The Good: General sculpt (it’s obvious who it is)
The Bad: Overproduced, Unbalanced, Lousy accessories, Terrible coloring and detailing, Virtually everything.
The Basics: Geordi La Forge, in his first season only incarnation is made into one of the most basic and ridiculous Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures.
Back in the day, Galoob actually had the license to Star Trek The Next Generation action figures. Those first figures were exceptionally primitive, like on par with the 1980s Star Wars action figures from Kenner.
One of the four most common Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation figures which was a pegwarmer for years while it was out was their take on Lieutenant Geordi La Forge. Geordi La Forge, who is a staple of the Star Trek franchise was so poorly presented that even fans of the popular character tend to shy away from this toy and avoid it even now!
The Star Trek: The Next Generation 1988 Collection of action figures contained six figures (though two were quite rare and another four were later released) and it focused on the essential characters and villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Enormously overproduced even then, Lt. Geordi La Forge was one of four figures that was so common by 1989, most toy stores were trying (unsuccessfully) to blow their stock out in the dollar bins. Geordi La Forge suffered additionally because by the time the figure came out, the second season of the show was already on the air and Geordi La Forge had a new uniform and new position, so he no longer looked like this figure!
The Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge figure is the Navigation and Helm branch officer as he appeared in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (reviewed here!). Geordi La Forge is wearing the maroon command and helm uniform. Across his eyes is the metal VISOR.
Standing three and a half inches tall, this is a poor likeness of Lieutenant Geordi La Forge immortalized in plastic. The character is molded in a generic standing position that makes him look like he is in a coffin. He is molded with a phaser in his left hand, so he is ready for combat, so long as it is straight in front of him! This Geordi La Forge figure has a terrible level of detailing, with the head being disproportionately small compared with the rest of his body. As well, the uniform detailing is poor with accents like the piping on the pants and shoulders not being painted on. To add further insult to collectors, some of the painting is sloppy like the communicator pin, which is not even fully filled in on mine! Geordi La Forge's face is a generic, neutral expression that contains no emotions, which (admittedly) is made harder by the VISOR over his eyes. Geordi La Forge is also monotonally colored, so there is no depth or shading realism to the figure’s features. He is obviously the blind navigator, but the molding and paint details are so minimal that his hair looks like a helmet as opposed to a head!
Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge comes with only one accessory, considering that the phaser is molded into his one hand. That accessory is a tricorder and it comes with a strap that was never used on the actual tricorders on Star Trek The Next Generation. Instead, this looks like a generic phone from the late 1980s hanging on a plastic string. The accessory is light on molding details, looking nothing like a tricorder, and is absent any coloring details. As such, it is just a slightly gray plastic piece that hangs from the figure’s shoulder.
Lieutenant Geordi La Forge is terrible as a toy, for several reasons outside just its sculpt. First, Geordi La Forge has terrible balance, light articulation and the molded phaser limits the play options as one whole hand is unavailable for posing or holding items (if there had been more accessories), unless one wants to have Geordi La Forge shooting someone. This was pretty lousy as one of the few playsets Galoob produced was a shuttlecraft and it is hard to imagine Geordi La Forge effectively navigating that craft if he only had one hand available to do it with! Lieutenant Geordi La Forge is endowed with six points of articulation: groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist. All of the joints 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.
Geordi La Forge, unfortunately, is topheavy with his broad chest and as a result is poorly balanced. This Geordi La Forge tips over and I’ve not found a way to get him to stand unless one has him leaning back from the waist, so it looks like he is doing a groin thrust! This is a terribly balanced toy and the inability to stand is the final nail in the coffin for this figure.
Galoob mass produced the four figures from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and made the others exceptionally rare. Geordi La Forge was one of the four ultracommon figures and this Geordi La Forge is beyond worthless. Found loose for less than a dollar these days, this Geordi La Forge can often be found for less than $3.00 Mint on card! Galoob flooded the market with these figures and they are almost impossible to use as investment pieces.
The Lieutenant Geordi La Forge Star Trek: The Next Generation figure from Galoob is one of the few that is truly worth avoiding.
For other Star Trek toys, please check out my reviews of:
Playmates Star Trek: Generations Klingon Bird Of Prey
Burger King Sulu talking inaction figure
Vina The Orion Slave Woman figure from Playmates
For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.