The Good: Well, it doesn't take up much space . . .
The Bad: Small, Does not look anything like the subject, Low playability, Low collectibility, Pointless.
The Basics: PA Distribution jumps into the minimate craze with a dismal attempt at the villainous Khan that not even a die-hard fan would want in their collection!
This was originally written before Mr. Montalban’s death.
For those who are fans of Star Trek, as I am, many wonder why Ricardo Montalban avoids the convention circuit. Certainly there is the argument that he cannot easily travel because he is wheelchair bound and in incredible pain making appearing before legions of Star Trek fans and signing their merchandise not a terribly high priority for him. Sure, there's that argument. But I, personally, blame the Minimates. I mean, if I were Montalban and I saw this abysmal toy that was supposed to represent one of the iconic characters I had played on television, I probably would not want to leave the house.
For those unfamiliar with the minimates concept, remember playing with Legos? You know how they eventually had people for the Legos? Well, minimates are a slightly larger (two inches tall as opposed to just one and a quarter) and a bit more articulate, but just about as good as far as their look.
I have no idea who the intended market for this product is. Khan Noonien Singh, the genetic superman from the classic Star Trek episode "Space Seed" (reviewed here!) and later Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (reviewed here!), arguably the most popular villain in the Star Trek franchise is represented as a figure with the quality of a Lego person. With his crappy hairpiece and wavy mouth, he could be a minimate of Gomez or the kid from The Addam's Family for all the quality of this toy. Khan is poorly immortalized in plastic as a minimate. The toy is $6.50, making it affordable, but it's still seriously overpriced. This figure looks campy and just plain stupid. This particular minimate does not have any accessories.
The Khan minimate is a two inch tall piece of plastic that vaguely resembles Khan. The scowl that makes up Khan's visage is a wavy mouth line that looks far more ridiculous than menacing. The figure is blockish, but articulated. I have to give PA that; the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, knees and thigh-socket are all articulated. Given, however, the way the feet are essentially little blocks, the leg articulation does little as far as poseability of the figure. It needs to be stood flatfooted in order to remain up and as a result, the knee and thigh articulation is a bit of a waste.
Which leads to the question of playability. I don't get the point of this figure. Sure, you can pose Khan to look like he's punching or kicking, but the scale is prohibitive for playing with others and the poseability is pretty rotten for simply displaying. As far as a toy goes, this basically seems like an ideal toy for a young child to pick up, pop in their mouth and get lodged there as a result of the limb articulation.
Which leads to the toy as a collectible. The best collectibles remind the buyer of the subject of the collectible. The best collectible toys rock because of the realism to the likeness of the character they are supposed to represent and articulation. Quite simply, the best collectible toys are the most striking likenesses of the characters they represent for collectors and great articulation for those who bother to take it out of the pack for play enthusiasts or those who want to actually display their figures.
The Khan minimate has neither. First, the toy looks nothing like Ricardo Montalban or Khan, save that the maroon outfit bears a resemblance to what Montalban wore in "Space Seed." The scale is too small and the weird expression on the same cylindrical head as every other minimate just looks ridiculous and is not emblematic of any expression that ever crossed Khan's face on screen. In short, this is a dud for the likeness department and the big hair look is just terrible!
And while the figure is articulated at twelve points, much of that articulation is pointless and cannot be used to pose the toy for displays in intriguing fashions. The hands do not hold the accessories and that, too, limits the playability of the toy.
You know, I sat down to review the Star Trek minimates because I thought it would be a good writing exercise, but the truth is there is only so much one may write about a two-inch tall piece of plastic that needs to stay in its package to identify the character it is supposed to represent. It's a mystery why Montalban signed off on this (as I assume he had to because it bears *snicker* his likeness) but it's about time I ask:
If we forgive you for allowing this drecht to be made, will you please come back to the convention circuit?
For other Star Trek MiniMates reviews, please check out my takes on:
Captain Kirk MiniMate
Dr. McCoy MiniMate
Swashbuckling Sulu and Chekov MiniMate set
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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