Thursday, June 30, 2011

B'Etor: She Can Blow Up The Enterprise And Seduce Klingons, But Can't Stand Up!

The Good: Good character, Generally decent sculpt, Generally good accessories
The Bad: Poor articulation, Poor balance, Accessory coloring
The Basics: Good for fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation who need a B'Etor figure, this Playmates toy underwhelms those looking for an articulated toy or display piece.

Some action figures scream for a two-pack and it is unfortunate when they arrive on the market on their own. In the Star Trek action figure line, there is no better example of figures that are worthy of a two-pack than the figures of Lursa and B'Etor. The figures were released individually as part of the Star Trek: Generations line of action figures and ironically, the figures bear the same problems and benefits.

It would have been nice if Lursa and B'Etor had been a two-pack, but given how lame the rest of the Star Trek: Generations toy line was, perhaps it is better that they fleshed the line out with both villainous Klingons. Sadly, though, the B'Etor figure is a good idea, but this entire toy line was botched by Playmates and illustrates an overall lower quality than prior Star Trek toys they produced, making this a tough sell to anyone who is not a die-hard fan. B'Etor became another casualty in Playmates's attempt to cash in on the fans of Star Trek without producing a quality toy. Still, because there is almost nothing of B'Etor on the market, this figure becomes necessary to fans of the franchise by default. After all, B'Etor is one of the franchise's leading villains!


The Star Trek: Generations action figure collection contained fourteen figures and it was released late in 1994 to coincide with the release of the film Star Trek: Generations (reviewed here!). This line-up included the B'Etor action figure which was quickly bought up and sought by collectors. The Generations line of figures was plagued by action figures that were less articulated than prior Star Trek: The Next Generation toys from Playmates as well as a bevy of main crew figures who bore no resemblance to the uniforms they wore in the actual film! This problem did not escape collectors and most of them ended up as pegwarmers. B'Etor, like Lursa, was an exception to that. The reason was simple; B'Etor had appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation and her sculpt as an action figure was not specific to Star Trek: Generations.

The B'Etor figure is the feisty Klingon woman from the Duras household as she appeared in Star Trek: Generations. B'Etor is dressed, as she always is, in heavy armor with a stiff skirt. Her breastplate - metal in the series, simply a keyhole cut out in her Generations armor - exposes the center of her breasts as well as internal sideboob. This is a suggestive, if impractical, outfit for a woman who antagonizes people and is likely to get into a knife fight. Still, it makes for an interesting action figure or conversation piece. Her hands are molded to be able to carry her accessories, so this figure is designed for play or display.

Standing at 4 3/4" inches tall, this is a decent likeness of B'Etor immortalized in plastic. There is a fair level of uniform detailing, but to be fair, this was not the most detailed costume B'Etor ever wore. B'Etor looks appropriately stern - with a strong jawline - and in control in her armor and the molding and paint details of her costume are good. Playmates went pretty light on the details of the costume, though they did capture such details as the Klingon script on B'Etor's gauntlets, shoulder and a glyph on her neck. B'Etor's face is molded in a neutral expression, which is a bit surprising as this character usually scowled or used a kittenish expression to get what she wanted. Her face possesses pretty decent amounts of details, with her lips being tight and thin, along with a fair amount of coloring detail around the nose, eyes and forehead ridges. The forehead ridges are molded in and colored with a realistic amount of shading. Still, on her chest and hands, the flesh tones of B'Etor lack any subtlety or shading and her hair is monotonally colored. Also off is her shoulder communicator, which is molded into the figure, but then not painted!


B'Etor comes with five accessories, plus a mini-poster: A Klingon club, a Klingon blaster, two Klingon daggers and an action base which was the standard style for the Star Trek: Generations collection. B'Etor is unfortunately over-accessorized, but given the way her hands are molded, she can carry any two accessories at one time. The Action base is enough to support B'Etor and allows the otherwise tipsy figure to become a decent display piece. The action base is a StarFleet Delta symbol, modeled after the communicators which were introduced in Star Trek: Generations and a sticker in the center with the name "B'Etor" on it. Near the center of the symbol is a peg which fits into the hole in either of B'Etor's feet!

