Thursday, November 29, 2012

Growling Through His Mediocrity, Klingon Warrior Worf Is A Good Figure.

The Good: Good balance, Generally decent accessory design, Cool sculpt
The Bad: There's a better version on the market now, Accessory coloring
The Basics: A decent Klingon action figure, Klingon Warrior Worf is light on surface and accessory details, but still holds up as a decent toy.

Worf is one of the most recast and redistributed action figures Playmates Toys ever sought to exploit and one only hopes that Michael Dorn received the royalties he was do. Of course, fans know from his resistance to signing autographed, licensed products (like the Lightspeed Fine Art prints and trading cards) that his was not the case. Much of Dorn's grudge against the gravy boat that made him a household name came from products where he did not received the royalties he was due from things like the action figures. Playmates Toys, which licensed the likeness to Worf from Paramount Pictures, continued to make toy after toy of Worf without making sure the actor received his due. The second line-up of Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures was released with two different Worf figures, though it does not take a detective to notice both use the same head. The superior Worf to collect in the 1993 toy run was the Klingon Warrior Worf action figure.

Klingon Warrior Worf figure could be worse, the other one was an uninspired recast. This Worf was released twice, at least in Canada in order to promote both the second line of figures (Playmates's second wave of Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures was released in 1993 and included twenty-three figures, several of which were re-released in a later line in Canada where the only difference was that the trading card that came with the twenty-three line was replaced with a SkyCap (a pog). The figures inside were identical. For fans of the Playmates Star Trek line, despite its flaws, this version of Worf is a great addition to the collection and a must for fans of Worf, Klingons or Michael Dorn!


The Star Trek: The Next Generation 1993 Collection of action figures contained twenty-three figures and it broadened the line away from the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and supplemented the characters with memorable guest stars and aliens. The second series of figures contained a Klingon Warrior Worf "In Traditional Klingon Battle Attire With Ceremonial Robe" figure which sold quickly. Fans were hot for this figure despite first Worf figure being so good, because this offered a legitimate variation on Worf. This figure seemed to be mixed into the cases less, as well.

The Commander Worf figure is the Klingon Security officer as he appeared whenever he worked among Klingons, but most notably when he left the Enterprise to work aboard his brother's ship in "Redemption, Part II" (reviewed here!). This is the same Worf head that was originally made and distributed, but popped onto a new body.

Standing four and three-quarters inches tall, this is a decent likeness of Worf in his full-Klingon outfit immortalized in plastic. There is a decent level of uniform detailing. Worf's face is molded in a determined expression and it lacks much in the way of detail, though the lips are downturned in an appropriate scowl. His dark skin lacks any realistic shading, save in the head ridges. The uniform is appropriately armored, making Worf look quite durable. His armor is covered in the Klingon robe he wore in "The Emissary" (reviewed here!). His eyes are appropriately brown, but the pupils are white instead of black! The uniform incudes such details as the horns on the toes of the boots and the brass accents on the bandoleer and belt buckle.

The paint job is mediocre at best. The skin tones are monolithic brown and lack any shading or subtlety. The uniform is appropriately colored and the figure looks good in that respect. This includes the thin gun harness, which was a nice touch of realism. The uniform looks good and the soft-plastic (almost rubbery) robes do not inhibit the figure's movement at all.


Commander Worf comes with four accessories, plus a trading card: A Klingon pain stick, a Klingon spiked club, a Klingon disruptor, and an action base shaped like a Klingon symbol. That Klingon Warrior Worf comes with only weapons makes a great deal of sense, as his role on Star Trek: The Next Generation while aboard Klingon ships often was perilous and required him to use weapons. The Action base is just enough to support Worf and is a three-pointed Klingon Symbol cast in appropriate red and yellow plastic. The center of the top spike on the symbol has a peg which fits into the hole in either of Worf's feet!

The Klingon painstick is a great accessory as it is one that was used on Worf during Klingon rituals on the holodeck. The 3 5/8" long staff has the appropriate shocking end molded on so it looks appropriately wicked. Unfortunately, there is no distinction as far as coloring details between the wood part and the metal business end. This is the same accessory used originally for the Gowron action figure.

Also simply reused from the Gowron figure (come to think of it, the body of this Worf might well be a Gowron body, were it not for the bandoleer across his chest) is the Klingon disruptor pistol. This wicked looking gun fits in either of Klingon Warrior Worf's hands and has the surface, but not coloring, details of a Klingon firearm.

The final accessory, the Klingon Spiked Club bears no resemblance to anything ever seen in Worf's hands on the program. This is a little 2 3/4" mace with a heavy, spiked end and a ball on the opposite end. It looks like a meat tenderizer and its ridiculousness is increased by the fact that they often come in the package bent. Unfortunately, all three of these accessories are molded in an inaccurate navy blue or puke brown plastic that is utterly lacking in realistic coloring detail. Worf is over-accessorized and with the lame coloring of the accessories, it is less exciting than it otherwise could be. Depending on when the figure was made, the accessory coloring seems to vary between the hideous brown and the inaccurate blue.

The 1993 line of Playmates action figures also comes with a very cool SkyBox trading card unique to the action figures. The Klingon Warrior Worf card features a big shot of Worf's head and upper body with a warp field background that is quite striking. The back of the card has all sorts of vital information on Worf and the figure is highly sought by card collectors who collected the cards and disposed of the figures. Interestingly, the repackage that used the SkyCap often had multiple cards in the bag behind the SkyCap, so it can often save collectors money to pick up the figures that way for the multiple cards!


The Klingon Warrior Worf, despite having miscolored and obviously recycled accessories, helped continue a high level of quality from Playmates and he was quite good at the time, pleasing collectors and fans alike. This is not a bad sculpt of Worf. The Klingon Warrior Worf 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, for example, 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 posability!

Moreover, for use with actual play, Captain Worf 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!). As well, this Worf may bend at the knees so it may sit in the Captain's chair on the bridge playset!

On his base, Worf is quite stable, even in fairly ridiculous poses, making him a great figure for display as well as play. Even off his base, this is one of the most stable action figures Playmates Toys released!


Playmates mass produced the first few waves of Star Trek: The Next Generation figures, so this Worf is virtually worthless. Found loose for less than a three dollars these days, this Worf is one of the few to appreciate on its card. It can seldom be found for less than its original issue price in the $5.00 range. Playmates flooded the market with these figures and they are almost impossible to use as investment pieces, though the Klingon Warrior Worf has held up over the years, possibly because it was less mass-produced than the others in this series.

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, and it might be considered pretty limited when there are at least 4,000 figures out there (my Klingon Warrior Worf is #003601!).


This Worf is not bad, but it is easily trumped on accessory quality and sculpt by the new Art Asylum Worf figure in Klingon armor. But for those collecting the 4 1/2" Playmates toys, this is quite good and more than enough to be worth keeping or hunting down now.

For other Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation figures from the 1993 line, please check out my reviews of:
The Borg
Captain Jean-Luc Picard In StarFleet Duty Uniform
Commander Riker In Second Season Uniform
Geordi In Dress Uniform
Ambassador K'Ehleyr


For other toy reviews, be sure to visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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