there will probably be another tribute to Playmates' DS9 line soon.

References

Memory-Alpha: http://memory-alpha.org
StarTrekToys: http://startrektoys.com
TrekCore: http://trekcore.com

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.