The Good: Good sculpt, Good coloring, Decent variety of accessories
The Bad: Accessory coloring, Entirely overproduced, Very bland facial expression, Balance issues, Usefulness
The Basics: The Doctor Julian Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform figure from Playmates Toys illustrates how Playmates tried to get the fan cash . . . no matter how preposterous the figure!
Playmates Toys made the most out of having the license to Star Trek action figures. In fact, they are a great example of a company that struck while the iron was hot. With Star Trek: The Next Generation fans still disappointed by Galoob’s earliest endeavors at making figures, Playmates picked up the license as part of the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek and they ran with it. While the figures were a higher quality than anything that preceded them, the company quickly took advantage of the collectors by making cheap recasts of the figures or reusing the same heads on different bodies and marketing them as “new” figures. One of the most obvious examples of that trend was with the Dr. Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform action figure. This is a head from a Dr. Bashir action figure (reviewed here!), on what appears to be a recolored Geordi action figure body!
This is Dr. Bashir in a standard StarFleet uniform, which – to be fair to Playmates – Bashir did appear in . . . for about a minute when his character was first introduced in “Emissary” (reviewed here!), before he changed his uniform! He never again put this uniform back on. This is such a lazy action figure release that this version of Bashir comes with the same accessories as the original Bashir figure.
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1995 Collection of action figures contained figures that were cheap retreads of the main crew of space station Deep Space Nine, as well as unique alien and character figures missed in the first line. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform was one of the least exciting additions to the collection and was a pegwarmer, even at the time. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is a human officer, a young man who is looking at Deep Space Nine to fill his life with adventure. Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform appears in his second action figure as a very bland StarFleet officer. He is attired in his blue StarFleet uniform with the solid black pants. This was one of the most common action figures in the assortment and it remains fairly easy to find even now. Still, card collectors helped keep this from being a complete pegwarmer as it features a SkyBox pog card exclusive to the action figure, which made it hunted by trading card collectors as well.
The Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform figure is the human StarFleet officer as he appeared in “Emissary,” with the blue uniform and slicked back hair. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is attired in his teal blue StarFleet uniform with the black pants and shoulders. The outfit is colored appropriately, with the right rank pips on the collar.
Standing four and one-half inches tall, this is a very bland recreation of Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform 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. Despite having a very neutral stance, Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform has poor balance off his stand and must be kept in a flatfooted position (so the stand helps with balance). There is a decent level of uniform detailing, including the communicator pin on the chest being both molded into the figure and then painted on. The sculpting details lessen, though at the hands, where Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform has less detailing, including a lack of defined knuckles, though he has faintly molded fingernails.
Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform's face is molded in a bland, neutral expression that does not have anything distinct to make him recognizable. In fact, his skin is colored much lighter than Siddig El Fadil's actual skin is. The hair is tough to capture for a Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform figure as Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform had hair that was puffed up and back, but Playmates made a fair go at it. At least it doesn't look like Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is wearing a helmet.
The paint job is fair at best, especially for the face. The skin tones are monotonal white with no shading or subtlety. The figure's lips are painted an unnaturally bright pink which looks somewhat ridiculous. As well, Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform's eyes are brown with white pupils, which is disturbing.
Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform comes with five accessories, including the base, all of which were recycled from the first figure release. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform comes with a medical kit, medical tricorder, PADD, DNA scanner and the base. The Action base is a StarFleet delta shield symbol with the name "BASHIR " stuck on it with a cheap, black sticker. The center of the base has a peg which fits into the hole in either of Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform's feet! When Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform stands flatfooted on the stand, he is stable for balance and has a decent, neutral display appearance. The base is also enough to support Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform in more outlandish poses, which is nice.
The Medical kit is essentially a big flat purse with a plastic strap which may be slung over Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform's shoulder. While it has the basic shape of a medical kit, it is utterly lacking in the surface details and markings of a StarFleet medical kit. It is a monotonal silver which is close to what the prop looks like, but it is a pretty bland accessory.
The Medical Tricorder is a similarly light-on-details accessory. The 3/4" box looks like the scanning device used by Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform and it fits in either of his hands. This has the surface details of a tricorder, up to and including that the scanning wand is molded into the top of the device, but it does not do anything.
The PADD is essentially the Star Trek version of an iPad (actually, it's the other way around as Star Trek had them first!) and it is basically a flat chip of plastic. To simulate the screen, there is a sticker and that is more effort than most of the other accessories got.
Finally, there is the DNA Scanner. This is an accessory unique to Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform. It was created for the second episode of the series and the prop is molded properly to look like the specific medical device. Like the tricorder, it fits into either of Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform's hands. However, there are no surface details and it is cast in the silver plastic without coloring details, like the black grip.
Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is over-accessorized, but the accessories are not the most hideous colors for accessories from Playmates.
As well, Playmates included a pog 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 Doctor Bashir’s head in an indistinct shot that does not show off his StarFleet Duty Uniform with a wormhole symbol behind the headshot. The back has a checklist of the other Star Trek: Deep Space Nine pogs.
Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform continued a generally high playability quality from Playmates and he was quite good at the time, pleasing collectors and fans alike. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is appropriately stiff, but has decent poseability. Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform 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, Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform 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, Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is exceptionally stable, even in the most ridiculous poses. He actually looks very dignified and ready to save lives in his neutral display pose.
Playmates seemed to have no idea how tired fans were of being milked by the time they released the second wave of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures. Fleshing out the line with completely irrelevant figures severely diminished the collectability of the figures that were not the premium ones. As a result, the Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform was one of the worst-selling figures in the assortment. As a result, he has not appreciated much since his initial release almost twenty years ago.
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 12000 figures out there (my Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform is #011706!).
The Doctor Bashir In StarFleet Duty Uniform figure is a lousy figure, which even fans of Bashir or Siddig El Fadil can safely avoid.
For other figures from this same series of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine figures, please check out my reviews of:
Rom and Nog
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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