Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Hunter Of The Tosk Matches The Tosk Figure For Quality!

The Good: Good coloring, Decent variety of accessories, Good balance, Rarity, Accessory coloring.
The Bad: Light on facial coloring details, Helmet visor sticker
The Basics: The Hunter Of The Tosk figure is a near-perfect Star Trek franchise action figure which recreates one of the most intriguing villains from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

Obscure characters that get action figures sometimes work best when they are paired with equally obscure characters. One of my favorite toys from the Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine toy line is easily the Tosk figure (reviewed here!), a figure based on an alien that only appeared once on the television series. Rather brilliantly, Playmates decided to follow up their awesome Tosk figure with the Hunter Of The Tosk. Released almost a year later, fans who had Tosk figures universally seemed to go after the Hunter figure. Those who managed to find them lucked out with a second great figure!

The Hunter Of The Tosk is an obscure character, so not recognizing his name is not necessarily a surprise, though die-hard fans know who he is. The alien is a leonine alien with a reptilian flavor appeared only in the first season episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Captive Pursuit" (reviewed here!). The alien character made one very memorable appearance as he hunted the first alien to come through the wormhole. Negotiated with by Commander Sisko, the Hunter Of The Tosk was part of a bloodsport which had him and his race searching for the Tosk. Playmates Toys captured this obscure alien almost perfectly with a wonderful sculpt that was surprisingly well-colored, making it one of the best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures the line produced.


The Star Trek 1995 Collection of action figures contained twelve figures and it focused on filling in gaps from the main crews from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and also offering alternate identities of the main cast, like Dr. Pulaski and a handful of memorable guest stars, like the Traveler. The Hunter Of The Tosk was one of the completely original figures produced by Playmates Toys, even though one of the accessories was reused from the Tosk figure.

The Hunter Of The Tosk figure is the Hunter Of The Tosk, an alien race similar to the Tosk, in his armor from "Captive Pursuit." As a result, he is wearing the red and orange suit with gunmetal bandoleer and belt and he looks appropriately stern and determined. The outfit is colored appropriately, which has the Hunter Of The Tosk's costume with the tiny devices molded right onto the belt and bandoleer as are appropriate. This is a distinctive figure and anyone who saw the Hunter Of The Tosk on the show would recognize the character fairly easily.

Standing at four and seven-eighths inches tall, without his helmet, this is an amazing likeness of the Hunter Of The Tosk immortalized in plastic. The character is molded with both hands half-closed, so he has an intense look to his face and may hold all of his accessories. The Hunter Of The Tosk's legs are posed in a fairly neutral stance, which makes him look right for either play or display. The sculpting details are exceptionally good all over the toy. The molding for the leonine face is good and his gloved hands even have the appropriate ribbing and joints.

The Hunter Of The Tosk's face is molded in a somewhat-peeved expression and this looks almost exactly like the prosthetic that actor Garrit Graham wore to define the Hunter Of The Tosk character. The detailing on the figure's face, costume and hands are good and they capture the surface details of the Hunter Of The Tosk well.

The paint job is just a little less wonderful. The pale skin tones lack realistic shading and depth to the skin, outside the crannies on the character's face. The figure's lips are appropriately gray and the black hair looks like the hairpiece that the character had. Rather coolly, the monotonal hair still looks realistic. Appropriately, the Hunter Of The Tosk's eyes have the dark, piercing stare they are supposed to. The red jumpsuit has a clean look to it, but it also has realistic detailing to the finer points of it, making it one of the most impressive sculpts Playmates ever produced.


The Hunter Of The Tosk comes with four accessories, including the base. The Hunter Of The Tosk comes with a his crossbow-shaped rifle, helmet, scanner and the base. The Action base is a simple ovular base with a sticker of the wormhole opening on it. About two and a quarter inches on the long side, the base is a good, generic base for this figure which has no symbol for his people. The base has a peg which fits into the hole in either of the Hunter Of The Tosk's feet! When the Hunter Of The Tosk stands flatfooted on the stand, he is stable for balance and has a decent, neutral display appearance. Even off his stand, the Hunter Of The Tosk has decent balance.

The three accessories Hunter Of The Tosk comes with are nicely relevant to the figure and decently colored for him. The helmet is a round gunmetal-colored helmet with a sticker where the lights for the eye screen would be. This actually works and makes the figure look cool. It fits perfectly over the figure's head and is appropriately proportioned to the rest of the action figure. While one might have hoped for something a little classier than a sticker, this still looks good.

Similarly, the scanner is a 3/4" long bullet-shaped device which clips to the figure's forearm, just as the prop did on the show. This is impressive for the surface details and the gunmetal plastic the accessory is molded with matches the bandoleer on the actual action figure!

The rifle that the Hunter Of The Tosk comes with is pretty awesome. This gun is 2 3/8" long with a bow-shaped barrel with a 1 1/2" span. The gun has great molded details and looks exactly like the gun from "Captive Pursuit," including in its coloring. This is one of the figures that got the accessory coloring right!

Despite only having the three accessories, Playmates included a pog unique to the figure from SkyBox which attracted trading card collectors to this figure in addition to toy collectors. The SpaceCap has a headshot of the Hunter Of The Tosk with a wormhole image behind him. The back has a checklist of all of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures that were intended to have pogs come with them. While this is a fairly unremarkable pog, the added incentive did generate interest with card collectors.


The Hunter Of The Tosk illustrates a high level of quality from Playmates, at a time when many of their Star Trek figures were being produced with lower standards, Hunter Of The Tosk came out looking golden. While other characters were either uninspired sculpts or made entirely of recycled parts, the Hunter Of The Tosk was a great sculpt with wonderful articulation. The Hunter Of The Tosk, one of the few completely original figures in this assortment, balances exceptionally well and it is virtually untippable on or off his base. The Hunter Of The Tosk is endowed with only twelve points of articulation. The Hunter Of The Tosk has joints at the: knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, shoulders, waist and neck. All of the joints, save the elbows and knees, are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, but the head cannot nod. The shoulders are not ball and socket joints and only rotate. Still, Playmates dealt with this limitation by having a swivel joint in the bicep, that allows everything below to turn and offers real decent poseability!

The Hunter Of The Tosk may bend or extend at the elbows, gives him realistic arm movement. On his base, the Hunter Of The Tosk is stable and he can be posed well for action. He looks good and remains standing on his base flatfooted.


Arguably because of the amazing sculpt and coloring of the actual figure, Playmates made an investment winner with Hunter Of The Tosk. The figure was not terribly common and each case had only one to two of the figure. As the only Hunter Of The Tosk figure, fans bought it right up and it has doubled in value (or more) in the secondary market.

Playmates made this figure collectible. Each figure has an individual number on the bottom of his 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 17,500 figures out there (my Hunter Of The Tosk is #017137!).


The Hunter Of The Tosk figure is a great addition to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figure line and because this figure is so cool, one is likely to want to hunt down the equally good Tosk figure for it to hunt!

For other Playmates Star Trek figures from around the same time or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, please check out my reviews of:
Major Kira Nerys
Chief Miles O'Brien
"Tapestry" Picard


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

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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