Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sisko From “Crossover:” Dead-eyed, Appropriately-coiffed, A Good Concept With A Good Execution!

The Good: Good sculpt, Interesting accessories, Decent balance and poseability
The Bad: Accessory coloring issues, Clearly reuses head.
The Basics: Benjamin Sisko from "Crossover" is a cool figure that unfortunately failed to usher in a whole line of Mirror Universe figures!

Sometimes, I discover something that is pretty cool that I wish they made more of. Today, it’s Benjamin Sisko from the Mirror Universe, which means the figure is based on a character who was cold, conniving and only seen in a single episode. It’s an interesting choice for Playmates to go with, but despite an obviously recycled head, the figure is cool and paves the way for other Mirror Universe figures, like Intendant Kira.

For those unfamiliar with the character and the concept, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a Runabout manned by Kira and Bashir experienced an anomaly in the Wormhole and as a result they were transported to the Mirror Universe from the original Star Trek. In the course of their adventure there, they encounter a brutal Kira, an enslaved Miles and a Benjamin Sisko who works as a mercenary for the Bajorans and is sexually subservient to Intendant Kira. The alternate universe Sisko only appears in “Crossover” (reviewed here!) and Playmates Toys captured that character with his brown and maroon rouge's outfit.


The Star Trek 1996 Collection of action figures contained twenty figures from Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager and the drive for collectors was to find one of the limited "Tapestry" Picard figures (reviewed here!), with little attention paid to most of the other figures in the assortment, like Benjamin Sisko. But having succeeded in getting the rare figure early on, I soon started inspecting the other figures and Sisko from "Crossover" holds up as a pretty decent action figure regardless. As well, this figure was seldom a pegwarmer because it had a collectible pog. Card collectors hunted the SkyBox SpaceCap pog exclusive to the action figure, which helped sell the stock that action figure collectors did not buy.

The Benjamin Sisko from "Crossover" figure is the human rogue as he appeared in the episode "Crossover," with the tan, brown and suede colored outfit and with a head of closely shaved hair. The body of this Sisko figure is all new and it looks very earthy, which the outfit was supposed to. The outfit is colored appropriately, though mine had a few little extra paint blobs inconveniently located, it still looks recognizable as Sisko from "Crossover" (or, oddly enough, remarkably like Sisko from "The Jem'Hadar").

Standing four and seven-eighths inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Benjamin Sisko immortalized in plastic. The character is molded with his hands ready to hold most of his accessories in a half-closed position. His legs have a very neutral stance, so this figure stands up and looks like he is ready to be displayed, as opposed to an action pose which made some of the earlier Star Trek figures more problematic for posing in displays. Even so, Sisko from "Crossover" has good balance on or off his stand (though the stand certainly helps). The costume detailing is minimal on this figure, whatwith Sisko not having rank insignias on this costume. Still, there are no details like belt buckles of the like - though this Sisko does have partially rolled-up sleeves. The sculpting details lessen, though at the hands, where Sisko has less detailing, including a lack of defined knuckles or fingernails.

Benjamin Sisko's face is molded in a bland, neutral expression that actually characterizes well Sisko's initial emotional resonance. This incarnation of Sisko was characterized as beaten and soulless, so the lack of defined expression suits the character remarkably well. The hair is little more than a raised portion on the head which has then been colored black; there is little texture to it. Interestingly, while the skin and uniform are cast in a glossy plastic, Sisko's hair is painted with a black matte finish.

The paint job is fair, especially for the face. The skin tones are monotonal brown with no shading or subtlety. The figure's lips are painted an unnaturally bright pink which looks somewhat ridiculous. As well, Sisko's eyes are brown with white pupils, which is disturbing. Either the paint job was rushed or it chips off the figures, which is disturbing because mine went from their packages to a display with no play in between, as my Sisko has extra paint on his pants and two or three chips out of his shoulder!


Benjamin Sisko from “Crossover” comes with five accessories, including the base, most of which were recycled from other figures. Sisko comes with a disruptor pistol, long knife, StarFleet type II phaser, bottle of liquid nutrient (because, one supposes, toys aren't supposed to come with bottles of alcohol), and the base. The Action base is a StarFleet delta shield symbol with the name "SISKO" stuck on it with a cheap, black sticker. The center of the base has a peg which fits into the hole in either of Benjamin Sisko's feet! When Sisko stands flatfooted on the stand, he is stable for balance and has a decent, neutral display appearance. The base is also enough to support Sisko in more outlandish poses, which is nice.

The StarFleet phaser is the same Type II phaser accessory that came with many of the Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures. It is a 2 1/2" long prop which features the dustbuster-shaped beam weapon with a bright pink phaser beam emitting from it. The phaser has good molded details, down to the different buttons and a display screen, but is light on the coloring details. In addition to not having a black grip, the phaser does not have detailing on the buttons or power indicator, so it is homogeneously silver to the beam, then monotonally pink. Sisko's hands are molded so he may carry the weapon in either hand.

The Klingon disruptor is the same disruptor that has been in circulation since the first Gowron figure, save this one is cast in a terrible teal plastic. The 1 3/8" long plastic gun has decent molded details, but no coloring details. It fits poorly into either of Sisko's hands.

The knife is a jagged 1 1/2" dagger that is intended to look like it has leather wrappings on the hilt. It would look much better if it had realistic coloring, but instead it looks like a jagged piece of plastic in either of Sisko's hands.

The bottle of liquid nutrient (or booze as fans of the show know it actually was), is a vaguely carafe-shaped plastic tube with a hole in the top. Sadly, this looks ridiculous in either of Sisko's hands as it is teal-green and opaque. It could have looked cool with the right production, but Playmates cheaped out on the accessories here.

Unfortunately, that's the way it is for all three of Sisko's non-phaser accessories; they are molded in an utterly unrealistic teal green plastic and features no painted accent work to make them match the coloring detail of the actual action figure. Clearly Playmates went through some effort to sculpt the accessories realistically, but the coloring minimizes the sense of realism and completely clashes with the coloring of the figure.

Even so, 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 publicity shot of Sisko from "Crossover" 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.


Benjamin Sisko from "Crossover" continued a generally high level quality from Playmates and he was quite good at the time, pleasing collectors and fans alike. Sisko is appropriately stiff, but has decent posability. Benjamin Sisko 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. As well, 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 posability!

Moreover, for use with actual play, Sisko from "Crossover" may bend or extend at the elbows, which offers a greater amount of movement potential making him one of the more realistic Star Trek action figures to play with (for those who actually play with these toys!). On his base, Captain Sisko is exceptionally stable, even in the most ridiculous poses. He actually looks ready to double-cross the Alliance and lead humans to freedom!.


Playmates seemed to gauge about the right amount of interest for 1996 wave of Star Trek figures as part of their 30th Anniversary celebration and the hunt for the "Tapestry" Picards certainly helped to sell off figures like the "Crossover" Sisko. Even so, he has not appreciated much since his initial release almost fifteen years ago. Fortunately, he has not lost value either. Either way, this does not seem to be a great investment piece Sisko.

That said, at least Playmates tried to make the figures 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 16,000 figures out there (my Sisko from "Crossover" is #015639!).


The Sisko from "Crossover" figure is a good concept executed fairly well, despite being a little lower on detailing elements than die-hard fans might like. Still, for the 4.5" figure line, this becomes a wonderful Deep Space Nine figure to shake up play or displays with!

For other figures from the 1996 Star Trek figure assortment, please check out my reviews of:
Odo from "Necessary Evil"
Vina The Orion Slave Woman
The Keeper


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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