Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ready For Action, Major Kira Is A Good Star Trek Figure!

The Good: Good sculpt, Excellent coloring, Decent variety of accessories
The Bad: Accessory coloring, Few accessories actually fit his grip, Slight balance issues.
The Basics: A good Major Kira figure, the original Playmates Major Kira is a little light on painted details, but is still pretty wonderful.

Major Kira Nerys is a name familiar to anyone who loves Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but probably completely unfamiliar to anyone who wasn't a fan of the series. While Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation made such a mark on pop culture that most of their main crew is easily referenced and known by the majority of the population, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was much more insular. The characters never popped off the screen in such a way that now virtually everyone knows who they are. So, it might surprise some that Playmates Toys made an action figure of Kira Nerys. But, it won't surprise fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Major Kira was one of the non-StarFleet characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (reviewed here!). Her backstory was simple: Bajor was an occupied planet when she was born and she grew up as part of the Bajoran Resistance. When the Cardassians were forced out, Kira found herself both a hero of Bajor and an annoyance to the new government. So, she was shipped to Deep Space Nine to help Commander Sisko administrate the station. Playmates Toys eagerly created Major Kira for fans and she was a pretty good version of the first officer.


The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1993 Collection of action figures contained nine figures and it focused on the primary command crew of space station Deep Space Nine, along with the alien bartender, Quark, and two other aliens. Major Kira was one of the non-StarFleet command crew figures and her red and orange uniform helped set her apart from the predominantly black costumes of most of the others. Major Kira was very popular with the fans and the figure sold well, but the Major Kira figure was still a pegwarmer. Like the rest of the figures in this assortment, it features a SkyBox trading card exclusive to the action figure, which made it hunted by trading card collectors as well. Even so, sales of Major Kira were not the best.

The Major Kira figure is the Bajoran first officer as she appeared almost every episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Major Kira is outfitted in her Bajoran uniform and boots. The first officer has a thin, strong build and a piercing gaze that looks like she is in charge and feisty. The outfit is colored appropriately and Playmates even did well on the facial details.

Standing four and three-eighths inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Major Kira immortalized in plastic. The character is molded with her hands appearing ready to hold any of her accessories, each in a half-closed position. Her legs have a very neutral stance, so this figure stands up and looks like she is ready to be displayed, as opposed to fighting or doing other action-oriented things. Major Kira has decent balance off her stand and she may be posed on the stand even in outlandish poses. There is a decent level of uniform detailing, including the Bajoran communicator on Major Kira's right breast. The figure's molded detailing only falls down at the hands, which do not have defined knuckles. She does, however, have the fingernails molded on and her shoulders and arms have detailing to make the costume there look appropriately padded.

Major Kira's face is molded in a decent likeness of the Bajoran first officer. The figure has hair which did not translate very well to an action figure and it is lightly feathered and slightly spiked, but it looks somewhat helmet-like on her. As well, she has brown eyes with white pupils and they do not quite have the same resonance as Kira Nerys. Her uniform does have her rank pin molded into the collar and even her belt has the appropriate texturing.

The paint job is fair. While Playmates added rouge to Kira's cheeks, her skin it otherwise a monotonal white. Playmates also failed to color the rank insignia on Kira's left collar, despite it being molded there. This figure has better molded details than painted ones. Still, it is not bad; Kira's lips are red and look moist from the paintjob.


Major Kira comes with five accessories, including the base, most of which were created specifically for this figure. Major Kira comes with a Bajoran PADD, Bajoran tricorder, Bajoran phaser, a duffle bag and the base. The Action base is a Bajoran Communicator symbol with a sticker that says "KIRA" on it. On the end opposite the ball on the symbol, near where that sticker is, there is a peg which fits into the hole in either of Major Kira's feet! When Major Kira stands flatfooted on the stand, she is stable for balance and has a decent, neutral display appearance. The base is also enough to support Major Kira in more outlandish poses.

The Bajoran PADD is a distinctive Bajoran instrument and one which Major Kira was shown with many times in the series. The PADD has all of the appropriate buttons as well as a little sticker where the screen ought to be. This is essentially a small blue plastic chip 5/8" long and under 3/8" wide. It does not fit in either of Major Kira's hands.

The Bajoran tricorder is amazingly cast for so small an accessory. Just over 1/2" long and just under 3/8" wide, this small device is segmented into the two parts of a Bajoran tricorder and is in perfect scale to the Major Kira figure. Unfortunately, it has wonderful surface details, but terrible coloring details and a screen which is not distinctive. Rather nicely, it fits into Major Kira's left hand, but her right grip is too open for that.

The Bajoran Phaser is a 5/8" long gun which looks precisely like the unique weapon, at least in its shape. The figure may hold the gun in either hand and it has both the contoured grip and the strong lines on the barrel going to the emission diode. This is an exceptional work for the molded details, despite it being colored the ridiculous blue color.

Kira Nerys also comes with a blue duffle bag which looks more or less like a purse. The duffle bag is almost two inches long by 1 1/4" wide from bottom to the top of its strap. The strap allows Kira to sling the bag over her shoulder and while it has molded details that make it look like it is fabric, it is monotonally cast in blue plastic that looks like anything but cloth.

This is the unfortunate aspect of all four of Major Kira's accessories; they are molded in a unrealistic dark blue plastic which looks disappointing. Clearly Playmates went through some effort to sculpt the accessories realistically, but the coloring guts them of any sense of realism. Major Kira is over-accessorized and with the lame coloring of the accessories, it is a serious drawback for the overall figure.

Even so, Playmates included a trading card unique to the figure from SkyBox which attracted trading card collectors to this figure in addition to toy collectors. The trading card has a shot of Major Kira with a black starfield behind her (this makes for a great card to get signed by actress Nana Visitor, who played Kira Nerys all seven years!). The back has information on Major Kira which filled in some of his backstory and the trading card looks excellent.


Major Kira continued a generally high level quality from Playmates and she was quite good at the time, pleasing collectors and fans alike. Major Kira is appropriately stiff and with her poseability, she may be put into outlandish or ridiculous poses. Major Kira is endowed with twelve points of articulation: knees, groin socket, biceps, elbows, shoulders, neck, and waist. 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. Similarly, 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!

Moreover, for use with actual play, Major Kira may bend or extend at the elbows, which offers a greater amount of movement potential making her one of the more realistic Star Trek action figures to play with (for those who actually play with these toys!). On her base, Major Kira is very stable.


Playmates seemed to gauge about the right amount of interest for the first wave of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures, but with Major Kira appearing two to three per case, she was easier to find and ended up sticking around as one of the pegwarmers of the line. Still, trading card collectors helped buy these figures up because of the collectible card and fans are likely to find this figure a little harder to find now, mostly because Nana Visitor did a lot of conventions over the years and people bought these to get them autographed. Still, this is not the best investment figure and when Art Asylum has made a Colonel Kira, the Major Kira figure was overproduced, appearing on its own and in the Officers Pack. Until Art Asylum actually remolded Major Kira, this might be the best Kira Nerys figure there is.

That said, at least Playmates tried to make the figures collectible. Each figure has an individual number on the bottom of her left 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 41,500 figures out there (my Major Kira is #041131!).


The Major Kira figure is a good figure of a neglected main character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She is worth picking up for any fan of the series and holds up well, even after almost two decades on the market.

For other Star Trek action figures from Playmates, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
The Tosk
Chief Miles O'Brien
Commander William Riker in second season uniform


For other toy reviews, please check out my index page on the subject!

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

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