B'Etor, of course, comes with several weapons, but most are weapons B'Etor never used in the series or in the film. Still, she comes with the obvious Klingon weapons and it is unfortunate that her Klingon blaster does not have a holster or attach to her hip in any way. This one and a half inch gun fits perfectly into either of B'Etor's hands and is very detailed with molded details. Devoted collectors will notice that this is the same Klingon blaster that Gowron figure came with. The Klingon disruptor is well-detailed, but is a little purple gun that bears little resemblance to the Klingon firearms shown on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The Klingon club fits in either of B'Etor's hands and is a ridiculous weapon that was never seen on the television series or in the movie. The three inch long spiked club looks nasty . . . or it would if it weren't purple! The club has interesting molded details, like a grain to it, but no coloring details and it fits clumsily despite the handle which is designed to keep it in the figure's grip.

The daggers are the most appropriate accessories for B'Etor as she was often seen with daggers in the series and in the film Star Trek: Generations. One dagger is the traditional Klingon d'k'tang dagger with three blades and a lot of attitude. The other is a larger Klingon knife unique to this figure. The blade on that has openings and it has a back blade which is notched and wicked-looking. Both blades fit in either of B'Etor's hands.

Unfortunately, all four of these accessories are molded in an iridescent purple plastic that is lacking in realistic coloring detail and cheapens the overall appearance of the figure. B'Etor is over-accessorized and with the lame coloring of the accessories, it is tough to get excited about how many options there are for her.

The Star Trek: Generations line of Playmates action figures also comes with a mini-poster unique to the action figures. The Generations poster resembles the packaging from the action figure line and is a 9" x 11 1/2" poster folded up featuring Kirk, Picard, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D and a Klingon Bird-Of-Prey.


B'Etor was part of a rushed line of action figures from Playmates and she was a real letdown at the time. One suspects this figure only sold so well because there was only one B'Etor figure and there are so few females from the Star Trek franchise encapsulated in action figure form. Molded in a stately pose that makes her look dignified, but less active, this is a decent sculpt of B'Etor. B'Etor is endowed with a pathetic four points of articulation: shoulders, waist and neck. All of the joints are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, for example, but the head cannot nod. Actually, the head cannot turn more than ten degrees, because B'Etor's hair prevents movement. The shoulders are not ball and socket joints and only rotate. Not truly a joint, the top of the boots, which connect to the underside of the skirt, rotate a few degrees, but this does not stabilize B'Etor in any way.

Moreover, for use with actual play, B'Etor may not bend or extend at the elbows, so she is horribly inarticulated for a warrior. This makes her more of a display piece. Unfortunately, away from her action base, this B'Etor figure tips over ridiculously easily. It is almost impossible to get her to stand up. Conversely, on her base, B'Etor is quite stable, making her a fine figure for display.


Playmates mass produced the first few waves of Star Trek figures, but by the time the Star Trek: Generations series came along, they were a little more conservative in their production. With this toy line, they overproduced the main cast, so villains like B'Etor were underproduced within the line. As a result, this B'Etor has actually appreciated! Seldom found for less than $10.00, B'Etor continues to grow in value as the years pass by.

Playmates tried to make the figures collectible. Each figure has an individual number on the bottom of her right foot. In the attempt to make them appear limited, they had numbers stamped on them, though one has to seriously wonder how limited something should be considered when there are at least 27,000 figures out there (my B'Etor is #026666!).


B'Etor may be an obscure figure from a movie where the merchandising was largely botched, but she remains the only B'Etor on the market (hint, hint Diamond Select!). As a result, it is hard not to endorse her for the die-hard fans and that is the only market which will appreciate this otherwise underwhelming Klingon toy.

For other toys based upon Star Trek: The Next Generation from Playmates Toys, please visit my reviews on:
Esoqq The Chalnoth
Geordi LaForge in Dress Uniform
Klingon Bird Of Prey


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page to see an organized listing of all the toys I have reviewed!

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

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