Saturday, January 29, 2011

One Of The Worst Toys Ever, The Galoob Lt. Worf Figure Falls Down!

The Good: General sculpt (it’s obvious who it is)
The Bad: Overproduced, Unbalanced, Lousy accessories, Terrible coloring and detailing, Virtually everything.
The Basics: Worf, one of the most popular Star Trek franchise characters made his action figure debut with an abysmal toy from Galoob that is easy to avoid!

As I review, I’ve gone back to the boxes of action figures I have to go through and sort out to continue my reviewing and house cleaning. Today, I came across a toy that proves perfectly that sometimes speed is not the idea. When Star Trek The Next Generation began airing, Galoob toys churned out a line of action figures with such speed one had to admire their enthusiasm for the new show. Unfortunately, the moment Playmates came along five years later with their figures, the Galoob toys were so reviled and loathed that many collectors dumped them from their collection!

One of the four most common Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation figures which was a pegwarmer for years while it was out was their take on Lieutenant Worf. Worf, who is a staple of the Star Trek franchise was so poorly presented that even fans of the popular character tend to shy away from this toy . . . and for good reason!


The Star Trek: The Next Generation 1988 Collection of action figures contained six figures (though two were quite rare and another four were later released) and it focused on the essential characters and villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Enormously overproduced even then, Lt. Worf was one of four figures that was so common by 1989, most toy stores were trying (unsuccessfully) to blow their stock out in the dollar bins. Worf suffered additionally because by the time the figure came out, the second season of the show was already on the air and Worf had a new uniform, new position and a new head sculpt!

The Lieutenant Commander Worf figure is the Navigation and Helm branch officer as he appeared in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (reviewed here!). Worf is wearing the maroon command and helm uniform with the gold bandoleer molded to the chest. He has a broad chest and a Klingon head.

Standing three and a half inches tall, this is a poor likeness of Lieutenant Worf immortalized in plastic. The character is molded in a generic standing position that makes him look like he is in a coffin. He is molded with a phaser in his left hand, so he is ready for combat, so long as it is straight in front of him! This Worf figure has a terrible level of detailing, with the head being disproportionately small compared with the rest of his body. As well, the uniform detailing is poor with accents like the piping on the pants and shoulders not being painted on. To add further insult to collectors, some of the painting is sloppy like the communicator pin, which is not even fully filled in on mine! Worf's face is a generic, neutral expression that contains no emotions. As well, it is light on details and the head ridges are molded on but not accented with pain. Worf is also monotonally colored, so there is no depth or shading realism to the figure’s features. He is obviously a Klingon, but the molding and paint details are so minimal that his hair looks like a helmet as opposed to a head!


Lieutenant Commander Worf comes with only one accessory, considering that the phaser is molded into his one hand. That accessory is a tricorder and it comes with a strap that was never used on the actual tricorders on Star Trek The Next Generation. Instead, this looks like a generic phone from the late 1980s hanging on a plastic string. The accessory is light on molding details, looking nothing like a tricorder, and is absent any coloring details. As such, it is just a slightly gray plastic piece that hangs from the figure’s shoulder.


Lieutenant Worf is terrible as a toy, for several reasons outside just its sculpt. First, Worf has terrible balance, light articulation and the molded phaser limits the play options as one whole hand is unavailable for posing or holding items (if there had been more accessories), unless one wants to have Worf shooting someone. This was pretty lousy as one of the few playsets Galoob produced was a shuttlecraft and it is hard to imagine Worf effectively navigating that craft if he only had one hand available to do it with! Lieutenant Worf is endowed with six points of articulation: groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist. All of the joints are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, for example, but the head cannot nod. Similarly, the shoulders are not ball and socket joints and only rotate.

Worf, unfortunately, is topheavy with his broad chest and as a result is poorly balanced. This Worf tips over and I’ve not found a way to get him to stand unless one has him leaning back from the waist, so it looks like he is doing a groin thrust! This is a terribly balanced toy and the inability to stand is the final nail in the coffin for this figure.


Galoob mass produced the four figures from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and made the others exceptionally rare. Worf was one of the four ultracommon figures and this Worf is beyond worthless. Found loose for less than a dollar these days, this Worf can often be found for less than $3.00 Mint on card! Galoob flooded the market with these figures and they are almost impossible to use as investment pieces.


In the realm of Star Trek action figures, there are few figures so truly bad as to warrant absolute avoiding. This figure is one of them. It is a poor sculpt, poorly colored with serious balance issues. Why would you want to play with or collect that?!

For other Star Trek toys, please check out my reviews of:
Playmates Star Trek: Generations Klingon Bird Of Prey
Burger King Sulu talking inaction figure
Vina The Orion Slave Woman figure from Playmates


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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